Spicy quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography

Published: 22 October, 2013 22:24 IST | Agencies |

According to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson neither Frank Lampard nor Steven Gerrard are elite international footballers. Here's more controversial tidbits from his autobiography �

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 are some of the most revealing extracts from the book, entitled 'My Autobiography', which goes on sale on Thursday.

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

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

Ferguson, Roy Keane
Then Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (L) and captain Roy Keene hold the Premiership Cup on May 5, 2001, after winning the league title for the 14th time after their Premiership match against Derby County at Old Trafford. Pic/AFP 

"It was frightening to watch. And I'm from Glasgow. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine. He can debilitate the most confident person in the world in seconds with that tongue."

"'He needs to go, Carlos,' I said. 'One hundred percent,' he said. 'Get rid of him,' I said."

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

"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."

"Torres was blessed with great cunning: a shrewdness that was borderline Machiavellian. He had a touch of evil, though not in the physical sense."

"I am one of the few who felt Gerrard was not a top player."

"A terrible professional ... we played down at Wimbledon in February (2000), and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu, eating like a horse."

"I didn't think of him as an elite international footballer."

""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... I had success on my side."

"I would sit in my office in the afternoon, with my work complete, wanting company."

"In modern football, celebrity status overrides the manager's power. In my day you wouldn't whisper a word about your manager. You would fear certain death. In my later years, I would hear constantly about players using their power against managers, and the player receiving the support of the public and even the club."

"Do you know the difference between the English and Italians? In England they don't think a game can ever be corrupt. In Italy they don't think a game cannot be corrupt."

"Cristiano Ronaldo was the most gifted player I managed."

"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."

"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."

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

"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."

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

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

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