Football News

Ferguson relishing Real Madrid challenge

Created on 13 Feb., 2013 1:03 AM GMT

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says his side's Champions League clash with Real Madrid is the biggest fixture in the competition.

The Red Devils are set to take on the Spanish outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday evening in the first leg of the last-16 tie.

And with the teams involved having won Europe's premier cup competition 12 times between them, Ferguson believes the game is one of the most appealing in world football.

"United and Madrid have that romance about them and that honour and worldwide appeal so it probably is the biggest game you can get in the European Cup," he said.

"I think as soon as the draw was made, there was that anticipation about the tie. It's a fantastic challenge for myself and it should be a fantastic match between two teams and clubs who embrace the best parts of football, with great reputations."

Jose Mourinho's side currently sit 16 points adrift of Barcelona in La Liga, and Ferguson believes Real Madrid are solely focused on winning a 10th European Cup for that reason.

He added: "I think Jose has set his targets firmly on the European Cup, no doubt about that.

"It can be hard for us but there's a bit of pressure for them, too. At this moment in time, we're involved in three (competitions)."