Sir Alex Ferguson is renowned for being one of the most successful football managers of all time.
During a 27-year tenure at Manchester United, the Scot went on to win 36 major competitions, including an incredible 13 league titles and two Champions League trophies.
After joining a dishevelled United back in 1986, that hadn’t won a league in 19 years, Fergie set about laying the groundwork to build one of the most dominant sides in English football history.
Much to the scepticism of many onlookers, he broke footballing conventions to build a squad packed out with young and inexperienced footballing talents, who would become known as ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ akin to Sir Matt Busby’s ‘Busby Babes’.
Ferguson’s team of youngsters quickly proved the naysayers wrong and went on to push the Red Devils back to the top of European football, with the side notably winning the treble just four years later in 1999.
And his legacy doesn’t just stop at the number of titles he has won for the club.
Building relationships with the likes of Gary Neville, Cristiano Ronaldo, and David Beckham, the 80-year-old coach, not only helped his players achieve great things within the game but grow off the field as well.
Incredibly that was all during the transitionary era of the Premier League, where footballers were catapulted into a world of stardom.
And the values he demanded from his young players at that time characterises how he built such great sides during the ‘90s.
For that reason, many consider Ferguson to be more than just a football coach and that shone through more than ever in one of his final team talks at Old Trafford.
During Michael Carrick’s 2017 testimonial, a video shows the former manager delivering a team talk to a bench full of United Legends, including Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Rio Ferdinand.
Like a proud father, Ferguson jokes with his players, delivering a few jibes to Ferdinand and Neville before reminiscing on how good his former side was.
Take a look at his monologue below:
“The best compliment is apart from [being] a great team, you’ve turned out great guys,” Ferguson says to his players.
“You’ve done really well, all of you. Well done. It’s not easy being a footballer and then quitting.
Going around the room, the manager then recaps proudly on what each of his players have gone on to achieve after football.
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He says: “Ji Sung’s [Park] education in Switzerland. Rio’s [Ferdinand] running television alongside Scholesy.
“Gary [Neville] owns the whole of Manchester and is buying everything. Edwin [van der Sar] runs Ajax. Fantastic.”
While there is a sense of finality about the video, it shows how much respect the players had for their former gaffer, joking with the coach but listening intently to his every word.
Ferguson truly is one of the greatest managers in football history.