LISBON - Benfica's Argentine playmaker
Pablo Aimar is the Portuguese side's main threat to Manchester
United in their Champions League Group C opener on Wednesday,
the Premier League team's coach Sir Alex Ferguson said.
"We know Aimar, of course, when he played for Valencia a few
years ago, a very talented player," Ferguson told reporters when
asked about Benfica's most dangerous players.
The Argentine, now 31, made his Champions League debut
against United playing for Valencia in two draws with the
English side in the 2000/01 season as the Spanish team made
their way to a final which they lost on penalties to Bayern
Aimar, who earned 52 caps for Argentina, spent six years at
Valencia, lifting two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup. He joined
Benfica in 2008 and helped them win the Portuguese title for the
first time in five years in 2010.
After a lacklustre 2010/11, the playmaker has been in top
form this season, flourishing in a midfield partnership with
Belgian arrival Axel Witsel and combative Spaniard Javi Garcia.
Ferguson also praised Benfica's central defensive duo of
Brazil's Luisao and Argentine Ezequiel Garay who will have the
daunting task of containing a rampant Wayne Rooney.
The England forward has scored back-to-back hat-tricks in
Premier League games, the latest coming in Saturday's 5-0
thumping of Bolton Wanderers.
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus earlier said he saw Rooney as the
best English player but that his playing style was more akin to
Brazilian and Argentine football - a suggestion which Ferguson
"I think he is a typical British player. The boy has great
courage, wants to play all the time, has incredible stamina and
added extra to the talent he has," Ferguson said.
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