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By ESPN Staff

Legend Charlton hails longevity of Ferguson

Sir Bobby Charlton believes Manchester United's success in reaching the Champions League final and winning the Barclays Premier League underlines the enduring ability of Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

United saw off the challenge of Chelsea in domestic competition and now the face the Blues in Moscow tomorrow night looking to complete a double.

Charlton, a legendary player for United, hailed Ferguson's achievement in keeping United at the top despite intense competition from cash-rich Chelsea, and said: 'He's just as smart and as sharp as he's ever been as a football manager.

'For him, it's always the new challenger. New money coming in - Russian money to Chelsea, Thai money, American money. They're investing in our game here and it's changing all the time, but he's ready for them.'

Charlton admits there is an 'emotional' element to the match after the club recognised the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster earlier this year.

Charlton was among the party returning from a European Cup tie in Belgrade when tragedy struck, and told the Laureus website: 'There is a bit of emotion for Manchester United actually being in the Champions League final on the 50th anniversary when these players died going into Europe, because it was those players pioneering the actual competition that got things going.'

Charlton has predicted a 'sensational' match at the Luzhniki Stadium, adding: 'There will be goals. Each side has a healthy respect for each other and will know that if they make a mistake or have a lapse of concentration that it will be disastrous. Both teams will be going for it. It should be sensational.'

Ryan Giggs equalled Charlton's appearance record of 758 games in the final Premier League match of the season at Wigan and would beat it if he plays any part in the final tomorrow night.


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