Millennium Post

Time Out! Sir Alex Ferguson leaves his wonderland

Sir Alex Ferguson will draw curtains on arguably the most glittering managerial career witnessed in the history of club football at the end of the present season, thereby ending a remarkable 26-year term as the coach of Manchester United.

‘The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time,’ Ferguson, who was in charge of 1,498 matches for the club, told United’s website on Wednesday. Joining the Red Devils in 1986, Ferguson won a whooping 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups. However, he will remain associated with the club as a director and ambassador. With the trophy already in pocket, United will play two more matches this season, against Swansea City at home followed by one last trip to West Bromwich. Though Everton manager David Moyes is the favourite to replace the Scott great, bookies favour his arch-rival and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho as the frontrunner for the job. No matter who joins United, he will have to carry forward the huge legacy, defined by its unique style and hunger for victory, left behind by the legendary coach.

Sir Alex joined United as manager in 6 November, 1986. At that time, United hadn’t won the league for 19 years. The dry run finally ended in 1992-93, the inaugural season of the Barclay’s Premier league, as Ferguson clinched his first major title. The rest is history. In his long career, Ferguson played a decisive role in molding the careers of three generations of footballers.

When Ferguson took over the reins, the United academy team was considered to have a nice mix of skillful and strong footballers. Ferguson’s took these kids under his wings which eventually led to the emergence of five naturally gifted footballers -David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and his younger brother Gary -- who went on to form the nucleus of United’s golden generation which ruled British football through the next two decades. These players developed a unique combination with the inspirational French striker Eric Cantona as United claimed a second double (FA Cup and EPL). Then in 1996 came Ferguson’s finest moment when United won an unprecedented treble winning the EPL, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. The great coach is leaving with a bang too, handing United an unprecedented 20th Premier League title.
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