BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 10:38 UK

Judge us on honours, says Carrick

Michael Carrick
Carrick signed a four-year deal at United this week

Michael Carrick insists comparisons with Manchester United's treble-winning side of 1999 are not valid until the current team win the Champions League.

United face Chelsea in Moscow on Wednesday after securing their second successive league title last weekend.

"Until we win the Champions League, how can you compare the two sides?" midfielder Carrick, 26, told BBC Sport.

"It's OK saying we play good football and have good players, but until we win more honours, it's hard to compare."

Wednesday's Champions League final appearance is United's first since their dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in Barcelona in 1999.

United pipped Chelsea to the Premier League title on the final day of the season last week and the London club stand between them and Sir Alex Ferguson's second European Cup in 22 years as boss.

It fills us with confidence and self-belief that we are sat on top of the league at the end of the season

Michael Carrick
Carrick joined United from Tottenham for 18.6m in 2006 and became the second United player this week to pledge his long-term future to the club, following Rio Ferdinand's decision to commit to a new five-year deal.

The England midfielder has become an influential member of United's side, making 48 appearances this season.

And he is adamant that to be considered as one of United's legendary squads, they must first emulate the 1999 side's triumph.

"I've watched the final a few times since," he added. "All the players are well aware of the history of this club and 1999 was a massive year and is the one year that stands out.

"The Champions League final is a massive, massive event. Some people say it is even better than international football with the quality of all the club sides involved.

"(Winning the league) gives us a boost but I don't think it will have any affect on the result in Moscow. It fills us with confidence and self-belief that we are sat on top of the league at the end of the season, and it shows us we are doing things the right way.

"But we know the threat that Chelsea possess and it isn't a given right that we are going to win."

United will once again look to the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo, scorer of an incredible 41 goals this season, for inspiration at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

The Portuguese winger, the Football Writers Association and Barclays Player of the Season for the second season in a row, insists he has nothing to prove to the critics who claim he is yet to deliver his finest performances in the biggest games.

"I am very happy with my season," he told the Observer. I have scored 41 goals and won every award, I don't have to show anything to anyone. There is nothing to prove.

"People can think what they like, I don't care. Maybe if I play well in Moscow I might win the European individual award, too, and that would end the argument, but I am not thinking about that now.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo says he has nothing to prove
"I have never won the Champions League and I think I have a great chance with Manchester United. That's what I am concentrating on."

Ronaldo raised doubts over his future at Old Trafford when he told a Spanish TV station last week: "let's see after the Champions League final what happens".

But Wayne Rooney, who has scored 18 goals this season, hopes their partnership will continue "for years".

"Ronaldo is a great player and it will be brilliant if we can keep him at the club for as long as possible," said the England striker. "He's an unbelievable player.

"What he's done for United in the last few years is brilliant and it makes you work hard.

"I've got no problem if he scores 60 goals in a season and I don't get anywhere near that."

Rooney, who was born in Liverpool and raised as an Everton supporter, is desperate to emulate rivals Liverpool and win the Champions League final.

He added: "It is difficult when you see one of your rivals winning things. When Liverpool took the trophy (in 2005), it was hard to take.

"Because they haven't really been challenging for the league in the last few years, they've had chances to rest players before big Champions League games and that helped them.

"By Liverpool winning the Champions League, it's made us want to win it even more."

see also
Carrick agrees new Man Utd deal
17 May 08 |  Man Utd
Man United parade off after riots
16 May 08 |  Manchester
Are you Moscow bound?
13 May 08 |  Talking Point
Ronaldo wins writers' award again
02 May 08 |  Premier League
Ferdinand signs new Man Utd deal
18 Apr 08 |  Man Utd

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites