Alex Ferguson discusses his regrets from Man United's failure to reach the 2002 Champions League final

Bayer Leverkusen stood in the way that year

BY Raf Diallo 16:28 Tuesday 25 October 2016, 16:28 25 Oct 2016

Picture by: Richard Sellers / EMPICS Sport

Alex Ferguson says his greatest regret at Manchester United was not guiding the team to the Champions League final at Hampden Park, Glasgow in 2000.

The team reached the semi-finals of the Europe's elite club competition that season but were unable to get past Germany's Bayer Leverkusen, who went on to reach the decider, only to lose to a Real Madrid side inspired by an outstanding winning volley from Zinedine Zidane.

Despite drawing 3-3 with Leverkusen over two legs, United were knocked out after succumbing to the away goal rule.

A 2-2 draw at Old Trafford was followed by a 1-1 draw in Germany's BayArena.

And it is something that Ferguson puts at at the top on his list of regrets as he explained at the unveiling of Glasgow's logo for Euro 2020.

"The one that I really regret is not taking Man United [to Hampden Park] in 2002 when they hosted the Champions League final. The whole build-up was about taking Manchester United back to the final in Glasgow, but we lost to Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-final," he said.

"We were a wee bit unlucky – we ran out of time. The referee couldn't understand my time and his time!"

He also revealed that United had got to the point of looking at potential hotels for the final.

"I always guard against complacency. It's a disease. But in the build-up to Hampden that season David Gill says 'I think you should go up to Glasgow and check out hotels because you know better than any of us,'" he said.

"So I went and checked out some hotels and was at one between East Kilbride and Strathaven. It would have been ideal for us. It was the perfect hotel. On the drive back down to Glasgow I said: 'I don't like it. I should never have done this'. We lost the semi-final. But that's life."


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