LONDON - Even though Sir Alex Ferguson has now
confirmed Manchester United as England's most successful club in
both main domestic competitions, the Scot still has unfinished
business - in Europe.
Ferguson has made it plain that, even though he turns 70 on
the last day of the year, he has no intention of retiring from
the United job he has held since 1986.
He remains driven not only by the task of improving their
record haul of 19 English titles and 11 FA Cups but by the
desire to catch up with the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax
Amsterdam, Bayern Munich and his old nemesis Liverpool, who have
all been European champions more times than United.
Although even he would have to admit that equalling or
bettering Real Madrid's record of nine European Cups is beyond
him, Ferguson is still hugely ambitious heading into the May 28
Champions League final against Barcelona.
"I think it is an area we want to do better, we should have
won more I think, we're in another final so we've got a chance,"
"The expectation from my point of view has always been very
high in Europe because you do get envious of the other great
teams - Real Madrid, Milan, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and
Ajax," he added.
"We are looking to get parity with those clubs. It is where
we should be."
A 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday secured
United's 19th league title, taking them out on their own ahead
With that significant milestone passed, Ferguson has the
chance to improve on what he sees as their relatively poor
record of three European Cups.
The reasons for United's relatively poor record in Europe
They struggled with the tactical demands of the competition
at times, going out on the away goals rule and failing to beat
opponents they were expected to overcome including German sides
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen and French team Monaco.
They did win the competition in 1999 and 2008 and victory
over Barcelona in their third final in four seasons would make
United European champions for a fourth time, bringING Ferguson
level with the late Bob Paisley of Liverpool as the only other
man to win three European Cups.
He would also emulate United's other great Scottish manager
Matt Busby, who won their first European Cup at Wembley in 1968.
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