Alex Ferguson names only time he has missed management since Manchester United retirement

Alex Ferguson has longed for a return to management just once since retirement (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson says he has missed football management just once since retirement, and it came after a special moment at a Champions League final.

The Scot retired as Manchester United manager in 2013 and just one year later he was missing the buzz of the big games when he went to watch Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.

It was not a Manchester United match which made Ferguson miss his old job, but it was thanks to going to see his old Red Devils player Cristiano Ronaldo after the game which provided a special moment.

‘I took [wife] Cathy to the European final when Real played Atletico in Lisbon and that was the first time I said to myself, “God, I miss this,”‘ Ferguson told the Manchester United podcast.

‘I went down to see Ronaldo after the game, Carlo Ancelotti was the manager, a fantastic guy, he saw me in the corridor and said, “Cristiano is going to get tested so come in.”

‘The other players came to shake my hand, it was really nice moment. That’s probably the only time I’ve said to myself, “I miss this” a big game like that.’

Speaking of Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, Ferguson likened the Portuguese superstar to Roman Emperor Julius Caeser, while remembering his remarkable development under his management at Old Trafford.

‘It’s fantastic,’ he said. ‘You saw on that Saturday [against Newcastle] that it was like Caesar entering Rome after victory. I came, I saw, I conquered. It was fantastic.

Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo have had a fantastic relationship for years (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I mean, for anyone who is a United fan, we could have had a million people in there, without doubt, as there were so many outside, hundreds outside. It’s one of these things. When he was here as a kid, his learning process was very, very quick.

‘A lot of people said he was a diver and there was a little spell of that but, after that, he was attacking defenders and all he needed was a nudge and he would waltz by them. He would attack with unbelievable speed. I think the increasing knowledge of his game – I think he was born with a desire.’

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