ESL would have killed every team's dream to succeed, says Sir Alex Ferguson

ESL would have killed every team's dream to succeed, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has criticised the failed European Super League project, saying that ‘every team should have their dream’ to succeed at the highest level.

The unsuccessful plans would have created a closed shop at the top of European football, with only five ‘outsiders’ able to qualify for the breakaway competition alongside 15 permanent members.

Ferguson’s former club Manchester United were among the leading players backing the proposals, but he told BBC Sport: ‘As a player I played in European football for Rangers and Dunfermline. And then as a manager I took a provincial club, Aberdeen, and beat Real Madrid in the (1983 Cup Winners’ Cup) final in Gothenburg.

‘That is a provincial club fulfilling their dream. Every club should have that dream to achieve what Aberdeen did.

‘You cannot ever forget that the real reason for football was that the smallest guy can climb to the top of Everest, and that’s the best way I can put that. We can’t do without that, really.’

The Scot, 79, will premiere a film about his life this month, three years on from a brain haemorrhage that left him in intensive care.

Ferguson revealed he was ‘terrified’ after losing his memory for 10 days following the incident.

‘I always depended on my memory,’ he said. ‘And then my two grandsons were in with me, and all of a sudden I stopped talking — I just couldn’t get a word out.

'At that moment I was a bit terrified. I’m starting to think, “What are we going to do now? You can’t talk, has my memory gone?”

‘Then the speech therapist started, she was fantastic, got me to write all the names of my family, all the names of my players — and then about 10 days later it came back.’

Asked how it has changed him, he said: ‘Probably not taking things too seriously in terms of knowing that you’re vulnerable – if I go tomorrow I’ll be grateful for the three extra years I had.’

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