Guest #100 Rio Ferdinand: Sir Alex and my Champions League Quest (Pt 2)

In 2008, Rio Ferdinand’s Champions League dream came true on a rainy night in Moscow.

The final against Chelsea was a game Rio was terrified to lose. He had to take a penalty in the shootout, an experience he says you simply cannot prepare yourself for. But his mum just loved it when he walked up to lift the big trophy.

Rio once raged at Sir Alex Ferguson from the pitch. The manager was so angered that he would have sold him had he not apologised. Fergie was a genius, a man with an incredible personal touch. Pep Guardiola was the only guy who could have filled his shoes. United had beaten Barcelona in the ’08 semi, but Pep's team were a different beast in the 2009 and 2011 finals. Rio felt embarrassed after those games and said that Barca ripped the soul from that United team. Although they were up against the greatest side of all time, Rio knows they could and should have done better. Fergie should have set them up differently, more compactly, more counter-attacking.

Thanks Rio.

Graham

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