Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio's Europa League meeting tonight is dominated by Paul Gascoigne.
The clubs share a kinship thanks to the gifted playmaker thanks to his transfer from White Hart Lane to Rome for £5m in 1992 and yet it could have been so different.
Alex Ferguson was so overwhelmed by the 20-year-old's ability during a 1987 fixture at Old Trafford he instructed Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards to make an immediate approach to his then club, Newcastle United.
"We've gotta get this boy, he's the best I've seen for years and years," said Ferguson when relaying the conversation to Sir David Frost in 2008.
Ferguson spoke to Gascoigne in the summer of 1988 before his holiday and was even assured by the Geordie he'd make the move to M16. "He said, 'Mr ferguson, you go on holiday and enjoy yourself, I'll be signing for Manchester United,'" Ferguson recalled.
But then the Scot was summoned from his sunbed to take a call. Gascoigne had signed for Spurs because the Lilywhites had bought his impoverished parents a house in the north-east.
Gascoigne's fortunes would have drastically altered in Manchester, he and Ferguson have both since admitted he made a mistake heading for London as a 21-year-old rather than heading 151 miles south to Old Trafford. Ferguson has pinpointed Geordie native and United captain Bryan Robson as well as Teessider Gary Pallister, who arrived the following year from Middlesbrough, as possible mentors to rein in Gascoigne's exuberance.
Despite the fall of one of English football's most talented but troubled individuals, Gazza wowed both Tottenham and Lazio supporters.
He spent four years at Spurs, capitalising on capital life but, still treated Spurs supporters - starved of a trophy since the 1982 FA Cup win - with some wonderful moments as they ended the nine-year drought with the 1991 FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.
He had already agreed to join Lazio for £8.5m, and the Wembley stage was set for a fitting denouement. But Gascoigne overdosed on adrenaline and ruptured his cruciate ligaments inside 15 minutes after committing a scything challenge on Gary Charles. He had already executed a chest-high foul on Garry Parker yet was astonishingly not booked by referee Roger Milford.
Fonder memories of the Twin Towers with Tottenham came in the previous round, when he struck that humdinger of a free-kick past Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman.
His injury sustained delayed his departure for the Italian capital, and probably due to his frivolous lifestyle Gascoigne's Serie A career was blighted by his inability to stay fit.
His flabbiness coupled with his behaviour in Rome - dominated by an infamous belching incident - still didn't taint him in the eyes of Lazio's fanatical followers though.
"I never made friends with the Italian press... and all my injuries buggered up a lot of my time up at Lazio, but the fans never turned against me. I have fond memories of Italy," Gascoigne reminisced in his 2004 autobiography.