Sir Alex Ferguson's reign at Manchester United was always going to come to an end one day.
The Scot retired at the end of the 2012/13 season after winning his 13th Premier League title during his 26th year in the Old Trafford hotseat.
While his retirement was ultimately inevitable, his sudden announcement certainly surprised plenty of people. That includes club legend, Ryan Giggs.
The Welshman has written a column in the Telegraph about the legendary manager leaving United and has revealed just how he reacted when he heard the news.
"He called me to tell me the evening before the club made the announcement. Although we talked a lot at Carrington it would be rare for his name to flash up on my phone out of hours and my first instinct in seeing it do so that evening was, ‘Oh God, what have I done wrong?’ Even at the age of 39," he wrote.
"When I finished talking to him that evening my overriding emotion was a great sadness. He had been part of my life for so long. It hit me at different stages over the next few months. When we went back for pre-season and he was not there, and then at Christmas. He was such a massive part of all our lives, organising, nurturing, driving us."
It seems as though Giggs had every right to feel ‘great sadness’ when Ferguson left given their lack of success since. Under the guidance of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, the highest the club have finished in the Premier League is fourth.
Now, Jose Mourinho is tasked with returning the club to the summit of English football and winning their first title since the Ferguson era.
With Mourinho having a reputation of only remaining at clubs for two or three years, there’s no way he will come anywhere near emulating Ferguson’s 26-years at the Theatre of Dreams. However, if the Portuguese boss can win the club’s first Premier League trophy since 2013, then he will always be regarded a hero by the United fans.
As for Giggs, he's finding it difficult to embark on a managerial career of his own after Mourinho allowed him to leave United this summer.
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