Andy Cole: Winning the Champions League is United's greatest challenge this year

The 41-year-old retired forward was a member of the club's 1999 triumph in the final over Bayern Munich and believes that winning in Europe is even more difficult these days
By Bima Said | Chief Editor, Indonesia

Former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole has stated that he believes the single biggest challenge facing the club this season is the ability to compete in the latter stages of the Champions League.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were disappointing in Europe last term, crashing out at the group stages in the Champions League before being taken apart by an energetic Athletic Bilbao side in the Europa League, and Cole maintains that for all their domestic dominance, winning on the continent is still more difficult.

"The European Cup for sure is United's biggest challenge this season," Cole exclusively told

"It's a challenge to win the Premier League but to win the European Cup it's going to be a massive massive challenge for sure."

When pressed on who the main challengers would be to United this term in Europe, Cole listed several teams he regards as the favourites for the club game's biggest prize before highlighting that the crucial ingredient of good fortune can also play a part on where the trophy eventually ends up.

He added: "It's going to be very hard to win the Champions League. You mention Barcelona and touch on Real Madrid, look at Bayern [Munich] and the competition gets harder and harder to win, because the Premier League gets harder and harder to win.

"I always say when you want to win the European Cup you always need that bit of luck.

"In 1999 we had that little bit of luck and won the European Cup. You can always get yourself to the final, but winning it and staying away from those big guns, it's very very tough."