14/05/2010 12:49, Report by Gemma Thompson

Boss backs World Cup Reds

Sir Alex Ferguson says he would love nothing more than to see one of his players triumph at next month's World Cup.

The Reds are expected to have nine representatives in South Africa - Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick (England), Patrice Evra (France), Nemanja Vidic, Zoran Tosic (Serbia), Nani (Portugal), Ji-sung Park (South Korea) and new signing Chicharito (Mexico).

The boss will be monitoring their progress and hopes they will all rise to the occasion.

"I'd like to see all my players do well," said Sir Alex. "If one of them wins it I would be delighted and everyone at the club would be very proud. I think they will all do well - I told them to come back feeling like you've achieved something and done your best because it's the biggest tournament [in the game]."

There was talk of a number of other United players making the trip to South Africa with Owen Hargreaves, Gary Neville and belatedly Paul Scholes, who was asked to come out of international retirement, all touted for England call-ups.

"Owen hasn't had enough football - you couldn't possibly have picked him, that was straightforward," insisted Sir Alex. "Gary was always a factor although I'm sure Fabio [Capello] took the fact he has had injury problems over the last few years into consideration.

"I wasn't surprised by Paul's decision [to turn down England's offer]. He made his decision [to retire from international football] years ago. I think Fabio did the right thing in giving him the opportunity to come back, but Paul is established in his family life and I don't think it was a goal. He spoke to me about it and I told him to go with his gut instinct and his gut instinct was to stay put."


Premier League