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Capello claims stress of modern game real reason Ferguson quit

Mark Ogden

Published 11/05/2013 | 05:00

Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello

FABIO CAPELLO has hinted that the pressures of the job prompted Alex Ferguson to retire as Manchester United manager.

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Although Ferguson's son Darren has insisted that his father's retirement was purely down to him believing the time was right to leave Old Trafford, former England manager Capello revealed the Scot cited the strains of management when discussing his decision with the Russia coach last Thursday.

Ferguson will be afforded a guard of honour, to the tune of 'The Impossible Dream' by Andy Williams, when he walks out for the final time at Old Trafford prior to United's Premier League fixture against Swansea City tomorrow.

Having guided his team to their 20th league title this season – the Premier League trophy will be presented after the Swansea game – Capello claims Ferguson has chosen to end the stress in order to travel with his wife, Cathy.

"I called him and he told me he has decided to go now because there is too much stress nowadays," Capello said.

"Always having to win something is very challenging and he told me he wanted to go around the world with his wife.

"I met him a few months ago and he told me he would carry on, so the news of his retirement surprised me."

Ferguson, who has not spoken publicly since his retirement was announced on Wednesday morning, is expected to address the Old Trafford crowd after the Swansea game.

Although son Darren concedes that the fixture tomorrow will be emotionally charged for Ferguson, the former United midfielder and present Peterborough manager insists that the retirement decision is straight-forward and not related to health matters.

"It could be a bit emotional with it being his last game at Old Trafford and all the kids and everything there, but it should be a good day for the family," he said.

"There's nothing wrong with his health, contrary to what some people are saying. He's got to have a small hip operation, but it's no different to most 70-year-olds.

"He feels like he's going out at the right time, he's left the club in a fantastic position, very healthy." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Manchester United v Swansea,

Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, 4.0

Telegraph.co.uk

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