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Rio Dishes Out Liverpool Dig

Rio Ferdinand vs LiverpoolFollowing that night in Istanbul in 2005, Liverpool fans laud their five European Cups over us whenever they are given the opportunity. United join the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan with two European Cups to their name, and with a semi-final place last season, as well as a strong Champions League campaign this season, are pushing for their third in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, and the 40th anniversary of winning it the first time.

Whilst Liverpool fans sing their Istanbul song, which saw them as the “Champions of Europe”, not much mention is given to the fact they were the second best team in Liverpool that year, finishing 5th in the league on goal difference ahead of Bolton, 3 points behind Everton, 19 points behind United, and a massive 37 points behind the Champions of England, Chelsea.

Rio Ferdinand has highlighted the point today that you cannot be considered a great team in Europe unless you win your domestic campaign as well as the Champions League, dishing out a dig to our Merseyside rivals.

“Some teams that have won the Champions League are not considered great teams,” said Ferdinand. “But if you do well domestically and then go on to win the Champions League as well, then obviously that adds to your being a good side. Before I came to this club, I watched many a time when I expected United to win the Champions League but they didn’t, and the same thing’s happened a couple of times while I’ve been here. Last season, for example, we had a great opportunity to go on and at least be part of the final but for whatever reason that didn’t happen again.”

Ferdinand has also stated his intentions of adding a European Cup to our trophy cabinet this season, claiming they have the talent and desire to do so. “We’d like to change that. This club has a great history domestically and in Europe but obviously we’d like to be a bit more fruitful in this competition because we’ve got talent, we’ve got the numbers at the moment and we’ve got the desire to do well in it this year.”

Would this season be considered a success if we won the European Cup but didn’t retain our title?



  1. Harry says:

    He wants the same success in Europe that Liverpool have had, not just recently but throughout the history of the European Cup/Champions League. You call that a dig? Man, you must be desperate for page impressions.

  2. Ahmed Bilal says:

    yes, because the worst we can be is 3rd, and I’ll take that if we’re winning the CL.

  3. Ae says:

    In fairness, BAYERN were much the better side against UTD in 1999, before we scored a couple of goals at the end. Not too disimmilar to liverpool against milan in some respects

    Plus he’s right in saying that some league winning teams aren’t really considered to be great teams. Porto, Liverpool (instabul) … but Utd and Arsenal are considerd to be the best ‘footballing’ teams in the premierleague …. quite rightly so …. but neither has succeeded in recent times … so does that exclude them from being great teams?

  4. Scott the Red says:

    Harry – Rio doesn’t mention Liverpool. He says teams who don’t win their league the year they win the CL cannot be considered great teams. Three years ago, Liverpool did just that. Not a difficult connection to make really, is it.

    Ae – it depends what your criteria for a great team is. Do you have to win the CL to be considered a great club? Hamburg, Feyenoord and Villa have won the European Cup, Arsenal haven’t. Does this disqualify them from being a great team? I personally don’t think so. Winning the European Cup without winning your own league proves little, if anything at all. Winning the European Cup as well as winning your own league (particularly a strong one like in England, Spain, Italy…) proves you are one of, if not the best, teams in Europe.

  5. dave o says:

    four out of five of liverpools european cup wins were as domestic champoins do me a favour tell rio

  6. stevieg says:

    1999? did united win the league the year before they won it (very luckily as somome pointed out) so its a moot point
    whether liverpool finished fourth or fifth that year ,also they beat more quality teams along the way than united did and liverpool would have a lot more than 5 if they were not banned from europe during the dalglish years…form is temporary class is permanent..

  7. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    That Milan is labelled “Champions of Europe” irritates me. They rest half their team before the semifinal, while Ronaldo is brought on against Everton despite carrying an ankle injury. Milan finish fourth in Italy, United win the Premer League. Milan are called the Champions of Europe and some people even say that the fourth best team in Italy Milan taught the English Champions a lesson. Hilarious, really. A great team is a team that shows up not only on the big occasions but one that can produce consistently. United have already shown that this season whether or not they win the league title so if they do manage to win the CL they can consider themselves a great team.

  8. Scott the Red says:

    Stevie G – you reckon? We finished top of a group which contained Barca and Bayern Munich, we didn’t lose a match throughout the competition, beating Inter, Juve and Bayern to win it.

    Liverpool got through the group stages on goal difference after losing 2 of their 6 matches, then beat Leverkusen, Juve, Chelsea (courtesy of a goal that wasn’t a goal), then won on penalties.

    I’m not saying United didn’t have good fortune in their European Cup win (although did win the match in normal time), but I don’t think Liverpool fans have any place to talk about luck and CL victories after 05!

    Dave O – Tell Rio? Erm, Liverpool didn’t win the league in 1978 or 1981. So 2 of your 5 European Cups came in the same season of winning the league.

  9. Eamon Gavin says:

    Seven finals, five wins. Cheated out of sixth by Mr. Platini and friends. Right lads. And the holocaust never happened either. I don’t recall any inscriptions on the trophy mentioning where a team finishes domestically. If you like you can check it out in the Anfield Trophy Room. It’s there on permanent display.

  10. dave o says:

    the point is you could nt be in it unless you were champions

  11. jimmy Bob says:

    cheated out of the sixth lol its lines like that shows the scousers havent lost their sense of humor

    if your fans could behave themselves then maybe youd have won more then again its always someone else’s fault with your mob

  12. jimmy Bob says:

    stevie G if Lpool fans could behave themselves then you wouldn’t have got banned.
    Then again if your fans could behave a lot of things would have been different just ask the juventus fans in heysel about that

  13. Matthew says:

    No one complained when United won in ’99 even though they were comprehensively outplayed by Bayern Munich. I don’t remember the rest of Europe saying they should have been Champions of Europe instead or trying to devalue their achievement.

    Rio is an example to young kids – how many more impoverished youngsters will think their life is not fair by not taking the blame for their own failings. United might have been impressive last night, certainly in terms of consistency, but when it came to the San Siro they were blown away by a more gifted team.

  14. jobo says:

    What people fail to realise is that when Liverpool won their first 4 European Cups, they were playing at a time when only the league champions could be involved in the competition.

    Remember, it was Arsenal who won the league in 1998 – in which case Manchester United wouldn’t have been in the competition at all had the old format still existed today.

    Nevertheless – two great teams – seperated by two eras of football. Fortunately for United – being successful in the present has ensured £££ of great proportions. United have been successful at the perfect time – money talks. Liverpool merely received a pat on the back when they conquered the world of football.

  15. Eamon Gavin says:

    jimmy Bob’s memory of Heysel seems to be a bit incomplete. Nobody regrets what happened more than Liverpool fans and I’m not talking about the ban but what caused it. On the other hand you obviously didn’t mind seeing Platini running around celebrating winning by a penalty that never was while his team’s supporters lay dead. He has also shown that he obviously still has grudges to sort out. Even you should beware the Frenchman and others, like Mr. Gaillard.

  16. Dave O says:

    Its simple Rio winning the European cup means your team is the best in European competition. If you win the domestic League you were the overall best against the teams in your League.e.g win the european cup best against Inter Milan Barca etc. Win the League best against Derby county Blackburn etc.

  17. Tom F says:

    I wanna party like it’s 1999. That year everything went our way. We had luck, passion, skill, no full on injuries and of course the special Champions League kit! I would love to repeat that year, however if we were to win the Premier League and not the Champions League I would be a very happy man. Of course that means suffering a painful loss somewhere on the way but I would rather win the Domestic League over any knockout competition. Saying that the Champions League ould be a very good consolation should we not retain the title.

    Rio Ferdinand. I thought of Liverpool straight away when I watched the press conference. They are the only team in England with a better Champs League record than their domestic one and Liverpool fans will go on all day about their 5 European Cups but I know it hurts every year, when by Xmas they are out of the title race, with the odd decent position in the top 3.

    I remember last season, Chmapions League final week. I got a load of ‘cheeky’ abuse from some giddy scousers because I had a United t-shirt on.. they were giving it the ‘Almost in Greece’ shite, trying to have a go at the fact United fell at the last hurdle. Bare in mind Manchester United had just won the league and lost in the FA Cup final, it shows how deluded they have become over the years.

    We are o longer in the 70′s or 80′s. Yes, history and tradition is great for any huge club and there’s no doubting that LFC are one of them, however it’s been a while now. By ‘eck.

  18. Tom F says:

    May I add, the quote:

    ” thought of Liverpool straight away when I watched the press conference. They are the only team in England with a better Champs League record than their domestic one” is based on recent times, not forever.

  19. Scott the Red says:

    Matthew – more gifted team? Do me a favour. 3 days before we travelled to the San Siro we came back from 2-0 down against Everton at Goodison Park. We did this because we wanted to win the league so put every ounce of energy in to the match. Of course, because Milan were a mile off winning their league, they could afford to rest their players before taking on United.

    Also, the fact we were without 3 of our 4 first choice defenders had an impact.

    No denying Milan well deserved their win against us last season, but that has little to do with them being a more gifted team. If they were so gifted, they would be able to compete on a domestic front as well.

  20. Matthew says:

    Scott – United played Everton Saturday lunchtime then played in Milan on the Wednesday evening. That is 4 1/2 days to recover and against an ageing Italian side who probably need 10 days between games that is a poor excuse.

    I don’t think United were torn apart by an ageing Milan due to a few defenders missing either. The much heralded Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney barely made an impression at the San Siro and I don’t think it was lack of nerves.

    In all honesty United were fortunate to win the 1st leg again after being given the run around – some may say the withdrawel of Maldini and Guttuso due to injury would otherwise have made the 2nd leg academic.

    I think at the moment United and Arsenal are the best teams in the Premiership – but last season, I think everyone will admit this, Chelsea would otherwise have been Champions if they had not had the long term injuries to Cech and Terry. Should that be used as an excuse to devalue United winning title last season? Should the lucky last minute O’Shea winner at Anfield be classed as unjustified because United were outclassed for 90 minutes?

  21. Scott the Red says:

    Matthew – United were down to the bare bones due to injuries and had very little room to rotate. Giggs and Ronaldo were our only wingers for example. With no Saha and Solksjaer injured again, as well as Smith being brought back from a year long injury, we had very few options. And those very few options were forced in to fighting for their lives.

    We played Everton lunch time 28th. Rested 29th, rested 30th, rested 1st, played in Italy on the 2nd. You make that 4 and a half days? lol. You think Kaka, who stole the show, needs 10 days rest?

    I’m glad you mentioned Scholes, who alongside with Giggs, are in their 30s, both played over 40 games last season, and both played 90 minutes against Everton. Or do they not need the 10 days rest you say Milan’s players do?

    I suppose you aren’t aware that both Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic missed more league games than John Terry last season? Difference is, our manager didn’t bang on about our injuries every week like Chelsea’s did.

  22. austin reynolds says:

    stevieg- so wheres ur class at the moment then?
    oh sorry, its 3 pts behind everton innit!

  23. austin reynolds says:

    dave o- how many of the 5 were won by way of lottery?

  24. austin reynolds says:

    dave o- ur comments are poor. taking into account what u said about winning the european cup and the domestic league, what do u think that winning the fa cup means then? surely not the same as winning the league?!

  25. Matthew says:

    Forgetting the financial implications and reflecting back years from now it’s not about qualifying for Europe in 2nd, 3rd or 4th spot it’s about winning silverware.

    There is a pecking order of silverware and obviously the FA Cup is below the Premiership and the domestic league is always beneath the Champions League.

  26. Scott the Red says:

    Matthew – no response to anything else I said there then?

    Have to completely disagree with you on the CL. End of the day, it’s just a cup competition. The most prestigious club competition, but the very fact teams like Milan and Liverpool have won it in recent years, only managing 4th and 5th place finishes respectively in their own league, shows it isn’t beneath the domestic league. Like Rio says, if you win your league and the CL, that’s when the value is added on, when you’ve shown you have a team capable of competing at home and in Europe. Barca, for example, had facts to back up their claim for the best team in Europe when they won it the season before last. Winning the league proves your the best team in your country, winning a cup proves what? What did Millwall prove by making the FA Cup final in 2003? Cups always have elements of luck, you can have a “lucky” winner. That isn’t the case in a league.

  27. austin reynolds says:

    re; mathews comments- typical from a scouser. knowing that were likely to soon have overtook their league winning achievements over the years its only natural that they are gonna overrate their euro cup wins and use that as the barometer for greatness instead!

  28. Matthew says:

    Scott – your bare bones, apart from Rio on the bench, who else of any note was missing that night? It looked like the team that sneaked the title. When you are missing Ronaldo or Rooney then you are in serious trouble, similar to last season with the Blues missing Cech and Terry.

    We can all come up with excuses for various title or cup winners, e.g. injuries, poor competition, dodgy refs/linesman, luck etc etc. But the only thing that can be agreed upon is who are the winners.

    It is not like Liverpool failed a drug test in 2005 – they won it fair and square. You always have your muppets like Mourinho saying the ball wasn’t over the line (in all honesty I wish it hadn’t crossed the line as the Ref said he was going to give a pen and send off Cech… so I know which scenario I’d have preferred that night!)

    I personally don’t think United will win the league this season, I happen to think they will be pipped to it by Chelsea. The competition at the top the next few years is likely to be so fierce, it will be like the 70s and 80s where you really did have to be a great team to win the title.

  29. RedAddict says:

    >>I personally don’t think United will win the league this season, I happen to think they will be pipped to it by Chelsea. The competition at the top the next few years is likely to be so fierce, it will be like the 70s and 80s where you really did have to be a great team to win the title.


    Yea, we all remember the days of boring backpass shitball as epitomised by the Liverpool title winning sides of the 70s and 80s.

    Let’s face it, the backpass rule killed you guys. No coincidence that you haven’t managed to win a single league title since it was brought in. It killed overly negative and defensive play, which killed any hope you had of winning the league.

    Maybe you should do what Liverpool fans do best, and petition Uefa to get the rule reinstated, because it’s only way your boring negative shitball of a team is going to add to the long stale 18 (division one) league titles.

  30. Matthew says:

    I think I must have hit a nerve with my constructive criticism.

    There was me thinking lack of Championships was down to United being a “great” team.. but there we have it, the backpass rule.

  31. RedAddict says:

    Yea right.

    You’re on a United blog saying that you had to be a really great team to win the title in the 70′s and 80′s, implying that you don’t have to be a great team to win the league in the modern era.

    The United teams of recent times would walk all over those Liverpool teams. Take the backpass away from them and they’re nothing. As I said, do what you do best, and go set up a petition.

  32. jimmy Bob says:

    No wonder a scouser wroter yesterday thats all liverpool fans bang on about
    as for the guy who says no one regrets what happened in heysel more than liverpool fans i dare saya fair few families in turin do
    and judging by the appaling scenes in athens last year when the father of one a hillsborough victim described the actions of some of your “fans” as the being that of the scum of the earth we have to wonder if any lessons have been learnt

  33. jimmy Bob says:

    “i think chelsea will pin united for the lge” well it damn sure wont be liverpool pipping us eh?
    lets hope everton pip you for fourth and the rest of the champions lge is spared your sides dire tactics and the appalling behaviour of your fans


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