Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can win this seasons Champions League, taking inspiration from his Ajax side that won the competition in 1995.
The Red Devils travel to Belgium holding a 3-1 lead over Club Brugge and Van Gaal believes the clubs blend of youth and experience can lead to becoming champions of Europe.
The Ajax side of 1995 had a perfect blend of youth and experience with Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert and Nwankwo Kanu all being teenagers while Frank Rijkaard and Danny Blind added experience.
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United have young stars such as Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj to go along with the experience of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger and Van Gaal believes that can stand the Old Trafford club in good stead.
“They were still younger at that time as we won the final with 18 and 19-year-olds,” he said. “We have players like Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger and at that time it was Frank Rijkaard and Danny Blind who were above the 30-year mark. I believe in the mix. Yes, I believe we can win the Champions League and I believe more in the mix of ages than players only from 27 to 34.”
“I did not bring Pereira and Lingard [to Belgium]. We have a lot of young players like McNair and Blackett. Johnstone showed his talents in the USA, for example, and they are not so old. We have a great selection of 25 or 26 players. We have the two older guys, so I think our mixture is good but you cannot compare it with the mixture that I had in 1995."
SOME WAY OFF
United last won the Champions League in 2008 with a team that included the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.
While the Red Devils look stronger after a disappointing couple of years, they still seem some way off winning the Champions League for a fourth time.
Louis van Gaal's men should have no trouble negotiating their play-off match against Club Brugge and hold realistic hopes of going far in the competition, but it may be a bit unrealistic for the Manchester club to go all the way in this years competition.
Manchester United fans, do you have enough quality to win the Champions League this season? Have your say below!