Are Real Madrid favourites to win the Champions League? “No chance,” Ferguson responded bluntly. “Their game lacks pace. They have great players like Heinze, Cannavaro, Gago, but they aren’t quick. There is Robben, the only one who can give them some rhythm, but he isn’t very brave. The three English teams – Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – or Barcelona are the favourites, along with United. The level of the Premier League is so elevated that it prepares you for games at the highest level. And Barcelona can count on a fantastic player, Messi.”

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