Sir Alex Ferguson, right, and Rafael BenÃtez share a touchline at Anfield in October 2009. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
â€¢United manager wastes no time attacking old adversary
â€¢ Ferguson also criticises Chelsea over Mark Clattenburg affair
BY: Press Association for the guardian.co.uk,
Sir Alex Ferguson has had a sly dig at old adversary and new Chelsea manager Rafael BenÃtez by describing the Spaniard as “very lucky” for being given the chance to win his second Fifa World Club title on the back of another manager’s achievement.
BenÃtez will lead Chelsea into the tournament in Morocco next month having officially replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. The London club’s participation is based on them winning the Champions League title last May, under Di Matteo, and provides BenÃtez’s with a sense of deja vu given he won the title with Internazionale in 2010 after they had won the Champions League under JosÃ© Mourinho seven months previously.
“Everyone feels for Roberto Di Matteo, and quite rightly,” said Ferguson, who was the victim of BenÃtez’s infamous ‘facts’ attack when the 52-year-old was in charge of Liverpool. “It is quite amazing when you think that he has won the FA Cup and the Champions League.
“The biggest disappointment for me is that in two weeks time they are going to the world championship [Fifa World Club Cup]. You would have thought they would have waited to give the guy a chance to win it.
“Rafa BenÃtez is very lucky because on his CV in two weeks’ time he could have two world championships to his name â€“ and has had nothing to do with the teams. JosÃ© Mourinho won the treble with Inter Milan. He [BenÃtez] took over and won the world championship without having to do anything and having nothing to do with the construction of the teams.”
The Scot has also had a dig at Chelsea following Thursday’s announcement that Mark Clattenburg has been cleared of racism allegations made by the club in the aftermath of their 3-2 defeat to United at Stamford Bridge last month.
“I did not believe it anyway,” said Ferguson. “The unfortunate thing for Mark is that he has had to carry that stain for the last few weeks. Everyone in the game is pleased for him now â€“ apart from Chelsea.”
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has been passed fit for United’s match against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday following a bout of tonsillitis. The striker sat out last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Norwich due to the problem and was rested for the Champions League tie away to Galatasaray, which United also lost 1-0.
Ferguson has also said that Chris Smalling is fit for action following a shoulder problem, and that Jonny Evans was training again but would not feature against QPR.