Spalletti eyes United upset
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Roma boss Luciano Spalletti believes his team can beat Manchester United.
Roma boss Luciano Spalletti says his team cannot match Manchester United's quality, but believes his side can win the game with 'team effort'.
United travel to Roma for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday night in great form as they look to boost their Treble bid.
But Spalletti believes the hosts can cause an upset at Stadio Olimpico if their tactics are right and the players play for one another.
"I am convinced that we will make life difficult for Manchester," he said. "Whether this will be sufficient, we will have to wait and see.
"We don't have great champions like Manchester have, but we hope to overcome this with team effort.
"If we reason like a team, we behave like one and each player sacrifices himself for his team-mates, we can win."
Spalletti, however, views Sir Alex Ferguson with the utmost respect and believes he has a long way to go to match the Scot's achievements in the game.
"Ferguson is a great coach. Between me and him, there are 30 trophies that separate us.
"The last trophy I got was a Serie C promotion."
But Spalletti feels Ferguson, who omitted Francesco Totti from his list of the most dangerous Roma players, may have underestimated his star striker's ability.
"I know this game means a lot to Totti because this is the city where he was born. This is his all-time club.
"I think his focus will be on helping this team go far in this competition rather than on personal recognition.
"It seems strange that Ferguson is unaware of Totti's potential."
Spalletti also claimed he would prefer to have Totti in his side to Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I prefer Totti to Cristiano Ronaldo because I know Totti very well. I know everything about him. He has great quality and little defects.
"Ronaldo probably has the same quality, but I don't know him."