Manchester United star ridiculed for suggesting they can win Champions League

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 30, 2023. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has drawn criticism from fans after he suggested the Red Devils will be able to win the Champions League this season.

Speaking ahead of Manchester United's second Champions League group game of 2023/24 against Galatasaray on Tuesday, Varane argued that while they have started the new campaign slowly, they still have the quality in the squad to excel in Europe. 

When asked if Manchester United can win the elite competition, Varane said: "Yes I think so. 

Head coach Erik ten Hag (R) and Raphael Varane (L) of Manchester United attend a press conference ahead of UEFA Champions League week 2 football match between Galatasaray and Manchester United on October 2, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Varane and Ten Hag spoke at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday (Image credit: Getty Images)

"The quality is in the squad. This competition you have to take care of every detail. Good mentality. We have to make some improvements, not the start we expected. We have the ability to compete with the best teams in the world."

However, the Frenchman's inherent belief in his team-mates has been ridiculed by fans on social media. Many pointed towards their latest defeat against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday, while others suggested teams such as Manchester City, Arsenal and Real Madrid are streets ahead of Erik ten Hag's side at the moment.

One user commented on X: "This badly coached team couldn’t even beat Palace at home", while another said: "They are nowhere near good [enough]".

Elsewhere, one bluntly stated: "Rapheal Varane, Comedian of the Year."

Wilfried Zaha of Galatasaray celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Turkish Super League match between Galatasaray and MKE Ankaragucu at Rams Park on September 30, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Zaha will be looking to down his former side (Image credit: Getty Images)

One even referred to Varane's five Champions League victories at Real Madrid, suggesting he is confused as to which club he is now playing at.

"Man thinks he is still at Madrid". 

Ten Hag also addressed Manchester United's chances, though he refused to look any further ahead than the game in question on Tuesday. With Mauro Icardi, Wilfried Zaha, Hakim Ziyech and Dries Mertens all playing for the Turkish side, the Dutch boss highlights the areas his side needs to improve in. 

"Top football is all about results, but if the execution is not right, the process is not right, you don't win, so both [what's more important: result or display]," Ten Hag said.

"We know that [Galatasaray quality], it's not only Zaha and Icardi, but there's Mertens and Ziyech, so they have a lot more and it's about the team. We have to defend that and have to be at our best to get the right result."

More Manchester United stories 

Man United have been linked with a move for a £70m Bundesliga defender who has ties to Erik ten Hag.

And Barcelona could offer two out-of-favour stars a way out of Old Trafford in January.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has said he understands why fans booed during the defeat to Palace.

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