Manchester, May 8 (IANS) Former Manchester United stars David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, whose careers were shaped by Alex Ferguson, were shocked at the decision of 'The Boss' to leave Old Trafford after 26 glittering years and 38 trophies.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo thanked the 71-year-old Ferguson for "everything he is today" while Beckham feels there is no one like the Scotsman, who had a massive impact on the game.
The following are the reaction by the Ex-Reds to The Boss:
David Beckham (to Sky News): Without talking about the success that he has had, the impact that he has with the team, the impact he has with players and fans; I don't think there is anyone around in football who has had that impact ever.
Cristiano Ronaldo (via Twitter): Thanks for everything, Boss.
Edwin van der Sar (via Twitter): It was coming for some time now but still a shock that hasn't sunk in yet!! Great manager and remarkable person!
Ruud van Nistelrooy (via Twitter): 2001-2006, 219 games, 150 goals under the most successful manager in football history. It was a unique privilege.
Michael Owen (via Twitter): 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.
Dwight Yorke (told MUTV): Sir Alex still had the hunger, he has very high standards and it is all about winning trophies and breaking records but there is more to the man. The way they lost the Premier League last season would have hurt him immensely, certainly losing it to Manchester City, so he wanted to regain it and that was his prime objective this year. He has managed to do that and he has done it in a great way with great style. So in many respects, that is the reason why he has decided to retire. By doing all of that, with the hip
Paul Ince (told MUTV): 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 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.
Steve Bruce (told MUTV): When you play for him, his winning mentality rubs off on you. He is so driven and determined, and he works so hard that it seems to rub off on a lot of people - it's no surprise that a few of his old players have gone into management or coaching. He wants to beat you as a manager and he does that constantly, but he offers you a bit of encouragement and is always there on the end of the telephone. He has humility from his past background that means he treats the grounds staff just the same as he treats his star centre forward. I wish him a happy retirement, which I'm sure he'll have."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (told MUTV): I will never forget the loyalty he showed me. Everything I have learnt I have learnt from the boss.
Bobby Charlton (to BBC): I am a director at United but I hardly do anything because we are winning all the time and it is all down to Sir Alex Ferguson. He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a schoolboy he could sign. He loves the game.
Peter Schmeichel (to BBC): It's come as an absolute bombshell. I'm sad and disappointed. I was really, really hoping he was going to stay for another couple of years.
Mark Hughes (to BBC): I know the pressure he has had to endure over such a long period, so for him to keep driving himself forward and driving his team forward is a fantastic achievement.
Bryan Robson (to BBC): Probably the best club manager there has ever been. It is unbelievable to change around probably four different squads and have the success he has.