Former Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed a burning Lionel Messi regret that he believes directly prevented the club from being crowned European champions for a fourth time.
The Scot presided over an unprecedented period of success at the helm of Man Utd. During his 27-year tenure, Ferguson won more major trophies than any other manager in the history of football and cemented his name as one of the greatest managers of all time.
Domestic success was frequent, though proved far harder to come by on the European stage.
Two Champions League trophies were lifted in 1999 and 2008, but Spanish powerhouse Barcelona prevented additional titles in the 2009 and 2011 finals.
A key contributor to the Red Devils’ downfall on each occasion was, unsurprisingly, Messi.
The Argentine scored in each match, though Ferguson believes the latter final would have been very different if he had pulled the trigger on a tactical change at half time.
“That’s where I lost the final against Barcelona at Wembley,” said Ferguson. “I should have changed at half-time and put Ji-sung Park on Messi.
“That was a mistake… I was going to do it at half-time, then I said, ‘Well, we just equalised before half-time, they may see the game differently, we may grow into the game better.’
“We were actually quite good in the last 10 minutes of that half. We came into it and we could have been in front.
“But if I’d played Ji-sung Park against Messi, I think we’d have beaten them. I really do.”
Four stars Ferguson would’ve loved at Man Utd
Meanwhile, the legendary ex-Man Utd boss has revealed the four current players he would loved to have managed during his time in the dugout.
His eventful career also saw him manage some of the biggest and most colourful names in Premier League history.
However, there are four current stars that Ferguson admits he wished he could have had under his wing.
Harry Kane was the first player that Ferguson named.
Tottenham face the very real possibility of losing their talismanic striker after a disappointing season. Kane has gone public with his desire to leave the club in the upcoming transfer window. Although reluctant to sell, Tottenham could demand around £150million for Kane, who will have no shortage of potential destinations.
Ferguson is promoting his new docu-film about his life and recent health scares, entitled Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In. This is realised on May 29. During this interview (hosted by SPORTbible) he was asked questions by his former player, Gary Neville.
Ferguson also picked out two more current Tottenham men in Dele Alli and Heung-min Son. He also named departing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero as the fourth.