The Scot retires after being in charge for 26 years
When Alex Ferguson took over at Old Trafford on Nov. 6, 1986, Manchester United was next-to-last in England’s old first division and in need of a major shake-up.
Ferguson’s great ambition was to unseat local rival Liverpool as the country’s top team and re-establish United as a force in Europe. It was a task many thought beyond him and the club.
Twenty-six seasons and 38 trophies later, Ferguson leaves as British football’s most successful manager ever and with United as the world’s second richest club, with an estimated worth of $3.17 billion.
What a journey it’s been.
Jose Mourinho calls him “The Boss.” United great Bobby Charlton regularly labels him a “genius.” His impact has transcended sport – he is one of Britain’s most famous personalities. To many, he’s the greatest manager ever.
Who else could have harnessed the talents – and temperaments – of United greats David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson, Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo?
Who else could rule with such an iron fist, yet be such a good man-manager that even Beckham, after his acrimonious departure to Real Madrid in 2003, still sees him as a father figure?
And in an era of unprecedented numbers of managerial departures and coaching upheaval, who else could hang around – and flourish – so long at the top? And at the same club too.
British football is unlikely to see another manager like Ferguson again.AP