Last term Sir Alex hailed John O’Shea as one of his men of the season. He's now notched 350 Reds appearances, but the Irishman still has plenty he wants to achieve…
On a personal front, was last season your best in a United shirt and perhaps even your career?
Possibly. It’s a close one between the last campaign and my first full season in the team [in 2002/03]. Winning the league for the first time that year was very special, but then winning the league, getting to the Champions League final and playing the majority of the big games last term was fantastic. It probably just edges it.
Having spent a large part of your career at left-back, do you now see right-back as your set position?
At the moment, yes, but it could easily change. If the manager keeps picking you then you know you’re doing the right things. But you can never rest on your laurels at this club because the competition for places is so fierce.
It’s nearly 10 years since your senior debut – what has been the highlight of the last decade and if you could relive a game, which would it be?
[Pauses] Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I feel very fortunate to have played in so many successful squads and picked up so many trophies, and I’d probably say winning my first title medal has been the best moment. In terms of reliving a game, I’d say last season’s Champions League final so we could put things right. Hopefully we’ll be able to make up for it this season.
Is there extra determination to do well in Europe after what happened in Rome?
Definitely. Winning the competition in Moscow in 2008 was an amazing feeling and getting back to the final was something we were determined to repeat. We did that, but fell at the final hurdle. The motivation is there to go one step further this time. With the squad we have we’re definitely capable of doing that. I’d love the opportunity to play in another final and, of course, finish on the winning side. It was an amazing experience to start last season’s final, but you have to do the business on the night and unfortunately we didn’t. Nonetheless, playing in a game of that importance is what you work towards throughout your career and hopefully it’ll happen again.
Are Barcelona the team to beat again this season?
You’d have to say so. The age of their team and their vast experience make them very strong, but we don’t feel like we have