Ferguson believes Mourinho has the personality to succeed him
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed his Real Madrid counterpart Jose Mourinho to succeed him at Old Trafford once he eventually decides to retire.
The Portuguese has made it clear his ambition is to manage in England again, and Ferguson believes Mourinho would get success anywhere he would go.
"He can manage anywhere, absolutely. I would never think a guy who hasn't played a game could be a top coach but then you've got to look at his personality," the Daily Mail quoted Ferguson, as saying.
"He's got a marvellous, strong personality and that bridges that gap. I remember his first press conference [at Chelsea] and I thought, 'Christ, he's a cocky b, him'. He was telling the players, 'Look, I'm the special one, we don't lose games'," he added.
Image: Jose Mourinho (right) gestures as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (left) watches
Photographs: Nigel Roddis / Reuters
'I give him a lot of stick and he laughs it off'
"Bloody hell, coming to England, he is only a young man and saying he is the special one! But it told all the players to have the belief they were going to win the league," he said.
Ferguson revealed how he became friends with the Real boss following United's defeat by Porto in the Champions League in 2004.
The Scot said: "When he comes into my office he can take a joke against himself, that is what I like about him. I give him a lot of stick and he laughs it off. I don't think it bothers Jose [having a controversial image]. He knows it is results that count."
During 10 years of management, Mourinho has won 20 trophies. Ferguson has 48 in 26 years but he does not rule out his haul being overtaken by Mourinho."He is a greedy b," said Ferguson.
Image: Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson (left) and Jose Mourinho watch
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images