The Red Devils have enjoyed a positive opening to their 2017-18 campaign at home and abroad.
Jose Mourinho’s side remain unbeaten in the Premier League, to sit joint-top of the table, and have collected maximum points from two group stage outings in Europe.
They made light work of a tricky trip to CSKA Moscow in their latest continental fixture, as Anthony Martial inspired them to a 4-1 victory, but Ferdinand believes more game-changing quality will be required if United are to go all the way and challenge the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The former Red Devils defender told BT Sport : “Power and speed has been brought into this Manchester United team but you need more than that to win the Champions League – you need a superstar in your team to be the go-to guy when things are tight.
“If you look at the Real Madrid team that have won it in recent seasons they’ve had a Cristiano Ronaldo and lately Isco, or Barcelona had Lionel Messi and Neymar.
“You need a star player and Man United have got players that could become that, but we need to find out who that will be and if they can reach that level.
“Winning the trophies Man United did last season is good experience for this squad and with the age of the players there’s plenty of potential there, but there are still steps to go.”
Martial’s pace and Romelu Lukaku’s finishing helped United to a convincing victory in Russia on Wednesday.
The former tormented CSKA for 70 minutes before being replaced, with his direct running creating opportunities for team-mates, while he also converted a first-half penalty.
Lukaku, meanwhile, netted twice to stretch his remarkable record since joining United for £75 million over the summer, with the Belgian having now scored 10 times in just nine games.