Real Madrid are Barcelona’s closest rivals, admits Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits Real Madrid are the team closest to challenging Barcelona's dominance
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Real Madrid are the team closest to challenging Barcelona’s dominance of European football – but he cannot see any side stopping the Catalan giants from retaining their Champions League crown this term.
Ferguson’s United have suffered defeat at the hands of BarÃ§a in their last two Champions League final appearances, and the 70-year-old admits that Pep Guardiola’s side are setting the standards on the European stage.
“The Barcelona team at the moment is by far the best team,” Ferguson told a news conference ahead of the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich. “Sometimes in football you have to hold your hands up and say: ‘yes, they are better than us’. It’s not a crime or a weakness, it’s just a plain fact that Barcelona are an extraordinary team.
“I can’t see anyone taking a trophy from them this year. I can’t see it. Real Madrid is probably the nearest team to them at this moment in time.”
Ferguson, who celebrated 25 years in charge at Old Trafford in November, recently stated that he hopes to continue on as United boss for at least another three years – but the Scot maintains that his health will be the deciding factor.
He added: “I made that statement about how long I can last but really it does depend on your health also but at the moment I feel quite good.”