Manchester United will never be the same without him. This is the beginning of the end of an era. He is arguably the best manager we have had. The only worry for me is that he is irreplaceable. To remember him I will talk about the best eleven he produced and the best eleven he signed. To produce a player, the player has to be homegrown.
David De Gea; Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Denis Irwin; David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs; Danny Wellbeck, Giuseppe Rossi.
Peter Schmeichel; Denis Irwin; Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, Patrice Evra; Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane, Micheal Carrick, Wayne Rooney; Eric Cantona, Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
On Ryan Giggs
I remember the first time I saw him. He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind.
On Gary Neville
If he was an inch taller he’d be the best centre-half in Britain. His father is 6ft 2in – I’d check the milkman.
On Paul Ince
I used to have a saying that when a player is at his peak, he feels as though he can climb Everest in his slippers. That’s what he was like.
When an Italian tells me it’s pasta on the plate I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen.
On the 1999 Champions League triumph
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Football. Bloody hell.
On media criticism of Juan Sebastián Verón
On you go. I’m no fucking talking to you. He’s a fucking great player. Yous are fucking idiots.
My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their fucking perch. And you can print that.
On the 2003 title race
It’s getting tickly now – squeaky-bum time, I call it.
On kicking a boot into David Beckham’s face in 2003
It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!
On Filippo Inzaghi
That lad must have been born offside.
On Arsène Wenger
They say he’s an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages. I’ve got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages!
On his former charges as managers
It can be difficult to pinpoint who would make it as a manager. For instance, nobody here thought Mark Hughes would become a manager, never in a million years, and we all thought Bryan Robson was a certainty to be a top manager.
On the referee Alan Wiley
The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn’t fit. He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous.
On José Mourinho
He was certainly full of it, calling me boss and big man when we had our post-match drink after the first leg. But it would help if his greetings were accompanied by a decent glass of wine. What he gave me was paint-stripper.
On Rafael Benítez, reacting to the Spaniard’s infamous ‘facts’ press conference
I think he was an angry man. He must have been disturbed for some reason. I think you have got to cut through the venom of it and hopefully he’ll reflect and understand what he said was absolutely ridiculous.
On whether Liverpool would win the title in 2007
You must be joking. Do I look as if I’m a masochist ready to cut myself? How does relegation sound instead?
On Old Trafford
The crowd were dead. It was like a funeral out there.
On Manchester City’s Carlos Tévez poster
It’s City, isn’t it? They are a small club, with a small mentality. All they can talk about is Manchester United, that’s all they’ve done and they can’t get away from it.
On City again
Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that. They will always be noisy. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder.
On Wayne Rooney’s transfer request
Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in your own field. It’s a fact. Right? And it never really works out that way .
On Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid
Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob? Absolutely no chance. I would not sell them a virus. That is a ‘No’ by the way. There is no agreement whatsoever between the clubs.
On Manchester United’s 19th league title
It’s not so much passing Liverpool. It’s more important that United are the best team in the country in terms of winning titles.
And on their 20th
Look at me – it’s taken 10 years off me today. It’s these tablets, they’re great!