Peter Schmeichel has reflected on the decision to allow Manchester United to pull out of the FA Cup following our historic Treble winning season to play in the World Club Cup in Brazil. Whilst United have always been the ones criticised for this decision, the truth is the government and FA were the ones at fault.

“The FA made a massive mistake not letting United sit out the third round when they went to Brazil,” said Schmeichel. “That would have made everything easy. But by leaving the European champions and defending FA Cup winners out of the competition the FA degraded the FA Cup. Clubs started to think about the FA Cup in a different way and play their reserves and younger players.”

Schmeichel believes that people view the Cup differently because of that and that the competition doesn’t hold the same magic it did when he was a child.

“One of my greatest lifetime ambitions, from being a small kid, was to play in an FA Cup final for Manchester United, at Wembley, and win it,” he added. “I didn’t think about winning the English championship. It was the FA Cup final. I don’t think many players are dreaming that dream any more. The FA Cup went through a very tough period, but now it is back and Manchester United have an important game in it against Fulham on Saturday.”