Sir Alex writes off Real's Champions League hopes saying they are too slow

23 February 2009 04:43
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has all-but written off Real Madrid's chances of winning this season's Champions League.Ferguson believes Barcelona and the three other English teams involved in the competition are the biggest threats to his side's hopes of retaining the trophy.Madrid, according to the Red Devils manager, do not have enough pace in their team to worry the rest of Europe's heavyweight sides.[LNB] No chance: Sir Alex Ferguson has written off Real Madrid's chances of winning this year's Champions League[LNB]When asked by French paper Le Journal du Dimanche earlier this month whether Madrid were among the favourites for the Champions League, Ferguson said: 'No chance. 'Their game lacks pace. They have great players like (Gabriel) Heinze, (Fabio) Cannavaro, (Fernando) Gago, but they aren't quick. 'There is (Arjen) Robben, the only one who can give them some rhythm, but he isn't very brave.  Remember me? I knocked United out in 2004 and I'll do it again with Inter, goads mischievous Mourinho[LNB]Liverpool must use Madrid match to restore confidence, says Kuyt[LNB]Champions League lowdown: Real Madrid v Liverpool [LNB]Robben's revenge would see Liverpool paying the penalty against Real [LNB]Gallery: The special magic of the European Cup [LNB] 'The three English teams - Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - or Barcelona (are the favourites, along with United). The level of the Premier League is so elevated that it prepares you for games at the highest level. 'And Barcelona can count on a fantastic player - (Lionel) Messi.' The interview was given on February 4 but, since then, Madrid - who take on Liverpool in the last 16 - have won three Primera Liga games in a row, scoring 11 goals in the process. [LNB] Arjen Robben: Fergie said the Dutchman was quick but not very brave[LNB]Indeed, they are on a nine-match winning run in the Spanish top flight and have drawn to within seven points of leaders Barca at the top of the table. There is no love lost between United and Madrid, especially since their high-profile bust-up regarding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. Another player they may compete over in the next few years is Lyon's star striker Karim Benzema. The France international is one of the continent's hottest prospects and he could leave the French champions this summer. All of Europe's big guns will have been monitoring the progress of Benzema, and Ferguson is an admirer of the 21-year-old. [LNB] Big admirer: Fergie is a fan of Lyon's striker Karim Benzema [LNB]'He is an excellent footballer. He makes me think of Zinedine Zidane, the way he positions his body,' Ferguson said in the same interview. 'He has big shoulders and excellent control of the ball. The ball is stuck to his feet and defenders can't get a tackle in. But it doesn't mean I want to buy him.' When asked if Benzema could play for United one day, Ferguson added: 'You always have to keep an eye on all the best players and how they are developing.[LNB]Franck Ribery: Sir Alex has revealed he is a fan of Bayern's French midfielder[LNB] 'But Lyon's president (Jean-Michel Aulas) is a sharp man. He sold (Michael) Essien for 38million euros, (Mahamadou) Diarra for 26million euros, (Florent) Malouda for 19million euros, (Eric) Abidal for 16million euros. And I congratulate him for that. 'When we played Lyon last season, at the end of the match, he said, 'Chelsea are making me an offer of 50million euros for Benzema'. I replied to him, 'At that price, I'll leave him to them'!' Ferguson also revealed he is a big fan of another young France star, Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery. 'He is fantastic,' the United boss said. 'Always moving and incredible energy. 'He is always going forward but defends a lot too. He would have no problem playing in England.'[LNB] Remember me? I knocked United out in 2004 and I'll do it again with Inter, goads mischievous Mourinho[LNB]Liverpool must use Madrid match to restore confidence, says Kuyt[LNB]Champions League lowdown: Real Madrid v Liverpool [LNB]Robben's revenge would see Liverpool paying the penalty against Real [LNB]Gallery: The special magic of the European Cup [LNB][LNB] [LNB]  

Source: Daily_Mail