Manchester United have drawn Spanish champions Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champion’s League. Former United star Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time since his £80 million transfer to La Liga in 2009, amidst speculation that Madrid boss Jose Mourinho could succeed Sir Alex Ferguson upon his retirement.
The Telegraph explores the history of the fixture between the two European giants who have won the competition (European Cup/Champion’s League) 12 times between them, whilst we took an in-depth look into why United will likely have their work cut out for them in the two-legged tie.
The draw was enough to make some Red Devils fans recoil in horror as they reacted on Twitter.
United midfielder Darren Fletcher has hailed his team’s determination and history as the key to their success ahead of their visit to Swansea on Saturday.
"The never-say-die attitude is ingrained in this club," he explained.
Sir Alex Ferguson pointed to United’s home advantage over the Christmas period as something for his side to capitalize on, claiming it makes the congested schedule in December more manageable, but, in the end, he conceded,
“Whether at home or away you’ve still got to win the games.”
Meanwhile defender Rafael has been nominated for the prestigious Samba Gold Trophy awarded each year to the best Brazilian player in Europe.
In transfer news, former United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who currently manages Molde has hinted that his Norwegian defender Vegard Forren could play for United.
According to goal.com United are monitoring the availability of Liverpool target Tom Ince after concluding that Kevin Strootman and Wesley Sneijder who have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford would be too expensive.
image: © Paolo Camera