Sir Alex Ferguson expects Champions League thriller

The Manchester United boss predicts that Saturday's Champions League final will be one of the best ever

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson's side lost to Barcelona in the 2009 final Photo: The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Saturday’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United will be a classic.

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With United aiming for their fourth European cup, Ferguson paid tribute to the success that both teams have enjoyed during the last decade at his pre-match news conference at Wembley.

And the 69-year-old is convinced that the attacking mentality of the English and Spanish champions will result in a thrilling end-of-season encounter in London.

“The success that both teams have had in the last decade has been enormous and it could not just be the final of the decade, but the best final,” Ferguson said.

“The two teams have great histories, that’s obvious, but it’s an appealing final in what could happen tomorrow – anything could happen.

“There could be a lot of goals, a lot of excitement and there will be a lot of good football, I’m sure of that, so it is all set up – and hopefully it turns out that way.”

Ferguson also heaped praise on his counterpart Pep Guardiola, who led his Barcelona side to a 2-0 victory over United in the 2009 final in Rome.

barcelona training
Final preparations: Barcelona train ahead of Wembley trip (fcbarcelona.cat)

The United manager, who has twice won Europe’s most prestigious club competition, revealed he tried to sign Guardiola as both a player and a coach.

“I spoke to his agent when he left Barcelona and in the end he decided to go to Italy and maybe it was a moment lost because I admired him as a footballer,” he said.

“I thought he was a fantastic passer of the ball. The Barcelona team that beat us 4-0 at that time with players like [Jose Maria] Bakero and [Aitor] Beguiristain was superb.”

He continued: “For a young coach, he has done fantastically well. He has a presence about him and he played for Barcelona, which helps of course.

“If you look at the history of Barcelona’s Dutch coaches, he has made a big step forward for Spanish coaches.”

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