Edinson Cavani.

Cavani: The key to United's Champions League hopes

Monday 13 December 2021 07:00

Edinson Cavani believes Manchester United's chances of Champions League success depend more on the squad's mindset than the outcome of the last-16 draw, which takes place at 11:00 GMT today (Monday).

The Uruguayan striker, who is working on a return from injury, feels the important thing is that the team show belief and confidence in ourselves to overcome stiff competition in the knockout stages next year.

Aided by some dramatic late goals, United topped Group F with a game to spare before drawing 1-1 against Young Boys with a much-changed side. 

Cavani played in three of the six games but is not getting fixated on the challenge that lies ahead next February and March.

Who can we play in the last 16?


Find out when the draw for the next round of the Champions League takes place, and who United could meet.

"Yes, it’s been a job very well done," Edi told us about the progression as group winners.

"In spite of this Champions League being a tough competition, and then, at times, things became a little more difficult and there were moments when there was an entirely different complexion on things.

"But then as a result of a lot of hard work and a real obsession, we achieved our prime target, which was to qualify into the last 16. Topping the group was also a really stand-out achievement of our qualification."

When asked whether he will be keeping a close eye on the draw, he replied:

"Look, I have my own personal opinion on this, and everyone will have their own thoughts and views on this competition. I personally know and believe that, to win an overall competition, you have to come up against the very best.

"The best teams in Europe are involved in this competition. I’m not really one who really pays close attention to the draw, so let’s see who we get.

"Whichever team that we get to play, the key will be that we trust and believe in ourselves, and in just how strong this team can be, and that we are calm in the knowledge that we can go out onto the pitch, against whoever we draw, with our own identity and personality."

As seeds in the draw, which is due to start around 11:00 GMT today (Monday), Ralf Rangnick's side can meet one of six potential opponents.

Chelsea, as a fellow English team, and Villarreal, who edged second in our group, cannot be drawn with the Reds so we can face Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Internazionale, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Salzburg or Sporting.