Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous reign as Manchester United manager is still defined by the extraordinary number of silverwares he brought to Old Trafford, apart from the trophies, Fergie was also renowned for his memorable funny quotes.
Over the years, the assembling media persons; at least those who were allowed to attend his entertaining press conferences were treated to plenty of choice words from the legendary Scotsman, who rarely pulled his punches while commenting on any kind of subject.
Whether the subject was related to rival clubs or be it his managerial counterparts, Alex Ferguson could always be relied upon to grab all the attention and headlines.
On his birthday, let’s go through his top 20 memorable quotes.
“I remember the first time I saw him. He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind.” (commenting on Giggs)
“Football, bloody hell” (After United’s thrilling Champions League win over Bayern Munich in 1999)
“If he was an inch taller he’d be the best centre half in Britain. His father is 6ft 2in – I’d check the milkman.” (On Gary Neville)
“I’m no f….. talking to you. He’s a f…… great player. Yous are f…… idiots.” (On Veron)
“They say he’s an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages! I’ve got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages!” (commenting on his old rival Wenger)
“That lad must have been born offside.” (On Filippo Inzaghi)
“My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f…..g perch. And you can print that.” (On the 2002/03 Premier League title and his old rivals.
“It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!” (On the famous boot kick into Beckham’s face)
“When an Italian says it’s pasta I check under the sauce to make sure. They are innovators of the smokescreen.” (On Italians)
“He was certainly full of it, calling me “Boss” and “Big Man” when we had our post-match drink after the first leg. But it would help if his greetings were accompanied by a decent glass of wine. What he gave me was paint-stripper.” (Ferguson’s first impressions of his another rival Jose Mourinho)
“If Chelsea drop points, the cat’s out in the open. And you know what cats are like – sometimes they don’t come home.”
“I’m going to tell you the story about the geese which fly 5,000 miles from Canada to France. They fly in V-formation but the second ones don’t fly. They’re the subs for the first ones. And then the second ones take over – so it’s teamwork.” (on his theory regarding teamwork
“Can you f…ing believe him!?” (To assistant Steve McClaren after watching Peter Schmeichel going up for the first stoppage time corner in 1999 European Cup final against Bayern Munich)
“Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in the field.” (commenting on Rooney and his 2010 u-turn from leaving the club)
“I’m privileged to have followed Sir Matt because all you have to do is to try and maintain the standards that he set so many years ago.” (On Sir Matt Busby)
“It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt such an honour to be associated with such a player.” (on Roy Keane’s inspiring show in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League against Juventus)
“There has been a lot of expectation on Manchester City and with the spending they have done they have to win something. Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour and have to live with it. You can’t do anything about them…” (On neighbours Manchester City.
“Myths grow all the time. If I was to listen to the number of times I’ve thrown teacups then we’ve gone through some crockery in this place. It’s completely exaggerated, but I don’t like people arguing back with me.” (On the ‘hairdryer’ treatment)
“To not apologise for the behaviour of the players to another manager is unthinkable. It’s a disgrace, but I don’t expect Wenger to ever apologise…he’s that type of person.” (in 2005 he took a dig at Wenger again)
“The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn’t fit. He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous.” (On referee Alan Wiley)