Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic insists his side are not afraid to face Barcelona.The Red Devils have been successful domestically in recent years, winning four of the last five English Premier League titles, but lost Champions League finals to Barca last season and in 2009.
After the second defeat, manager Sir Alex Ferguson himself admitted that Pep Guardiola’s men are the best team his side have ever faced.
But Vidic insists fear is not an emotion that he would feel if he is confronted with the prospect of playing Barcelona again.
“I don’t know why you are always asking Manchester United players how we are going to bridge that gap,” Vidic told reporters. “Like I say again, this team is successful. We are doing some good things.”
“We don’t have any problem with the Barcelona players. We respect them but we are not scared to play against them. It is hard when you get to the final and lose, especially because it was the last game. It is always in your mind.”
“Barcelona performed much better than us. We could and should do better. But this is a new season. We have to forget what happened, take some points from that game and improve.”
With Paul Scholes having retired, Inter midfielder Wesley Sneijder has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.
When quizzed about whether the potential signing of the Dutchman would represent the completion of the rebuilding of the squad, the captain said: “We have a lot of players for that position.”
“We have Anderson, [Darren] Fletcher, [Ryan] Giggs, [Michael] Carrick. Tom Cleverley can play in that place.”
“It is important to have new players to bring energy and hunger and to fight for positions. We have really healthy competition in the team.”
“The most important thing for a team like Manchester United to remember is that in the last five years we have won four titles and played in three Champions League finals.”
Ferguson has so far taken to bringing in younger replacements for players who have left the club this year, with Wes Brown, Gary Neville, John O’Shea, Scholes and Edwin van der Sar among the players to have moved on.
United’s rivals Manchester City have managed to make a plethora of big signings since the takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour in 2008.
Now Vidic feels that the Red Devils need not feel threatened by their city rivals, but should instead concentrate on improving themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.
“It is clear Manchester City have the money and they will sign new players,” he said. “They will definitely be in position to fight for the league.”
“But we have to focus on ourselves. We have to think about what happens at our door not our neighbours and I believe we have enough good players and a good team to challenge for the trophy.”