With Sir Alex Ferguson announcing his retirement from football, the sporting world has turned out in force to pay tribute to the Manchester United manager.
Aged 71, Sir Alex reclaimed the title from Man City and secured a record extending 20th league title making this a perfect time to bow out. Whilst who will replace him is also making news, a who’s who of sport has popped up to salue the retiring knight of the realm.
Juventus, with whom Sir Alex shared some exciting games notably the CL semi finals in 1999, released a statement on their website praising the retiring manager whilst former Juve player and current UEFA President Michele Platini said:
“Sir Alex has made a massive contribution to football, not only in Scotland and in England, but across Europe and beyond,” Platini was quoted as saying on the official Uefa website.
“He is a true visionary and I hope that, having helped us in the past through various coaching initiatives, he will continue to collaborate with Uefa to share his fantastic knowledge with the next generation of up-and-coming European coaches who all wish to emulate his achievements in the sport.
“His dedication, his attention to detail and his unique eye for talent, as both the manager of Manchester United and Aberdeen, has brought rich rewards over a 30-year period. His CV is almost unique in a results-based profession that normally focuses on short-term solutions rather than long-term vision.”
England manager Roy Hodgson remarked:
“Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement is a sad day for English football”
German legend Franz Beckenbauer said:
“A legend retires: Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the best coaches ever. We bow to his great performance and personality.”
Former Sir Alex pupil Cristiano Ronaldo simply tweeted, accompanied with a picture from his unveiling as a Manchester United player:
“Thanks for everything, Boss”
Ronaldo’s rivals at Barcelona joined him in paying tribute with duo Sergio Busquets and Daniel Alves both having complimentary words for the Scot. Busquets enthused:
“Ferguson is a coach who will always be remembered,” he told reporters.
“His retirement is a loss for the football world. All the things he won and that he always stayed at the level of the best coaches is amazing.”
Whilst Alves added via Twitter:
“[His retirement is like] removing a myth of football. He is the kind of professional that helps make this occupation meaningful! Thanks Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Team mate and former United defender Gerard Pique celebrated his old bosses achievements tweeting a picture of the two post Rome 2009 with the caption:
“26 years, 13 league titles, 2 Champions Leagues, the Cup Winners’ Cup, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups… Legend!”
Reported Manchester United target Falcao tweeted:
“Stand up, put your hands together and give him a big round of applause! Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring. Congrats for an amazing career!”
Man City captain Vincent Kompany respectfully tweeted:
“Sir Alex, one of the best managers of all time. After 26 years of success we all owe him a tribute.”
Tottenham manager AVB said prior to his side’s game with Chelsea:
“He’s the reference for all managers & we will miss his charisma and passion. We can cherish his legacy forever.”
Double Olympic gold medalist and Man United fan Usain Bolt also tweeted a picture with the boss, adding:
“Always words of encouragement even though we were in different sport #Willbemissed #happyretirement”.
And fellow Scot, Andy Murray tweeted:
“What a legend sir alex ferguson! Shame that he is retiring from management but what a career its been.. Who’s next for united?