Owen: Manchester United can win the Champions League

The Stoke striker has paid tribute to the depth and experience at his former club but has highlighted Cristiano Ronaldo as the biggest threat to the Red Devils’ hopes of glory

Michael Owen has expressed his belief that Manchester United possess the quality to win the Champions League this year.

The Red Devils go into Tuesday’s last-16 second-leg clash with Real Madrid ahead on aggregate by virtue of Danny Welbeck’s away goal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

And Owen, who spent three injury-hit years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke over the summer, has claimed it would be “a waste” should such a talented squad fail to win European honours.

“Sir Alex Ferguson at the minute has got one of the best teams he has ever assembled,” Owen told Sky Sports.

“He will be thinking what a waste if we don’t win another Champions League in the next few years.

“This year his team are pretty healthy, no main players are injured, they are in good form and everything is perfect in the United camp at the moment and you have to take advantage.”

Despite the magnitude of the occasion at Old Trafford, Owen is confident that the United squad can cope with the pressure and make the most of home advantage.

“Playing in big games, that is what it is all about,” he said.

“A lot of these United players have come through from an early age and they have played in some of the biggest game,

“From the outside you can think the pressure is too much but this is another game. They will get that tingle in the stomach, it is big, but once the whistle goes they will use that to drive them on.”

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to make his first return to his old stomping ground with Jose Mourinho’s men and Owen highlighted the importance of keeping the Real Madrid ace at bay.

“Ronaldo is the best player on the pitch, so he has to be stopped,” he added.

“You can’t always stop him and you just have to quieten him down but I’m sure if you ask him if Real don’t win the title he would want United to win. But he is not going to be upset if he scores a goal, that is what he is paid to do.”

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