Posted on May 22, 2008
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he felt “drained” after his side’s Champions League final victory over Chelsea.
The 66-year-old followed up his 1999 triumph over Bayern Munich with a 6-5 victory over Chelsea on penalties after the match finished 1-1 following extra time.
The win in Moscow provided United’s third triumph in the competition and left them six titles behind Real Madrid, four behind AC Milan’s haul of seven, two behind Liverpool’s set of five and one behind Bayern Munich and Ajax.
“It does drain you. We’ve played two hours of football which was very open and the penalty kicks as well, and with everything before the game as well it does take it out of you,” Ferguson said.
“It is worth it though because to get success you have to get through the pain in a game like that and it is part of being the manager of this club.
“I’m proud of winning it because, as I’ve said many times, we should have won it more times.
“We have made one step forward towards getting a respectable figure in terms of Champions League wins and we want to add more and get up there alongside the Liverpools, Bayern Munichs and Ajaxs.
“And then you never know what ambition can do to you. Real Madrid have nine wins and it is a target you take for granted – perhaps not in my lifetime, but is is worth chasing.”
Ferguson also hailed Ryan Giggs who scored a decisive penalty, before goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka to clinch the victory, and overtook Sir Bobby Charlton’s United appearance record.
“He [Giggs] has had a fantastic career and he, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville have conducted themselves as real professionals,” Ferguson told MUTV.
“You have to proud of that and that they have done it on my watch is fantastic. To achieve what they have achieved – I’m proud of them.
“I think you can call this a great team and I think we can better with the young players coming through – I hope we can go on and defend it now.”
Ferguson also paid tribute to the club’s supporters who traveled from far and wide to attend the final in the Russian capital.
“They were fantastic and there were some unbelievable scenes at the end. When you walk around it makes you realize how much it means to some of these people,” he added.
“Some of them came from Riga – I mean it’s five days away or something like that. Some have made their way via St Petersburg and Helsinki – they are true supporters.”