The football world has hailed Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson following the news that he will retire at the end of the season.
The club announced on Wednesday that the Scot will bring his 27-year stint in charge to a close at the conclusion of the current Premier League campaign.
With the 71-year-old having won 38 trophies, the most recent being this season's Premier League crown, in his time at Old Trafford, news of his retirement has understandably attracted a host of tributes.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, who helped deny Ferguson and United the Premier League title in dramatic circumstances last season, wrote on Twitter: "Sir Alex, one of the best managers of all time. After 26 years of success in the game, we all owe him a tribute."
Ferguson has also received praise from UK prime minister David Cameron, who said: "Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement at #MUFC has been exceptional. Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team #AVFC (Aston Villa)"
Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes Ferguson will be "the toughest act to follow", while FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "Just heard Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring at end of season. His achievements in the game place him without doubt as one of the ‘greats’."
Michael Owen was brought to Old Trafford by Ferguson in 2009 to help United win the Premier League and FA Cup during his three seasons at the club.
And the 33-year-old believes his former manager's achievements are unrivalled, saying: "It's just not sinking in! Manchester United with no Sir Alex just doesn't feel right. What a man and great that it has ended on his terms.
"What a privilege to have played under arguably the best manager the world has ever seen. His record will surely never be eclipsed. Simply astonishing to read through his managerial record of achievements."
Another player who previously plied his trade under Ferguson, Paul Ince, has described him as a "demanding" but "fantastic" manager.
"I was one of the fortunate ones who spent six fantastic years at Manchester United. I remember the day I joined, I failed my medical and I thought my move was going to collapse," he said.
"He treated me like a son and I will never forget that moment. It was great to play under such a man; he was so demanding and his standards were so high.
"Yes, we had our ups and downs but so did most of the players during the 1992-93 season because we were winners, but as far as total respect is concerned, the man was immense and he got the best out of me as a player, that’s for sure."
United's joint chairman Joel Glazer, whose family gained control of the club in 2005, also acclaimed the only manager he has worked with at the club.
"Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is but he’s also a wonderful person," he told the club's official website. "His determination to succeed and dedication to the Club have been truly remarkable. I will always cherish the wonderful memories he has given us, like that magical night in Moscow."
And Celtic boss Neil Lennon added on Twitter: "The game just wont be the same without Sir Alex..what a contribution he has made to the game..doubt anyone will ever replicate it."
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