Rio Ferdinand, who will sit out today’s match through injury, has revealed what Sir Alex Ferguson said to the team before kick-off in Moscow.

“I’ll never forget the manager’s speech in Moscow,” said Rio. “Before the game he just plunked his chair in the middle of the dressing room and just started a random conversation totally unrelated to football. But it just settled everybody’s nerves and before we knew it his talk switched to words of pure inspiration, reminding all the players that whatever you do in life is to achieve your goals. And, of course, it worked. We won the game.”