Rio’s Madrid mission
Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United need to show experience, courage and ability in the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
The defender was left out of Sunday’s 2-0 defeat of Everton which is being viewed as a pointer to him starting against Real Madrid and it is clear he has the temperament to handle the big occasion.
All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo but Ferdinand is aware of the threat Real will pose throughout their line-up, even if he cheekily hopes his former team-mate finds it difficult returning to Old Trafford for the first time in the second leg.
“We’re going to have to use all of our experience, courage and ability to make sure we stop not only Ronaldo but all of them as Real are a great team,” he told MUTV. “They have got so many other weapons.
“We could shut Ronaldo down for 90 minutes and the game finishes but other players will be in there that can still hurt us. So we’ve got to be compact as a team and work hard.”
Looking ahead to the second leg, Ferdinand added: “I think it’s going to be an emotional, great night for Ronaldo. Hopefully, he gets too emotional and doesn’t handle it! I think he’s got a great rapport with our fans and there’s a mutual respect between them which is great.”