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Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson (right) gestures next to a Qatari official as he directs his team during a training session in Doha in this January 12, 2010, file photo. Manchester United will train at Aspire Academy this week.
DOHA: English Premier League (EPL) giants Manchester United will hold a training camp at Aspire Academy in Qatar this week.
The 19-time EPL champions will begin their four-day training camp today, just hours after their 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.
Manchester United’s training camp will end on Thursday before heading back to Manchester for their fourth-round FA Cup tie against Fulham on Saturday.
It will be the second visit in Qatar for the current EPL leaders, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, having trained at Aspire Academy in January 2010.
Ferguson will see his squad train in the warm weather in Qatar as opposed to the freezing temperatures in Manchester due to the snow.
Speaking of the visit, Ferguson, who took over as coach in 1986, said: “We went to Aspire back in 2010 and the fantastic facilities, excellent weather conditions and hospitality from the Aspire management were a perfect combination.”
The 71-year-old added: “It will be an ideal place for us and we are looking forward to an excellent training camp that will see us up for the remainder of the season.”
Speaking of Manchester United’s visit to Aspire, Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy said: “Aspire are delighted to warmly welcome such a big team at our premises. We thank the Manchester United management for choosing Qatar and Aspire for their camp. We will do our best to make their camp and visit to Aspire and Qatar a successful one.”
Manchester United will not play any friendly matches, rather focusing on team-building excercises with a first-team squad that will include the likes of England striker Wayne Rooney, Netherlands’ forward Robin Van Persie and Serbia defender Nemenja Vidic.
After missing out on the EPL title on the final day of last season, Manchester United have had a strong first half to the current season, who are still vying for three trophies.
Ferguson will be hoping his side can overcome the Spanish champions Real Madrid in the last-16 stage of the UEFA Champions League, as Manchester United resume their challenge to win the prestigous tournament for the fouth time.
The 2009 and 2011 runners-up will visit Real on February 13 before hosting the second leg on March 5, in which Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford following his $80m transfer in 2009.
Manchester United will also be eyeing the FA Cup, having not won the competition since 2004. THE PENINSULA