‘If I’d played Park against Messi, I think we’d have beat them’: Sir Alex Ferguson claims not giving underrated South Korean a man-marking job on the Barcelona star cost Manchester United the Champions League in 2011
- Man United were beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League final
- As ever, Lionel Messi produced his magic for the Spanish giants at Wembley
- And to this day, Sir Alex Ferguson still harbours regret from the European final
- He admitted he should have used Park Ji-Sung to man-mark the Argentine
Sir Alex Ferguson won it all during an illustrious 27-year career as Manchester United manager but to this day the legendary boss admits he still harbours some regrets.
During a Q&A with his former United right back Gary Neville, Ferguson admitted he still has bad feelings about the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley – in which his side were defeated 3-1.
Ferguson admitted he still regrets not specifically using Park-Ji Sung, who he named as one of the most underrated players he has worked with, to mark Lionel Messi from half-time at Wembley.
Sir Alex Ferguson regrets not specifically using Park-Ji Sung to mark Lionel Messi at Wembley
‘That’s where I lost the final against Barcelona at Wembley,’ said Sir Alex during a video Q&A for SPORTbible.
‘I should have changed at half-time and put Park Ji-Sung on Messi. That was a mistake… I was going to do it at half-time, then I said, “Well, we just equalised before half-time, they may see the game differently, we may grow into the game better.”
‘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.’
The Spanish giants took the lead in the European showdown in London through Pedro in the 27th minute.
Messi was the star of the show as Barcelona beat United 3-1 to win the 2011 Champions League
But United muscled their way back into the match, equalising through Wayne Rooney just 10 minutes before the half-time whistle blew.
However, six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi quickly came to the fore in the second half and took the final away from the Red Devils.
The Argentine scored a brilliant long-range strike to restore Barcelona’s lead in the second half before putting United on the back foot with a dazzling run prior to David Villa’s screamer that sealed the Champions League for the Spaniards.
Park became a fan favourite during his seven-year stay at Old Trafford, and consistently delivered in high pressure situations.
The South Korean went onto win four Premier Leagues, one Champions League, one FIFA Club World Cup and four League Cups during his time with United.
Ferguson revealed his regret to former Man United right back Gary Neville during a Q&A