Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has said that his side would relish the opportunity to play Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Ferguson, whose side were beaten 2-0 last night by Deportivo La Coruna, has said that United have nothing to fear should they face the European champions.
“I’d be happy with that,” he said.”They’re a fantastic team and their history is all about the European cup. They’ve got some great players in Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos, all brilliant individual talents”.
“If we meet them it would be a great test for us but it would also be a test for them as well because we’ve grown in Europe,” he added.
With Manchester United already through to the quarter-finals, Ferguson rested many key players in Spain last night. With youngsters Darren Fletcher, Lee Roche, Mark Lynch and David Pugh all starting, a good result for United was always going to be difficult.
Ferguson though was relatively happy with his side’s performance.
“I thoughtthey did well in parts but showed their inexperience in others,” he said.
“They are not as physical as Deportivo but I was pleased with their attitude and enthusiasm.”
In Switzerland, Basel coach Christian Gross said he was proud of his teams efforts in the 2-1 win over Juventus. Although Juventus still progressed through at the expense of Basel, Gross was delighted with the commitment shown by his players.
“We won the match against a world class side, and when we look back at our campaign we have grown incredibly throughout the tournament,” he said.
“The victory gives us plenty of hope for the future. The players were again fantastic along with the crowd but the club now have to develop further to remain at this level.”
Juventus coach Marcello Lippi was pleased to be going through to the next phase and was relieved to see Alessandro Del Piero back for his team.
“I wanted to field him before,” said the Juve coach. “But Thuram was injured and therefore I preferred to wait. I’m very happy, Alex is definitely on the right way for a full recovery”.