‘Man Utd should never have been away from Champions League’ – Fred relieved to see ‘massive club’ back in the big time

Fred Manchester United 2018-19
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The Brazilian midfielder is looking forward to taking in a reunion with PSG, with Scott McTominay also hoping to make more happy European memories

Fred admits a “massive club” like Manchester United “should have never been away” from the Champions League, with the Red Devils hoping to make more European memories against Paris Saint-Germain.

The last time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faced the Ligue 1 title holders, a dramatic turnaround on French soil saw them stun their hosts and secure progress to the quarter-finals.

That was as good as it got for United in 2018-19, with a sixth-place finish in the Premier League meaning that they missed out on booking a return ticket to elite continental competition.

Solskjaer was, however, to secure third spot last term, meaning that the Red Devils are back among the big boys in 2020-21.

Their first outing on that stage is set to present them with the toughest of tests against PSG – last season’s beaten finalists and one of three heavyweight rivals in a so-called ‘Group of Death’ that also includes RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.

United can, however, call upon past experience when it comes to visiting Parc des Princes, with Fred hoping to emulate those achievements as another quest for European glory is sparked.

The Brazil international midfielder told the Red Devils’ official website: “The Champions League is always brilliant.

“It's somewhere that Manchester United should have never been away from and we should be competing in the Champions League every season.

“We have good memories against PSG and I remember that night [in 2019] like it was yesterday. We got a great result there and a real turnaround after the bad result we had against them at home. 

“That's how Manchester United needs to be, always. We have to get big results. We're a massive club and we have to always be doing our best to get big wins.

“I hope we have a good start in the Champions League this season, get off on the right foot and on our way to qualifying.”

United suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to PSG in February 2019, but secured a stunning 3-1 victory on the road – with Marcus Rashford crashing home a decisive penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

Scott McTominay was among those to figure in a memorable continental contest and the Scot is another looking to give a loyal fan base more to shout about, even if they cannot witness the occasion in person this time around.

He said: “I’m sure everyone will be excited to go back to the Parc de Princes.

“Last year was probably some of the best memories you’ll ever have on a football pitch. For us we want deja vu.

“It’s a real shame the fans can’t be with us for the games, hearing that Champions League music again and seeing the games. We’re hoping and praying that the fans can come back and the whole world can get back to normal as soon as possible.

“It’s been a terrible thing what’s happened for everyone in the world and it must be so difficult for everyone involved. But for us it’s so important to get our fans back safe and sound.”