No sense saying Barcelona is best, says United's Ferguson

AP, Tuesday 6 Sep 2011

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has had enough of all the talk about this Barcelona team being the best of all time


Barcelona beat United 3-1 in last season’s Champions League final, giving the Catalan club its third title in six years.

“It’s certainly among the best sides of all time. But so was the Milan side with (Franco) Baresi, (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Roberto) Donadoni and the Dutch players,” Ferguson said, referring to the squad that Arrigo Sacchi coached to back-to-back European Cup titles in 1989 and 1990.

“There’s a short memory in football. Now everyone says Barcelona is a fantastic squad, but at the time they said the same thing about Milan,” Ferguson added in an interview in Corriere dello Sport on Tuesday, while he was in Rome to pick up an award.

“I don’t think there’s any sense in asking which is the best team of all time,” Ferguson added. “The important thing is to remember that a certain squad was special. That makes me think of the Dutch squads in the 70’s, Bayern and Celtic, which beat Inter in the European Cup in 1967. That was a squad in which the players were born within a 25-kilometer radius.”

As for Jose Mourinho, Ferguson had nothing but compliments.

“I don’t find anything wrong with his enthusiasm,” Ferguson said. “When I was younger I showed more enthusiasm on the bench, too—I was always gesticulating and directing.

“It’s Mourinho’s nature to be agitated,” Ferguson added. “When I saw Mourinho run up and down the touchline at Old Trafford when he coached Porto, I said to myself, ‘Did I also use to do that?’ People recognize his enthusiasm, the fans understand that he’s fighting for them and for the squad.”

Lastly, Ferguson ruled out a united British football squad for the Olympics.

“I’m sure it won’t happen. You won’t see a British squad because Scotland won’t agree to it,” said Ferguson, who is from Scotland.

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