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Ferdinand's desire for final chance

Published: Tuesday 4 March 2008, 9.32CET
Twice a losing semi-finalist, "the stuff of dreams" is how Rio Ferdinand describes the prospect of UEFA Champions League glory with Manchester United FC.
by Simon Hart
from Manchester

Tournament statistics

Man. UnitedLyon

Goals scored20
 
12
Attempts on target68
 
52
Attempts off target75
 
49
Corners90
 
41
Offsides35
 
19
Fouls committed192
 
130
Yellow cards17
 
17
Red cards0
 
0

Matches

4 March 2008

Milan
0-2
Arsenal
Sevilla
3-2
(2-3p)
Fenerbahçe
Barcelona
1-0
Celtic
Man. United
1-0
Lyon

5 March 2008

Real Madrid
1-2
Roma
Chelsea
3-0
Olympiacos
Porto
1-0
(1-4p)
Schalke

11 March 2008

Internazionale
0-1
Liverpool
 
Published: Tuesday 4 March 2008, 9.32CET

Ferdinand's desire for final chance

Twice a losing semi-finalist, "the stuff of dreams" is how Rio Ferdinand describes the prospect of UEFA Champions League glory with Manchester United FC.

"The stuff of dreams" is how Rio Ferdinand describes the prospect of winning the UEFA Champions League with Manchester United FC.

'It didn't happen'
A losing semi-finalist with both United last season and former club Leeds United AFC in 2001, Ferdinand has his sights set on going all the way in Europe's élite competition this term – and believes the current United squad have what it takes to achieve that goal. "Last season we had a great opportunity to go on and be a part of the final at least, but for whatever reason that didn't happen," said Ferdinand.

Dream believer
"We would like to change that. We have a great history domestically and in Europe – obviously we would like to be a bit more fruitful in this competition because we feel we have got talent, we have the numbers and there is a desire within the club to do well in this competition this year. It is the stuff of dreams as any young lad, or any professional, would say. Not many players get the opportunity to play in the final, let alone win it. We dream like anybody else to go out there and lift that trophy in Moscow."

Strength
Ferdinand argues that Sir Alex Ferguson has a stronger group of players at his disposal this season than last, where they succumbed 5-3 on aggregate to AC Milan in the semi-finals – a defeat they are desperate to make up for. "We were close last season and we don't want to fall at that hurdle again. The club have bought in some very, very good players who have done well since they've been here and added to the squad that we had before."

'Tough game'
While United's 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais leaves the Premier League champions well-placed to finish the job of securing a quarter-final berth on Tuesday, the England international is reluctant to look too far ahead. "We know it will be a tough game against Lyon and there is a lot of football to be played before anyone starts thinking about lifting that trophy. Lyon are a good side and they have been consistently the best team in France for a while."

Benzema threat
Ferdinand and his fellow defenders may need to be particularly wary of the threat posed by Lyon forward Karim Benzema, scorer of the French title-holders' goal in the first leg. "He played well," said the 29-year-old. "He got the ball, took a touch in one motion and then opened up and scored. It was a fantastic finish but, as I said, hopefully we won't give him that much space to work with in this game."

Last updated: 04/03/08 20.55CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15106/match=301900/prematch/focus/index.html#ferdinands+desire+final+chance

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