Manchester United great Alex Ferguson believes the focus must be on winning the Europa League as the English giants try and qualify for the Champions League.
The race to finish in the Premier League’s top four is set to go down to the wire, with United fifth in the standings and four points adrift of Liverpool with two matches in hand, while Arsenal are two points further back.
United’s ongoing battle with Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal has made the Europa League an enticing trophy for Jose Mourinho’s men as it would guarantee a spot in next season’s Champions League.
And former manager Ferguson – winner of 38 titles in 27 years at Old Trafford including two Champions League crowns – highlighted the importance of the Europa League to United, who will face Anderlecht in the quarter-finals in April.
“The thing is, we’ve never won the Europa League,” Ferguson told ESPN FC. “We’ve never won UEFA Cup, what it used to be. And we’ve got a great draw. I’m not saying it’s a certainty, but they’ve got a great chance.
“It gets you into the Champions League, too — it didn’t used to but it does now, and so that’s a great incentive. And there’s no Sevilla in it, so that’s good.
“If you win a trophy, it’s important. It’s a European trophy. It doesn’t matter that it’s not the Champions League — it’s still a European trophy. And if you win it, you get into the Champions League. The incentive is greater to do that.
“And your CV gets bigger. If we won the Europa League? Fantastic. Add it to the European Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup, the Champions League — It’s bigger and bigger. We also want to be the most successful club in England.”
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