Ferdinand: World not yet at our feet

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Rio Ferdinand insists Manchester United cannot afford to get distracted by thoughts of being world champions.

United are a single victory away from being crowned number one on the planet following Thursday's eventful victory over Gamba Osaka in Yokohama. Most bookmakers will also make them odds-on favourites to win the decider too against relatively unknown Ecuadorian outfit LDU Quito.

But Ferdinand said: "When Liverpool came here in 2005, they won their first match by three goals and still lost the final. The following year Barcelona won their first match by four and then lost as well."

He added: "We will not be jumping ahead of ourselves and thinking it will be easy to win this competition because it won't.

"You have to be a good team to win the Copa Libertadores no matter where you come from. We know the pressure is on to perform well and we will have to be at the top of our game."

Nevertheless, it is expected Sir Alex Ferguson will make changes as United have a Premier League game they need to win at Stoke in a week if they are to maintain momentum in the bid to win a third successive title.

Not that changes necessarily mean the Red Devils will be a weakened team for the meeting with Quito, especially as Wayne Rooney is one of the men likely to come in. Rooney was only involved for 18 minutes on Thurdsday but scored twice and got himself booked in a spectacular finale.

And, after watching his international team-mate take his tally for the season to nine, Ferdinand is in no doubt Rooney is destined for the very top.

"Maybe it has had to be drilled into him but Wayne is playing more like an orthodox centre-forward for us and, given time, he could easily be the best in the world," said Ferdinand.

"He has the capability without a doubt. He has more tools in his box than any other number nine in the world."

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Stoke City
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Rio Ferdinand

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