The Elusive One

Last updated : 07 November 2007 By Ed
On his 21st anniversary as United manager Ferguson has challenged his current team to become legends and win the Champions League.

"If you are one of the best you naturally look to spell it out with cups and medals, otherwise you are in danger of ending your career as a nearly man - and I don't think a single Manchester United player wants that," said Ferguson, who won the Champions League in 1999.

"Talk comes cheap but I think we have built a platform that, with just a little bit of luck, will launch us on our way to capture this most elusive of trophies.

"We have had our disappointments on the Champions League trail but, while you can never take anything for granted at this level because the competition is needle sharp, I really believe we are capable of going all the way."

He may stay on for another four years too.

"I am proud to have been at the right club," he said.

"I thought 20 years was the landmark last year and now there is an extra year to add to that. It does mean something to me and now I see that are taking odds on me getting to 25 years. It will be interesting to see if I last that long."

He also makes a small comparison with himself and Sir Matt Busby.

"I don't think of Sir Matt in terms of him lasting so long but there was an impact from his reign, which leaves us with a big incentive," said Ferguson.

"I think back to what he started after the war, when he had the vision to take Manchester United into Europe in 1956. That was before his time and beyond everyone's thinking.

"Chelsea won the league the previous year but didn't fancy Europe. The FA didn't fancy it and the Football League didn't fancy it either.

"But Sir Matt Busby did. That is the real link I have got with Sir Matt. The years I have spent here have been about achieving and entertaining and about meeting the demands of the modern game."