Sir Alex Ferguson still has regrets over 2011 Champions League Final

Sir Alex Ferguson won two Champions League Finals during his tenure as Manchester United manager. Despite the success in Europe’s premier club competition, Ferguson still has regret over not winning more Champions League trophies. In 2011, Manchester United lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League Final with Lionel Messi destroying the Red Devils. It is that cup final that still angers Ferguson. The 2021 Champions League Final is nearly upon us, but as soon as it finishes, players will be off to the Euro tournament. Fans are debating which nation will win the tournament and betting on Euro 2021 gives supporters the chance to back their nation.

Ferguson claims he regrets not playing Park Ji-sung as a man-to-man marker on Lionel Messi in the cup final’s second half. Although the South Korean started the game, Ferguson did not play the midfielder as the direct marker to Messi.

Ji-Sung Park vs Fulham

According to the great Manchester United manager, he should have altered the tactics at the halftime break by putting Park on Messi. Ferguson claims he was going to man-mark Messi in the second half, but Manchester United levelled the scoreline just before the break. He rethought man-marking the Argentine, believing Manchester United would hold their own in the second half.

“We were actually quite good in the last 10 minutes of that half. We came into it and we could have been in front,” Ferguson said in a Q&A with former player Gary Neville. “But if I'd played Park against Messi, I think we'd have beat them. I really do.”

Barcelona scored through Pedro on 27 minutes to take the early lead in the 2011 Champions League Final. Manchester United fought back, improving late in the first period, and levelled the score thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal on 35 minutes. The goal completely altered Ferguson’s thinking, believing the Red Devils would continue to battle in the second half. Instead, Messi, who was in the prime of his career, took over the game in the second period.

Messi scored a long-range shot to give Barcelona the lead once more. David Villa sealed the win for Barcelona with a screamer not long after as Barcelona won the European Cup once more.

Ferguson was a long-time fan of Park, a player he signed from PSV Eindhoven. The South Korean was labelled by Ferguson as the most underrated player he coached at Old Trafford. Park played for Manchester United for seven seasons and despite being criticised by some for not being flashy enough, the midfielder was incredibly industrious, which Ferguson appreciated more than most. Park routinely came up with strong performances in big matches. The Manchester United managerial great often selected Park to man-mark important players.

During his time at Old Trafford, Park won four Premier League trophies, one Champions League tournament, one FIFA Club World Cup, and four Football League Cups. Park left Manchester United in 2012 just before Ferguson called time on his career. He went on to play one season each for Queens Park Rangers and PSV Eindhoven before retiring.