FIFA Club World Cup

Fergie sets sights on conquering the world

December 16, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson has set his sights on steering Manchester United towards glory in the Club World Cup.

With a strong squad at his disposal, the Red Devils chief could field one side for Thursday's semi-final with home challengers Gamba Osaka, with another in reserve for Sunday's final in Yokohama should United overcome the J League outfit.

Ferguson has already been successful in a version of the competition once - the 1999 triumph over Palmeiras - and believes a second victory would represent another major milestone in his illustrious managerial career.

For Nemanja Vidic, meanwhile, the seven-team tournament offers him an opportunity to emulate his boyhood heroes Red Star Belgrade, whose defeat of Colo Colo in 1991 is an indelible memory from the Serbian defender's childhood.

"I remember the Intercontinental match in Japan very well," said Vidic.

"The game was played early in the morning and my brother and I asked my father if we could get up and watch it. He woke us up and brought us downstairs so we could see it.

"Yugoslavia was a small country and we didn't become world champions at anything that often, so that was a big year for football in Yugoslavia and Serbia.

"It also sparked my dreams of playing for Red Star even though I never thought at that time that I eventually would play in a Club World Cup final like they did."

After shaking some of the tiredness from their limbs with a short training session on Monday night, just four hours after touching down on Japanese soil, United have two more sessions to get rid of the jet-lag created by a nine-hour time difference ahead of their meeting with Gamba.

Although their opponents have not impressed in the J League this term, they were confident winners of the Asian Champions League, and showed form by beating Adelaide United in Sunday's semi-final.