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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ethical practice award for United boss. #mufc

 Sir Alex Ferguson has become a recipient of the renowned 'Tor Vergata Ethics In Sport Award' from the Tor Vergata University, in Rome, Italy. The Scotland born and bred football manager was praised for the way he handled the humbling 19th Barclays Premier League title win and being gracious in defeat to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Final. The gaffer gave a speech to students upon accepting the prestigious gift. 

Ferguson is closing in on his 25th year at Manchester United, having 37 competitive trophies to his name and even more with previous Scottish clubs St. Mirren and Aberdeen. In total, he has won 48 titles as a footie boss. In his playing career, he featured for Queen's Park, St. Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United, before starting his management spell in charge of East Stirlingshire, and later coaching the Scotland national team. 

He has presided over more than 2,000 matches as a manager, the majority of them (1,400) with United. He still looks as hungry as ever, and recently recieved the Barclays Manager Of The Month award for August. Sir Alex gratefully accepted the 'Ethics In Sport Award' from the Tor Vergata college in Rome, and spoke of his personal experience as manager of one of the greatest football clubs of all time.

Italian players' association president Damiano Tommasi - former Roma midfielder - presented Mr. Ferguson with the accolade which he previously benefited from. Former winners of the gong include current UEFA President Michel Platini, former Roma President Franco Sensi, football manager Zdenek Zeman, and cross-country skier Stefania Belmondo. Fergie stands out as one of the only holders outside of Italy to be awarded the prize.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already seen off a few pretenders to his Manchester United throne - and he intends to repel a few more even though he will celebrate his 70th birthday later this year.  It will be 25 years since Ferguson was appointed United manager on November 6. It is also nearly a decade since he performed an abrupt U-turn on his retirement plans.

What has followed, in addition to five more Premier League titles and another Champions League triumph, has been a guessing game about when Ferguson will eventually call it a day.

With that, comes the topic of his successor.   At various times, Bryan Robson, Steve McClaren, Mark Hughes, Martin O'Neill and a host of top continental bosses have been linked with the job.  Current favourite to replace Ferguson is Jose Mourinho, although a mounting disciplinary crime sheet at Real Madrid is not helping his cause.  Yet, speaking to the Italian media at an awards ceremony at University of Rome Tor Vergata, Ferguson confirmed he is going nowhere.

"Over the years I've had the question who do I think could replace me? Now in those years, some of the coaches they were talking about to replace me don't have jobs any more.

"So it becomes very difficult because someone who I think has potential may be sacked by his club and disappear.

 "I think you would need someone very experienced in the long term. But I have absolutely no idea... first of all, I'm not retiring."

With Arsene Wenger's crown slipping badly in recent times, Ferguson is unquestionably the most powerful manager in England. At United, his authority over team matters is absolute. It is impossible to imagine any player being bought or sold without his agreement, although he does not always get his man.  

"There's only one certainty: I will always be in charge.
"I wanted Maldini. I asked his dad Cesare about Paolo and he told me I was crazy."

Nobody told Ferguson he was crazy for trying to sign Wesley Sneijder in the summer and for a long time, even the Dutchman thought he would end up at Old Trafford.

Eventually, Ferguson decided the sums did not add up given he was not the like-for-like replacement for Paul Scholes he had been after."Sneijder is not the ideal replacement for Scholes," he said.

"He's a fantastic player but he was not who we were looking for to replace Scholes. Only Xavi and Iniesta are comparable to Scholes."
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