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Shakira's advice for Pique

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Hargreaves welcomes new era for Man Utd

Owen Hargreaves believes Manchester United are entering a glorious new era.

The England midfielder was thrilled to mark his debut season at the club by getting his hands on the Champions League trophy - for a second time - and the league championship title.

Hargreaves showed a cool head to score in the dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea in Moscow.

Seven years on from winning the cup with Bayern Munich, he was celebrating again.

Hargreaves, who left Germany in the summer, said: 'That's why I came here to United.

'Some people were saying it was about the money - which is was never about.

'I wanted to be part of something special. Most of the pieces were in place to do that but I knew I could be a good addition to the squad.

'I really thought we could achieve great things at this club.

'At the beginning of the season we said we wanted to win the league and we wanted to win the Champions League.

'You hear big teams say that quite a lot, but to actually do it is quite an achievement.

'I'm sure the boss (Sir Alex Ferguson) will look at things again in the summer and see what we need to do to improve, because we can always improve.

'We're going to have a month off now and then start all over again.'

Hargreaves has enjoyed an impressive end to the campaign after fitness problems when he arrived in England.

He said: 'I didn't want to complain - that is something my dad taught me.

'But I think people can now see the difference physically and what I'm able to do.

'Don't get me wrong, I'm a professional and I want to play, but I just wasn't physically capable of doing so.

'The boss was just waiting for the right time. They put me in the right games and now I feel good. My knees have improved a lot.'

Dad Colin, who played for Bolton's youth team before emigrating to Canada, was in attendance at the Luzhniki Stadium to watch his son convert the penalty.

'He's the most nervous man ever in the stadium, so I'm sure he's pleased it went the right way,' said the United star, who was brought up in Calgary.

'He was in a right state but I didn't think for one minute I'd miss. If you have doubts in your mind you can miss, so you have to be positive.'

United had taken the lead thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's 42nd goal of the season, only for Frank Lampard to pull Chelsea level.

Lampard and Didier Drogba - who was sent off late on - both saw their efforts come back off the woodwork.

It was not to be for Chelsea and Hargreaves added: 'It is just fantastic, a great final.

'In the first half we should have led 3-0 but then Chelsea played well.

'The penalty shoot-out was crazy and I am very sorry for Michael Ballack (whom he played with at Bayern).'

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