Former Manchester United Manager Regrets Not Man-Marking Messi in 2011 UCL Final

Former Manchester United Manager Regrets Not Man-Marking Messi in 2011 UCL Final, Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:53 PM
  • Alex Ferguson has expressed regret that his decision not to tell Park Ji-Sung to man-mark Lionel Messi during 2011 UCL final eventually haunted his team
  • Manchester United were defeated 3-1 in the final of the competition that year, with Messi scoring a beauty as he also won the man-of-the-match award
  • Ferguson has insisted that should he have told Park to mark Messi in the second half of that game, United would have won

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed regret over not instructing Park Ji-Sung to man-mark Lionel Messi during the 2011 Champions League final, Tribuna reports.

Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson watch from the sidelines during the 2011 Champions League final. Photo: Nick Potts
Source: Getty Images

Ferguson disclosed that, had he made the decision, Manchester United would have defeated the Catalan giants to lift the prestigious title that year.

Messi was sensational in the encounter, especially in the second half, when he scored a beauty and also made an assist to inspire his side to a 3-1 win.

The superstar went on to be named the man-of-the-match, but Ferguson insists that things could have been very different had Park been shadowing the Argentine superstar.

Ferguson said via GiveMeSport:

"We were actually quite good in the last 10 minutes of that [half]. We came into it and we could have been in front.
"But if I'd played Park against Messi, I think we'd have beat them. I really do.
“It was a fantastic goal Messi scored and he made another one. He was a great player but if there was a player who was going to do it, it was Park."

It's a bold claim, particularly when you consider that Messi's performance is renowned as one of the best of his career (which covers a lot of ground when you're dealing with a seven-time Ballon d'Or winner).

Ferguson names his best ever Manchester United captain

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson has named Bryan Robson as easily his best ever Manchester United captain.

The legendary United manager had the honour and privilege of working with some of the best footballers during his 26-year spell at Old Trafford.

His long stint with the Red Devils also saw him have some of the most effective captains football managers can only dream of.

Eric Cantona, Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Nemanja Matic, and Steve Bruce are among the legendary United players who wore the armband under Fergie.

How Alex Ferguson convinced Ronaldo to return to Man Utd earlier reported that details of how Cristiano Ronaldo dumped his move for Manchester City to return to Manchester United have emerged following a call from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ronaldo will face Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday, but it could have been the other way round as the blue half of Manchester almost landed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

It seems unimaginable that Ronaldo would be playing against the Red Devils, but that almost happened until Ferguson had to wade in.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and