Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed to MUTV in Skopje that he regrets not winning the UEFA Super Cup more than once during his ultra-successful stay as Manchester United manager.
Ahead of the big game between Jose Mourinho’s Reds and Real Madrid, Sir Alex took time out to relive some of his experiences in a competition he also won with Aberdeen in 1983.
United lifted the trophy in 1991, following a 1-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade, but were beaten in later finals against Lazio in 1999 and Zenit St Petersburg in 2008.
One of football’s most legendary figures explained why he is “sorry” and still wishes he could have scooped even more silverware in Europe.
“When we [United] became successful, I didn’t view the Super Cup as the most important thing because, if you remember, it was in Monaco on a Friday night and we had to go and play on the Monday [against Newcastle United],” he said of the match against Lazio during the Treble-winning year.
“So we only had two days’ preparation. So, in the games against Lazio and Zenit, I played a lot of younger players. And I’m sorry I did that because Lazio treated it like the World Cup final – they were dancing about the touchline and I was raging!
“I was sorry I didn’t put the full lot out because of the way they were celebrating. But the long-term view was: win your league because there’s a lot of tribalism in England, as you know – you’re either against Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City, Leeds United, Chelsea, so there’s a lot of tribalism attached to the Premier League.