Sir Alex Ferguson has told his Utd players they must be happy playing second best to Barca for the time being.
United boss speaks of admiration for Spanish giants
Sir Alex Ferguson has told his Manchester United players they must be happy playing second best to Barcelona for the time being, but has challenged them to close the gap on the European champions.
Last season United failed to emulate their Premier League heroics in Europe, falling to Pep Guardiola's men in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley.
That triumph saw Barca lift their second continental title in three years, having also ousted the Red Devils in the 2009 final.
Two months later Ferguson's men are preparing to meet their conquerors again, this time in the final game of their pre-season tour of the United States in Washington DC on Saturday.
The Scottish manager believes Barca's achievements over recent years have set the benchmark in world football, and he has urged United to reach that level.
"I think their performances and their feats over the last two or three years have elevated them," Ferguson told Sky Sports News
"In everyone's mind they are the best team, currently, in the world.
"I'm quite happy to be in second place at this moment in time because that's our challenge. Our challenge will be to get to that level."
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