Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t get it wrong too many times during his illustrious Manchester United career.
The legendary manager didn’t baulk from making big decisions that he thought were best for the team. Thankfully, he had the insight and knowledge that meant most of the time he got it spot on.
With 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues, Ferguson etched himself into football history with one of the most dominant CVs ever.
His 26-year run came to an end in 2013 and Man United’s form since then just highlights the superb job that he did.
Perhaps the biggest testament to Ferguson’s legacy is the words of the players who played under him at United. In 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo described him as the best coach he’s ever worked with, while David Beckham called him an “incredible manager”.
“There’s no way we would have been able to achieve what we did without him. He will always be an inspiration to me,” Beckham told the Premier League, per the Mirror.
Rio Ferdinand also enjoyed a wonderful career under the Scottish coach and last year, the retired centre-back, who won six Premier League titles at United, recalled a fascinating story about his ex-boss.
Ferdinand was a pundit for BT Sport when host Gary Lineker asked him whether he had ever been left baffled by one of Ferguson’s decisions.
It turns out Ferguson had. And, unsurprisingly, Ferguson proved to be absolutely right.
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It came ahead of United’s 2009/10 Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, with the Red Devils needing a win to have a chance of reaching the semis.
Ferguson decided to leave Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes on the bench, with Darron Gibson getting a surprise start in midfield alongside Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher.
“Darron Gibson came in once and he wasn’t a regular starter. No disrespect to Darron Gibson, we were sitting there, Bayern Munich at home, we need to get out there and score a goal,” Ferdinand said.
“‘Why’s he playing him?!
“Within two minutes, Darron Gibson goes and scores the first goal. You look at the bench and think ‘this geezer’s a genius’.”
Ferdinand tells the story here.
Nani scored two more goals to put United in a good position to go through, but Arjen Robben netted the crucial away goal in the 74th minute that would knock the English side out.
Ferguson, now 79, had an innate ability to make the right team selection more often than not, and after that, Ferdinand wouldn’t doubt his manager again.
Cristiano Ronaldo is nominated for this month’s Fan Awards. Click HERE to vote.