UEFA Champions League: Is This Manchester United's Year?

Andrew Gill@@_andrew420Contributor IIFebruary 18, 2013

Fergie hoists the European Cup
Fergie hoists the European CupJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Manchester United are indisputably one of the world’s biggest clubs. With a record 19 English titles to their name and with football’s most accomplished manager at the helm, the Premier League leaders are always to be feared.

In addition to the club’s domestic dominance and Sir Alex Ferguson’s magnificent managerial abilities, United always prove their abilities in Europe, with the Red Devils making three Champions League finals in a row between 2009 and 2011. Sir Alex has also guided his team to two Champions League titles since his time at in the North West.  

Looking ahead to the second leg of their Last 16 clash with Real Madrid, after Welbeck nodded in a vital away goal in a thrilling 1-1 draw in Spain and a flurry of wins in the Premier League, the Red Devils look set to push on to another Champions League final.

After signing for United in the summer, Dutch striker Robin van Persie has been lighting up the Theatre of Dreams with phenomenal form, racking up 19 league goals in the process. The formal Arsenal man has also managed seven goals in the last eight games, leaving defenders in awe of his abilities. RVP is a player capable of taking on any defence in Europe.

Another player capable of destroying defences is Wayne Rooney. Despite being moved away from his favoured role as a centre forward and having critics labelling him as inconsistent, Rooney regularly reminds the world what he is capable of, with glorious goals and tantalising performances—remember those outstanding finishes in the Manchester derby and more recently against Everton? Rooney is a player who can pull a screamer out of nowhere. This means he can never be ignored.

With the attacking options available to the Old Trafford side, Sir Alex knows his team are capable of outscoring anyone. However, with a lacklustre defence and an easily wound up talisman in Rooney, United will need more than just a blistering strikeforce to carry them to Wembley. Luckily, they have the level headed experience of Ryan Giggs to keep their feet on the ground.

Ryan Giggs has a career any player would envy. Making 651 top flight appearances for United,  representing Wales 64 times and starring for Team GB in the 2012 Olympic Games, Ryan Giggs has seen it all. He has even managed to score in every single Premier League season to date—a remarkable feat. This invaluable experience will prove vital as his team progresses through the knockout rounds—keeping the young starlets’ heads on the ground and the hot headed figures in check in the dressing room and on the pitch.

United have all the factors needed to take home the European Cup—experience, desire and sheer quality. And if anyone is capable of finding the winning formula, it’s Sir Alex.