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    • FERGUSON AND VIDIC WIN TOP AWARDS

       
      THE No 1 .. Alex Ferguson shows off his Barclays Manager of the Season award yesterday

      Ferguson and Vidic - top honours.
       
       
       

      Manchester United have claimed an awards double with Sir Alex Ferguson and Nemanja Vidic landing the Barclays Manager and Player of the Season honours.

      Ferguson has led United to their 12th Premier League title, and 19th English league success overall, plus the Champions League final.

      Centre-back Vidic has been the key cog in United's defence and has made more league starts than any other Red Devils player during the campaign.

      Ferguson, 69, lands the top manager award from the Premier League sponsors for a ninth time, while 29-year-old Vidic has now been named Barclays' player of the season twice in his United career, with votes coming from representatives of football's governing bodies, the media and supporters.

       

       

       

      Another title for Sir Alex Ferguson as LMA names him manager of the year

      • Manchester United manager honoured by colleagues
      • Norwich's Paul Lambert wins Championship award

      Sir Alex Ferguson 

      The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, holds the Premier League trophy after his side beat Blackpool on Sunday. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images

       
       
       
       
       

      Sir Alex Ferguson was tonight named Manager of the Year by his fellow league managers and used the occasion to offer his support to Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by Chelsea within an hour of the season's end for coming second.

      Ferguson was also named the Premier League manager of the year following Manchester United's title triumph and picked up a special merit award for having passed 2,000 matches as manager.

      Speaking at the League Managers' Association awards dinner in London via video link from Old Trafford, Ferguson said: "It's a wonderful honour. It has been a fantastic season for us in the most difficult league in the world."

      Ancelotti, sacked by Chelsea on Sunday, attended the dinner and Ferguson said to him: "Carlo, you are a fantastic man and you have showed great courage in coming to the dinner tonight, well done."

       

       

       

       

    •  

       

      Giggs and Beckham take centre stage at Neville's Manchester United bow

       

       

       

       

      The class of 1992: Alongside current United players Giggs (second left) and Paul Scholes (right), Sir Alex Ferguson is reacquainted with Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Phill Neville

       

       

      Guess who from the Class of 92: Manchester United's famous youth side (left to right) Gary Neville, Ben Thornley, Steven Riley, Chris Casper, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Robbie Savage, Eric Harrison (coach), Richard Irving, Paul Scholes, Mark Rawlinson, John O'Kane, Jovan Kirovski, Keith Gillespie, David Pierce

       

       

       

      Amid that maelstrom, Giggs probably found the football pitch a place of peace.

      It certainly appeared so as he drove the low cross into Wayne Rooney's path that put United ahead in Neville's testimonial against Juventus.

      Rooney had been a surprise inclusion and the striker lasted half an hour before he was replaced, along with Giggs and Paul Scholes.

      The latter duo are members of the famed 'Class of 92', of which Neville was also an integral part.
      .
      With Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and David Beckham also reporting for duty, the sextet boasted an impressive 3,323 United appearances between them.
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      For Beckham in particular, it was an emotional night as he pulled on the famous red jersey for the first time since he left for Real Madrid in 2003.
      .
      The reception Beckham received was, if anything, more enthusiastic than the one afforded to Neville.

       

       

      Surprise outing: Wayne Rooney latched on to Giggs's cross to open the scoring

      Surprise outing: Wayne Rooney latched on to Giggs's cross to open the scoring

       

      Trademark: David Beckham fires in a free-kick

      Trademark: David Beckham fires in a free-kick

      British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a young fan
       
       
      British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a young fan

      British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a mischievous young fan

       

      DAVID BECKHAM is not known for his tough tackling but he was on top form at Old Trafford last night.

      Becks was about to take a corner during Gary Neville's testimonial when a pitch invader ran on to the playing surface chased by several stewards.

      The young fan doubled back towards Becks, who jokingly put his arms out to hug him.



      SUPPORT ... Becks grabs fan
      SUPPORT ... Becks grabs fan

       

       

       

      At times, it was like the years being rolled back as the pair combined down the right flank, as they did so often for the Red Devils in their prime.

      Michael Owen, who played so often alongside Neville and Beckham for England, nodded one of the full-back's trademark crosses over.

      Owen also blazed over from a Bebe cross not long after Simone Pepe had equalised for Juve.

      Anderson and Rafael were introduced after the break, when Beckham curled a trademark free-kick narrowly over from the edge of the area. 

      Neville's night ended after 83 minutes, the former England full-back leaving the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.

      By that time, Manuel Giandonato had curled home a superb winner for Juventus.

       

       

      Faithful servant: Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils sicne his debut in 1992

      Faithful servant: Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils sicne his debut in 1992

       

      It's just like the old times: Neville and Beckham combined on the right flank
       
       
      Mazy run: Giggs

      It's just like the old times: Neville and Beckham combined on the right flank, while Giggs (right) embarks on a mazy run

       

      Once a Red: Gary Neville applauds the Old Trafford faithful

      Once a Red: Gary Neville applauds the Old Trafford faithful

       

      IT'S CHILD'S PLAY ... Nev and family
      IT'S CHILD'S PLAY ... Nev and family
      Edited by zocoss 25 May `11, 12:21PM
    •  

       

       

      Manchester United are £478m in debt but can still afford to let Sir Alex Ferguson spend, spend, spend this summer

       

       

      Ashley Young

      Wing man: Aston Villa's Ashley Young could be the successor to Ryan Giggs

       

       

       

       

      When the Glazer family took control at Manchester United in 2005, they did so against a backdrop of protest and cynicism. Perceived as know-nothing foreign owners with their eyes purely on profits and not on the ball, it was feared that they would burden the club with debt - and maybe even destroy it.

      Six years later and some of the fears have been realised. Latest figures show that United have debts of £478million on their books, while a further £369m has been spent in that period on loan interest and fees - from the club's coffers. That interest, supporters argue, should have been spent on players.

      Marshalled by the 'Green and Gold' campaign, fans have protested about steep hikes in ticket prices, about the Glazer-imposed scheme that initially made the purchasing of all cup tickets mandatory for season-ticket holders, and about the treatment of some supporters who have persisted in protesting.

      All these ingredients - debt, ticket prices, the remoteness of the owners and a perception that they do not care about 'ordinary' fans - have led to a heady cocktail of animosity towards the Americans.

      United's commercial income has accelerated since the Glazers arrived and sought partners from Singha Beer to Turkish Airlines, Smirnoff to Epson, DHL and numerous telecommunications firms.

      Collectively, they paid £40m in 2010-11 (above and beyond 'toprank' cash from Aon and Nike) to be associated with the club, and spent another £80m on marketing campaigns to promote their associations.

      Yet United took on Barcelona as they contested their third Champions League final in four years. They have won the Premier League title in four of the past five seasons and the League Cup three times since the Glazers arrived.

      And for all the talk about steep prices, Old Trafford has been packed at more than 99 per cent capacity for years, with average gates of more than 75,000 people per game - or 15,000 higher than their next closest challengers, Arsenal.

      It might also come as a surprise to some that for all their debt, United have cash in the bank. A lot of cash. This summer their bank balance will reach an all-time peak of about £170m, and that money might bankroll the biggest summer spending spree United have ever had.

      In some part, this is down to the biggest growth area in United's business activities; not selling tickets or the income from TV rights, but commercial deals with dozens of companies who pay top dollar to be associated with the club.

      UNITED are also to open talks with Nike over a world record new kit deal worth an astonishing £400million.In another few years, United will likely have an official cola partner (Coke or Pepsi), energy partner, an electronics partner and fridge partner, you name it.

      The US sportswear giants pay £23.5m-a-year to supply the Premier League champions and their current 10-year agreement expires in 2015.

      Nike replaced Umbro in 2002 and United have received £303m over the course of the tie-up. But Florida-based owners the Glazers have seen the deal dwarfed in recent months and want to ensure their club are the top earners again.

      A United insider said: "The club have made big efforts on the commercial side over the last 12 months but the kit deal is the real big one.

      "The Glazer family are well aware what United's brand is currently worth. "It's not gone unnoticed that kit deals have been taken to another level since the club entered into our original agreement." 

      Nike recently signed a £38m-a-year deal with the French national team to cover the next seven years, while Barcelona also rake in £26m annually.
      .

      United, whose global stars like Ji-Sung Park and Javier Hernandez help to sell millions of shirts worldwide every year, are well aware they remain the flagship sports franchise for Nike.

      Sport of the World understands the club are "delighted" with their on-going relationship with the firm and hope to have something new in place by the middle of next year. But the Glazers remain focused on paying off debt and could yet be attracted by rival interest should Nike not deliver.

      It is believed a new benchmark figure will be closer to £40m a year and rising over the course of a new decade-long deal.  

      Their marketing experts are also working on ways to 'monetise' their online fanbase, including 14m-plus 'followers' on Twitter, and how to make more on match day, perhaps via packages for the 'uber-rich' involving helicopter to the ground, limo transfer across the car park, private lift to a suite and Michelin dining during the match.

      More immediately, Sir Alex will be pondering how to spend money, and the Glazers wondering what to do with what is left over, including clearing some of that debt.

       

      Edited by zocoss 09 Jul `11, 12:59AM
    • Gold Trafford

      UNITED are the most valuable sports team in the world
      JACKPOT ... Alex Ferguson's United side are world's most valuable sports team
      JACKPOT ... Alex Ferguson's United side are world's most valuable sports team

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      MANCHESTER UNITED have been named the most valuable sports team in the world.
      .

      The Red Devils are worth a mind-boggling £1.165BILLION - eclipsing giant American franchises like the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees.

      The assessment of United's worth takes in the value of the team, stadium, income and sponsorship deals it attracts.

      It is good news for the Glazer family, who bought the club for £790m in 2005. However, they also plunged it into debt and United are still in the red to the tune of around £478million.

      United's advertising revenue had a big impact on their position - with the £80m, four-year shirt sponsorship deal they signed with Aon and £300m 13-year tie-up with Nike major factors.

      Real Madrid were the second-highest place football club on the list, finishing in fifth place and valued at £900m.

      And there was good news for Arsenal fans, with their team coming seventh with a value of £740m.

      Roman Abramovich's Chelsea could only muster 46th in the table while other soccer teams making up the top 50 included Bayern Munich (19th), AC Milan (34th) and Juventus (49th).

      Meanwhile Barcelona — widely reguarded as the best club side around — came only 26th in the rankings.

      The Catalan club is said to be worth £606million.

       

       

      Top 10 most valuable sports teams

       

      1. Manchester United £1.165billion  (US$1.86 billion)

       

      2. Dallas Cowboys £1.13bn

       

      3. New York Yankees £1.06bn

       

      4. Washington Redskins £960million

       

      5. Real Madrid £900m

       

      6. New England Patriots £850m

       

      7. Arsenal £740m

       

      8. New York Giants £734m

       

      9. Houstan Texans £727m

       

      10. New York Jets £708m

    •  

      Manchester United fans unveil '19 times' banner at Anfield

      • Red Issue fanzine organises stunt before Liverpool v Spurs
      • Getaway car was waiting outside the ground

      Manchester United fans

      Manchester United fans unveil their banner in the Anfield Road End on Sunday. Photograph: David Buxton

       

       

       

       

      Manchester United fans attempting to ensure maximum enjoyment is wrung out of the club's record-breaking 19th title took their cause to Anfield on Sunday, unveiling a banner inside the ground before the Reds' game against Spurs. 

      United clinched their landmark 19th title on Saturday, finally eclipsing Liverpool's total of 18, and the club's supporters went to great lengths to ensure those at Anfield were fully aware of that fact. 

      As Liverpool fans began their customary chorus of You'll Never Walk Alone, United fans, organised by the Red Issue fanzine, unveiled a banner emblazoned with the words "MUFC 19 TIMES" in the Anfield Road End of the ground. 

      Those responsible had a getaway car waiting outside the ground, plus fellow conspirators in the adjoining stand in order to get photographic evidence. 

      The banner-baiting between the clubs has a long history, with Liverpool fans' now famous "Come Back When You Have Won 18" banner kicking things off in 1994. United fans responded to that after clinching their 18th title in 2008-09 and have now added another chapter to the ongoing rivalry.

       

      Edited by zocoss 12 Aug `11, 6:23PM
    •  

      Fergie 2 Kop 0: United boss snaps up Phil Jones despite Liverpool's £22m bid... and next up Ashley Young 

       

      Big money move: Phil Jones departs following his medical with Manchester United

      Big money move: Phil Jones departs following his medical with Manchester United

       

       

       

      Sir Alex Ferguson will complete a dramatic transfer double over Liverpool in the next 48 hours by signing England winger Ashley Young from Aston Villa in a £15million deal.

      The Manchester United manager took time out from his holiday in the south of France to ambush old rival Kenny Dalglish by paying £16.5m to snatch Blackburn’s teenage defender Phil Jones from Liverpool’s grasp.

      And, as revealed in Sportsmail last month, Ferguson is convinced he will win the race for Anfield target Young as well.

      The 25-year-old’s agent, Eric Walters, was understood to have been at United’s  training ground at Carrington yesterday to finalise the deal.

      Young is said to want the move to Old Trafford tied up before his wedding this weekend.

      His arrival will complete a remarkable coup for Ferguson following the capture of Jones on Wednesday.

      Liverpool thought they were first in line for the highly rated 19-year-old after agreeing to sign his England Under 21 team-mate Jordan Henderson from Sunderland in a deal worth £20m.

      Both players were given permission to miss England’s flight to Denmark ahead of the European Under 21 Championship.

      But, while Henderson travelled to Merseyside for his medical, Jones and his representatives met United to complete a five-year deal worth £40,000 a week.

      Ferguson acted on his long-standing interest in Jones when it looked like the player was bound for Anfield, the manager interrupting his summer holiday to sanction the deal.

      He told Jones he sees him as the long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand and also talked to his parents.

      Dalglish and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger are both believed to have spoken to the teenager after agreeing to meet the £16m release clause in his contract.

      The Gunners will now turn their attention to landing Bolton’s Gary Cahill or Blackburn’s Chris Samba having missed out on Jones.

       

       Hot property: Jones had his pick of Premier League clubs

      Hot property: Jones had his pick of Premier League clubs

       

       

       

      Blackburn also made a huge effort to keep Jones, offering to beat United’s terms by making him the highest-paid player at Ewood Park on £50,000 a week, while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp confirmed he made a late bid.

      ‘We were in for him along with about five other top clubs,’ said Redknapp. ‘I think everybody was in for the boy.

      ‘Obviously he had a choice and he’s made up his mind that Manchester United was the move for him.

      ‘I think he’s got the potential to go on one day to be an England centre half and maybe even a captain of England. I think he’s that good so Alex has pulled off a real coup.’

      United striker Wayne Rooney was first to indicate that a deal had been done when he wrote on Twitter: ‘Phil Jones is a good young English player. One of the toughest defenders I played against last season. Can play midfield too.’

      Ferguson will take his summer spending to almost £50m when he completes the signing of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea from Atletico Madrid.

      Although 20-year-old De Gea insisted yesterday he will make an announcement on his future after the European Under 21 Championship, a £17m deal is already in place as United look to replace Edwin van der Sar, who retired at the end of the season. 

       

       

      United he stands: Ashley Young is set to sign at Old Trafford

      United he stands: Ashley Young is set to sign at Old Trafford

       

       

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      De Gea 'privileged' to be a Manchester United player after signing five-year deal

       

       

      Welcome to Old Trafford: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson with new signing David De Gea

       

       

       

      Manchester United have completed the signing of the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea on a five-year contract.

      De Gea is United's third new signing of the summer, following the deals for Phil Jones and Ashley Young.

      De Gea told MUTV: "I feel very proud and I can't wait to start playing here. When a club the size of Manchester United comes in for you it obviously makes you very, very happy.

      "I saw their interest as an extra motivation to work even harder to show off my ability. It's a great privilege to be part of a club like United and I'm keen to do my best and show what I can do."

      With Anders Lindegaard also having arrived at the club in December, it now appears likely that Tomasz Kuszczak will be allowed to leave, even though the Pole was on the bench for last month's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

      It is thought United are still hoping to secure at least one more new signing following confirmation of Paul Scholes' retirement. 

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 12 Aug `11, 7:24PM
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      First blood: Manchester United celebrate winning the Community Shield

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 12 Aug `11, 7:26PM
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      WAG.... Tom Cleverley’s girlfriend Emily O’Hara  

        

       

       

       

        

       

      David de Gea & Edurne

        

       

        

       

       

        

       

       

       

       

        

      Darren Fletcher and wife, Hayley Grice

      Edited by zocoss 12 Aug `11, 7:24PM
    • Manchester-united-david-de-gea-ashley-young-phil-jones cropped

      Sir Alex Ferguson 3 new arrivals for the 2011 / 12 season..

    • Eight-star United destroy Gunners

      Wayne Rooney hit a hat-trick as Manchester United went goals crazy with a thumping 8-2 victory over beleaguered Arsenal at Old Trafford.

       

      How the 10 goals went in

       

      1-0 Danny Welbeck (22 mins) 

      2-0 Ashley Young (28) 

      3-0 Wayne Rooney (41) 

      3-1 Theo Walcott (45) 

      4-1 Wayne Rooney (64) 

      5-1 Nani (67) 

      6-1 Ji-Sung Park (70) 

      6-2 Robin van Persie (74) 

      7-2 Wayne Rooney (82) 

      8-2 Ashley Young (93)

       

       

      Arsenal conceded eight goals in the league for the first time since 1896

       

      Wayne Rooney

       

      ROO BEAUTY ... United mob hat-trick hero Wayne
      ROO BEAUTY ... United mob hat-trick hero Wayne

       

      United: Go goals crazy

       

      Here we go: Danny Welbeck (right) lifts the ball over Wojciech Szczesny to open the scoring at Old Trafford

      Here we go: Danny Welbeck (right) lifts the ball over Wojciech Szczesny to open the scoring at Old Trafford

       

      Denied: David De Gea saves Robin Van Persie's penalty to keep United in the lead at Old Trafford

      Denied: David De Gea saves Robin Van Persie's penalty to keep United in the lead at Old Trafford

       

      Peach: Ashley Young curls the ball home to double United's advantage as they take control against Arsenal

      Peach: Ashley Young curls the ball home to double United's advantage as they take control against Arsenal

       

      Three and easy: Wayne Rooney bends home a free kick to put United three up against Arsenal

      Three and easy: Wayne Rooney bends home a free kick to put United three up against Arsenal

       

      Who's a clever boy? Rooney of celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal with team mate Anderson

      Who's a clever boy? Rooney of celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal with team mate Anderson

       

      Five star: Nani salutes the crowd after putting United further in front against Arsenal

      Five star: Nani salutes the crowd after putting United further in front against Arsenal

       

      Joy of six: Park Ji-sung (right) piles on the misery for Arsenal with yet another goal

      Joy of six: Park Ji-sung (right) piles on the misery for Arsenal with yet another goal

       

      Hat-trick hero: Rooney slots home a penalty to score his third, and United's seventh

      Hat-trick hero: Rooney slots home a penalty to score his third, and United's seventh



       

       

       

      WAYNE ROONEY hit a hat-trick as Manchester United destroyed Arsenal in a relentless demolition of their once title rivals.

      Danny Welbeck, Nani, Ji-Sung Park and an Ashley Young double completed the rout for Alex Ferguson's side.

      Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie replied for the Gunners, who also had Carl Jenkinson sent off.  

      The hammering leaves under-pressure Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger feeling the heat after a shambolic summer.

      United gave the Frenchman's inexperienced team a taste of what was to come within in the first five minutes.

      Tom Cleverley and Rooney warmed up with sighters before Young threaded in Welbeck who fired wide.

      Arsenal simply could not get their passing game together as the home side dominated.

      It was only a matter of time before the visitors' defence was breached with Welbeck punishing them in the 22nd minute.

      Laurent Koscielny's header fell to Anderson outside the box who chipped back in towards his striker.

      Johan Djourou and Koscielny were outmuscled and Welbeck nodded past the stranded Wojciech Szczesny.

      But totally against the run of play, Van Persie had the chance to bring Arsenal level from the spot.

      Walcott had his heel clipped by Jonny Evans and referee Howard Webb gave the England winger the benefit of the doubt.

      However, Van Persie's effort was saved as David de Gea dived low to his right to easily palm the ball away.

      In a frantic spell, United doubled their lead with a sublime curling effort from Young.

      The wide man, signed this summer from Aston Villa, turned Francis Coquelin inside-out before bending the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.

      Even with two thirds of the match left, it looked like it was already game over for Arsenal.

      And when Rooney struck with a brilliant free-kick from the edge of the box, you would have expected them to throw the towel in.

      Yet, on the stroke of half time, Walcott gave the Gunners a lifeline.

      Patrice Evra's poor clearance was punished as Walcott sprinted into the box, latched on to the ball and shot through De Gea's legs.

      The Spanish keeper faced criticism after individual errors in the Community Shield and on the opening day against West Brom.

      And despite his penalty save, there are still questions for the 20-year-old to answer.

      What isn't in doubt is the quality of their outfield players.

      The relentless pressure of the first half continued into the second with Young testing Szczesny and Nani arrogantly chipping over as Rooney was better placed.

      The only real quality from Arsenal was coming from their captain Van Persie who was denied by De Gea with a first-time volley.

      Andrey Arshavin, who was booked in the first half and treading a fine line, fluffed a chance as he ran 40 yards into the area before pulling his shot wide.

      Gunners fans' continuous defiant chants of 'we love you Arsenal, we do' could not inspire their side, nor hide their defensive frailties.

      Cleverley should have slotted past Szczesny but his effort was easily saved. Young, Nani and Javier Hernandez also tried their luck.

      The attacking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced defensive midfielder Coquelin for his debut.

      But it will be one he will want to forget as the first action he saw was Rooney curling another sumptuous free-kick past Szczesny.

      Within minutes, United had their fifth. Smalling raced into the Arsenal half, found Rooney who played in Nani to cheekly chip the ball in.

      It was Nani's last action as he and Anderson were taken off with Ryan Giggs and Park coming on.

      But United's attack was constant. Rooney was denied a hat-trick when his audacious effort beat Szczesny only to rebound off the post.

      Park was next to get on the scoresheet as his low shot squirmed through the legs of Djourou into the bottom corner.

      With the game wide open, chances were coming thick and fast. Van Persie grabbed Arsenal's second from Carl Jenkinson's deep cross.

      De Gea then stood up to the test of Walcott's long-range drive.

      But at the other end, Jenkinson's afternoon went from bad to worse as he picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Hernandez.

      United hadn't stopped there though and when Evra was fouled by Walcott, Rooney was more than happy to hammer home his hat-trick.

      And Young sealed Arsenal's misery with an EIGHTH in added time.

       

      THREE AND EASY ... Wayne Rooney clutches the hat-trick ball after the match
      THREE AND EASY ... Wayne Rooney clutches the hat-trick ball after the match
      Edited by zocoss 29 Aug `11, 1:56AM
    •  

       

       

      FOOTBALL: Humili8ed - Roo treble crushes Gunners; Wenger vows: I won't quit

      Arsenal's worst defeat since 1896

       

    • David Beckham recalls day Fergie gave him the boot

       

      STITCHED UP ... David Beckham the day after being hit by a boot in 2003
      STITCHED UP ... David Beckham the day after being hit by a boot in 2003

       

       

       

       

      DAVID BECKHAM holds no ill feelings towards Alex Ferguson about the infamous boot in the face incident which tainted the end of his Manchester United career.

      On the eve of Ferguson's 25th anniversary at the club, Beckham recalled the 2003 run-in which left him with a cut above his eye after the Scot kicked the footwear towards him in the Old Trafford changing room.

      But the LA Galaxy star, who was sold to Real Madrid shortly after the spat, admits the incident was soon forgotten.

      Beckham, 36, said: "He wanted to kill me at times, I'm sure, but he was a father figure to me and he was also the man who gave me the chance of playing for my dream club.

      "There are no hard feelings from me about the boot in the face thing. It was forgotten straight away, within the club and within the team.

      "There were other people who continued to speculate and talk about it but, with me and the boss, it had been forgotten the day after.

      "The fear of getting the hairdryer was the reason why we all played so well.

      "He was a manager you wanted to do well for."

      Former England skipper Becks added: "It was a bit icy the first time I came back with Real Madrid, but that went very quickly.

      "There is a lot of warmth between us now."

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Paul Scholes on Alex Ferguson landmark

       

       

      FATHER FIGURE-SON ... Fergie 'n Scholes
      FATHER FIGURE-SON ... Fergie 'n Scholes

       

       

       

      ALEX FERGUSON celebrates his 25th anniversary as Manchester United boss on Sunday.

      Today, one of his greatest players, Paul Scholes, writes exclusively for SunSport to salute his reign.

       


       

       

      THIS picture of the gaffer with his arm round my shoulder is hugely symbolic because Alex Ferguson has always been a father figure to me — and to the rest of the lads who have come through the Old Trafford ranks.

       

      We have all learned so much from him down the years. Even the football gospel preached to us by our coaches Brian Kidd and Eric Harrison when we were boys came from the manager originally.

      Obviously the relationship has developed over the years since I first met him when I was a little boy of around 12. Now, a quarter of a century later, I'm 36 and not quite so scared of him. But as you grow up you understand why he does what he does.

      Occasionally he'll ask the opinion of the senior players. Usually it will be to do with the mood of the camp, perhaps if we've had some bad results. Of course, even when he's heard what we have to say he will do what he wants.

      One of the manager's strengths is also getting the best out of people. We have such a big squad these days and if a player's been training all week then he'll believe that he's got a chance of making the team on Saturday.

      Managers differ dramatically in the stress they place on performances on the practice pitch. When Kevin Keegan was coaching England, he was always a great believer in selecting the players who trained the best. Our manager's not like that. Of course, he likes you to train well but being brilliant on a Thursday at Carrington certainly doesn't guarantee you'll be in the team at Old Trafford.

      It can't be easy to keep us all motivated but the manager has a way of doing it, and that's a part of his greatness.

      In terms of handling the Press, he could write the book. He's at Manchester United where there are big stories all the time but, to him, big stories are nothing.

      He knows absolutely everything that's going on. He's ready for anything and I think he always will be.

      I still remember his 20th year at United. We were playing well, reaching the FA Cup final and the last four of the Champions League, which augured well for the future.
      .

      It represented an incredible achievement by the manager, who had put together a succession of exceptional teams. No matter what star players came and went, Sir Alex just kept rolling along, and so did United. I can hardly believe my own good fortune in being part of the story for so long.

      Last year Barcelona set a standard for United to aspire to when they beat us in the Champions League final.

      That is the goal now — and I see no reason why it cannot be attained over the next few years.

      The manager won't stop trying to lift United to that exalted level because he can never resist a challenge — and he's a long, long way from the finishing line.

      Edited by zocoss 05 Nov `11, 12:10AM
    • Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1: Rooney leaves rivals shaking as Fergie's men go top... but Suarez row dominates dramatic derby

       

      Roo beauty: Wayne Rooney proved to be the match winner with a quickfire brace

      Roo beauty: Wayne Rooney proved to be the match winner with a quickfire brace

       

       

       

      MATCH FACTS

      MAN UNITED: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Welbeck. Subs not used: Amos, Berbatov, Park, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Cleverley, Pogba.:

      Goals: Rooney 47, 50

      Booked: Carrick

       

      LIVERPOOL: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Spearing (Carroll 61), Henderson, Kuyt (Adam 75), Gerrard, Downing (Bellamy 61), Suarez. Subs not used: Doni, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

      Goals: Suarez 80

      Booked: Downing

      Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

       

       

       

       

       

      Luis Suarez could not have done a better job of helping United to a famous victory even if he had tried. The Uruguayan made his first start following his eight-match ban for racially abusing United's Patrice Evra.

      And he set the tone for a massive United performance by refusing Evra's proffered handshake before kick-off.

      If ever a gesture was designed to fire up Sir Alex Ferguson's title-chasers for their most keenly contested fixture then this, surely, was it.

      And, of all the individuals Liverpool do not need to inspire to greater deeds, Wayne Rooney is top of the list.

      The England star was making his 500th appearance for club and country, and to do so against United's biggest rivals was incentive enough.

      No player takes more abuse at Anfield than Rooney, who first fielded the Liverpool fans' flak as a youngster playing for Everton.

      Rooney said in the build-up that this is 'the game you never want to lose'.

      The 25-year-old had scored 211 goals in those previous 499 games, but only two against Liverpool.

      Ignore his post-match dismissal of Suarez's handshake refusal, when he said: 'That's between the two individuals. We are professionals and we have to do a job on the pitch.'

      You can be sure Rooney's burning desire to improve his scoring stats against the old enemy was only deepened by the snub to his team-mate and captain.

      And Liverpool felt the full force of Rooney's - and United's - determination when he doubled his tally against them in the space of three minutes shortly after the start of the second half.

      With two devastating strikes, Rooney took his goals record from two to four in his 20th appearance against them.

      Despite Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish's dismissal of the suggestion that Suarez was culpable in any way, Ferguson was equally adamant that Suarez's refusal to shake hands with Evra 'created a tension … I could not believe it,' said the United manager.

       

      Snub: Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra before the game

      Snub: Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra before the game

       

      Ugly affair: The first half was largely uneventful in terms of chances

      Ugly affair: The first half was largely uneventful in terms of chances

       

       

       

      Dalglish and the travelling fans could barely believe it, either, as Rooney, rising to the occasion like a colossus, first volleyed past Pepe Reina after Jordan Henderson deflected a Ryan Giggs corner and then struck the lethal blow, shooting under the keeper after Antonio Valencia robbed Jay Spearing and played in the striker.

       
      Forget the fact that, of all people, Suarez gave Liverpool a chance of salvaging something from the wreckage when he pounced as substitute Charlie Adam's free-kick bounced off Rio Ferdinand and fell for him five yards out.

      A nervous final few minutes ensued for United - but this was always their day, from that fateful moment when Suarez made a decision that seemed to baffle even his manager, who later inferred that he expected his player to shake Evra's hand.

      Despite his consolation goal - his first since December 10 - Suarez cut an increasingly forlorn figure, chasing shadows and lost causes as Liverpool failed miserably to live up to the standards of their recent Carling Cup and FA Cup victories over Manchester City and United.

      In sharp contrast, Rooney, magnificently aided in his efforts by strike partner Danny Welbeck and right-wing raider Valencia, was rampant, revelling in his frequent opportunities to run at the back-pedalling Liverpool defenders.

      The Suarez-Evra issue clouded the whole affair but, when football got into focus, it was United who provided the great majority of it.

       

       

      Angst: Referee Phil Dowd had to step in as the two teams made their way off at the break

      Angst: Referee Phil Dowd had to step in as the two teams made their way off at the break

      Blasted: Rooney gave the game its spark with a thunderous volley in the second half

      Blasted: Rooney gave the game its spark with a thunderous volley in the second half

       

       

       

      The ageless Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, supported by 30-year-old Carrick - a combined age here of 105 - ran the show in midfield and 33-year-old Rio Ferdinand, bad back and all, smothered Suarez's bid for a triumphant return to 90-minute action.

      Glen Johnson curled a shot a yard wide in the 10th minute but that was a false dawn for Liverpool who looked increasingly unlikely to check United's charge towards what they hope will be a 20th league title.

      Scholes - will the little master be able to refuse the chance to play on for another season after enjoying days such as this? - could not believe he failed to put United in front when, after orchestrating the move, he got his head to a Giggs cross, only to see Reina make a superb reflex save.

      But Reina merely delayed the inevitable. In the explosive first few minutes of the second half Rooney stamped his class, authority and utter sense of mission on the proceedings.

      And there was no way back for Liverpool, who have now won only once on their last eight visits to Old Trafford.

       

       

      Double trouble: Moments later Rooney slotted home from Antonio Valencia's pass

      Double trouble: Moments later Rooney slotted home from Antonio Valencia's pass

       

      Too little, too late: Suarez gave his side some hope with a smart strike late on

      Too little, too late: Suarez gave his side some hope with a smart strike late on

       

       

       

      United, top of the league - if only for 24 hours before City play today - should have put the issue beyond all doubt before David de Gea took off to tip over Johnson's screamer in added time.

      Rooney fluffed his chance of a hat-trick when he miscued after being put through by a Scholes dummy to Valencia's pass, and Welbeck might have got the goal his display deserved when Scholes sent him racing into the left of the box.

      The youngster blazed into the Stretford End. But the lasting impression was of a day of glory and justification for United and one of utter dismay for sorry Liverpool.

       

       

      .
      Edited by zocoss 12 Feb `12, 9:32PM
    •  

      RED DEVIL ... Shinji Kagawa
      RED DEVIL ... Shinji Kagawa
      NEW RECRUITS ... Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell with Alex Ferguson
      NEW RECRUITS ... Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell with Alex Ferguson

      SHINJI KAGAWA has sealed his move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal.

      The Japan midfielder passed a medical at Old Trafford earlier today, obtained a UK work permit and agreed a contract commencing on July 1.

      Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson said: “Shinji is an exciting young midfielder with great skill, vision and a good eye for goal.

      “I am delighted he has chosen to come to United.

      “I believe he will make an impact upon the team very quickly as he is suited to United’s style of play.

      “We are all looking forward to working with him.”

      Kagawa, 23, added: “This is a challenge I am really looking forward to.

      “The Premier League is the best league in the world and Manchester United is such a massive club.

      “This is a really exciting time for me. I can’t wait to meet the team and start playing.”

      Edited by zocoss 22 Aug `12, 11:18AM
    •  

       

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 05 Sep `12, 10:56PM
    • United at last! Fergie delight as Chilean hotshot Henriquez finally confirmed in £4m deal

      United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a £4m deal

      United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a £4m deal

       

      United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a £4m deal

      United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a £4m deal

       

       

       

      Manchester United have finally confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Angelo Henriquez.

      The Chilean striker underwent a medical with the club in August ahead of his £4million move, but only now have the Premier League giants reacted to the capture.

      The South American moves to Old Trafford from Universidad de Chile, where he scored 11 goals in 17 league games in 2012 on-route to helping his team to the national title.

      Of the transfer, Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'Angelo has made a tremendous impact on the game in his short career so far. His pace is a great asset and he reads the game really well for someone of such a young age.

      'We have a proud record of developing young talent and Angelo fits the profile of a United player – skilful, attacking and someone who plays the game with real flair.'


       

      Watching brief: Henriquez has been around the club for the best part of a month

      Watching brief: Henriquez has been around the club for the best part of a month

       

       

      The player himself added to Manchester United's official website: 'I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. Manchester United is a great team and has a great manager.

      'To be able to be part of that is a huge honour and I can’t wait to get started.  I hope I can be part of many successful years with United.'

      The club also confirmed Henriquez will wear the No 21.


       

       

      Edited by zocoss 05 Sep `12, 10:57PM
    • On August 16 - 2012.

       

       

      The little boy inside me told me to join Manchester United, insists Van Persie 

       

      Fresh start: Robin van Persie poses with his No 20 shirt with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

      Fresh start: Robin van Persie poses with his No 20 shirt with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

      Signing on: Robin van Persie poses with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

      Signing on: Robin van Persie poses with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

       
       
       
       

       

       

      Robin van Persie said he had listened to 'the little boy inside him' when deciding to join Manchester United.

      The Dutch superstar will wear the No 20 shirt after completing his £24million switch from Arsenal.

      He has signed a four-year contract - the same terms handed to Wayne Rooney two years ago.

      Speaking at his official unveiling press conference, he said: 'In these situations, when you have to make a hard decision in your life, I always listen to that little boy inside me. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Manchester United.

      'Everyone knows me by now. I love football. I am quite principled in that perspective. It is always difficult to find the perfect match but I do feel this is the perfect match for me.

      'Manchester United breathes football. If you look at all the players from Manchester United, the stadium and manager, my choice was made very soon.'

      Earlier, he said: 'It’s an honour to sign for Manchester United. I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of so many great strikers, bringing my experience and playing my part to help the team compete for the biggest trophies in the game. I can’t wait to get started.'

      His new strike partner Rooney posted on Twitter: '@Persie_Official welcome to manchester united mate.'

      The Dutch international underwent a medical in Manchester on Thursday night before spending the night in a Cheshire hotel.
      .

      The 29-year-old was then taken to United's training ground at 9am to meet his new team-mates.

      Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'Robin is a world-class striker with a proven record in England and in European football.

      'His talents need no introduction to our fans – he has scored a number of goals against us in some classic battles with his former club. His movement, finishing and all-round ability are outstanding.

      He later told MUTV: 'The boy wanted to come. He turned down various clubs. If he hadn't told Arsenal he wanted to go to Manchester United, the transfer wouldn't have happened.'

      Ferguson admitted he thought it would be impossible to get Van Persie to sign, but had to make an attempt when the striker did not sign a new contract with the north London club.

       

      Deadly: Van Persie was all smiles alongside Wayne Rooney in Friday's training session

      Deadly: Van Persie was all smiles alongside Wayne Rooney in Friday's training session

      Wayne Rooney was quick to welcome Van Persie on Twitter
      Changing times: Van Persie is paraded inside Old Trafford after sealing his £24m switch

      Changing times: Van Persie is paraded inside Old Trafford after sealing his £24m switch

      Delight: RVP
       
       
      Delight: RVP

      Delight: Van Persie was all smiles as he was shown off ahead of his press conference at Old Trafford

       


       

      'It has given everyone a lift,' said Ferguson. 'I have a complication to my life (selection). I don't know how I managed in 1999.

      'They can gel together. Robin's best position is furthest up the pitch. The most important thing is to win what we want to win. These players can help us to do that.'

      At the press conference, Ferguson added: 'We never thought we could get Van Persie. If you go back six months ago, I couldn't see us getting him.

      'I thought Arsenal are not going to let him go. When I read he had refused a new contract, that is when we acted. It has been a long haul.'

      Even so, it took a personal intervention from Ferguson to get the deal moving last week after it had apparently stalled permanently.

      'I can't elaborate but it was amicable,' said the Scot. 'Arsene knew the boy wanted to leave. He knew he wanted to join us. That made it a bit easier but not in terms of trying to reduce the fee.

      'He (Wenger) could run a poker school in Govan. He got a great price but we are also happy the matter is concluded. From the starting position when we first started negotiating, Arsene has done well.'

      Ferguson revealed he was still looking at a new signing for 'one more position' but 'only if a certain player came available'.

      Van Persie's old Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas tweeted: 'As a friend and team mate of mine for the last 8 years i want to wish good luck to @Persie_Official and his new adventure at Man United.'

      An Arsenal statement read: 'Arsenal Football Club can confirm that Robin van Persie has now completed a transfer to Manchester United after terms were agreed between the clubs. 

      'This ends Robin’s eight-year association with Arsenal, after joining the Gunners from Dutch side Feyenoord in May 2004.


       

      Pairing: Van Persie speaks at his Friday afternoon press conference as he sits next to Ferguson

      Pairing: Van Persie speaks at his Friday afternoon press conference as he sits next to Ferguson

      Putting it all on red: Van Persie and Ferguson smile for the cameras at Old Trafford

      Putting it all on red: Van Persie and Ferguson smile for the cameras at Old Trafford

       

       Watching on: David Gill, agent Kees Vos and Van Persie's wife Bouchra at the press conference

      Watching on: David Gill, agent Kees Vos and Van Persie's wife Bouchra at the press conference

       

       

       

      'Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Robin for his contribution during his time with the club.'

      United fought off competition from Manchester City and Juventus to bring the Dutch striker to Old Trafford and hope he will be able to feature against Everton on Monday.

       


       

       

       

      Edited by zocoss 22 Aug `12, 11:27AM
    • Best day of my life! Buttner delighted to complete £3.9m move to Man United

       

      United front: Alexander Buttner has completed his £3.9million to Manchester United from Vitesse Arnhem

      United front: Alexander Buttner has completed his £3.9million to Manchester United from Vitesse Arnhem

       

       

       

      Alexander Buttner has hailed his £4million move to Manchester United as the best day of his life.

      The Dutchman completed his move to the Premier League giants, signing a five-year deal.

      The 23-year-old moves to Old Trafford from Vitesse Arnhem, where he made 119 appearances over the past four years.

      The left-back, who will hope to force Patrice Evra out of the side, said: 'Joining Manchester United is one of the best days of my life. It's a team I have admired for many years now and I can't wait to join my teammates and play my part in helping the club be successful.'

      Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'Alexander is one of the best young left backs in Europe and we're delighted to sign him. He's someone we've been watching for a while now. He gives us some really exciting options in that position.'

       

       

       

       

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