Tuesday 28 January 2020

Capello: Ferguson retired because of stress of winning titles

Mark Ogden

Fabio Capello has hinted that the pressures of management prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to retire as Man­chester United manager by claiming that the stress of the job is a key factor in the 71-year-old’s decision.

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

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

“I called him [Ferguson] on Thursday 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 straightf­orward 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,” Ferguson said to Twentyfour7 Football magazine. “No one will ever replace him. It should be a good day for the family on Sunday, but he’s ready to go.

“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.”


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