Manchester United pre-game latest: Including Madrid build-up and Ferguson comments

News, views, and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s clash with Spanish champions Real Madrid this evening that the game is United’s ‘acid test’.

Ferguson also insisted his United team deserve ‘more credit’ than they get,

"People say that this is not as good as the teams of the past but sometimes there are foggy recollections of teams of the past," claimed the Scot.

The Telegraph’s Mark Ogden has written an article claiming that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo ‘owes’ his career to ‘father figure’ Ferguson.

Ferguson also revealed his belief that United striker Robin van Persie is ‘close’ to Ronaldo’s quality.

“Robin is approaching the level of Ronaldo and Messi," said Ferguson. "His arrival at our place has been nothing but sensational.

The Mirror is running a video clip of ‘Everything you need to know about Real Madrid v United in ten minutes’ here.

Meanwhile The Independent are running a feature on how Real Madrid helped to ‘rebuild’ United after the Munich air disaster via raising funding through friendlies staged in 1958, reportedly out the president’s respect for Matt busby.

Ferguson also stated that young United goalkeeper David De Gea is over his ‘wobbles’ despite being the subject of criticism in recent weeks and months for his performances between the sticks.

“He also had to mature physically, but young kids have wobbles, they get up, wobble again, get up and then walk, and the boy is walking now,” explained the manager.

Ferguson claims that United intend to ‘cause chaos’ at the Bernabeu this evening. He said,

"There will be goals. Of course it can live up to expectations. History always plays a part in these matches. We have to play our own game. Our intention is to win and score and that can cause chaos in games we play. There can be late drama but we have to balance that with responsibility not to leave the door open."

Ferguson told reporters that even he was ‘surprised’ by how well former United star Ronaldo had done since his move from Old Trafford to Madrid. He remarked:

“I knew he’d improve, I knew he was one of the best players in the world, and probably he and Lionel Messi are the two best players in the world. But to score the goals he has is just phenomenal.”

The Madrid talisman has spoken with The Sun in an interview ahead of the clash where he discusses his life, career, and his heart, which he insists will always be ‘in Manchester’.

Meanwhile Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that tonight’s clash between these two European giants is like ‘an early final’.

Madrid against United is as though the final has been brought forward. It is filled with quality,” said the Frenchman.

United midfielder Anderson is looking forward to the ‘test’ of Real this evening. He told,

“These are the games you want to play in. We know we have to be very focused but it’s also important to enjoy games like this.”

Right-back Rafael has also told his club’s official website that he is ‘prepared’ to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo this evening.

The Brazilian revealed:

“Ronaldo is right-footed and plays a different type of game. He can come inside and shoot with power but both of them are tough players to come up against. I think I know Ronaldo as I trained with him.”

In team news, the only player out is still Paul Scholes who was left behind in Manchester after suffering a knee injury but Ashley Young, Phil Jones, and Jonny Evans are fit and available for Ferguson’s 22-man squad which was named yesterday.

We have also put together an assessment of the implications of the Spanish press’ build up to the match as newspaper Marca called Wayne Rooney the ‘bogeyman’ and a ‘freckled devil’ yesterday.

image: © Paolo Camera

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