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By ESPN Staff

Larsson backs United for Euro glory

Henrik Larsson believes Manchester United can go on and win the Champions League without him.

The Swedish striker, who sent United through to the quarter-finals with the winner in the 1-0 victory over Lille, will return to Helsingborg on Sunday despite Sir Alex Ferguson's desire to keep him until the end of the season.

It is thought that Larsson's decision is as much for family reasons as for wanting to honour the contract the 35-year-old signed with his home-town club.

Larsson's departure and injuries to Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave United short of firepower but the Swede believes they have the strength in depth to go all the way in the Champions League.

He said: 'The opportunity is there. It's a quality side without a doubt, it's a big squad with a lot of good players and anything is possible.

'You never know who you are going to get in the next round and you have to respect your opponents, but at the same time you have to believe in yourself and your squad and then anything is possible.

'There really is a lot of quality here and there is no reason why they cannot go on from here.

'They have players who have done it in the past and have a lot of experience and that's going to be important in the next stage.'

Larsson, who won the competition with Barcelona last season, admitted he could end up regretting his decision to turn his back on the chance of a second bite at the cherry.

He added: 'That's a decision you have to make in your life, sometimes you regret it and sometimes you don't.

'I can't do anything about it though because I was fully aware when I signed for Man U that there was a chance something could happen like this, but that's life.

'It has been fantastic playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I have enjoyed every second of my time here but I am leaving for home on Sunday.

'I signed a contract with Helsingborg last year and that's a contract I have to honour, the season in Sweden is about to start and that's why I have to go home.'

The striker admitted United had put out feelers about whether he would change his mind.

He added: 'There were some questions about what I wanted to do but they did not put any pressure on me. We had talks but they understand why I am going home.'

Cristiano Ronaldo, who set up the winning goal for Larsson on Wednesday night, argued that the Swede's decision had to be respected.

Ronaldo said: 'Of course he will be missed because he's a great player and it would be better for the team if he stayed because he was a goalscorer and also someone who held onto the ball very well.

'But Henrik has taken a decision and we have to respect that. He has already helped the club very much and it is just not possible to keep him.'

Larsson also ruled out returning for the Sweden national side - there had been rumours he would play against Northern Ireland on March 28 in Belfast.

He said: 'No that will not happen, my time with the national team is finished.

'They have great forwards already with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Marcus Allback and Johan Elmander - they will do just fine without me.'