Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his Manchester United players to behave and believes every professional footballer has a responsibility to set a good example to young players.
The Old Trafford boss was speaking at the inaugural Castrol/LMA European managers and coaches forum at the new England national training centre at St George’s Park.
Ferguson felt that modern players must always be aware of their actions, in terms of dissent and diving, and said younger players’ desire to emulate him could have a long-term impact on the future of the sport.
"One thing that impacts is your players' behaviour in terms of simulation, dissent, because it's an important issue because you have to be a model for young people,” he said.
“Young kids growing up, playing under-7 football, under-8 football and we have to have a responsibility in terms of the future of the game that way.”
Manchester United winger Ashley Young has been accused of diving in the past and Ferguson confirmed publicly that he had spoken with the England international, in the hope of him avoiding getting a reputation.
Another player who has gained something of a reputation is going down easily is Luis Suarez at Liverpool, whom Ferguson has also criticised in interviews for his simulation.
The Managers and coaches forum was being attended by a number of top managers from around the world, including England manager Roy Hodgson, former Three Lions boss Fabio Capello, Everton’s David Moyes and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, among others.