Fergie - I like Ribery a lot
Sir Alex Ferguson is a fan of Franck Ribery and admits stopping him will be key to Man Utd beating Bayern.
Last Updated: 28/03/10 12:30pm
Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is a fan of Franck Ribery and admits stopping the Frenchman, along with Arjen Robben, will be key to Manchester United overcoming Bayern Munich.
Ribery has regularly been mooted as a transfer target for United, with reports claiming the club will hold talks over a potential £40million deal when they meet Bayern in the UEFA Champions League.
United head to the Allianz Arena for Tuesday's quarter-final first leg, with Ferguson pinpointing Ribery and former Chelsea winger Robben as Bayern's danger men.
But, while Ferguson admires Ribery's ability, he believes the 26-year-old is not quite in the same bracket as Lionel Messi and his own striker Wayne Rooney.
"Robben and Ribery are the ones who have been carrying the banner for Bayern," Ferguson told The People.
"They have been behind in games so many times and one of those two has always rescued them, so they are obviously the players to watch.
"Ribery is a fine player and I like him a lot. I'm not sure he's up with Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney, but he's a good player. As for Robben, he's one that got away.
"We were close to signing him when he was at PSV Eindhoven, but Chelsea had that arrangement and some sort of operation with PSV because they put Alex there for a couple of years.
"Robben is talented and we know what he can do. He plays wide right and cuts in on to his left for his shots and he has a tremendous left-foot shot, but I think we will be all right coping with him.
"I think we have the full-backs to cope with them. In this situation you hope they perform well.
"It's one thing coping with the wingers' threat, but it's what Robben and Ribery do when we get the ball, and that will be the key for us."
Meanwhile, Ferguson does not envisage future Champions League finals to carry the same drama as when United scored two late goals to beat Bayern 2-1 in the 1999 showpiece.
He added: "It's the most dramatic moment of my career, definitely.
"Nobody will ever win a European Cup like that again. Every time a team is 1-0 up with three minutes left, they will keep thinking of Manchester United.
"How did we win it? Even now I don't know - it was just fate. But, don't forget, that particular team had kept scoring late that season, so it wasn't an accident.
"But when you are 1-0 down and the fourth official puts up three minutes for injury-time, you can't think you are going to win it."