“I only managed four world class players at United,” says Fergie

Manchester-United-Training-SessionSir Alex Ferguson said he only managed four world class players during his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, a statement which will undoubtedly upset some of his former players.

In his latest book, Leading, which is released on Tuesday, Fergie identifies the four players he considered to be best among those who wear a red shirt during his time at Old Trafford.

Ferguson singles out Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo as the four standout performers of his 26 years at the club.

“They made the difference and the evidence is there,” he told the BBC’s Football Focus.

“The younger breed like Ryan and Scholes were just fantastic players and the thing about those two was longevity.

“Are there players who have played right through the whole of the Premier League and performed at the level they have? There are none, absolutely none.

“Of course Ronaldo was just a complete genius of a player.”

Tellingly, while the former United manager conceded he had worked with other “great players”, there was no mention for the likes of Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham, Peter Schmeichel or Wayne Rooney.



  1. I think Fergie must have a pretty short memory. Apart from the aforementioned, Keane, Ferdinand, Beckham, Schmeichel and Rooney, what about Bryan Robson? What about Vidic, Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Kanchelskis, Pallister even? Maybe Strachan and McGrath too?

    It is perhaps not surprising that most of the ones he left out are players he ultimately fell out with! By his own admission rows with certain players was one of the reasons why he didn’t surpass his own incredible record – particularly in Europe

    I think he needs to answer one thing. If, what he maintains is correct, then why over a 27 period of managing a great club like United did he only have 4 so-called world class players? Maybe if he had managed to bring in more the club would have been a greater force in Europe particularly – two ECLs and a ECWC notwithstanding!

    • @Julian: I think you might have hit the nail on the head there. In Fergie’s eyes a world class player is only someone who doesn’t have a different opinion to him or will do as they are told. It’s a surprise he’s managed to find four players that are World class, then. I’m sure the likes of Maradonna and Cruyff would be no more than average on the Fergie scale.

    • @Julian: I think Sir Fergie has to avoid making such declarations which will only contribute to tear the Great Man United apart which however looks very fragile to me at the moment.

  2. Total Hogwash. United has had a lot of world class players in fergies time. I guess loyalty and world class have the same definition.

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