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Ferguson praises players' resolve

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson with the Club World Cup trophy
Ferguson felt the referee had no option but to send off Vidic

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised his players after they won the Club World Cup final despite an early red card for Nemanja Vidic.

Vidic saw red with 49 minutes gone after elbowing Liga de Quito's Claudio Bieler but Wayne Rooney went on to score the only goal of the game.

"The collective spirit of the team won the day," said Ferguson.

"With 10 men we played with great expression and tried to win. It is a measure of the players' ambition."

The victory saw United become the first English team to win the competition in its current format.

However, Vidic's dismissal means that he will miss the first leg of United's Champions League tie against Inter Milan in February.

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"The sending off made it difficult for us," added Ferguson.

"It's a soft sending off but he swung an elbow. When you do that in front of the referee you've got no chance. He gave the referee no option.

"Half an hour to go is a long road with 10 men but Wayne scored a magnificent goal.

"After Vidic was sent off it was important that we didn't lose the ball. It was important to keep passing and hope Ronaldo or Rooney did something special.

"In 30 years you'll look back and see Manchester United's name on the trophy, although I won't be around to enjoy it."

Rooney was named player of the tournament after the final - and was clearly delighted to have the scored the winner.

"We're the best team in the world," said Rooney, who also scored twice in the 5-3 semi-final victory over Japan's Gamba Osaka.

"It's a great achievement for the team and something we're all really proud of. It's been a long road.

"To score the winning goal in a match like this is a great feeling for me personally."

United return to Premier League action with a fixture against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day.

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see also
Liga de Quito 0-1 Man Utd
21 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Liga de Quito v Man Utd photos
21 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Tim Vickery column
21 Dec 08 |  Football
Real test begins now for Man Utd
22 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Gamba Osaka 3-5 Man Utd
18 Dec 08 |  Man Utd


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