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United's Hernández hails 'best team in the world'

After scoring both of Manchester United FC's goals to send them through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, striker Javier Hernández paid tribute to "the best team in the world".

United's Hernández hails 'best team in the world'
United's Hernández hails 'best team in the world' ©UEFA.com

Forward Javier Hernández admitted he was exceeding his own expectations of his first season in England after firing his Manchester United FC side into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The 22-year-old Mexican international showed his nose for goal by scoring with two close-range finishes – the first after five minutes, the second with 15 minutes remaining – as Manchester United defeated Olympique de Marseille 2-1 to advance by an identical aggregate scoreline. They were his first UEFA Champions League goals at Old Trafford and justified his inclusion in United's starting lineup ahead of Dimitar Berbatov, the club's leading marksman.

Asked if he had imagined things going so well after his arrival from CD Guadalajara last year, Hernández told UEFA.com: "No honestly, not in truth. I didn't expect to play as much so I need to thank my team-mates, the coaching staff and God above all for the fact things are going so well for me." His double against Marseille took his tally to 16 from 33 appearances in all competitions but he preferred to pay credit to his colleagues, saying: "It's impressive. I always say I am in the best team in the world.

"I am happy more than anything about the result and that we got the win," added the player nicknamed 'Little Pea' (Chicharito). "My goals are down to the work of the whole team." If such modesty prevented any further insight, his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, helped make up for it, hailing Hernández's "pace and movement".

Wayne Rooney also sang his fellow attacker's praises when he said: "He has been brilliant when he has come on and when he's started. It has been good for him when the manager's started him in some big games recently and he has risen to the occasion." Rooney himself caught the eye in a withdrawn position behind Hernández, setting up the opener after combining well with Ryan Giggs. "It is different with him and [Berbatov]," the striker said of the role. "When Berba plays, I play higher and when Chicho [Hernández] plays I tend to help out in midfield."

Reflecting on United's overall showing, Rooney said the Premier League leaders had started well but conceded that they finished the round of 16 second leg hanging on following Wes Brown's 82nd-minute own goal. "We set out to get at them and get an early goal. We managed to do that and had a couple of other chances we didn't take. Chicho got the second but it was a bit nervous in the last five minutes but we managed to hold on."