Sir Alex Ferguson won it all during his 27-year reign at Manchester United – including the respect of everyone in the game.
United won 38 trophies under Ferguson between 1986 and 2013, including an incredible Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 1999 which earned the Scot a knighthood.
But rather than attempt to sum up ourselves what made Ferguson so special, here are some of the best quotes to explain why he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest managers of all time.
“Maybe when I turn 60 and have been managing in the same league for 20 years and have the respect of everybody I will have the power to speak to people and make them tremble a little bit.”
“Those who hate or disrespect Sir Alex Ferguson, its only because he snatched away their dreams of winning.”
“He’s a fantastic person. A human person. He taught me many things. He’s like a father in football.”
“Sir Alex, you were my idol for a coach, and you are an example for all future generations.”
“Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world and have been for a long time. That is because Sir Alex Ferguson has maintained winning trophies at the same time as re-creating outstanding teams. That is an art and I only have respect for him and what he has achieved. He is one of the best of all time.”
“Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is, but he’s also a wonderful person. His determination to succeed and dedication to the club have been truly remarkable.”
“We played Benfica away and I think we got beat. We didn’t play well and he was shouting at me and I thought I was one of the best players on the day. So I was going back at him. And the problem is, which I failed to learn quickly, is that the more you shout at him, the louder he gets, and the more aggressive he gets, and the closer he gets to you.”
“There was a unique harmony among the players and staff and there was no envy or jealousy as we were all pulling together. There wasn’t one day where we didn’t crack up with laughter – and the boss was usually the instigator.”
“You may find another Beckham or Ronaldo, but never ever will you find another Sir Alex Ferguson.”
“As a manager he was the best but his man-management was something which a lot of other managers would struggle to match. He knew how to speak to players, how to get a reaction. He’s the only manager that could leave someone out and make them feel good about it – he was incredible.”
“I told him to ‘f*ck off’ at the end of a game in Lille away. He fined me a week’s wages, battered me after the match. Did it again the day after in his office.Then he proceeded to leave me out for the next two weeks, put me on the bench. He shouted something on to me [in the game] and I knew it. I spent the next 15 minutes of the match thinking, ‘I am done. I’m done.'”
“I am truly honoured to have been guided by the greatest manager in football and to have had the career that I had under him. Without him, I would never have achieved what I have done.”
Ruud van Nistelrooy
“It is incredible how many careers he has touched. Twenty-six seasons is difficult to get your head round. Ten years is an awful long time for a manager to be at a club in football but Sir Alex went on and on. He has a very strong desire to give his best every single day. That is what he does. He puts everything he has in.”
“We had a manager who believed in youth. He was watching us all the time, and he had to clear the squad out to bring us in but he gave us that chance. You knew where you stood. If you weren’t pulling your weight, he’d have you, even as a teenager. He was a great manager.”
“He is such an iconic person. What he did for Manchester United was unreal and the pressure he was under every day to produce. It’s phenomenal.”
“He is a true visionary. His dedication, his attention to detail and his unique eye for talent, as both the manager of Manchester United and Aberdeen, has brought rich rewards over a 30-year period. His CV is almost unique in a results-based profession that normally focuses on short-term solutions rather than long-term vision.”
“When you try to identify Sir Alex’s greatest achievements it becomes an impossible task. As soon as you decide on one, you come up with another that surpasses it.”