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May 29, 2009

Giggs forgets Rome and targets third final

Ryan Giggs believes defeat in this year's Champions League final will serve as motivation for Manchester United and the 35-year-old is already targeting a third consecutive European Cup final next season.

United arrived back in Manchester on Thursday after relinquishing their European title in Rome after being soundly beaten by Barcelona and, while Sir Alex Ferguson will waste no time analysing what went wrong and attempting to find solutions, Giggs has already set a new challenge for his team-mates to achieve.

''Great teams and great players always look forward to the next challenge and we are going for a third Champions League final,'' said the Welshman. ''No one likes to experience this kind of feeling and we must use that as motivation next season.''

Ferguson and the United players have been magnanimous in defeat and admitted that Barcelona were the better side at the Stadio Olimpico, with a clear edge in all areas.

It is not the way Giggs intended to begin his summer holidays and presents a marked contrast to the jubilation they experienced 12 months ago after beating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in Moscow.

But, while the veteran winger is as disappointed as anyone by United's uncharacteristic failure to perform, he insists there are moments to cherish from the campaign as well.

''It has been a fantastic season and we must not forget that. We have achieved so much,'' said Giggs. ''All we have done is fall just short at the final hurdle in the Champions League.We are still a great team and we have great players in that dressing room.''

Whereas this season history beckoned in Europe (with the ultimately doomed attempt to become the first team to retain the European Cup since it was reinvented as the Champions League in 1992), next year it will be in the league.

Having drawn level with Liverpool on 18 league titles this term, Giggs knows one more - which would be his 12th - would not only allow the Old Trafford outfit to overtake their north-west rivals, it would also see them become the first side in English football to win the championship four years in a row.

''To win three Premier League titles on the trot is an unbelievable thing to do,'' said Giggs. ''Now we must look to make it four.''

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