Manchester: Louis van Gaal has suggested that anyone who derides Manchester United and Liverpool for being in the Europa League is living in the past.
Louis van Gaal
The English giants have been champions of Europe eight times between them, but now find themselves facing each other in Europe's secondary club competition. Van Gaal dismissed suggestions that it is a sign that the rivals are in decline, claiming instead that all clubs go through troughs at some stage.
"How many titles have Liverpool and how many titles have United? It was another time. You live in the past. You live in the past. You have to live in the present. This happens in football. It's normal. It's not normal that one team dominates for 20 years in a row as champions," the Dutchman added.
United's manager insisted that English football as a whole is as strong as ever, with City, Chelsea and Arsenal all making the knockout stages of this season's Champions League, while Tottenham are also still involved in Europea.
"Six clubs are representing the Premier League. You have to be very proud of that because not many countries have so many clubs participating at that high a level."