Sir Alex Ferguson with his Autobiography during the photocall at the Institute of Directors. Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Alex Ferguson's autobiography -- the best bits

The former Manchester United manager tells all on Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Roy Keane and ‘Pizzagate’.

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED manager Alex Ferguson launched his new autobiography on Tuesday, in which he looked back on his record-breaking 26-and-a-half-year tenure at Old Trafford.

Here, AFP Sports provides some of the most revealing extracts from the book, entitled ‘My Autobiography’, which goes on sale on Thursday.

On turning down the England manager’s job in 1999 and 2001:

“There was no way I could contemplate that. It wasn’t a bed of nails I was ever tempted to lie on.”

On David Beckham:

“David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, who made it his mission to be known outside the game.”

On his clash with Beckham following an FA Cup defeat by Arsenal in February 2003:

“David swore. I moved towards him, and as I approached I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye.”

On Wayne Rooney:

“I felt he struggled more and more to do it for 90 minutes, and he seemed to tire in games. He came into my office the day after we won the league (in 2013) and asked away. He wasn’t happy with being left out for some games and subbed in others.”

On a row with former captain Roy Keane after the Irishman criticised several of his team-mates in an interview with the club’s in-house television station, MUTV, that was never aired:

“It was frightening to watch. And I’m from Glasgow. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine.”

On discussing Keane’s outburst with his assistant, Carlos Queiroz:

“‘He needs to go, Carlos,’ I said. ‘One hundred percent,’ he said. ‘Get rid of him,’ I said.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo:

“Cristiano Ronaldo was the most gifted player I managed.”

On watching Ronaldo play for the first time:

“One night I was watching a movie, White Fang, the Jack London book about going down to Klondike in search of gold. That’s what it must be like for a scout. You’re standing watching a game on a Saturday morning and you see a George Best, a Ryan Giggs or a Bobby Charlton. That’s what I felt that day in Lisbon. A revelation. That was the biggest surge of excitement, of anticipation, I experienced in football management.”

On an incident with Ruud van Nistelrooy during the 2006 League Cup final:

“We were on cruise control against Wigan and I saw an opportunity to give (Patrice) Evra and (Nemanja) Vidic a taste of the game. They were my final substitutions. I turned to Ruud and said: ‘I’m going to give these lads a part of the game.’ They were going to get a touch, a smell of winning something with Manchester United. ‘You —-,’ said Van Nistelrooy. I’ll always remember that. Could not believe it … But that was the end of him.”

On Liverpool’s decision to wear T-shirts in support of striker Luis Suarez after he was accused of racially abusing United left-back Patrice Evra:

“Liverpool wore those T-shirts supporting Suarez, which was the most ridiculous thing for a club of Liverpool’s stature”.

On former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:

“Soon after Benitez arrived, I attended a Liverpool game and he and his wife invited me in for a drink. So far, so good. But our relationship frayed. The mistake he made was to turn our rivalry personal.”

On Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:

“He’s a likeable person when you get to know him, and he can laugh at himself, turn a joke back on himself. I don’t know whether (Arsene) Wenger or Benitez had that capacity.”

On former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini’s decision to forgive Carlos Tevez, the former United striker, for refusing to go on as a substitute in a Champions League game at Bayern Munich:

“Taking him back showed desperation. In terms of his prestige as a manager, he let himself down.”

On ‘Pizzagate’, the row at Old Trafford that followed a defeat by Arsenal in October 2004:

“They say it was Cesc Fabregas who threw the pizza at me but, to this day, I have no idea who the culprit was.”

15 of the best tweets as Alex Ferguson launches his book>

‘Roy overstepped the mark’ – Ferguson reveals all in new book>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.