Sir Alex Ferguson was interviewed by Charlie Rose on Tuesday night on PBS. The famous American interviewer sat down with Ferguson for a candid, one-hour one-on-one interview.
While there are no plans by PBS to re-air the interview anytime soon, here’s the transcript of the interview in case you missed the show:
Thanks a million to Tom Clare of Red News for the transcript.
Alex Ferguson (AF): I never worried about teams who spend what they want to spend. It never bothered me. It never bothered me. At the moment we have a lot of Middle Eastern owners, we have American owners of course, Russian owners. It never bothered me one bit. All I was concerned about was that we at United maintained our level of expectation, be competitive, be at the top part of the League. We might not win it every year, but we’d always be up there competing for it every year. The only consideration I had was to make sure that we are there. You do things different ways. I’ve spoken about young players, and yes, that’s really important that part, but from time to time we have spent big money and brought in the player who could make a difference.
Charlie Rose (CR): Who is the best player that you ever saw?
AF: Och, I’m a Pele fan from way back when I was a kid, and then there was always this thing later about Pele and Maradonna. I was young and impressionable as a kid but it was always Pele for me. Today, I think that you have got to look at Messi and Ronaldo. They are unbelievable. The best today. They are fantastic – absolutely.
CR: The best have what it takes is that correct?
AF: The best have the courage and I say this all the time. The courage to take the ball all the time, the courage to make sure that they are not going to be intimidated by their opponents, and the courage to express themselves at all times and I think that all the great players have got that.
CR: Are they born with it?
AF: Possibly, yes. You can develop them through coaching, but I don’t think that you can ever develop the courage. I think that makes a big difference – you either have courage or you have not.
CR: In some ways it’s like a game of basketball, you always want the best players to have the ball in the last 15 seconds.