Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson lavishes praise on possible successors Mourinho and Guardiola

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lavished praise on the two leading candidates to succeed him at Old Trafford, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.

The 70-year-old, who has, as reported by, identified Mourinho and Guardiola as the only two able to replace him, highlighted the qualities of the Real Madrid supremo, who he repeatedly faced and was occasionally thwarted by when the Portuguese was in charge of Porto and Chelsea.

“Jose is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy,” said Ferguson as he talked to academics at Harvard Business School in Boston.

“I think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks.

“He’s got a confidence about himself, saying ‘We’ll win this’ and ‘I’m the Special One’.

“I could never come out and say we’re going to win this game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness?”

The Scot went on to discuss Guardiola, the former Barcelona boss who oversaw the side that defeated the Red Devils in both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League final.

“Guardiola is an impressive guy,” he continued.

“He’s brought about change in Barcelona, urging the team to always work hard to get the ball back within seconds after losing it.

“They are gifted but work hard. It was a fantastic achievement. He elevated the status of his players.”

Guardiola is currently taking time out from the game after a highly successful period as Blaugrana boss and has been linked with a return to football at numerous Premier League clubs – including Chelsea, Manchester City, United and Arsenal.

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