Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that John O'Shea will start next week’s Champions League final for Manchester United.

The Republic of Ireland international will play at right back against Barcelona, which means that his task could be to keep the prolific Thierry Henry quiet at Stadio Olimpico.

Ferguson has hailed the utility player’s commitment and explained that he will start ahead of the recovering Gary Neville and Wes Brown next Wednesday.

"John takes his place in Rome because he deserves it," said Ferguson. "Because of the injuries to Gary Neville and Wes Brown, he has become a permanent fixture. He is ahead of everyone now."

O'Shea was an unused substitute in last year's penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea, but this time the defender will have the chance to shine in the Eternal City.

"To my mind John is one of the unsung heroes like we had when Denis Irwin was here," said Ferguson. "We used to say Denis was an eight out of ten player every week but didn't get the celebrity status of a lot of Manchester United players. John O'Shea falls into the same category.

"He can play anywhere for me and has done, all across the back four and in midfield. He has even played in goal.

"His performances have improved simply because he has been playing consistently. He is a fantastic type of person. He is well mannered and well brought up.

"He is an intelligent lad with a great work rate. I am really pleased for him."