For the first time since 1996, the Premier League has no representative at the quarter-final stage following Arsenal's exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Ferguson still bristles at the memory of Manchester United's controversial demise at the hands of Real Madrid.
However that does not stop him from believing Jose Mourinho's team are genuine contenders to lift the trophy at Wembley in May.
And with the United manager's four top tips kept apart at the quarter-final stage, Ferguson anticipates a mouthwatering semi-final line-up.
"I hope Real Madrid do well but they cannot get a Turkish ref, that's for sure," said Ferguson, in the knowledge that the Spanish giants must face Galatasaray.
"They have a chance but there are four good teams in there.
"Dortmund could be a dark horse, Bayern are strong, Barcelona's performance (against AC Milan) was outstanding and Real.
"They should get through to the semi-finals - and they would be good ones."
It will be a long time before Ferguson forgets the manner of his own side's exit to Real Madrid, a defeat he insists was a direct result of the ultra-harsh red card handed out to Nani by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir.
That knowledge means Ferguson is steadfast in his belief United do not deserve to dismissed as another English failure in a season when neither Manchester City nor Chelsea even scraped out of their groups.
"You can't put us all in the one basket in terms of deterioration," said Ferguson.
"Our performance against Real Madrid was outstanding and we should have been in the last eight. Unfortunately it wasn't to be."
Nevertheless, Ferguson does concede the present cycle of European dominance has swung away from England after a period when they supplied at least one finalist in seven out of the past eight seasons.
"It is a little bit cyclical," said Ferguson.
"Going back a few years, English teams were in the semi-finals and finals quite regularly.
"At the moment German teams are progressing and Spain has been like that for a few years now."