Sir Alex Ferguson: The 1983 interview that proved his winning mentality is unrivalled

  • Rob Swan
The Sir Alex Ferguson interview after trophy win that proved his winning mentality is unrivalled

Sir Alex Ferguson is, in the eyes of many fans around the world, the greatest manager in football history.

Best remembered for his legendary 26-year stint at Manchester United, the Scottish coach transformed the Red Devils into a trophy-winning machine following his arrival from Aberdeen in 1986.

Ferguson was hired by United to replace Ron Atkinson following his exploits north of the border.

Ferguson broke the RangersCeltic duopoly in Scotland, winning the title in 1979-80, 1983-84 and 1984-85.

Incredibly, Rangers and Celtic have won every Scottish league title since Ferguson moved to England.

As well as winning three league titles in six seasons, Ferguson also performed a minor miracle by beating Spanish giants Real Madrid in the 1982-93 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Aberdeen also defeated Hamburg to win the 1983 UEFA Super Cup.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Ferguson also lifted the Scottish Cup four times during his extraordinary eight-year spell with the Dons.

Sir Alex Ferguson Aberdeen
1986: Alex Ferguson (right) Manager of Aberdeen hugs Sandy Jardine (left) of Hearts in commiseration after the Scottish Cup Final match at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Aberdeen won the match 3-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

Sir Alex Ferguson’s remarkable post-match interview in 1983

After the second of his Scottish Cup triumphs, in 1983, Ferguson gave one of the most remarkable post-match interviews that you’ll ever see.

Despite the fact his Aberdeen side beat Rangers to win the game 1-0 thanks to Eric Black’s goal in extra-time, Fergie was seething with his team’s performance and didn’t hold back live on TV.

“We’re the luckiest team in the world,” a visibly angry Ferguson began. “We were a disgrace of a performance.

“[Willie] Miller and [Alex] McLeish won the cup for Aberdeen. Miller and McLeish played Rangers themselves.

“A disgrace of a performance.

“And I’m not caring, winning cups doesn’t matter. Our standards have been set long ago and I’m not going to accept that from any Aberdeen team. And no way can we take any glory from it.”

Ferguson Aberdeen interview

Asked if he could give a reason for Aberdeen’s ‘disappointing performance’, Ferguson relied: “Couldnae.

“If you could open up their minds you’d be able to find out.”

Watch the incredible post-match interview here:

Let’s check out some of the reaction:

Why was Ferguson so angry in 1983 Scottish Cup interview?

Reflecting back on the interview for the 2021 documentary ‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In’, the iconic manager said: “I can’t understand why I did it.

“The only thing I can think of is that I wanted this to be the moment when we set ourselves as the best team Scotland ever had.”

Asked if it was really about being the best team in Scotland or more about hammering Rangers, Ferguson conceded: “I think it was probably about beating Rangers. 

“This was my moment to say ‘right, you’re going to get it’.

“I wanted to put the knife in them.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson grew up supporting Rangers and eventually joined the club as a player in 1967, scoring 35 goals in 66 games over two seasons.

However, the former striker left Ibrox under a cloud and Ferguson was clearly intent on exacting revenge over the Scottish heavyweights after becoming a manager.

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