Champions League

Rio Ferdinand: ‘Manchester United’s Champions League exit is embarrassing’

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has described the club’s failure to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League as “embarrassing”.

The ex-England international said that it is humiliating when a team of United’s calibre drops into the Europa League.

“It’s embarrassing, I was in a squad that went in the Europa League, it’s an embarrassment,” he told BT Sport. “You don’t want to come out of your house, you don’t want to walk around Manchester, people looking at you and thinking you’re not good enough, questioning you as an individual, as a team who didn’t get through the group stages that you should have, on paper.”

United bowed out of this season’s Champions League following their 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg, a result that left Ferdinand questioning the quality of the Red Devils’ current squad.

“If you strip it back and look at this squad, this squad needs a real hard looking at,” he added. “There’s no pace in the squad, no power, there doesn’t seem to be great resilience at times, the leaders you look for in situations like this, at the moment it looks like people are looking around at each other rather than being the man to stand up and saying ‘I’m going to drag you through the forces’.

“Normally when you look at the top teams there’s not only one, there’s two, three four in those types of teams, and I don’t see that at the moment.”

United’s local rivals Manchester City secured their place in the next round of the Champions League after topping Group D thanks to their 4-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

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