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9 things you’ve forgotten from Middlesbrough’s incredible run to the UEFA Cup final

European football returns next week after a hiatus that has, let’s be honest, dragged on far too long.

The Champions League and Europa League will be back on our screens with English representation at the plenty.

So we thought the time was right to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Middlesbrough embarked on the most miraculous run to the UEFA Cup final in 2005/06, eventually succumbing to a mightily impressive Sevilla side that boasted the likes of Dani Alves and Freddie Kanoute.

But so many factors of their incredible exploits that season need readdressing…

1 They assembled the most ridiculous strike force known to man


Between them Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Yakubu, Mark Viduka and Massimo Maccarone fired in 60 goals across all competitions.

2 Their squad was littered with Premier League cult heroes



Abel Xavier, Ugo Ehiogu, Ray Parlour, George Boateng – take your pick.

The entire squad was a pub quiz gold mine.

3 They also boasted a few players who really had been there and done that



Gaizka Mendieta’s move to Middlesbrough from Lazio in 2003 sparked mass confusing across the country.

Why was one of the most expensive players in history now on Teeside? Just why?

4 Massimo Maccarone made pasta more popular than ever in the North East



Maccarone proved he was more than just a tasty name, scoring dramatic injury time winners against Basel and Steaua Bucharest in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

In back-to-back rounds the maverick Italian inspired the most improbable of turnarounds with decisive moments to send them through.

Cue absolute pandemonium at the Riverside on both occasions.

5 Steve McClaren got the England job off the back of it



The less said about that the better.

6 And the current England manager was their rock at the back

Penchant to a few beverages at the weekend is our Gareth.

7 Two players prone to future ridicule were making their way up the ranks



There were high hopes for both Stewart Downing and Lee Cattermole during their tender years in the north east, but it didn’t really work out as planned for either.

Downing once went an entire season without scoring or assisting for Liverpool while Cattermole committed a mini-cardinal sin by moving to Sunderland.

8 Chris Riggott was relevant



Last seen playing for Burton Albion in 2012, Riggott was one of the more unlikely heroes of Boro’s odds-defying run to the final.

Scored their third goal against Steaua Bucharest in the semi-final second leg which allowed Maccarone to do the rest.

9 They actually beat Roma over two legs



Yes, they genuinely beat a Roma side containing the likes of Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Philippe Mexes on away goals.

Truly what dreams are made of.