Sir Alex Ferguson: England can forget about winning the World Cup
Published 22:45 21/11/09 By Simon Mullock
Sir Alex Ferguson has told England to forget about winning the World Cup.
The Manchester United boss believes the 2010 world champions were in Doha last weekend – in the shape of five-time winners Brazil.
Ferguson has tipped Kaka, Nilmar – who scored the winner against England last week – and Co to be unstoppable in South Africa.
That’s because of the wealth of experience their players have gained by playing against the cream of Europe in the Champions League.
Ferguson said: “I just can’t see beyond Brazil as World Cup winners.
“The players they’ve got – and the players they can bring in – are just so impressive.
“As a nation they supply an unbelievable amount of top players.
“I think there were about 103 Brazilians playing in the Champions League last season, with only 15 Englishmen. In fact, there were more Scots in the Champions League than Englishmen. Can you believe that?
“When Brazil played England last week their odds were 11/10 to win. For me, that was the bet of the century.”
Ferguson has watched in dismay as Scotland have become a second-rate football nation over the past decade.
He believes the development of the Premier League into the world’s most glamorous club competition has hindered England’s progress at international level.
But the United boss feels that UEFA’s bid to implement a system which forces clubs to include at least five home-grown players in their squads will enable England to avoid the same fate as Scotland.
Ferguson said: “I don’t think England would ever suffer like Scotland because this is a nation of 50 million people.
“But the fact is that the small number of English players competing in the Champions League is down to the way the Premier League has developed.
“The question is, at what point will the Premier League realise that they will have to take steps to ensure that more English players feature in their own competition?
“UEFA are trying to work something out about quotas and that is the right idea.”
Ferguson added: “At our club I think we have always had a good record of bringing young English talent through.
“At the moment we have players like Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley coming through.
“Welbeck has played a number of senior games and Cleverley definitely has what it takes to become a Manchester United player and he is doing very well on loan at Watford.
“Even Arsenal are starting to bring one or two young English players through.
“But then you look at Liverpool. I am told that 70 players played for their reserve team last season and that over 30 of them were Spanish. That’s an amazing number.
“They will definitely struggle to meet UEFA’s requirements with that kind of Spanish influence.”