United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the Welshamn will be involved in United’s Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
“Obviously I’m proud to play that many games,” he said. “You set out different goals at the beginning of your career – you want to get into the team, then you want to stay in it, then you want to win things… you never think you’re going to get to 1000 games. I’m proud of what I’ve done.
“I’ve worked hard, but I’ve also had a lot of things go for me – the continuity of the manager being here and playing with good players, and as you get older you take things in a lot more. For example, I remember after we won the second Champions League [in 2008] I managed to take that in and enjoy it a lot more than probably I did in ’99. As you get older you enjoy things a lot more and probably dwell on them a bit more.
“It was strange because you’re going onto the pitch concentrating on trying to do well for the team and to make an impact. I did recognise [the Madrid fans’ applause] but I was so focused on doing well in the game that it wasn’t until afterwards I really thought about it. It was great for me and I thank the Madrid fans for the welcome they gave me. To go onto the pitch at somewhere like the Bernabeu and be clapped by the home fans is something special.”
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