Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he still gets envious when he compares Manchester United’s European record to that of the continent’s other heavyweights.
United head into their 12th semi-final when they tackle Schalke in the Veltins-Arena tonight.
Yet that figure has yielded a relatively modest return of four finals, all of which had been won until they were ambushed by a brilliant Barcelona outfit in Rome two seasons ago.
It leaves United trailing in 10th spot on final appearances alone, and joint seventh in terms of tournament wins.
And Ferguson is not comfortable with it.
“This is where we should be,” he said. “The expectation has always been high with regard to the European scene and you do get envious of other clubs’ great record in Europe.
“We are trying to gain parity with that. You look at Real Madrid (nine wins-three runners-up), AC Milan (7-4), Bayern Munich (4-4), Ajax (4-2) and Liverpool (5-2).
“We really need to progress quickly to get to that level and the present group have enough experience in Europe now.”
He added: “There is no way Manchester United will be led into believing this is going to be easy. This is going to be a difficult game and we will treat it that way.”