Famed for his ferocious temper, Sir Alex Ferguson never had an issue with voicing his opinion, especially when it was in defence of his players.
In an astonishing 27-year managerial stint at Manchester United, the Scotsman had the ability to strike fear into the hearts of even the most resilient media members. And one player in particular still remembers how his boss fought his corner.
Showcasing his natural talent at Lazio, Juan Sebastián Verón caught the eye of the legendary manager and quickly secured a move to Old Trafford in 2001.
Signing for a whopping £28.1 million, he became the most expensive player in Premier League history. However, despite finding the net frequently during the early portion of his spell at the club, his form slowly dwindled.
The midfielder excelled when he had time to make calculated decisions, but under the pressure of the ferocious pace of the English first division, he simply couldn’t perform to his optimum ability.
Despite showing promise in Champions League fixtures, Sir Alex eventually let him go, but the Argentinian doesn’t hold any grudges.
Speaking to Gambling Zone, he said: “Maybe I could have stayed for a bit longer. But I know it was a hard decision for Sir Alex to make because he had spent a lot of money to bring me there. No doubt, everyone expected more of me. But my struggles were not good for the team. However, I would have liked to have stayed for a couple of more years, but I completely understand the decision.”
Juan Sebastian Veron treasured every moment of training under Sir Alex Ferguson
While his time at the Theatre of Dreams didn’t go exactly how he’d have liked, the playmaker will never forget his time with the legendary manager.
He reminisced: “It was one of the best experiences of my life, for every single reason, not just for training reasons or coaching reasons. He has everything as a manager, and he is the reason why Manchester United were so brilliant.
“It is also the reason why the club has struggled so much since he left, because he left such a great legacy.”
But what he thanks the Glaswegian for more than anything else, is how he always had his back.
Sir Alex Ferguson tells the media to f*** off
The 2x Champions League winner always looked after his players; thus, when journalists started to question Veron’s abilities, the manager laid into them.
He shouted: “[Verón] is a f***ing great player. And you’re all f***ing idiots.”
And his old protegee will never forget how much that meant to him.
He said: “I was just very grateful for that; I always respected his defence of me. I know my English past isn’t so great – lots of ups and downs – I never had regularity in my football career over there.
“I don’t like this because in my seven years in Italy, I played a consistent level of football. In England, there were so many ups and downs, so I am forever grateful to Sir Alex for defending me from the media.”
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