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Sir Alex Ferguson contemplates retirement

982   //    24 Nov 2012, 17:14 IST

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 07: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on before the Barclays Premier league game between Newcastle United and Manchester United at Sports Direct Arena on October 7, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

According to British newspaper The Express, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested he could retire from football as early as next year.

The Scot recently completed 26 years at Old Trafford and a galaxy of stars, both past and current, assembled along with their families to witness the unveiling of a nine-foot cast bronze statue of Ferguson outside the stand that was christened in his honour at the Theatre of Dreams last year.

Ferguson, who was present with his family, said:

“I’ve had 26 years at the club so far. And when the time comes and I decide to hang up my boots at – who knows? – maybe 27 years, I think it will be a testimony to the work I’ve done at the club. And that’s fantastic respect to be paid.

The man who has helped the Club to 19 League titles amidst a plethora of other trophies will turn 71 in December, but seems to show no signs of slowing down whatsoever. In context to the unveiling of his statue, he said:

“This is an honour and I’m so proud of it. I was quite startled, to be honest.

You feel a bit vain when you realise you are looking at yourself, but it’s a fantastic piece of work. The difference is it’s happened when I’m still the manager, so it makes it more difficult.

“My wife found it hard to understand. Normally these things are done after you’ve passed away or you’ve left the club. I have had an incredible journey at this club and I’ve had so many great players. They should build this statue for them all, because they’ve been absolutely marvellous.

“From 1986 to today, the players have given us enormous pleasure. Everyone has had a part to play, from the players to the coaching staff and the fans.”

Sir Alex Ferguson came to Old Trafford in 1986, and is the most successful Premier League manager to date, winning its inaugural edition in 1992. He has also won two Champions League trophies with the Club.

Should Sir Alex retire, there will be few managers who will be of the calibre to fill his shoes. Names such as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have been linked to Manchester United, but there will be little headway until a suitable replacement is actually found.

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