Monday, 23 May 2011

Bubbly back on ice: Manchester United turn focus to Barcelona

Nemanja Vidic holds the Premier League trophy aloft Nemanja Vidic holds the Premier League trophy aloft
The champagne was back on ice in the Old Trafford fridges on Monday as record breaking title winners United began the process of coming down to earth and preparing the battle plan for Barcelona.

The Reds toasted their historic 19th title as Old Trafford echoed to the chants of “Are you watching Merseyside?”

But Spanish giants Barca were watching as well as they geared up for the Wembley showdown on Saturday in the Champions League final.

After lifting his first trophy as United captain Nemanja Vidic was already looking ahead to the finale in London against the Catalan superstars who beat United 2-0 in the 2009 Rome showpiece.

“We have to come down after this excitement,” said Vidic. “We have to prepare as best as we can for Barcelona now.

“We are celebrating this title win but everyone’s thinking about the next game. It is the biggest game of the year.

“We know what it feels like to go to the final and lose. It was one of the saddest moments of my career. I am sure all the players won’t forget that. We know we are facing a very, very good team and we have to be physically and psychologically ready. Against Barcelona you have to be intelligent.

“They have qualities but we will try to work on their weaknesses and to expose it and try to win the game.”

Vidic was named the Reds’ permanent new skipper last August by Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It is a great honour for me to be the captain of such a big club,” the Serb added.


“I was very proud when I was given the captaincy and I am enjoying the role. But at the end of the day if you are captain and you don’t win a trophy it is not a great feeling. I am very glad we won it.

“It is such an important trophy for us this year. It was one of our main targets to win the Premier League and go above Liverpool. But this is not going to stop. We want to improve and get better.

“I arrived here in 2005 and every year has been getting better and better. It is just amazing. I’ve been  here five years now and four times we have won the Premier League and have played in the Champions League final three times. It really is a dream. To be part of this team and this club is amazing.”

Edwin Van der Sar said his farewells on the pitch to the Old Trafford crowd and is just the Wembley final away from retirement.

“I would like to thank the manager for bringing me here six years ago. Maybe it was a couple of years too late! But I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” said the 40-year-old Dutchman.
“The fans, the players and the manager will always have a warm place in my heart. Manchester United is the biggest club in the world.

“Now we have to get that trophy next Saturday.”

United fans constantly saluted the ‘keeper during the 4-2 success against Blackpool and Wayne Rooney hailed the Reds’ departing number one.

“I thought it was Edwin’s testimonial,” said the striker. “He is by far the best goalkeeper I have played with. He is a pleasure to play with. He will be sorely missed.

“I am sure the manager will have a difficult job replacing him. I wish him all the luck in his career after football. He is a great person and has done really well for the team in the last five or six years.”

No comments:

Post a Comment