Sir Alex eyes third Champions League success

July 26, 2008

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of his determination to win a third European Cup sooner rather than later.

The clock may be ticking down on the 66-year-old Scot's remarkable Old Trafford career but he remains driven.

He wants United to build on a marvellous season, when they ended a nine-year wait by winning the Champions League and retained their Premier League title.

Chelsea were defeated on penalties in Moscow, and Ferguson's blood pressure also went through the roof in 1999 when they overcame Bayern Munich thanks to two late goals.

Ferguson not only reflected on that memorable night in May in Russia when he addressed a group of guests of Vodacom, sponsors of the challenge tournament they are currently appearing in, but stated his ambition.

He said: 'It is the greatest club tournament in the world and to win it elevates you into a different level altogether.

'When we won it in 1999 I said at the time I hoped we would win it again but I wanted to enjoy it a bit more as we scored two goals in the last two minutes.

'This time I had to wait until the last penalty kick had been taken. Therefore, once again I had to go through all that intensity and tension.

'Being a nervous wreck is not good for you. But it was a fantastic game and a fantastic achievement.

'We do not want to wait nine years again. I will be up in that big penalty box in the sky by then!'

Earlier in a media conference, Ferguson dismissed speculation he could take charge of the 2012 Great Britain Olympic team.

He said: 'I will be 70 years of age then. I've not made any commitment to anything like that. I would not, in any way, shape or form, try and commit myself to something that is four years ahead. There is nothing I can add to that.'

Ferguson also believes the idea of the home nations coming together in the World Cup as team Great Britain is a non-starter.

He said: 'Other countries have their own identities, their own patriotism. It's been mooted for many years from FIFA that Great Britain should have a team in the World Cup. That would be impractical as far as I am concerned.

'Scotland, Ireland and Wales wouldn't want to be part of a Great Britain team, I don't think and also England. I don't think it's a starter.'

Ferguson has called on the referee to be strong when they face Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the Vodacom Challenge tomorrow.

The Chiefs, who drew with United in the opening game last week, secured their passage after defeating bitter rivals Orlando Pirates in what was a physical game.

Ferguson said: 'It was a very aggressive game and I think it's important we see a good match tomorrow. The referee has a responsibility and a role to play in making sure it's a good game.

'There will be plenty of good footballers on the field and that's why spectators are here.'

United then move on to Nigeria after the game as they face Portsmouth in a friendly the following day.

Ferguson will mix up his sides because of the quick turnaround.

He said: 'I will make some changes to my team - that's the nature of the business at the moment.

'I want to give them enough time on the field and to make sure everyone's fitness and the tempo of their game is improving. Hopefully by this time next week we'll be really ready for the season.'