He is widely regarded as the best and most successful coach in soccer history. Even those who are not familiar with the game will know his name – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex was a small time soccer player in the Scottish league, playing for Queen’s Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Rangers and Falkirk. He did not have a standout career, and he eventually got into coaching with St Mirren and Aberdeen, before taking up the job as national coach for Scotland for one year before assuming the head role at the English giants of Manchester United in 1986. He stayed there for an incredible 27 years, capturing the hearts and minds of soccer fans the world over.
This unlikely Scottish misfit had a shaky start and after his first season in charge when they finished in 11th place. Things improved though, especially when he put his foot down and stamped out the culture of drinking that was so prevalent at the club at the time. As players’ fitness improved, the results began to come as well and very quickly, The Red Devils became the team to beat. But form dipped over the next two seasons and United just escaped the drop, despite shelling out on players such as Gary Pallister, Neil, Webb and Paul Ince.
Things were soon to change. Shortly after, United went on a rampage that would see them win 13 League titles under Ferguson. He also oversaw the introduction of the young stars that included Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles and Lee Sharpe.
Ferguson also won 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions’ Leagues and a host of other trophies with Manchester United. He is now retired, but continues to advise the Manchester United Board. His record is, quite simply, phenomenal. Not only was he a superb tactician, he was also a leader of men.