Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson believes his team will have to get the balance just right if they are to beat Barcelona and retain The Champions League trophy.

Ferguson has no doubts that his team can score goals but he remains aware that Barcelona carry a major goal threat of their own. 

Lionel Messi has been a shining light for Barca in their run to Wednesday's final, and Ferguson has no problem with declaring his respect for the Argentine.

“From a team perspective there is always that opportunity to score, we always carry a threat in terms of goals. So hopefully we can continue that,” Ferguson said.

“Of course with every game you have to have an eye on your opponents – the strengths, the weaknesses of them and, yes, Messi is a fantastic footballer.

"We played against him twice last season so we know exactly how powerful he can be and we hope we can cope with that.

“I think we have the players to do that. It won’t be easy and we have to respect great players and tomorrow we will definitely respect him.”

Ferguson believes his side is close to being a ‘special team’ and traces the catalyst for their success this term back to the World Club Championship final in December. 

“This team has elevated themselves having accepted the challenge of going to Japan, I think that was a big, big test for us,” added Ferguson.

“We all found it difficult being there, sleeping wise and then to have to come back and play Stoke on Boxing Day and winning that game told you something about the character.

“Not necessarily the performance because it was not a great performance. The character of the team was fantastic and they didn’t want to lose.

“They are a bunch of players who are talented and don’t want to lose, and I think you are talking about a special team.”