LONDON – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says Chelsea won’t win four trophies this season.
However, Valencia manager Claudio Ranieri thinks his former team can be the first English club to do it.
The Blues lead the Premier League by seven points, are in the knockout stage of the Champions League, in the fourth round of the FA Cup and faced United in the League Cup semifinal first leg on Wednesday.
‘There is no chance of a club doing a quadruple,’ Ferguson said. ‘A treble is more feasible. But is still very difficult to think that will be done again.’
Ferguson should know. The Red Devils were the last English club to lift three trophies, winning the league, Champions League and FA Cup in 1999.
‘You need a good squad and your main players have to be fit all the time,’ Ferguson said.
Ranieri thinks Chelsea has that squad. Ranieri was forced out as Chelsea manager at the end of last season to make way for Jose Mourinho.
Ranieri said the Champions League will be the hardest title to win. The Blues face Barcelona on Feb. 23 and March 8.
‘Chelsea are improving, they’ve got great players and could win everything,’ Ranieri said. ‘I think the Premiership is very possible because they are very strong. The Champions League is a gamble because every match is very difficult, but why not?’
Ranieri’s Chelsea reached the semifinals of the Champions League last season, eliminating Arsenal, which went on to win the league.
Chelsea hasn’t won the league in 50 years.
No English team has ever won four titles in one season. Celtic won the European Cup, the Scottish league, the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup in 1967. Dutch sides Ajax and PSV Eindhoven completed similar sweeps in 1972 and 1988 respectively.
Mourinho has already completed the quadruple as manager of Porto – winning the UEFA Cup, Portuguese league, Portuguese Cup and Portuguese Super Cup in 2003. Last season, he led Porto to the Champions League title before joining Chelsea.