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Ferdinand passed fit for Rome final

Manchester United's attempt to win back-to-back Champions League titles was given a huge boost with the news that Rio Ferdinand has been passed fit to take on Barcelona in Rome tomorrow night.

The England defender has not played since his team's semi-final victory over Arsenal three weeks ago. But Ferdinand now looks set to renew his partnership with Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the United defence which should mean that Jonny Evans drops to the bench.

Rio spoke about his fitness earlier today: "My injury is fine, I've been training the last couple of days with the team – I feel good and I'm glad to be back".

The former West Ham and Leeds player insisted that he wouldn't risk playing in such a big game if unfit: "There is no way I will play if my fitness was detrimental to the team. Tomorrow is more about the team winning than me playing in a cup final. In any case, I have been working hard with the medical staff and training well. There are no problems. I am fine."

Sir Alex Ferguson's team will look to be the first team to successfully defend the European Cup since Milan won back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. Victory would put United on a par with Bayern Munich and Ajax with four European titles.

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