Mourinho: The ‘Special One’ Falls From Glory

 

There were reports that Jose Mourinho cried when he heard he had not been selected as the heir to Alex Ferguson’s throne at Manchester United.

Once he finally landed his dream job he only lasted two-and-a-half years before leaving Old Trafford with his reputation seriously tarnished.

The axe finally fell on the Portuguese on Tuesday, an increasingly inevitable divorce as Mourinho fell out with senior squad members, blamed his superiors for a lack of backing in the transfer market and oversaw a drastic deterioration in performances and results on the pitch.

Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool, which left United 19 points behind the Premier League leaders after just 17 games, proved the final straw.

After David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, a third manager sacked in four years suggests there is far more to be fixed behind the scenes at the world’s richest club than a new name on the manager’s door.

Former club captain Gary Neville raged at a club “rotten to the core” when rumours over Mourinho’s future first circulated and after the Liverpool defeat described United’s board as “so naive it’s unbelievable”.

But Mourinho did little to help himself, particularly in a short-lived third season, which has become an unwanted hallmark of his managerial career.

READ ALSO: Manchester United Sack Jose Mourinho

His departure from Old Trafford came a day after the third anniversary of his sacking from a second spell at Chelsea just six months after winning the title with the Blues.

For the first time since leaving provincial Portuguese side Uniao de Leiria for local giants Porto in 2002, Mourinho leaves a club having failed to win a league title.

He did deliver silverware, winning the League Cup and Europa League in his debut season, and even claiming the Community Shield, a glorified friendly curtain-raiser to the season, as a hat-trick of trophies.

United’s highest league finish since Ferguson’s retirement followed last season but it was still only second best to local rivals Manchester City and by a record 19-point margin.

– Pogba power struggle –

The seeds of disharmony were also sown last season. Mourinho routinely dropped the club’s most expensive ever signing, £89 million ($113 million) midfielder Paul Pogba, to start a power struggle he has ultimately lost.

Pogba sat on the bench for the full 90 minutes at Anfield on Sunday and has not started any of United’s past three league games.

The French World Cup winner was not alone. Mourinho was stinging in his public criticism of Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial among others.

The man who introduced himself to English football as the “Special One” and proved it by delivering Chelsea’s first league title for 50 years was now the surly one.

In a recurring theme from his third season at Real Madrid and the third season of his second spell at Chelsea, Mourinho’s message quickly fell on deaf ears.

Without his confidant and assistant for 17 years, Rui Faria, who left United in May, Mourinho became even more volatile.

The United board also seemed to lose faith just months after handing Mourinho a new contract until 2020 in January.

A number of signing targets earmarked by the manager to improve United’s central defence in the summer were apparently deemed no better than options already in the squad by the club’s hierarchy, led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Mourinho’s success has always been built on solid foundations. Having not conceded more than twice in one match for 22 months, United shipped three goals each time in defeats to Brighton, Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester City and Liverpool and have already conceded more league goals in the current campaign than in the whole of last season.

His cautious nature also clashed with the 20-time English champions’ tradition of attacking football.

Even more galling for United fans was to see fierce rivals City and Liverpool under Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp marrying success with entertaining football.

“The most important job of football is entertaining the people because it is only football and nothing else,” said Klopp earlier this season on his personal duel with Guardiola.

Mourinho has always been more pragmatic. But as his previous spells in Madrid and at Stamford Bridge show, when a results-driven manager starts losing, there is nothing left to save his job.

Ferguson Returns To Manchester United For First Time Since Brain Surgery

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson waves to the crowd as he arrives for the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on September 22, 2018. 
Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

 

Alex Ferguson made an emotional return to Manchester United on Saturday for the first time since the club’s legendary former manager had emergency brain surgery.

Ferguson, who managed United for 27 years, was left fighting for his life after being rushed to hospital in May.

But the 76-year-old Scot has made a good recovery and a picture of Ferguson arriving at Old Trafford ahead of United’s Premier League clash with Wolves was posted on United’s official Twitter account on Saturday.

The picture’s caption read: “Welcome back to Old Trafford, Sir Alex.”

Ferguson‘s return reached a crescendo when he arrived in the main stand six minutes before kick-off.

He received a thunderous 60-second standing ovation from both United and Wolves supporters.

Smiling broadly, Ferguson waved and applauded back at the fans, before clenching his fists in the salute that often passed as his goal celebration.

Ferguson, accompanied by his wife Cathy, took his seat in the United directors’ box as the applause continued.

Ferguson, speaking to MUTV, admitted it was a big moment to be back at the stadium where one of the stands is named after him in recognition of his incredible achievements with United.

“I’m really good. Obviously, it’s been a long journey and I’m gradually making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me, so, yeah, I’m really good,” he said.

“I’m a bit nervous, to be honest with you, maybe a bit tense really because I think my last game was Arsenal back in April. It was a long time but it’s great to be back and I just hope we get a win today.

“It’s great to go back to the stadium and it’s going to be quite emotional for me when the game starts, things like that. It had to happen some time and I’ve been looking forward to it. The important thing was getting the right time and the right rest before coming to a game.

“It’s bound to be emotional. Particularly when I take my seat in the box. That will be something, you know. I’ll be glad when it gets over and the game starts and I can enjoy it.”

 ‘Great to be back’ 

Asked about the messages of support he had received, Ferguson added: “It was unbelievable.

“There were thousands of cards, and they kept arriving at Salford Royal Hospital. I’d left by that time but they kept coming and kept coming. The number of emails, texts and personal cards to the house, it was just amazing. It really was.

“I’m overcome by it and overwhelmed by it.

“Some of the doctors are here (as special guests) who did the operation and I thought it was the right thing to do. It’s great to be back.”

Ferguson, who retired in 2013, won 38 trophies during a 26-year spell in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

Prior to that, he won 11 trophies with Aberdeen.

AFP

Alex Ferguson Thanks Medics For Life-Saving Surgery

Manchester United’s Scottish former manager Alex Ferguson                  PHOTO: PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

Former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, thanked medics for saving his life and said he felt humbled by the huge outpouring of sympathy in his first public comments since undergoing emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage in May.

The 76-year-old Scot, who won 38 trophies in 26 years in charge at United, praised medical staff in a video message released by the club.

Ferguson, who guided United to 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, remained in intensive care for several days following the emergency surgery.

“Hello. Just a quick message, first of all to thank the medical staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra hospitals,” said a healthy-looking Ferguson, whose speech appeared to have been affected a little.

“Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today. So thank you from me and my family, thank you very much.”

Ferguson, who stepped down after winning his 13th Premier League title in 2013, said both the care he received and the global reaction to his predicament had touched him deeply.

“It’s made me feel so humble, as have all the messages I’ve received from all over the world, wishing me the best,” he said.

“And the good wishes do resonate very, very strongly with me. So thank you for that support you’ve given me.”

Ferguson ended the message by saying he would be back at Old Trafford to watch United, now managed by Jose Mourinho.

“Lastly, I’ll be back later in the season to watch the team,” said Ferguson. “In the meantime, all the best to Jose and the players. Thank you very much.”

AFP

Ferguson’s Son Thanks Fans For Support

 

Manchester United’s Scottish former Manager, Alex Ferguson.                  PHOTO: PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

Alex Ferguson’s son Darren thanked football fans on Friday for the “overwhelming” support after the former Manchester United manager suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Ferguson senior, who won 38 trophies during a 26-year reign at Old Trafford underwent emergency surgery after falling ill last Saturday.

United announced on Wednesday that he was no longer in intensive care and was being treated as an inpatient.

Darren Ferguson, manager of third-tier Doncaster Rovers, missed his side’s final game of the League One season to be at his father’s bedside and thanked supporters of his club and the wider sporting world for their good wishes.

“On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank the huge number of people who have been kind enough to send messages of support during a difficult time,” he told the club’s official website.

“It has been overwhelming to read how many people care and that they are thinking of my dad and willing his recovery.”

He also thanked medical staff who had treated his father, adding: “We continue to request privacy during this vital period of recovery.”

AFP

Man Utd Confirm Alex Ferguson Out Of Intensive Care

Ferguson 'Showing Signs Of Recovery' After Haemorrhage
FILES) In this file photo taken on April 07, 2018 Manchester United’s former manager Alex Ferguson is seen in the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. 
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Manchester United confirmed on Wednesday that legendary former manager Alex Ferguson is out of intensive care following emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

Ferguson, 76, was admitted to Salford Royal Hospital for the procedure on Saturday after a fall at his home near Manchester.

“Sir Alex no longer needs intensive care and will continue rehabilitation as an inpatient,” United said in a statement.

“His family have been overwhelmed by the level of support and good wishes but continue to request privacy as this will be vital during this next stage of recovery.”

United’s statement was the first update on Ferguson’s condition provided by the club since saying the procedure on the haemorrhage on Saturday had gone “very well”.

Considered the most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson won 38 trophies in just over 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in 2013.

Earlier on Wednesday, current United manager Jose Mourinho said the club are “very positive” Ferguson would make a full recovery.

The esteem with which Ferguson is held around the world was reflected in an outpouring of well wishes, including from a number of United’s rivals and figures the Scot challenged for trophies during a glorious career.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described Ferguson as “absolutely the boss”.

“All the Manchester City fans in the stadium, you cannot find one person who does not wish the best for an amazing person,” said Pep Guardiola, manager of cross-city rivals Manchester City on the day City lifted the Premier League trophy.

“The whole football world is incredible but outside of that as well, from all corners of the globe and different walks of life, people have shown their support,” United club captain Michael Carrick told MUTV.

“That’s the effect he had on people. It was the effect he had on everyone. He means a lot to me, as he does to this club.”

Man Utd Confirm Alex Ferguson Out Of Intensive Care

In this file photo taken on March 10, 2016 Manchester United’s Scottish former manager Alex Ferguson reacts ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England.
PHOTO: PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United confirmed on Wednesday that legendary form manager Alex Ferguson is out of intensive care following emergency surgery on a brain haemorrhage.

Ferguson, 67, was admitted to Salford Royal Hospital for the procedure on Saturday after a fall at his home near Manchester.

“Sir Alex no longer needs intensive care and will continue rehabilitation as an inpatient,” United said in a statement.

“His family have been overwhelmed by the level of support and good wishes but continue to request privacy as this will be vital during this next stage of recovery.”

United’s statement was the first update on Ferguson’s condition provided by the club since saying the procedure on the haemorrhage on Saturday had gone “very well”.

Considered the most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson won 38 trophies in just over 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in 2013.

Ferguson also worked wonders at Aberdeen, winning the Cup Winners’ Cup and three Scottish league titles with the Dons, before arriving at Old Trafford in 1986.

Earlier on Wednesday, current United manager Jose Mourinho said the club are “very positive” Ferguson would make a full recovery.

The esteem with which Ferguson is held around the world was reflected in an outpouring of well wishes, including from a number of United’s rivals and figures the Scot challenged for trophies during a glorious career.

Ferguson famously described his mission upon joining United as knocking Liverpool “off their perch”.

He duly did so as United overtook Liverpool as the most successful side in English domestic football.

Nevertheless, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described Ferguson as “absolutely the boss”.

United have struggled to recreate the success produced by Ferguson in the five years since his departure.

Not only have the 20-time English champions failed to win the league since Ferguson’s retirement, but they have failed to once finish above big-spending local rivals Manchester City.

City lifted the Premier League trophy for a third time in seven seasons on Sunday.

But the respect held for Ferguson was even clear in City’s celebrations as fans held up a banner reading: “Football aside get well Fergie.”

“All the Manchester City fans in the stadium, you cannot find one person who does not wish the best for an amazing person,” City manager Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United club captain Michael Carrick, who Ferguson brought to the club from Tottenham in 2006, thanked the well-wishers from across the globe.

“The whole football world is incredible but outside of that as well, from all corners of the globe and different walks of life, people have shown their support,” Carrick told MUTV.

“That’s the effect he had on people. It was the effect he had on everyone. He means a lot to me, as he does to this club.”

AFP

Mourinho ‘Very Positive’ Of Ferguson’s Recovery

Manchester United’s Portuguese Manager Jose Mourinho.                           Credit: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho says Manchester United are “very positive” that former manager Alex Ferguson will recover from the brain haemorrhage that has left him in intensive care.

Ferguson, who won 38 trophies during an unrivalled 26-year reign at Old Trafford, needed emergency surgery last weekend after a fall at his home near Manchester.

It is understood that the surgery went well, with reports suggesting the Scot has been able to talk to family and friends, although there has been no official update on his condition.

United boss Mourinho declined to answer when asked on Wednesday if he had been to visit Ferguson, saying he wanted to respect the family’s wish for privacy.

However, he did say everyone at the club was optimistic that the United great would recover.

“We are confident,” said Mourinho. “The club is positive, very positive.”

Ferguson has received messages of support from around the world over the past few days, and Mourinho said that can only lift United as they prepare for Thursday’s Premier League trip to West Ham.

“I can only think that if there is any relation (to the club’s mood), it is a positive relation,” he said.

Mourinho said midfielder Michael Carrick will captain the side when he plays his final match against Watford on Sunday.

Carrick, signed by Ferguson from Tottenham in 2006, is retiring at the end of the season to join Mourinho’s coaching staff.

“He will start the last match, at Old Trafford,” said Mourinho. “For the last match of the Premier League season, as our captain in front of our fans, he will start the match against Watford.”

Mourinho said Carrick’s qualities were rare not only in football but also in wider society.

“The most important quality is to be a man, M-A-N, capitals, a proper man,” he said. “Football is not full of them — and not just football, society is not full of them, so when you find one of them you have to value them and you have to keep them.

“The club had him for a great many years playing football and now when his body says ‘enough’, the club and myself will want to keep the man.

“Of course, he has qualities that we believe can make him a good coach and there are many ways to do the bridge between player and coaching staff.”

Top-scorer Romelu Lukaku will miss the final two league matches of the season with the ankle injury he suffered against Arsenal on April 29 but could make the FA Cup final against Chelsea a week on Saturday.

Mourinho hopes midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who has a muscle injury, will be available for the Watford match but he will be absent at West Ham.

Alexis Sanchez, though, has recovered from a groin strain and Phil Jones has recovered from recent injury problems.

AFP

Ferguson ‘Showing Signs Of Recovery’ After Haemorrhage

Ferguson 'Showing Signs Of Recovery' After Haemorrhage
(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 07, 2018, Manchester United’s former manager Alex Ferguson is seen in the crowd during the football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was sitting up and talking to his family, reports said Tuesday, as he recovers from emergency surgery following a brain haemorrhage. 

The 76-year-old, who suffered the haemorrhage on Saturday, remains in intensive care and there has been no official update on his condition from the Premier League club.

But Britain’s Mail Online said the Scot, who retired in 2013, was out of a coma and showing promising early signs of recovery.

“Surgery went very well and the 76-year-old’s response to treatment has given encouragement and cautious optimism to those close to him,” the report said.

“However, they recognise it will still be a slow road to full recovery as he continues to be assessed.”

“The prognosis is good and his closest friends in football are being kept abreast of any developments,” a source told The Sun newspaper.

One of the greatest managers in football history, Ferguson won 38 trophies in more than 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice.

Support has flooded in from the football world and from those outside the game and United midfielder Michael Carrick said that the response shows the esteem in which his former boss is held.

“The whole football world is incredible but outside of that as well, from all corners of the globe and different walks of life, people have shown their support,” he told MUTV.

“That’s the effect he had on people. It was the effect he had on everyone. He means a lot to me, as he does to this club.

“We were all praying for him and thinking of him, Cathy and the family. It’s a tough time for everyone but I’m thinking positive and hoping he will pull through.”

– Giggs tribute –

Wales manager Ryan Giggs, who was part of all of Ferguson’s 13 Premier League title-winning teams after being given his debut as a 17-year-old in 1991, told the BBC: “I know the operation has been a success — but he is a fighter and that is what makes me think he will be able to make a recovery.

“Now is the time to pray and hope he can make a full recovery. He has been the biggest influence in my career, both on and off the pitch.”

Defender Phil Jones, one of a handful of players signed by Ferguson who is still at the club, added: “I know his character. I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully he’ll recover well.

“He has got all his family and friends around him, the support from all the players and staff at Man United and football around the world.”

United have thanked the many well-wishers, including Premier League managers Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who have spoke of their admiration for Ferguson.

Wenger enjoyed a long, and at times fractious rivalry with Ferguson as they battled for Premier League supremacy in the first decade of the Frenchman’s long reign in charge of Arsenal.

However, they later became friends and with Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, Ferguson presented his old adversary with a memento on his final visit to United’s Old Trafford ground just last weekend.

“I was with him on the pitch last week. I went to see him in the box after the game and he looked in perfect shape,” said Wenger, after his final home game as Arsenal boss on Sunday.

“He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him all well and to recover very quickly. He is a strong man and an optimistic man.”

AFP

Giggs Hopes Ferguson Fully Recovers Soon

Manchester United’s former manager Alex Ferguson is seen in the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Manchester United’s most decorated player Ryan Giggs is hopeful his legendary former manager Alex Ferguson will make a full recovery from emergency surgery on a brain haemorrhage.

Considered the most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson, 76, won 38 trophies in just over 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in 2013.

United have offered no update on Ferguson’s condition since saying a procedure on the haemorrhage on Saturday had gone “very well”, but that a period of intensive care is needed to optimise his recovery.

Wales manager Giggs was part of all 13 of Ferguson’s title-winning sides in a 24-year playing career at Old Trafford.

“Now is the time to pray and hope he can make a full recovery,” Giggs told BBC Wales.

“He has been the biggest influence in my career, both on and off the pitch.

“I know the operation has been a success – but he is a fighter and that is what makes me think that he will be able to make a recovery.”

United defender Phil Jones is also positive on Ferguson’s chances of making a full recovery, despite admitting to being “devastated” by the news of his ill health.

“(I am) just devastated, absolutely devastated,” said Jones, who was signed for United by Ferguson in 2011.

“He is such a legend in my eyes. He is the one who brought me to the club and gave me that opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He’s taken me under his wing like a father and it was shocking.”

“It’s sad, but I know his character. I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully, he’ll recover well.”

United midfielder Juan Mata admitted news of Ferguson’s condition had a “huge impact” on the current squad.

“This circumstance has had a huge impact on Manchester United, as you can imagine,” Mata wrote in his blog.

“All of us are united right now, wishing Sir Alex a speedy recovery. He has been a unique and fundamental figure in the football world over the last few decades.”

United thanked the many well-wishers, including the likes of rival managers Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who spoke of their admiration for Ferguson.

“As well as being uppermost in the thoughts of our own players, past and present, Sir Alex has been the subject of many warm and touching comments from other clubs, governing bodies and individuals in the beautiful game,” United said in a statement on Sunday.

‘Strongman’ 

Wenger enjoyed a long, and at times fractious rivalry with Ferguson as they battled for Premier League supremacy in the first decade of the Frenchman’s 22-year reign in charge of Arsenal.

However, they later became friends and with Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, Ferguson presented the his old adversary with a memento on his final visit to United’s Old Trafford ground just last weekend.

“I was with him on the pitch last week. I went to see him in the box after the game and he looked in perfect shape,” said Wenger, after his final home game as Arsenal boss.

“He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him all well and to recover very quickly. He is a strong man and an optimistic man.”

Sunday saw runaway winners Manchester City receive the Premier League trophy. But local rivalries were forgotten as a banner was held aloft by City fans reading: “Football aside get well Fergie” as supporters spilled onto the pitch at full-time of a scoreless draw with Huddersfield.

“All the Manchester City fans in the stadium, you cannot find one person who does not wish the best for an amazing person,” said City boss Guardiola.

Ferguson famously described his mission upon joining United from Aberdeen in 1986 as knocking Liverpool “off their perch”.

He duly did so as United overtook Liverpool as the most successful side in English domestic football.

“When I heard the news yesterday I really couldn’t believe this could happen. He is absolutely the boss,” said Liverpool manager Klopp after his side’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday. “I wish him the best.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte added: “I have had the chance to know him and his wife. I understand that this is a special person. Not a normal person.”

A brain haemorrhage is bleeding in or around the brain following the rupture of a blood vessel, which can be caused by elevated blood pressure, aneurysms or physical trauma.

Operations to relieve the pressure of excess blood in the brain, as has been the case with Ferguson, are crucial if sufferers are to avoid brain damage or even death.

Football Unites In Ferguson Support After Emergency Brain Surgery

A statue of legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson is pictured outside the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand at Old Trafford football stadium, Manchester on May 6, 2018. PHOTO: Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Messages of support poured in for Alex Ferguson after the legendary former Manchester United manager was left fighting for his life following emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

News of his operation was made public by his old club, with a United statement cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the 76-year-old, the most successful manager in British football history.

“Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain haemorrhage,” the statement said.

“The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.

“We will keep Sir Alex and his loved ones in our thoughts during this time, and we are united in our wish to see him make a comfortable, speedy recovery.”

An ambulance was called to the Scot’s home in Cheadle, near Manchester, in northwest England at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) on Saturday, reported the Daily Mail.

Concerns for Ferguson’s health started to mount when it was announced his son, Darren, the manager of English third-tier club Doncaster, would miss his side’s match against Wigan because of “family reasons”.

 ‘Keep fighting Boss’

“It is tragic. I am going to find out how he is as soon as I possibly can,” said Everton manager Sam Allardyce, a longstanding friend of Ferguson’s, after his side’s 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Southampton.

“Obviously I knew it was extremely serious when I knew his son Darren didn’t attend his own game,” the former England boss added. “I hope he has a full recovery.”

Southampton manager Mark Hughes, a United striker during Ferguson’s early years at Old Trafford, said: “I only just got a little whisper earlier on. I was hoping it wasn’t true. I wish him all the best.”

David Beckham was among several United players past and present who took to social media to offer their support to “the boss”.

On Instagram, with a picture of him as a youngster alongside Ferguson, Beckham wrote: “Keep fighting Boss.. Sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family x @manchesterunited.”

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, signed by Ferguson as an 18-year-old in 2003, tweeted a picture with his former mentor. “My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear friend. Be strong, Boss!” he said.

Former United and England captain Wayne Rooney said on Twitter: “Get well soon Boss. Thoughts with all the family at this sad time. #AlexFerguson.”

There was a heartfelt message from former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and his wife Annemarie, who herself recovered from a brain haemorrhage in 2009.

“Devastated about the news about Sir Alex and knowing all too well about the situation ourselves. Stay strong and hope together with everyone you recover. Edwin & Annemarie,” said the couple’s Twitter post.

Another former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel tweeted simply: “Please. Be strong. Win this one” interspersed with prayer emojis.

Midfielder Michael Carrick said he was “absolutely devastated”, adding, “All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Be strong Boss.”

Vincent Kompany, the captain of new English champions Manchester City, summed up hundreds of messages from rival clubs and from right across the football spectrum when he said: “Hang in there Sir Alex. Thoughts are with the family and close ones.”

Away from football, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, tweeted: “My thoughts are with Alex Ferguson and his family – wishing him a full and speedy recovery.”

Ferguson retired five years ago having won a 38 major trophies in just over 26 years in charge at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League twice.

He was at United’s home ground a week ago to present a commemorative vase to old rival Arsene Wenger, who is stepping down as Arsenal manager.

‘Watershed moment’

Ferguson had planned to retire at the end of the 2001/02 campaign but changed his mind after speaking to his wife Cathy and their family.

But the death of his wife’s twin sister in 2012 provided Ferguson with what he later wrote was a “watershed moment.

“I felt that, after all those years during which Cathy had put me first, it was time that I took care of her needs,” he explained.

Prior to arriving at Old Trafford, Ferguson, enjoyed success as manager of Aberdeen, interrupting Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers’ Old Firm dominance of Scottish football by winning three league championships, four domestic Cups and the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup in charge of the Dons.

It was a similar story at Old Trafford, where his United teams ended Liverpool’s dominance of the domestic game, with the highlight being the 1999 treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

AFP

Alex Ferguson Undergoes Brain Surgery – United

FILE PHOTO Manchester United’s former manager Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage, his former club Manchester United have announced May 5, 2018. Credit: Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Legendary former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, has undergone emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage, his old club announced Saturday.

“Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain haemorrhage,” said a United statement.

“The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.”

Ferguson’s son, Darren, the manager of English third-tier club Doncaster, missed his side’s League One match against Wigan on Saturday.

“Darren Ferguson will not be at Saturday’s game due to family reasons,” said a Doncaster statement before kick-off.

“Darren asks for privacy, and will provide an update through the club during the week.”

The 76-year-old Alex Ferguson retired as the most successful manager in British football when he called time on his Manchester United career five years ago.

He was back at Old Trafford last week to present a commemorative vase to old rival Arsene Wenger, who steps down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

His more than 26 years in charge at Old Trafford saw Ferguson guide United to 13 Premier League titles, with the Scottish manager also leading the Red Devils to two European Champions League triumphs.

In 2003, Ferguson, who made his name as a manager with Scottish club Aberdeen, was treated in hospital for a heart irregularity.

AFP

Wenger Is A Rival, Colleague And Friend – Ferguson

Wenger Is A Rival, Colleague And Friend – Ferguson
(L-R) Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger and Former Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson. Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP

 

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he is proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to Arsene Wenger.

The 76-year-old also paid a heartfelt tribute to Wenger, his longtime adversary at Arsenal whom he described as a ‘great man’.

He said this during an interview with ManUtd.com on Friday, hours after the 68-year-old Frenchman announced that he was stepping down at the end of the season, having managed the North London side for 22 years.

“I am really happy for Arsene Wenger. I have great respect for him and for the job he has done at Arsenal,” Ferguson said. “It is great testament to his talent, professionalism and determination that he has been able to dedicate 22 years of his life to a job that he loves.”

“In an era where football managers sometimes only last one or two seasons, it shows what an achievement it is to serve that length of time at a club the size of Arsenal,” he added.

The former Red Devils coach said he was pleased that Wenger made the announcement at this stage of the season, as he can now have the send-off that he truly deserves.

He noted further that the Arsenal boss is, without doubt, one of the greatest managers in the history of the English Premier League.

Ferguson and Wenger oversaw some titanic battles between 1996 and 2013, including one of the greatest games in FA Cup history – the 1999 semi-final replay at Villa Park.

United’s next outing at Old Trafford is against Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, April 29 – the 60th time Wenger will have faced the Reds, winning 18 games, drawing 15 and losing 26.