This team could be my best of all time, says jubilant Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed his Manchester United team - and paid tribute to their illustrious predecessors - after last night’s dramatic shoot-out triumph.

Ferguson, beaming with pride on winning the Champions League for a second time in nine years, said: ‘This side has the makings of my best team. They are fantastic, a great team. We started the British sojourn into Europe in 1955 through Sir Matt (Busby) and we deserved to get this trophy tonight.’

Manchester United players celebrate

Mob rule: Manchester United players celebrate

The United boss revealed he remained confident his side would beat Chelsea on a rain-drenched night in Moscow, even after Frank Lampard had equalised Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening goal and Avram Grant’s men had hit the woodwork twice.

"That’s the first penalty shoot-out I’ve ever won in a senior match," said Ferguson. "I had a sense of fate about it.

"In the first half we were fantastic, we should have been 3-0 up. Then they scored just before half-time from a lucky break. "In the second half I thought they were the better team, but in extra-time we got better and I’m just delighted for these people here and my players. I’m so proud of them."

Penalties hero Edwin van der Sar, whose save from Nicolas Anelka clinched United a 6-5 win, revealed he knew which side to plunge when the Frenchman stepped up. "I knew which way he was going to take it, so I dived to my right ," he said.

"This is the best. I won it 13 years ago - and lost it 12 years ago  they were my high and low, but to win it now with this crowd and these players is just amazing."

Ronaldo, whose mixed night saw him score his 42nd goal of the season to put United ahead, only to miss a spot kick in the shoot-out, collapsed in tears before the trophy

But he rose to deliver the words all United fans wanted to hear when asked about his
future. "I am going to stay," he said, adding, ‘When I missed I thought we were going to lose. In my opinion I played well in the game and scored a goal - but then missed a penalty. I thought it was the worst day of my life.

"But the lads did a proper job and I feel very proud. I don’t know what I was thinking when Terry went up. Penalties are a lottery but we deserved to win."

It was the perfect end to a record-breaking night for Ryan Giggs, who came off the bench to make a club-record 579th United appearance before converting his side’s
sixth - and final - successful penalty in the gripping finale.

"I can enjoy it all a little bit more than in 1999," said the Welshman. "Back then I thought it was always to happen again and again. But tonight we deserved it, we were the best team.

"We both had chances, but no one put them away. In the first half we dominated, in the second they had their chances, but we held our nerve in the end.

"I’m absolutely delighted. We look back to the Manchester City game (which United lost in the match marking the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster) and we were all disappointed, so hopefully this has made up for it.

"Ronaldo scored our goal, and he deserved it. He’s been the best player in Europe."

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now