BERNE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo) said on Monday that Manchester United must have ambitions to win the Champions League after securing the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
United, who begin their European campaign against Young Boys in Switzerland on Tuesday, last won European club football’s biggest prize in 2008, when Ronaldo scored in the final against Chelsea in his first stint with the Red Devils.
Since leaving for Real Madrid in 2009, United have only reached the quarter-finals twice and their fortunes have collapsed following Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager.
However, Ronaldo’s return has added to an already star-studded squad who Solskjaer says are now poised to compete with the best in Europe.
The 36-year-old has enjoyed a dream comeback at Old Trafford scoring twice in a 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle on Saturday and will look to add to his record 134 Champions League goals in Bern.
Raphael Varane, four-time Champions League winner alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, and £ 73million ($ 100million) winger Jadon Sancho also arrived at United during the transfer window.
“The goal when we enter this tournament now is to see it through,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference.
“We have added experience, quality and youth to the team and I hope we will be better prepared this year for what is to come.”
United crashed in the Champions League group stage last season and haven’t won the Europa League in the past two seasons under Solskjaer either.
But the Norwegian is hoping it is growing pains on United’s way to the top of European football.
“We have had enough disappointments,” he added.
“This team has grown and matured over the past few seasons. That was always the plan when I arrived, now we are watching with a team with experience and quality that can challenge.
“With players like David (de Gea), Harry (Maguire) we get the backbone of the team with experience and quality and of course with Raphael and Cristiano coming in they add that something more you have to buy unless you earn it four times yourself. “- AFP