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Sir Alex Ferguson
Spelling Alex Fergusson
  Sir Alex Fergusson
  Alex Ferguson
Gender Male
Ethnic Scottish
Job Manchester United Manager
  Football Coach
Desc Manchester United simply wouldn’t be Manchester United without Sir Alex Ferguson. His exemplary record of 28 major trophies in 27 years at Old Trafford speaks for itself, on top of 10 major trophies he had earlier delivered at Aberdeen. It famously took Fergie a little while to see his work come to life at United, but he was responsible for refocusing a club that had become lost, realigning it with the blueprint laid out by Matt Busby and making it the undisputed giant of English football once more. More than anything else, Ferguson’s longevity made him the greatest of all time, building team after team and continuing to win and win in a way that will never be repeated


Club as Coach Manchester United
  East Stirling


Assistant Mike Phelan
  Eckhard Krautzun
1992 11 27
Alex Ferguson made his greatest ever signing when he paid Leeds United £1.2 million for Eric Cantona

2000 12 17 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Steven Gerrard] He is physically and technically precocious. He’s got a good engine and remarkable energy. He reads the game and he passes quickly. I would hate to think Liverpool have someone as good as Roy Keane

2001 03 12 Retrieve

[Alex Ferguson on Premiership referees’ vendetta against his team. No, we didn’t make it up.] Everyone knows that for us to get a penalty we need a certificate from the Pope and a letter from the Queen

2004 05 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Steven Gerrard] If you were looking for the player you would replace Roy Keane with, it would be Gerrard, without question. He has become the most influential player in England, bar none. More than Vieira. Not that Vieira lacks anything, but I think that Gerrard does more for his team than Vieira does, and has way more to his game. I’ve watched him quite a lot. To me, Gerrard is Keane. Everywhere the ball is, he seems to be there. He’s got that unbelievable engine, desire, determination. Anyone would love to have Gerrard in their team

2008 01 01 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand] Rio has been the best defender in the country if not Europe for a couple of years. His maturity and leadership have been key factors in the team’s success. He is someone that young players learn from and that more experienced players respect

2008 01 02 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] I have not seen a better defensive pairing than him and Nemanja for a long time

2008 10 20 Retrieve

[Fergie, hoping to exact revenge having lost to Celtic in the 2006 group stages] It’s difficult to leave Celtic or Rangers because, in a way, they’re guaranteed success. It’s a two-horse race in Scotland and either one of them is going to win something every year, so it’s difficult to leave.

They’re big clubs, they’ve got great supports and, in terms of worldwide support, very few clubs in England can reach that.

In terms of ability and quality, though, obviously the top teams in England are ahead of Celtic and Rangers. Still, why would [Strachan] want to leave?

[Asked about Tuesday’s clash, Sir Alex insisted that his side wouldn’t underestimate Celtic] You can say it’s a local derby. It’s Scotland-England, but Scottish and English have the same mentality and both teams will have a go. That’s in the nature and it’s in Celtic’s history. They are not going to sit back, so it will be an open game. We won’t get carried away simply because our home record is good and Celtic’s away record is bad

[Playing down suggestions that Shunsuke Nakamura would again be the undoing of his Red Devils] We recognise Nakamura is an exceptional talent at set-pieces, but I would be very surprised if we lost a goal again like that having discussed it so many times

2009 02 18 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson Censures Chelsea’s Decision To Sack Scolari] I think they have played into our hands and that the title race now is going to be between ourselves and Liverpool. However, I shall be keeping a wary eye on Aston Villa, who seem to have picked up the baton from Arsenal. I was shocked that Chelsea should part so soon with a manager of such great experience and proven success as ‘Phil’ Scolari. Their haste is a reflection of the sad way the game is going. Everyone from owners, the board members, the supporters and the media demands instant success and showing absolutely no patience in the pursuit of their ambition. I would have thought it self-evident that winning prizes comes with stability and long-term planning yet so often, when a club is faced with a few problems, wisdom flies out of the window in the hope that a new man can bring about a quick fix

Chelsea have called in a very experienced manager in Guus Hiddink and I am sure he will make an impact. At the same time, he has to start from scratch, perhaps putting together his own staff and gathering round him players of his choice, which may take him some time

2009 07 10 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson believes Denis Law deserves to be revered] Denis Law was my hero as a player. I idolised him. When I first met him I was so excited. It was at a game in Paris, he had played in the first half and we went for a cup of tea afterwards. I thought: ‘This is it, I’ve made it, I’m having a cup of tea with Denis Law!’ For me, he epitomised everything a Scotsman is about. He was daring and courageous, he had that bravado about him and he had style. He was a truly fantastic footballer

2012 03 20 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on that 1999 semi-final on Roy Keane] It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player

2012 07 25 Retrieve

[Inzaghi’s reputation in other countries became almost entirely focused on his gesticulating nuances] Inzaghi was born offside

2013 02 20 Retrieve

[A Manchester United statement] […] July 1, Woodward ‘will have overall responsibility for the club, including, in conjunction with Sir Alex Ferguson, facilitating transfer activity

Ed has appointed Richard Arnold, the current commercial director, as its new group managing director, overseeing all commercial and operational aspects of the club

2013 02 20b Retrieve

[Ferguson admitted his relationship with Gill had not always run smoothly but also claimed he had tried to dissuade Gill from leaving his post] David has been a magnificent chief executive. Of course, we have had a million arguments, but I have always enjoyed them because I know that David has two great qualities: he is straight and he always puts Manchester United first. No disagreement is ever personal with him. He always wants the best for United.

Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt, that he believes it is time for the club to move on. If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it

2013 02 20c Retrieve

[David Gill has announced that he will step down from his role as Chief Executive of Manchester United in June] I have been at United for over 26 years and for 23 of those years my boss has been one of only two men: Martin Edwards, who brought me to the club, and David Gill. I have enjoyed working with both

2013 02 25 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Bobby Moore] The best defender I have ever seen

2013 10 20 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson fears leaving Manchester United in lurch by quitting at same time as chief exec David Gill] I had a meeting with David Gill in my house. He phoned me one lunchtime and said ‘are you busy’ - it was a Sunday - he said: ‘I’d like to come over and speak to you

He came over to talk to me about him retiring himself. I says: ‘Christ I’ve made up my mind to retire myself at the end of the season.’ That gave me a terrible quandary because you start thinking about leaving the club in the lurch

I said: ‘I’ll need to speak to Mr Glazer, to Joel.’ And he organised for Joel to give me a call and I explained to him why I wanted to retire and why it was the right reasons and he accepted that

That was at the end of February. So that period was difficult. I was trying to keep it quiet and couldn’t tell some members of my family

[He admitts that it would have been ‘difficult to ignore’ the big issues of his time at Old Trafford in his second autobiography] You know the problem with doing a book is you have to bring in the ­elements and factors which in many ways either affected or determined your management decision-making. But because I’ve been at the club such a long time and you re building team after team after team, there are areas that you can’t ignore. Why we sold certain players like David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy. You can’t ignore these things because these guys were big, big figures in Manchester United’s career history

2013 10 22 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United manager says Wayne Rooney want him to sign Mesut Özil] Wayne asked away because he felt he was playing out of position. I can understand that. My judgment was that Wayne wasn’t playing well enough. But when you see him playing like he is, do you think I would drop him? No way. He is England’s great white hope and a great player for Manchester United. The player who is playing now is a different player

[Ferguson is full of praise for Rooney’s natural ability and reference to his physique] With that kind of physique it was hard to imagine him playing into his 30s

[Ferguson claims it was a mistake for Roy Hodgson to allow Rooney to take a week’s holiday before Euro 2012 because] he was never the sort who could take days off. He would receive no leniency from me. I would hammer him for any drop in condition

I left him to discuss his future with David Moyes, hoping to see many more great performances from him at Old Trafford

2013 10 26 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson in his new book] Mark Bosnich was a terrible professional. We played down at Wimbledon and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu. I told him, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mark, we’ve got the weight off you. Why are you tucking into all that stuff?’ We arrived back in Manchester and Mark was on [his] mobile phone to a Chinese restaurant to order a takeaway. Is there no end to you? I just couldn’t make an impact on him

2013 11 05 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Paul Scholes] Very few players can do that, but Scholes is one of them - and I knew he was one of them. That’s why, without question, I think Paul Scholes is the best player in England. He’s got the best skills, the best brain. No one can match him

2013 12 31 Retrieve

[In one of several barbs aimed at Roy Keane in his autobiography, former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claims the Irishman mistakenly felt that he was impervious to the ravages of time] He thought he was Peter Pan. Nobody is

2013 12 31b Retrieve

[Ferguson says goodbye to Manchester United after 27 incredible years at the club] First of all, it’s a thank you to Manchester United; not just the directors, not just the medical staff, the coaching staff, the players, the supporters, it’s all of you. You have been the most fantastic experience of my life. Thank you

2015 01 10 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on his patented time-influencing of referees] That’s why I used to go to my watch. I never looked at my watch, I didn’t know how many minutes [were left]. It gets across to the opponents and the referee, which is a little trick. The thing about the last ten-15 minutes of a game, particularly at Old Trafford, you’ve got 65,000 people there. At half-time I always stress: don’t panic, be patient, wait. In the last 15 minutes you can do what you like. I’m a gambler, shove bodies up front, take the gamble. It didn’t always work but a lot of times it did. If you’re in that dressing room after the game and we’ve scored in the last minute, the electricity is unbelievable, they’re jumping on top of each other, hand-clapping, it’s a fantastic place to be. Most important thing is that those fans are walking out of the stadium desperate to get down to the pub to talk about, desperate to get home to tell their wife and their kids what happened at Old Trafford in the last minute of the game. And that’s my job, to get them home happy

2015 01 22 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson writes in his autobiography about Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick] Referee Alan Wilkie’s inability to stamp out the disgraceful tackles from Crystal Palace’s two central defenders [one of them is Richard Shaw] made subsequent trouble unavoidable

[Sir Alex Ferguson, upset at the loss of two points and ‘enclosed in my other world’ on his return home, only starts to fully digest the Cantona incident early the next morning] By 4am I was up and watching a video. It was pretty appalling. Over the years since I have never been able to elicit an explanation from Eric but my own feeling is that anger at himself over the ordering off and resentment at the referee’s earlier inaction combined to take him over the brink

[Ferguson and members of the United board - chief executive Martin Edwards, chairman of the PLC board Sir Roland Smith and Watkins - meet at the Alderley Edge Hotel that evening to determine the club’s response] We were unanimous that it had to be powerful enough to protect Manchester United’s reputation and we agreed that we should impose a four-month suspension on Eric, which would rule him out for the rest of the season

[Cantona did coaching sessions for children during the week at United’s old training ground at The Cliff. But under the terms of his ban he was not allowed to play in any organised matches. United attempted to schedule a series of training games against local teams to keep Cantona involved, but were censured in a letter from the FA once the matches became public knowledge. Deeply frustrated, Cantona informed United he was moving back to France] The next morning I contacted Eric’s advisor and told him I was ready to fly to Paris. We met at a restaurant in which Eric was waiting for us with [his agent] Jean-Jacques Bertrand and a secretary. There was no-one else in the place and the owner had put the ferme [closed] sign on the door. Eric was delighted to see me and to hear what I had to say … I believe he wanted me to put an arm round him and convince him that everything would be all right

2015 05 02 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Ronaldo vs Messi] Ronaldo could play for Millwall, QPR, Doncaster Rovers or anyone and he’d score a hat-trick. I’m not sure Messi could do it. Ronaldo’s got two feet, he’s quick, he’s good in the air and he’s brave, though Messi’s brave too of course. I just think Messi is a Barcelona player

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Thierry Henry] His time with Arsenal was fantastic and he’s always been a good role model in how he holds himself, as a footballer and a human being. He’s never wavered from that type of professionalism that you need to achieve that status

2015 09 26 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Cristiano Ronaldo] The biggest ego came with beautiful vanity, with that fantastic body of his. Ronaldo would stand in the mirror and the others would throw socks and jock straps at him!

2015 11 10 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] The one thing he always had was unbelievable stamina as a kid. He had the best stamina in the club. He could run all day, and that has allowed him to stay in the game at that kind of level, playing for his country in his mid 30s. Coming from American football to do that is quite amazing, and he is an amazing person

2015 11 11 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] You talk about longevity and in many ways reinventing himself, it has been absolutely incredible. When he went to America there wasn’t a person in this place who really thought he could have a career. Yet he went on and still played for his country, he played for AC Milan in European ties and he played for PSG in European ties, and I don’t think anyone could have imagined that

2015 11 12 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] How can you forget that 60-yard goal? He tried it about 10 minutes before he scored and I said to my assistant Brian Kidd, If he tries that again, he’s off

2015 11 13 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] He was extraordinary. When he first came to us he would train morning and afternoon then show up in the evening to join in with the schoolboys. At the start of each season we used to give all the players a bleep test to get a sense of their aerobic fitness, and Beckham was always off the scale. [. . .] True winners are relentless. The very best players compete against themselves to become as good as they can be. They have to be dragged off the training ground

2015 11 24 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane’s retirement in 2006] Roy’s obsession with winning and the demands he put on others made him the most influential player in the dressing room. He became a great captain through that and, to my mind, he is the best player I have had in all of my time here. Over the years when they start picking the best teams of all time, he will be in there

2015 11 25 Retrieve

[About Keane’s legendary performance against Juventus in the second leg of the 1998-9 UEFA Champions League season] It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing as if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player

2015 11 26 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] If Roy Keane thought you weren’t pulling your weight he would be right on top of you, straight away. Many players faced his wrath for committing that crime and there would be no place to hide from him. I never felt that was a bad aspect of his character

2015 11 27 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] With Roy Keane present, keeping the ball was never a problem. I said so from the minute he came to the club. ‘He never gives the ball away, this guy,’ I told the staff and players

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] He looked like a Manchester United player as soon as I saw him. We played him at Forest and the way he played told me a lot about the lad. His determination, his energy, his attitude to losing and winning told me something about him before we even got him

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] I would never think that a guy who hadn’t played the game could be a top coach, but then you’ve got to look at his personality. I think his personality does it; he’s got a marvellous strong personality, and I think that bridges that gap. I remember his first press conference at Chelsea and I thought: ‘Christ, he’s a cocky bastard, him’ … But it told all the players to have the belief they were going to win the league

2016 02 14 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] … I think he is a great example, he can speak five languages or whatever he can. He goes and becomes an interpreter for Bobby Robson, follows him to Barcelona, works under Louis Van Gaal; he is learning all the time. He has got a determination, he wants to be a coach. He never played the game, by the way - you tell me how many presidents would give a manager a job who has never played the game? None. But he has done it. Then he goes and manages a small team in Portugal, then goes to Porto and wins the league, wins the UEFA Cup, wins the European Cup, goes to Chelsea and wins the league. Goes to Inter Milan. That is an example to anyone who wants to do well, you shouldn’t let the barriers get in your way if you want to get there

2016 02 15 Retrieve

[On Gianfranco Zola] Little Gianfranco Zola … he annoyed me. He was one of these players who was unperturbed about who he was playing against. He always seemed to have a smile on his face and that annoyed me. How can he be enjoying himself playing against United? Nobody else does. He was a fantastic player and I loved watching him. It was enjoyable and for me to say that about an opponent tells you how much I admired him

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[on Tony Adams] I think Tony Adams was a United player in an Arsenal shirt to be honest with you. I thought he would have been absolutely perfect for United. I tried a little bit [to sign him] when he was 19 and in the reserves but there was no chance. Those two are great examples of how far you can go in the game when you’ve got an inner determination and desire to be successful

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] He was the best player of his era, a breath of fresh air because he played with a smile. Around 1987, when Newcastle were bobbing above the relegation zone, we played them and my three central midfielders that day were Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside and Remi Moses - all great footballers, and he just tore them apart. When he nutmegged Moses and patted him on the head, I was out of the dugout shouting, ‘Get that f** so-and-so!’ Robbo and Whiteside were chasing him up and down the pitch, and they couldn’t get near him

2016 02 19 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] Vidić and Ferdinand were a rock to build a team on

2016 02 20 Retrieve

[Quote on Gary Neville] [. . .] we (Manchester United) took Gary simply because he was determined, and he was a centre-back at that time. But he had something in him and he made himself a footballer. He worked, he practised, he had an incredible determination that made him what he is today

2016 02 21 Retrieve

[Quote on Gary Neville] [. . .] he’s got an incredible determination about him. He’s a good decision maker, he’s prepared to make a decision and he’s got that positive attitude. He’s a winner, he’s an absolute winner

2016 02 22 Retrieve

[Quote on Gary Neville] He’s an incredible human being. Everything he touches turns to gold. The business side of it, he’s done very well. His role with England he’s done well. On television he’s been fantastic. I think he will do well, he’s going to be a success (at Valencia)

2016 02 23 Retrieve

[Quote on Gary Neville] Gary was the best English right-back of his generation. He is an example to any young professional; hard-working, loyal and intelligent. As a United fan born and bred, his fantastic career at Old Trafford has cemented his place in the affection of the club’s supporters everywhere

2016 04 03 Retrieve

[Quote on Sir Bobby Charlton] Bobby is a great example in how he kept his feet on the ground and kept their humility all their life. Another thing that surprised people is how shy he is. But what a solid human being and a person you’d trust with your life. He’s been a terrific friend to me ever since I came to the club

2016 05 21 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson on Cristiano Ronaldo’s qualities] It’s interesting to me that we hear so much about two players these days: Ronaldo and Messi. Now don’t get me wrong, Messi is a fantastic player, it’s like he’s wearing slippers when he controls the ball. But here, for me, is the difference. Messi is a Barcelona player. But Ronaldo could play for Stockport County and score a hat-trick. He has everything. He can shoot with both feet, head the ball, he’s as brave as a lion, and here’s something else people overlook. During my time at Manchester United I was lucky enough to have a lot of people who put in countless extra hours to get better. Gary Neville turned himself from an average footballer into a wonderful one because of his work ethic, as did David Beckham. But Ronaldo used to completely exhaust himself, and still does. He just wanted to be the best in the world

2016 06 23 Retrieve

[on Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United] How many centre-halves can you name who actually like defending? Vidić liked it. He loved the challenge of sticking his head in there. You could tell that the thrill of contesting those 50-50 balls animated him. Smalling is a bit like that: he enjoys defending. Vidić was a dour, uncompromising sod. He was a proud Serb

2016 06 24 Retrieve

[on Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United] That [Vidic’s initial struggles at Manchester United] happens to some players coming into the English game. But Nemanja adapted and has been a great signing. He is a warrior. He is a natural defender. You don’t leave him out unless you are going to rest him. When the ball comes into the penalty box, you know that the one who wants to get it clear will be Nemanja [. . .]. He was so powerful and positive in everything he went for

2016 07 09 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reflected on Giggs’ career] We always had a few scouts who claimed they were the one who discovered Giggsy. They probably did, but they never acted on what they saw. It was actually a steward who first told me it was a disgrace that this Manchester United fan was training down the road at City. You knew right away, the way he ran across the ground, that he was something else. He was like a Cocker Spaniel chasing a piece of silver in the wind. His feet never seemed to touch the ground and that was the start of it all.

2016 07 16 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson hails his former player Cristiano Ronaldo on the back of the Portuguese star’s EURO triumph] Usually top players can only play for about five or six years at the highest level, then it’s over. Cristiano has been doing this for over ten years. That makes him so exceptional. Every generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is currently

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson recently paid tribute to Sacchi’s legacy] He changed Italian football. He got rid of catenaccio by proposing a high-pressing game, with Maldini pushing forward on the flank. The Italian mentality was to attack with caution. Then all of a sudden there was no more catenaccio, but a four-man defence, with a side that attacked, rather than waited to counter-attack. It was a great change

2016 11 12 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson talks about some of his management philosophies at the World Business Forum in Milan] There was a lot of myth about it. It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that. The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem. [Former Celtic and Scotland boss] Jock Stein always said to me, ‘Leave it until Monday to talk to them’, but I said I couldn’t wait until Monday. So, on a Saturday after the game, I told them exactly how I felt, because we had trained at a level all week that I expected to win every game. I told them exactly the truth and the truth works. All the players understood that and it was never held against me. Then the next day it is pushed aside and I’m prepared to win again. I never ruled by fear

2017 01 28 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson speaks about Rooney’s goals record] When Wayne Rooney joined the club I could never imagine anybody could beat Sir Bobby’s record. So his achievement is outstanding. It’s amazing. He’s 200-odd games short of Bobby’s playing record and that makes it even more amazing. I don’t think anyone can [overtake Rooney]

2017 08 08 Retrieve

[Alex Ferguson regrets not taking a more robust approach in Manchester United’s UEFA Super Cup defeats to Lazio and Zenit] To be honest with you, when we became successful I didn’t used to view the Super Cup as the most important thing. It used to be in Monaco on the Friday night and we had to go and play [in the Premier League] on the Monday, which meant we only had two days’ preparation. So, in the games against Lazio and Zenit I played a lot of the younger players. I’m sorry I did that and I’ll tell you why - because Lazio treated it like the World Cup final. They’re dancing about the touchline and I was raging, saying I should have put the full lot out for the way they were celebrating. But the long-term view was always win your league. There’s a lot of tribalism in the Premier League and I think if you ask the supporters whether they would rather win the league or the Super Cup, I know what the answer is. So we viewed it a little differently and, in hindsight, I wish I’d have gone for it. At the end of the day, history is history and we could have won the Super Cup three times - if we’d played properly in Rome against Barcelona [the 2009 Champions League final defeat], maybe another one. I think it’s one of these big regrets

2017 10 12 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson Ferguson says Fabien Barthez was better outfield than between the sticks] Since they stopped the pass back, it meant they had to use their feet. It has become a great part of the game today and I think when you see the performances of Manuel Neuer, he’s incredible. They played in the 2013 Super Cup final against Chelsea, and when they were chasing the winning goal, he played on the halfway line like the sweeper

I had Fabien Barthez. Other goalkeepers would play safety first: ‘If I can pass to one of my team-mates, that’s my job’. Fabien had a wee bit more. He liked the excitement of taking care of the ball. I remember he kept telling me he was a better outfield player. He could play sometimes in Friday-morning games before the Saturday game, in small-sided games, he had good feet

2018 04 21 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute to his old rival Arsene Wenger] I am pleased he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man. It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves

2019 02 18 Retrieve

[Ferguson who once stated that the Irishman was one of the only players guaranteed a spot in his all-time best Man United XI] Honestly, I would say Denis Irwin would be the one certainty to get in the team. I called him an eight out of 10

2019 04 30 Retrieve

[Ferguson once famously declared] My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f***ing perch

2019 05 27 Retrieve

[Alex Ferguson praised Bayern Munich’s footballing structure as the former Manchester United manager lauded the club’s links to their past] They’re a great club. It’s a club run in the proper foundation of it. Former players who run it really, Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, they run the club in the right way and they are always winning the league in Germany. They’re a great club.

: 2019 06 07 Guardiola became the first Premier League manager since Sir Alex Ferguson to retain the title with victories in 2017-18 and 2018-19 with Man City.

2019 08 01 Retrieve

[United’s incredible mental strength was on display in the Champions League, too. After eliminating Barcelona in a group that also contained Bayern Munich, Inter were seen off in the quarter-finals before the steel of the team became evident in the semis. Trailing 3-1 on aggregate away to Juventus, they appeared to be heading out before storming back to progress. That fixture was notable for the performance of captain Roy Keane, who had received a booking that would prevent him from playing the final. The Irishman was emblematic of the combative spirit that Ferguson wanted to see from his players, particularly that evening in Turin] It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[The hype around Anderson was now getting to a point where even Ferguson, a man not afraid to burst the bubble of expectation, could barely conceal his excitement] Anderson has been absolutely superb. The boy has definitely got something special

2019 10 06 Retrieve

[In 1997, for example, Ferguson was vocal about his desire to prevent his players from linking up with the England squad for the pre-World Cup friendly competition, Le Tournoi de France. While the likes of Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Andy Cole were included in the panel which went on to win Le Tournoi] Over the last few years we’ve played an average of 50 games and this season will be no different. Then there are internationals and friendly internationals. It’s such a strain and with young players it can’t be done

2019 10 08 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Arsene Wenger as an absolute legend at a special tribute night for the former Arsenal boss] The career you had as a manager at Arsenal was absolutely fantastic - an absolute legend. I loved the competition against you. We had some great times and it’s wonderful you’re getting this award tonight. So good luck, my blessing with you

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[The Liverpool-Manchester United rivalry is widely considered to be the biggest rivalry for both clubs and their supporters] To me, Liverpool will always be the derby game, just because of the history. When I came down here, they were the kingpins of England. My aim was to try and turn that round

2019 10 31 Retrieve

[The idea of a club withdrawing from a tournament over fixture congestion concerns is not unprecedented in English football. Manchester United withdrew from the 1999-2000 FA Cup, on invitation from the Football Association, in order to allow the treble-winning team to focus on their participation in the inaugural Club World Cup, which was being held in Brazil. At the time, Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson welcomed the move] We can’t go for them all. We can’t play in the FA Cup and in Brazil. That would be impossible

[While they were freed up from the responsibility of playing in the FA Cup, United did not fare well in the tournament and were eliminated at the group stage after registering a draw, a loss and a win] It turned out to be a disaster for us. We did it to help England’s World Cup bid. That was the political situation. I regretted it because we got nothing but stick and terrible criticism for not being in the FA Cup when, really, it wasn’t our fault. The FA and the government felt that playing in this tournament would help England’s bid to host the 2006 World Cup. There was a lot of undue criticism - but it was a great two-week break

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[My problem in the 2008 final, maybe I even regret it to this day, was I left Ji-sung Park out completely in the final against Chelsea] To win the European Cup is fantastic. It was a really great bunch of players with a great attitude about them and a good, strong squad. He’d played such a great role and that’s the problem when you get to these finals

At Wembley [in 2011] I did it to Dimitar Berbatov and he took it badly. He didn’t deserve it. No player deserves to be left out of the final. That’s why we try hard at these European seminars with the coaches to try to get 11 subs in the final. You’ve got four or five sitting in the stand who made fantastic contributions in getting there

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson was convinced he had acquired Eric Djemba-Djemba a player who would dominate at the Theatre of Dreams for many seasons to come] Eric is a young player we’ve watched throughout the season, and he’s impressed us each time with his understanding of the game. He’s quick, aggressive and a good passer of the ball, and is the kind of athletic footballer we are looking for. In the last few months he has shown his development playing in a very good Cameroon team, and he looks like a Manchester United player in every sense

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[At the end of that season Barcelona lifted the league title and beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley in the Champions League final, in a sensational performance. Villa scored the third, a goal he later said was his career favourite, a perfect, curling strike into the top corner] In my time as a manager, I would say they’re the best team we’ve faced. No one has given us a hiding like that

2019 11 20 Retrieve

[Arsene Wenger walks out for the last time at Emirates stadium as Arsenal manager] I am pleased he has announced he is leaving at this stage of the season as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves

He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man.

It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves.

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson is impressed by what he’s seen of Ryan Giggs as Wales manager] Ryan was always going to be a top man. He is intelligent, he has great drive about him and is doing a great job with Wales - and giving young players a chance too. It is fantastic

2019 11 22b Retrieve

[Ferguson pleased to see Rashford & Greenwood following Class of ‘92 trend at Man Utd] They’re all doing well. It’s a good set up at United. For any young kid going there, it’s a great club to go to. And I think England are producing great young players who are representing their country and that can only be a good thing. Hopefully Scotland can follow that

If we go back to the young lads of ‘92, you give them an opportunity to play for Man Utd in front of 75,000 and they don’t want to miss that. And they all did very well, and they’re also very good human beings

The thing about young people is, if you give them an opportunity, not only do they seize it, they never let you down. They have enthusiasm to do well

2019 11 23 Retrieve

[Ferguson addresses Man Utd ‘challenge’ as Solskjaer seeks to bring glory days back] Well, we’ve got a great structure at the club. We’ve got a lot of good young players coming through, that’s never changed. There’s always that challenge, and what’s happening at the moment is a challenge, but with a bit of luck - and a bit of perseverance - we’ll sort it out

[Solskjaer has a number of academy graduates at his disposal] They’re all doing well. It’s a good set up at United. For any young kid going there, it’s a great club to go to. And I think England are producing great young players who are representing their country and that can only be a good thing. Hopefully Scotland can follow that!

2019 11 28 Retrieve

[From Man Utd to unemployed: Former teen star Freddy Adu and his sad downward spiral] I think we would be interested, he’s only young but we have known of him for a long time. We tried to get him here some years ago but he signed for DC United and that did not stop us keeping tabs on him

[Adu did his best to impress but work permit issues meant he couldn’t play a competitive match] Freddy is a talented boy. He’ll go back to the US and we’ll keep a check on him. When he is 18, we will have to assess what we can do next. What we did was to bring him here to give him an idea of what United was like so he could see the place and see how comfortable he was with it. He is a very confident and good young boy but there is nothing we can do about him

2019 12 13 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson fears the extinction of ‘great’ English clubs if the Premier League’s giants join FIFA’s global Super League] I struggle to see why an English team would need to leave. Without question, it is money orientated, but surely this would not be attractive to our clubs in the Premier League, which at the moment is the best domestic league in world football and is well supported financially by Sky, BT and now Amazon. Furthermore, the attraction of playing in the Champions League is huge for players, coaches and fans alike, as it remains the ultimate test in club football. A lot of clubs with great history could be lost if their partners in the Premier League upped sticks. I strongly believe this is a realistic appraisal of the value of domestic football

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson had identified little-known Vitesse left-back Buttner as the Patrice Evra’s long-term replacement] Alexander is one of the best young left-backs in Europe and we’re delighted to sign him. He’s someone we’ve been watching for a while now. He gives us some really exciting options in that position

2020 02 05 Retrieve

[Why did David Beckham leave Manchester United?] David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, who made it his mission to be known outside the game […] The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager he had to go […] David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson. There is no doubt about that in my mind

[While deriding the team’s display and Beckham’s in particular, the United boss furiously kicked a boot towards the England captain, hitting him above the eye] He was around 12 foot from me. Between us on the floor lay a row of boots. David swore. I moved towards him, and as I approached I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye. Of course he rose to have a go at me and the players stopped him. ‘Sit down,’ I said. ‘You’ve let your team down. You can argue as much as you like

2020 04 09 Retrieve

[Sir Alex Ferguson praises Manchester United coronavirus response as NHS support package announced] I’m delighted we are now recognising the importance of our NHS - as I experienced two years ago after they saved my life - the response to this pandemic has been magnificent and has made me proud of the way the club and the British people have rallied round to help. Well Done

On behalf of all the players, our thoughts are with all those that have been affected by this terrible virus. It has been heart-warming to see the nation come together to show their appreciation to the NHS and other critical workers. By working together we will get through this and let’s hope we are stronger for it

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[The story behind Manchester United’s bizarre grey kit change vs Southampton] The players don’t like the grey strip. The players couldn’t pick each other out. They said it was difficult to see their team-mates at distance when they lifted their heads. It was nothing to do with superstition

This club went 26 years without winning the league and we didn’t think about changing the red shirts. It’s nothing to do with that at all

2020 04 15 Retrieve

[After a 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United in the Champions League] We just couldn’t handle the speed of Stoichkov and Romario. The suddenness with which they attacked was a new experience

2020 05 01 Retrieve

[Was beating Real Madrid with Aberdeen Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest achievement?] That was the achievement which united us. I finally had the players believing in me.

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Ferguson, meanwhile, always had a passion for horse racing, one that he inherited from his father] One of the reasons I like it is that people leave me alone for the most part. And when they do talk to me, it is likely to be about what is going to win the 3.30 rather than football.

2020 06 05b Retrieve

[In the end, the dispute over ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ was settled out of court and a line was drawn under the matter. Both Ferguson and Magnier agreed that neither would ever publicly discuss the finer details of the legal case] Rock of Gibraltar was a wonderful horse; he became the first in the northern hemisphere to win seven consecutive Group 1 races, beating Mill Reef’s record. He ran in my colours under an agreement I had with the Coolmore racing operation in Ireland. My understanding was that I had a half-share in the ownership of the horse; theirs was that I would be entitled to half the prize money. But it was resolved. The matter was closed when we reached a settlement agreeing that there had been a misunderstanding on both sides. Obviously, there was a potential clash between my racing interests and the ownership of the club, and when a man stood up at the AGM and insisted that I resign, there was awkwardness for me. I have to say that at no point was I side-tracked from my duties as manager of Manchester United. I have an excellent family lawyer in Les Dalgarno and he managed the process on my behalf. It didn’t affect my love of racing and I am on good terms now with John Magnier, the leading figure at Coolmore

2020 06 26 Retrieve

[Legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson famously stated that his mission was to knock his club’s great rivals Liverpool off their perch and he managed to do just that] The Community Shield is a prestigious match, but I have used players in it who were not quite fit, and we are more or less in the same situation again