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37 trophies in 25 years as manager is an unparalleled and incredible achievement in football, and there could only be one man who could pull that feat off… Sir Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United chief is the greatest in the game, and United Latest looks at the reaction from other managers to his 25th anniversary…

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona Manager

“I want to congratulate him. When somebody has spent 25 years at a team like Manchester, the only thing you can do is stand up and take your hat off. I would like to be able to rebuild teams, because even though you are in the same side it is always changing because when you are there for 25 years, they are all new teams, and they are always so competitive. He did it in the same team, but it is like a changing team, taking 11 different players, a different squad, and kept being competitive. Only very intuitive people can do this, people who know what they want and what they look for. I want to congratulate him and hope he still has many, many years left.”

Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool Manager

“He has been fantastic for Manchester United, and I think he has even surpassed the legend that was Sir Matt Busby with the achievements and success he has had. To be anywhere for 25 years is unbelievable and every success he has had is testament to him and the football club. When you remember where the football club was when he came in, I think it is a fantastic achievement where he has taken them to now. Whether anyone does it in future is irrelevant – no-one can take away the achievement he has had.”

José Mourinho, Real Madrid Manager

“Sir Alex is a unique manager in the history of Manchester United. Sir Alex is a unique manager in the history of English football. And Sir Alex is a unique manager in the history of European football. I really wish he stays in the job with the same happiness and ambition for many, many more years.”

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Manager

“What can you say ? – People are talking about it a lot at the moment. All you can say is that it is remarkable through the quality and the consistency. It is exceptional as well because I don’t know anybody at the top level who has done 25 years at the top level with the same club. Certainly never anybody will do it again. The distance is a bit far (for me), that would be 10 more years. I am already happy if I make this year a good season after all of this !”

Harry Redknapp, Tottenham Hotspur Manager

“He’s got a great understanding of football. It might sound basic, but he’s got a great eye for players and he knows how to get the best out of them. He understands football inside out. I haven’t seen him work, but I wouldn’t think he’s sitting looking at a million videos or stats every day; he lets his eyes be his judge. His knowledge is also key. I’ve been in his office and he knows how… Rochdale… are playing, he’ll know everything there is to know about, say Tranmere, Crewe or Crawley Town… Everyone else in the division. He’s got knowledge from the top of the Premier to knowing the Scottish leagues inside out, the Conference inside out. He just lives for football. At the same time he has got that ruthless streak that you have to have, because if you haven’t then people will walk all over you in any walk of life. He’s also compassionate. He’s got so many great qualities. You don’t manage a club like United unless you’re a top, top man and a top manager – and that’s what he is.”

Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea Manager

“I thought that I was going to stay at Porto for 15 years, but eventually we decided it wasn’t going to be like that. An opportunity came around and we took it. But for any manager, a 25 year spell in one club is fantastic, and shows there is tremendous trust in Sir Alex’s talent.”

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United Manager

“He has the amazing adaptability to change his management style. I think his style is completely different now from year one to five, perhaps now, in his 25th year, he’s moulded, and seen the changes in football and moved with the changes. Often successful managers tend to do what was successful for them and stay with that infrastructure too long, and ultimately that fails because it falls behind the times because football’s changing year in, year out. Sir Alex has managed to move himself forward. For example, we talk about how we’ve all recently moved into sports science and data and so on – he probably keeps one of the biggest backroom staffs in the country to help players get one or two per cent better. His legacy will never be forgotten at Old Trafford.”

Walter Smith, Former Assistant

“Sir Alex is much more studied than the majority of managers and he has been for a long time. You don’t see him jumping up and down on the touchlines. I remember when I assisted him at the World Cup in 1986 (with Scotland) and I got a little excited at one of the games. He said to me: ‘Calm down – make sure you’re getting the proper message across and it’s not getting lost’. That always stuck with me. When you see him, despite the fact people say his personality and demeanour has an aggressive side to it, he is actually very studied during games. He has got a fantastic instinct about how to handle any given situation. It might be a tactical one, a man-management one, a media one. And he also has the courage and determination to follow that instinct. Very few people are able to do that; he just seems to pick the right thing to do at the right time. It’s an unenviable task for anyone to try to pick a successor to Sir Alex. I don’t think there’s been a better manager in my lifetime so therefore they’re going to have to find the second best.”

Steve McClaren, Former Assistant

“Sir Alex is the perfect manager to work alongside. Many managers get stuck in their ways, but Alex always moves with the times. He’s always looking for the innovative things to get the edge to make sure he and Manchester United are at the forefront of their development in football. Look at the facilities they’ve got; the sports medicine, the academy, the scouting system, the stats research. It’s all geared to keeping United at the top. As a tactician he knows what he has to change and what time to change it. Sometimes you’re thinking: ‘How did that happen ?, How would that work ?’… But it does. He’s got that ability to read games, stages of games, and he knows when momentum is with you and against you, and how to change it and having the right players to do that. While I worked with him I would sometimes wonder why he was making a change, but it would work and you’d think ‘the man’s a genius’.”

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09/11/2011 1:32pm

#nuffsaid SAF… Only one of him in football

09/11/2011 5:04pm


Hello my friend. There is only ONE Sir Alex.

10/11/2011 3:16am

He’s th best,there will never ever b any1 that will b as gud as him

10/11/2011 5:39am


Anthony Idoko
12/11/2011 12:06am

I think he’s the only guy that bears his kind of name with the title of a SIR. He is fantastically and exceptionall unique in the game of football. I love him, no homo.


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