The chief executive of Manchester United said Sir Alex Ferguson used the inspirational story of the Chilean miners to drive his players to victory against Arsenal.
David Gill was speaking on the final day of the miners' three-day trip to Old Trafford which saw them take in the 1-0 home victory against the Gunners on Monday.
Addressing the miners, some of whom were wearing Manchester United scarves and clutching gift bags, Mr Gill said: "I am absolutely delighted on behalf of Manchester United to welcome the miners here on this special visit.
"To see you dancing and singing in the directors box yesterday was fantastic.
"And you played a part in that win over Arsenal last night. I know Sir Alex referred to your story in his team talk before the game."
Miners Raul Bustos, 40, and Pedro Cortez, 25, said they were proud that Sir Alex referred to them before the game.
However, they said they did not believe they were stars.
Speaking through a translator, Mr Bustos said: "We don't feel like big stars, like the stars that play football. We feel like very normal people. We are just trying to represent Chile and the miners in the UK."
Sir Bobby Charlton, a director at the football club, suggested the miners see a United game when he visited Chile in the autumn.