It was announced yesterday that Sir Alex Ferguson is going to retire from his management position at Manchester United at the end of this season - after 47 years of coaching (27 of it with ManU) and a total of 37 trophies.
His career was more than impressive, winning the FIFA Club World Cup (1 time), UEFA Champions Leagues (2 times) , FA (5) and League (4) Cup, FA Championship titles (13) while being at ManU. Before his time in England he won the Scottish National Championship (3) and the Scottish Cup trophies (5). He he is one of a few that were able to win a “European triple” during their career, besides Jock Stein, Rinus Michels, Guud Hiddink, Joseph Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho.
Alex Ferguson was elected as the English coach of the year (8), the World Soccer Coach of the year (4) and received several other honours. His statistics as a coach will be present for a long time. He won more than 71% of his 1500 games for all competitions at ManU, but also paid more than 100.000 Euros in fines due to abusing the referees.
We also want to provide some key dates for this coaching legend:
1 June 1974: Ferguson is appointed manager of Scottish Second Division side East Stirlingshire at the age of 32. The contract is part-time, earning him just £40-a-week, and he takes over a squad without a single goalkeeper.
31 May 1978: St Mirren become the first and only club to sack Ferguson after learning that he has agreed to join Aberdeen. The deposed manager loses a case for unfair dismissal at a subsequent industrial tribunal, which is told by St Mirren chairman Willie Todd that he possesses “no managerial ability”.
11 May 1983: A stunning success in Gothenburg as Ferguson guides Aberdeen to victory over Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final.
4 December 1985: With Ferguson at the helm, Scotland qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ by securing a 2-0 aggregate win over Australia in the intercontinental play-off. The then 43-year-old had been thrust into the role following the death of Jock Stein during the Scots' final group match in Cardiff, and went on to lead the team at the tournament itself.
6 November 1986: After rejecting offers from Arsenal, Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur, Ferguson leaves Aberdeen to become Manchester United manager. He joins with the Red Devils second from bottom of the English top flight.
8 November 1986: His first match as United manager ends in a 2-0 defeat at Oxford United.
7 January 1990: Mark Robins scores the goal that takes United through to the fourth round of the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest, and reportedly saves his manager’s job. The Red Devils, who had been without a win since mid-November, go on to lift the trophy – the first of Ferguson’s reign – by edging Crystal Palace in a replay.
2 May 1993: Inspired by Cantona’s arrival, United climb from tenth place in the table to claim their first league title in 26 years, ultimately finishing ten points ahead of Aston Villa.
26 May 1999: Two stoppage-time goals secure a thrilling victory in the UEFA Champions League final in Barcelona as the Red Devils come from behind to beat Bayern Munich. The victory – which yields Ferguson’s famous “football... bloody hell” quote – guarantees the club an unprecedented domestic and European treble.
12 June 1999: The Manchester United manager becomes Sir Alex Ferguson after receing a knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. "If my parents were still alive to see this, they would be very proud,” he said.
4 February 2002: Having declared his intention to retire at the end of the 2001/02 season, and with Sven-Goran Eriksson reportedly set to replace him, Ferguson performs a U-turn, declaring that he will stay in place for at least another three years.
8 May 2013: Ferguson stuns the football world by announcing his retirement, telling United’s supporters: “It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United."
Besides his leadership quotes that we have presented earlier on our page, we have collected some of the reactions to his retirement plans in the football world:
Sir Bobby Charlton leads the praise and named Ferguson as "sensational". "He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a school boy that he could sign."
Ruud van Nistelrooy: "2001-2006, 219 games,150 goals under the most successful manager in football history. It was a unique privilege."
Cristiano Ronaldo: "Thanks for everything, Boss".
David Beckham: "I am truly honoured to have been guided by the greatest manager in football and to have had the career that I had under him. "Thank you boss and enjoy the rest!"
To me, there is only one question left. How is it possible to not only be with one club for 27 years, while other clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, and AC Milan hired and fired 26, 18, and 14 coaches respectively at the same time, but also exceed in success?
However, he has announced his retirement already for several times, but maybe this time is going to be the last “Fergie-time” (-> is another word for the additional/stoppage-time until ManU scores).