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Man Utd in Tokyo for Club World Cup

Manchester United are in Tokyo ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Asian champions Gamba Osaka. Despite criticism of the competition, Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken highly of the tournament and says his team is there to win.

"This tournament can add prestige to a football club which is why we are here and why we want to win," he said at a news conference ahead of the semi-final against Japan's Gamba Osaka on Thursday.

"I think it is mainly the media in Britain who don't take this tournament as seriously as we do.

"The nitty gritty is that we could look back in 30 years and say that Manchester United was the world champion and that is what this club is about and that is why it is important for us to win it.

"Playing different types of opposition will certainly do us no harm, but the big incentive is to win the world championship," he added.

"We can win that in December but we can't win the Premiership in December. Yes, it is a relative handicap but that is what happens when you are successful.

"We are here as champions of Europe and I hope to be here again in Abu Dhabi next year."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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