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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 12, 2008

Ferguson in dreamland after another title success

Sir Alex Ferguson has lavished praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after his side clinched the Premier League title.

Goals from Ronaldo and substitute Ryan Giggs secured a 2-0 victory against Wigan at the JJB Stadium.

United finished two points ahead of Chelsea, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton.

Ronaldo took his tally for the season to an astonishing 41 goals after making the breakthrough in the 33rd minute.

He sent goalkeeper Chris Kirkland the wrong way from the penalty spot after Emerson Boyce was pulled up for a challenge on Wayne Rooney.

Then Giggs marked a record-equalling 758th appearance for the club by scoring a crucial second 10 minutes from time with a cool finish.

Ferguson praised both players for their impact, in the short- and long-term at the club.

He said: 'Ronaldo has been out of this world. To get 41 goals as a winger is sensational. It is also fantastic for Ryan to get the goal that matters. Maybe it is fate.

'He deserves it. I have known him for 20 years and he has been a credit to the game. For him to to equal the record, then to get the goal that wins the title, is just fantastic.'

Ferguson believes his vibrant young side are on the brink of becoming Old Trafford legends.

He said: 'If we win the European Cup I think you would have to put this group of players right at the very top of those I have worked with.

'It is an emerging team. Normally, the average age of teams who win the European Cup is about 29.

'We have a lot of young players. (Wayne) Rooney, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Carlos) Tevez, Anderson, Nani, (Darren) Fletcher.

'Anderson could play in front of a million people and not be bothered one bit. It is that Brazil mentality.

'They are all young players and are getting better. But you also need experienced players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar.

'That kind of experience allows young players to develop. The future is bright and we are all looking forward to Moscow.'

United finished the campaign two points ahead of Chelsea, who had to settle for a draw against Bolton.

However Ferguson expects a stronger challenge next season and dismissed as 'stupid' the notion that United could again dominate English football the way they did in the 1990s.

During that glorious era they won the title five times in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1999.

He said: 'I expect Arsenal to be very strong and Liverpool to buy a lot of players. I do not know what Chelsea will do as they already have a strong squad.

'Everton are continuing to progress under David Moyes and Tottenham will have a much bigger say, I am sure. I cannot say we are going to dominate again as it would be stupid to do that.'

United sealed the title thanks to a 2-0 victory at Wigan with Ronaldo (penalty) and Giggs, on a record-equalling 758th appearance for the club, getting the goals.

Ferguson then got a message from Gary Megson following his mischievous remark that Bolton were out celebrating during the week after securing their top-flight status.

'I had a little nibble at them to keep their mind alert,' Ferguson told MUTV. 'I had a text from Gary Megson saying `well done, your team talk was brilliant!'

'I also have to give great credit to Wigan. They gave us a real tough game. But I think we have proved we are the best team in the country.

'We have expressed ourselves in an entertaining way, we try to play in an exciting way.'