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Fergie: Let battle commence

Sir Alex Ferguson says his passion for football will burn as long as he is taking on opponents of Real Madrid's calibre.

Last Updated: 05/03/13 at 18:54 Post Comment

Sir Alex Ferguson: Keen to carry on to savour games like Real Madrid

Sir Alex Ferguson: Keen to carry on to savour games like Real Madrid

United face Jose Mourinho's side in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at Old Trafford, as they look to build on an encouraging 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.

The Scotsman is approaching 27 years in charge of United and he admits mouthwatering matches like those against Real leave him eager to continue in the role.

Ferguson's desire to continue led to Mourinho playing down his chances of one day taking over the Old Trafford hotseat and Ferguson himself dismissed the suggestion during his pre-match press conference.

"People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game but how could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this type of occasion?" Ferguson told official match programme United Review.

"This is what it is all about - a packed Old Trafford, the floodlights on, the pitch glistening and two of the greatest and romantic clubs in the game about to do battle.

"Manchester United and Real Madrid are indelibly written into football history, with so many great players gracing the stage here over the years, from time to time enjoying the glory that comes with winning this most elusive of prizes.

"The tales of 'derring-do' as we strive to prove we are the best in Europe illuminate the seasons.

"I like to think that the pioneers like Sir Matt Busby and Santiago Bernabeu, the president of Real Madrid who gave his name to the stadium, will be up there smiling and as excited as the rest of us at the prospect of another dramatic night featuring the best that the game can provide."

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icky van Wolfswinkel's remarkable record of one goal from one game at least deserves an honourable mention. And I'm willing to bet that at least one of Costa, Ulloa or Enner Valencia will earn a place on the list by the end of the season. Probably not Costa

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will also give up birthday Christmas and bacon for this to happen

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Ronaldo return ‘in place’

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lease let this happen. I'll have it as a birthday AND Christmas present if that will help.

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Ronaldo return ‘in place’

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