‘Real’ Champions League starts now, declares Man United boss Ferguson

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes the "real Champions League" kicks off in the knockout stage

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson's United were beaten 1-0 by Cluj Photo: The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes the “real Champions League” starts at the knockout stage after the Manchester United boss watched his side slump to a home defeat by Cluj.

United had already booked their place in the last-16 draw ahead of Wednesday’s clash at Old Trafford, where Luis Alberto grabbed the winner for the Romanian side.

Manchester United boss Ferguson admits he is looking forward to the knockout stage, with the draw set to take place on 20 December at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon.

“We qualified earlier so it gave us a chance to experiment and play the players that needed a game,” said Ferguson.

“We gave some young players a bit of experience and that will hold them in good stead.

“We’re into the next stage being winners of the group but there are some big names there – Shakhtar Donetsk, Milan, Porto.

“We qualified comfortably and the real tournament starts in February. The knockout stages are fantastic.”

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