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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sir Alex and Carlos cleared

The Football Association has cleared Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlos Queiroz of charges of improper conduct.

The charges relate to media comments made following United's 1-0 FA Cup sixth round defeat against Portsmouth in March.

United were unhappy about a number of decisions from the matchday officials led by referee Martin Atkinson, chiefly what the Reds saw as the failure to award a penalty kick when Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to be bodychecked by Sylvain Distin in the first half.

Sir Alex and Carlos held personal hearings on Wednesday but were cleared of all charges by the FA disciplinary panel.

A statement on the FA website read: "At an independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, charges against Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and assistant manager Carlos Queiroz were found not proved."

Rio: Euro glory is the ultimate

Rio Ferdinand describes the feeling of winning the Champions League as the best he's ever experienced, but, according to the defender, it's the kudos that comes with it that represents the most satisfying part of the achievement.

Ferdinand skippered the Reds to a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in Moscow last week to seal Premier League and European glory.

The 29-year-old has been part of a number of trophy triumphs since joining the club in 2002, but insists only now can members of the current squad be talked about in the same breath as past club greats.

"I said before the game that you’re only really considered a great player at this club when you win the Champions League," he told

"There have been a lot of top players at United, but to win this competition and be revered by the fans and everyone associated with the club by becoming a European champion sets you apart from everyone else.

"It's the best feeling I’ve ever had. Not many players get to experience it. We want to be back next year and experience this feeling again because it’s fantastic."

Ferdinand also revealed he was next in line to take a penalty had Nicolas Anelka's not been saved by Edwin van der Sar.

"I was next up after Ryan [Giggs] so I was thinking about what I was going to do if Anelka had scored and I had to take mine," when asked how he felt as the Chelsea striker stepped forward.

"All the lads did brilliantly [in the shoot-out]. Look at Nani and Anderson – two young, inexperienced lads in terms of playing in games on this type of stage, yet they stepped up and showed great nerve and courage.

"That speaks volumes for the courage and ability in this squad."

Rooney in Tevez plea

Wayne Rooney is desperate for United to secure the services of strike-partner Carlos Tevez.

The diminutive Agentina international has been a hit since signing on a loan deal at Old Trafford in the summer, and has said that he would sign a permanent deal immediately if it was put in front of him.

"It is crucial to get him signed and I am sure that will happen," said Rooney. "Carlos loves playing here, he's enjoying it so I don't see why it will be a problem."

The 23-year-old striker has been a fantastic addition to the United squad, playing a leading role in the Reds' Premier League and Champions League triumphs.

For Rooney, he was a joy to play with, despite initial claims that the two would not complement each other. "We saw him at West Ham what a great player he was and how hard he works for the team," he added.

"I had no doubts that we could play together and from training with him when he first came you could immediately see the qualities he had. I couldn't wait to play with him.

"Towards the end of the season we didn't play together a lot, but when we did, we did really well. He's been brilliant. He's a battler, he works so hard and has scored 19 goals, which is brilliant."

United's Trinity tribute

A statue of United’s “Holy Trinity” – Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law – will be unveiled at Old Trafford today.

Forty years to the day since the Reds lifted the European Cup for the first time, the statue, which will stand opposite the one of Sir Matt Busby at the front of the stadium, will be revealed in a ceremony beginning at 12pm (shown live on MUTV).

Most of the surviving members of the 1968 squad are expected to attend the event, which will honour their achievements during that memorable season and pay tribute to what was arguably the finest attacking trio to ever play together.

Charlton, Best and Law scored 665 goals between them for United, and, between 1964 and 1968, all won the coveted European Footballer of the Year award.

Now, thanks to award-winning sculptor Philip Jackson, their legacy will forever be remembered by fans who visit the home of Manchester United.