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Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson
"Everybody is fit and ready"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Blanc keen to repay Fergie
Manchester United's French defender Laurent Blanc
Laurent Blanc directs Man Utd's defensive operations
Manchester United's Laurent Blanc is eager to repay the faith shown in him by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Old Trafford boss signed the 35-year-old French defender as a replacement for Jaap Stam.

"I want to prove Alex Ferguson right for wanting me at all costs despite my being 35," Blanc told France Football, the French weekly football magazine.

"It's not obvious for a big club like Manchester United to hire a player my age."

For years (Ferguson) has appreciated the efficiency of French defenders
Laurent Blanc

Ferguson, according to Blanc, has long been an admirer not only of the former French captain, but of French defenders in general.

"What Alex Ferguson is interested in is my experience, my past life, because in the last couple of seasons, they conceded a fair amount of goals," Blanc said.

"For years, he has appreciated the efficiency of French defenders.

"Had it been possible, I believe he would have been glad to take on Liza (Bayern's Bixente Lizarazu) and Lilian (Thuram of Juventus) as well."


Blanc will make his debut in the Champions League proper against Lille on Tuesday.

Despite his long career, he has only ever played two matches in the competition, both in the qualifying round with Inter Milan last season.

"The chance to play in the Champions League was obviously an important factor in my decision (to join Man Utd)," he said.

"Whether you're 25 or 35, you dream about winning it."

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