Barcelona the best team we’ve faced, says Ferguson

May 29th, 2011 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Alex Ferguson London, May 29 (IANS) Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson admitted that his team was outplayed by a superior Barcelona in the Champions League final at the Wembley here Saturday night.

Ferguson admitted that Manchester United were up against the best team, whose players also formed the core of the World Cup winning Spanish team.

“In my time as a manager, it’s the best team we’ve faced. Everyone acknowledges that and I accept that. It’s not easy when you’ve been well beaten like that to think another way. No one has given us a hiding like that. It’s a great moment for them. They deserve it because they play the right way and enjoy their football,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson while acknowledging that Barcelona were simply too strong, feels there were some areas where his team could have done much better.

“I think it’s obvious. We knew we were against a good team before the game and planned as best we could. But they do mesmerise you with the way they pass it,” he said.

Ferguson lamented not being able to control Lionel Messi, who inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win in the Champions League finals, which was the Catalan’s fourth European Cup and third trophy in six years. Messi dazzled at the Wembley with his style of play and also scored a brilliant goal in the win. The Argentine was also on target two years back when Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 in the final.

“We never controlled Messi. When we got the lifeline of Wayne Rooney, I expected us to do better in the second half. But it wasn’t to be,” he said.

Having failed against Barcelona in two Champions League final (2009, 2011), Ferguson said he was ready for the challenge of deposing this Barcelona side next season.

“It’s not easy, but it’s a challenge. You shouldn’t be afraid of a challenge. We’ve got better and better. We want to improve. Of course, next season, we must improve even more.

“But we have a challenge with Barcelona. We all do. It’s no consolation being the second best team. I don’t enjoy being second best. Any club with the history we have - Real Madrid, Milan - they’d say the same,” he said.

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