London (AFP) – Manchester United thanked well wishers from around the football world for showing their support for legendary former manager Alex Ferguson following emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.
Considered the most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson, 76, won 38 major trophies in just over 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in 2013.
United have offered no update no Ferguson’s condition since saying a procedure on the haemorrhage on Saturday had gone “very well” but that a period of intensive care is needed to optimise his recovery.
However, United thanked the many well wishers, including from the likes of rival managers Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who spoke of their admiration for Ferguson.
“Manchester United would like to thank its friends in the wider football world for the countless messages of support that have been conveyed following the news that Sir Alex Ferguson underwent emergency surgery on Saturday evening,” United said in a statement on Sunday.
“As well as being uppermost in the thoughts of our own players, past and present, Sir Alex has been the subject of many warm and touching comments from other clubs, governing bodies and individuals in the beautiful game.”
Wenger and Ferguson battled for supremacy in the Premier League during the Frenchman’s first decade of a 22-year stay at Arsenal, which will come to a close at the end of the season.
However, they later became friends and Ferguson presented Wenger with a momento on his final visit to United’s Old Trafford ground as Arsenal manager just last weekend.
“I was with him on the pitch last week. I went to see him in the box after the game and he looked in a perfect shape,” said Wenger, after his final home game as Arsenal boss at the Emirates.
“He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him all well and to recover very quickly. He is a strong man and an optimistic man.”
Sunday saw runaway winners Manchester City, United’s local rivals, receive the Premier League trophy as Guardiola added an English title to the Spanish and German ones he won in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.
“All the Manchester City fans in the stadium, you cannot find one person who does not wish the best for an amazing person,” said Guardiola.