Sir Alex Ferguson’s most inspirational speeches as told by Man Utd legends

The person who many regard as the greatest football manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, has turned 79 today.

Over a 27-year spell with Manchester United, the legendary Scot won a remarkable 38 trophies, including a record 13 Premier League titles.

Add five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues and Sir Alex's impact on not only United, but on British football as a whole, is clear to see.

After arriving in 1986, Ferguson built a dynasty that has rarely been seen or replicated in any major sport.

As well as a trophy cabinet to rival any manager in history, he also played a major part in the development of some of the biggest stars in the modern game, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Paul Scholes all growing under his leadership.

United have failed to win a domestic title since his retirement in 2013, with his legacy still crystal clear at the club.

But not only was he a master tactician and transfer expert, he developed a reputation as one of the best man-managers in the history of the game.

Here's a list of some of his most memorable and inspiring speeches, as recalled by a select few of his most trusted players.

The emotional Ronaldo chat that made him’the best’

Before going on to become one of the greatest players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo was a developing winger under Sir Alex.

In 2005, aged just 20, Ronaldo was informed his father was very ill and he recalled a discussion with Ferguson which cemented his reputation as “the best coach” the Portuguese superstar has ever had.

Speaking to the Jonathan Ross Show in 2015, he said: "In terms of personal stuff I just have to say, 'Thank you for what you did for me.'

"Especially, I remember, the thing that is in my memory, the time my father was sick in hospital and we were in a tough moment in the season.

"We had important games in the Champions League and league, and I said 'Coach, I need to go and see my daddy'.

"And I was a key player, a very important player. And he said 'Listen your family is the most important thing you have in your life.

"If you want to go three days, four days, five days, you can go.'

"This moment is what I keep with me, because it was the most important moment of my life. He shared it with me and this is why I respect him.

"And for me he is the best coach I ever had."

2008 Champions League Final

One of Ferguson’s biggest regrets is that he only managed to take United to Europe’s pinnacle on two occasions.

The second of those came in 2008, when the Red Devils beat Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.

And Patrice Evra detailed the emotional speech that fired up his players to make history in rainy Russia.

"(He) gave the greatest speech ever," Evra said. "He didn’t talk football. He said: ‘Imagine Patrice with his 24 brothers and sisters. His parents have to feed them all on a bad street.’

"He talked about Rooney growing up in a tough part of Liverpool. Carlos Tevez coming from Argentina. He talked about difficulties for other players.

"He then said: ‘This is my victory. We have already won the Champions League. Enjoy the game.’ Even now I’m having goosebumps."

Quietening the ‘Noisy Neighbours’

Ferguson’s final challenge as United boss came when Manchester City, backed by their wealthy owners, rose to the top of English football.

After labelling them the ‘Noisy Neighbours’, under the guidance of Roberto Mancini, City pipped United to the title in 2012, with the most memorable finish of all time.

But following that heart-wrenching moment, Rafael recalled the rousing speech that helped them refocus, before ultimately winning the final title of his career in 2013.

"He was so inspiring. When we lost the title to City at Sunderland in 2012, I was 100 per cent convinced we would win it back the next season after everything he said in the dressing," Rafael said of Ferguson in an interview with The Athletic. "It was just an amazing speech.

"'You see this, you see what’s happened here today, you remember this feeling, you remember that in every moment of every game next season.'

“It worked.”

And his go-to team talk…

To win the amount of trophies and league titles under Sir Alex, it wasn’t all last minute winners and memorable moments.

On the whole, United dominated their opposition week in and week out, developing a fear factor that beat many teams before the game even kicked off.

And United’s record scorer, Wayne Rooney, who won five league titles with Ferguson, detailed the kind of speeches that happened in the corridors of Old Trafford on a weekly basis.

"He was incredible. It wasn't complicated,” he wrote in his Sunday Times column, earlier this year.

"The big thing was he had trust in people. He trusted his coaches to put sessions on, he trusted his players.

"People always ask how were his team talks – a lot of his team talks were just, 'You 11 are better than them. Go win the game’.”

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