Fergie aims to win it again
Sir Alex Ferguson is looking forward to a successful defence of Manchester United's Champions League crown.
Last Updated: 22/05/08 1:36pm
Sir Alex Ferguson is looking forward to a successful defence of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League crown.
Ferguson believes his side will only get better after their penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea and can win the trophy again.
He said: "Defending the European Cup is not an easy thing to do but I think the team is good enough. They will improve next year."
A save by Edwin van der Sar from Nicolas Anelka gave United victory and sparked emotional scenes as Sir Bobby Charlton led the team up to receive the European Cup.
And that came after Chelsea captain John Terry had squandered the opportunity to win the trophy for the Londoners when he missed from the spot.
Ferguson said: "We're delighted. It's my first victory in a penalty shoot-out apart from the Charity Shield. I've lost three with Aberdeen and three with United so this is seventh-time lucky.
"The slip by Terry gave us an opening and I thought we would win it then.
"We were fantastic in the first half but the goal gave them an impetus and they were the better team in the second half. But in extra-time, I think we were the better team. It was tight and there were some fantastic moments."
Ferguson singled out Van der Sar for special praise in filling the gloves of 1999 hero Peter Schmeichel and also paid tribute to Paul Scholes, who broke his nose in a clash with Claude Makelele but bravely continued.
He said: "His penalty save was not an accident. We knew where certain players would put their kicks but the last penalty comes down to experience."
Of Scholes, who missed the 1999 final through suspension, he said: "The disappointment of '99 has gone now for him. He was very groggy at half-time and we had to give him some tablets.
"I'm delighted for the boy. He is a fantastic person. People like Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs and (Gary) Neville know what Man United means. Scholes and Giggs will contribute next season, if not in as many games."
Fate, however, was Ferguson's main explanation for United's latest triumph, decreeing that they honoured the Busby Babes.
Five of the survivors, including Charlton and Albert Scanlon, were in the Luzhniki stadium to witness the victory.
Ferguson said: "We had a cause which was very important. People with causes are difficult to battle against and I think fate was playing its part. I feel very, very proud."