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Ferguson to retire within three years
May 25, 2008 17:32 IST
Alex Ferguson will retire as manager of Manchester United [Images] within the next three years, British media reported on Sunday.
Ferguson, 66, who guided Manchester United to victory in the Champions League final over Chelsea on Wednesday, told newspaper reporters: "I won't be managing here any more than three years at the very, very most. Without question. I can assure you of that."
Ferguson originally hinted that he would retire six years ago but changed his mind and has since gone on to become the most successful manager of all time in English soccer. Wednesday's success against Chelsea in Moscow [Images] earned him his 20th major trophy since he took over at Old Trafford in 1986. In all, he has won 31 trophies, first with Aberdeen and then United.
Ferguson, speaking to Sunday newspaper reporters at Manchester United's Carrington training ground after returning from Moscow, is clear about his intentions.
"I won't be managing at 70, I can assure you of that," he said.
"I won't be managing here any more than three years at the very most and that's without question.
"You have to think about time for yourself. I think my wife deserves a bit of my time, too. The older you get, the more you feel guilty about it.
"My wife, Cathy, was the one who talked me out of retiring last time but she wouldn't do that now."
Ferguson, also said he had no immediate plans to step down, adding: "I know I would find it hard to give up managing United.
"I can't do it at the moment. The big fear has always been what would I do with myself, I know I'd find it hard.
"What I would really like to do in life is travel to places I have never been to. I would love to go to the States and spend three or four months there.
"But you do that once. What you are left with is the time when you wake up at six in the morning and you go to get out of bed and you suddenly say 'Oh yeah, I am finished, I don't do that any more.' That's going to be hard."
He also said that before he left he wanted to increase the capacity of Old Trafford to 83,000 from the current figure of 76,200, ensure Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo [Images] stayed at the club and sign a new striker this year.