CBC Sports Online's soccer expert, John Molinaro, takes you inside the world of soccer and offers his insights about the action on the pitch and in the front office.
The fire still burns inside Sir Alex Ferguson
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 | 02:28 PM ET
Age has not mellowed Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson caused quite the uproar after Reading fans complained he made offensive hand gestures during last Saturday's game at the Madejski Stadium.
It was claimed the Manchester United manager was responding to taunts by the home fans, but he insisted he was celebrating his side's 2-0 win which kept the Red Devils at the top of the Premier League.
Even at 66 years of age, the competitive fires still burn deep inside Ferguson.
Amazingly, even after everything he's accomplished in his career, the Scottish manager is still focused on one thing, and one thing only: winning.
Man U has won a staggering 19 major trophies during Ferguson's 21-year tenure in charge of the club and the Scot, who could be described as anything but complacent, seems intent on adding to that total.
And that has been the secret United's success over the years: its insatiable thirst for more glory and trophies.
Ferguson deserves the credit for instilling United with this winning attitude.
In total, between United and Scottish club Aberdeen, he has won a British record 29 trophies during his career. That's more hardware than the likes of legends Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Sir Matt Busby, and Brian Clough, four of the most revered managers in the history of British soccer.
Shankly is often referred to as the greatest British manager of all-time - and anyone who famously said "football is more important than life and death" is okay in my books - but it's hard to argue overlook Ferguson.
Critics will say Fergie has spent his way to success, but that's unfair. Yes, he's spent a lot of money on imports over the past two decades, but he's cultivated a wealth of talent from United's youth ranks, most notably Ryan Giggs.
Ferguson has also demonstrated a sharp eye for talent, signing temperamental Frenchman Eric Cantona (from Leeds), who many critics were writing off, and a young Portuguese winger by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo who not too many people even heard of six years ago.
Both players, of course, went on to establish themselves as towering figures at Old Trafford.
Ferguson gets the best out of his players and that's why United has been so successful - even after all of the years.
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About the Author
John F. Molinaro is a reporter for CBC Sport Online whose chief love is international soccer. John served as senior editor of Sports Online's Euro 2004 website, which helped him win a CBC.ca Award of Excellence, and was the driving force behind our coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He holds an honours BA in sociology from York University and a print journalism diploma from Sheridan College, and is also the author of The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time (Stewart House, 2002).
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