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It is from the Daily Retard, however...

 

Exclusive: My Aberdeen Euro winners run Lisbon Lions close as top Scots side, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Jul 15 2008 By Ian Orr

 

SIR ALEX FERGUSON has admitted the Lisbon Lions are the greatest team Scotland has produced but reckons his Gothenburg heroes pushed Celtic all the way.

 

Fergie famously guided Aberdeen to Cup Winners' Cup Final success over Real Madrid in 1983 and believes the victory eclipsed the achievement of the Rangers side that won the same competition 11 years previously.  :thumbsup:

 

The 66-year-old Scot, who brought European champions Manchester United to Pittodrie at the weekend to celebrate the triumph in Sweden, said: "In Scottish terms Aberdeen have been the second best team in history - better than the Rangers one of 1972.

 

"Rangers were a fantastically good team also with fantastic spirit. But Celtic had fantastic ability and two world-class players in Jimmy Johnstone and Bobby Murdoch.

 

"But Aberdeen came a close second. In the context of Real Madrid's position in football, winning the European Cup Winners' Cup was a miracle, I think.

 

"They had some great players like Stielike, Santana, Juanito and Metgod but Aberdeen were far superior.

 

"Aberdeen had a special group who had grown up together and created their own work ethic. I could pick any 11 from 16 and be very comfortable with their ability to come in.

 

"Being able to go to Glasgow and win almost every time transformed the game here so going to play Real Madrid held no fears whatsoever. The players were ready for that challenge.

 

"If you look at the stats of European winners the average age is usually 28 to 29. But Aberdeen's average age was 26 to 27 and we didn't have one player over the age of 30 so it was unusual to win that trophy. We had a good mix of players."

 

Fergie believes beating Real Madrid made him a target for bigger clubs and the success eventually led to a move to Old Trafford.

 

He said: "That win put me on a pedestal and opened up a lot of doors - not just for me but for the players as well. That's what that kind of success can do.

 

"It put me in the limelight and I started to get offers from other clubs. I turned down quite a few but when Manchester United came in, I could not turn them down."

 

In a golden era at Pittodrie, Ferguson won 10 trophies in eight years and dominated Scottish football.

 

Nine men have tried and failed to emulate his success since but Ferguson denied his legacy had been an unbearable burden for those who followed him to the Granite City.

 

He said: "It is unfair to say it is a millstone. There are a lot of clubs who have never won a European trophy. When Aberdeen managers are talking to players they can say we beat the two best teams in Europe, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, to win and they should be proud.

 

"But it's much more difficult now for Aberdeen because the game has changed. You see the finances and the incredible wages players get.

 

"Jimmy Calderwood has based the club on young players and Aberdeen have a lot of good ones. That is their best way forward."

 

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