It’s 34 years since Sir Alex Ferguson took the reins at Manchester United and though the Scot had incredible success at Old Trafford, he actually only believes he managed four world-class players and wasn’t afraid to name them.
The 78-year old was in charge for 26 glorious years at Old Trafford, winning an incredible 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
He managed a whole host of talented players in his time but says he could only consider four to warrant the “world-class” tag – those being Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes.
“I don’t mean to demean or criticise any of the great or very good footballers who played for me during my 26-year career at United, but there were only four who were world class: Cantona, Giggs, Ronaldo and Scholes,” he writes in his book ‘Leading’, as per The Independent.
“And of the four Cristiano was like an ornament on the top of a Christmas tree.”
Certainly some very striking omissions there but then again it is all down to Sir Alex, who is probably just about in a better position than us to comment.
The pool of players Sir Alex has the ability to pick from him for a United XI is quite frightening, given his longevity in the job and the fact he was renowned for being able to rebuild his team so impressively over the years.
But because of the sheer volume of talent at his disposal, picking a ‘Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United XI’ was anything but an easy task.
However, only Denis Irwin, who made 529 appearances for Ferguson in 12 years after signing for a bargain £625,000 fee from Oldham Athletic, is the one player Fergie could slot in with ease. Mr consistent, the goal-scoring left-back would get into his all-time United XI with no hesitation at all.
“Honestly, I would say Denis Irwin would be the one certainty to get in the team,” he told Sunday World, via
ESPN, back in 2013.
“I called him an eight out of 10. At Highbury in one game, he had a bad pass back in the last minute and [Dennis] Bergkamp came in and scored.
“After the game the press said: ‘You must be disappointed in that pass back.’ I said: ‘Well, one mistake in 10 years isn’t bad.’ He was an unbelievable player.”