As Manchester United prepare for their Champions League group-stage clash against FC Basel on Tuesday, midfielder Ander Herrera has asked his teammates to remain unassuming and remember how the club qualified for the European competition this season, entering on the heels of a 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final in May.
“We have to know where we are coming from,” said Herrera after United’s 2-2 draw against Stoke on the weekend.
“We came from the Europa League. We won it and it is a very good title but it is the Europa League. We were sixth in the Premier League so we have to respect every team we face because they deserve to be in the Champions League.”
The former Athletic Bilbao man added: “We are a big club, maybe the biggest in the world, but we were not in the Champions League last season and we have to take it step by step. The first step is Basel. We cannot even think of winning it.”
“Being in the Champions League is a basic for us which is why the Europa League final against Ajax was the game of our lives,” said Herrera. “But last season we did not fight for the Premier League and we were not in the Champions League so we have to be humble.”
The last time the two sides met was in the 2011/2012 Champions League group-stage where Basel knocked United out the competition, sending Sir Alex Ferguson’s men into the Europa League for the first in his reign as United manager.