Sir Alex Ferguson "like a father" to me, says Man United star Phil Jones

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Manchester United defender Phil Jones has described Sir Alex Ferguson as “like a father” to him.

Former United boss Ferguson, who won 38 trophies during his time at Old Trafford, remains in a Salford hospital having undergone emergency surgery on Saturday following a brain haemorrhage.

Jones is one of those currently at United who was signed by Ferguson, having joined from Blackburn in 2011, and the England international has described how pivotal his old manager was in helping him settle in.

“(I am) just devastated, absolutely devastated,” Jones said.

“He is such a legend in my eyes. He is the one who brought me to the club and gave me that opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He’s taken me under his wing like a father and it was shocking, it’s sad, but I know his character.

“I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully he’ll recover well.”

Current top-flight managers at United’s rival clubs such as Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp all had messages of support for 76-year-old Ferguson over the weekend.

And on Sunday, after some Manchester City fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their Premier League title success, two supporters held up a sign which read: “football aside get well Fergie”.

sir alex, phil jones

Phil Jones was brought to United by Ferguson from Blackburn in 2011.

Jones added: “He has got all his family and friends around him, the support from all the players and staff at Man United and football around the world.

“When something like that does happen it’s nice that the football world comes together and shows support and we are all rooting for him. I’m sure he will be fine.”

Jones’ team-mate Juan Mata also dedicated his weekly blog post to Ferguson.

Although the Spaniard was signed by Ferguson’s successor David Moyes, midfielder Mata spoke about the Scot’s lasting impact at United.

“This blog’s entry is going to be particularly short, if you don’t mind,” Mata said.

“This Saturday, all of us were overwhelmed by the news about Sir Alex Ferguson’s health condition. This circumstance has had a huge impact on Manchester United, as you can imagine.

“All of us are united right now, wishing Sir Alex a speedy recovery. He has been a unique and fundamental figure in the football world over the last few decades.

“I’ve never been coached by him, unfortunately, yet I know well his incomparable legacy on this club, that winning mentality and fighting gen(e) that we must honour in the last three games of the season, especially in the FA Cup final.

“To achieve that, we are going to work hard while we eagerly await good news about Sir Alex’s recovery.”

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Watch: Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte show support for Sir Alex Ferguson

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Ever since the news about Sir Alex Ferguson‘s illness came, messages of support have been coming in from all directions in the world of football.

On Sunday though, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Chelsea coach Antonio Conte all passed on well wishes for the former Manchester United boss.

Check out what they had to say about one of football’s greatest managers ever.

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Cristiano Ronaldo and four other top Alex Ferguson signings for Man United

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Sir Alex Ferguson made some incredible signings during his reign at Old Trafford.

Here we look at Ferguson’s top five signings.

Peter Schmeichel (signed from Brondby, 1991)

Widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, the Dane’s heroic efforts provided clean sheets aplenty and the security at the back which was so key to United‘s success throughout the 1990s.

Schmeichel, recruited for around £500,000, knew how to intimidate opposition strikers by making optimum use of his frame and at times appeared just as fearful for his defenders, who would frequently receive an earful from him.

Capped eight glorious years with the club by skippering United – in the absence of the suspended Roy Keane – in the 1999 Champions League final as Ferguson’s men secured the treble.

peter schmeichel alex ferguson

Eric Cantona (signed from Leeds, 1992)

Cantona’s five-year spell at United will never be forgotten. The Frenchman, who cost Ferguson just over £1million, gave the club’s fans many a moment to savour on the pitch with his dazzling skills, which helped the Red Devils to a haul of four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

But what perhaps cemented his iconic status was the way he played the part of the tortured genius. The most infamous instance of his short temper was the kung-fu kick he aimed at a Crystal Palace supporter and he made philosophical comments afterwards about seagulls following a trawler.

It was somewhat appropriate that he exited early leaving the crowd wanting more, retiring aged 30 in 1997.

Eric Cantona, alex ferguson

Roy Keane (signed from Nottingham Forest, 1993)

The £3.75million Ferguson paid Forest for Keane was a British transfer record at the time, but there is little question that he got value for money.

In 12 years of service, the Irish midfielder was United’s engine room and driving force as they dominated English football through the 1990s and into the next decade. He also led them to the 1999 Champions League final, only to miss the game through suspension.

Keane succeeded Cantona as captain and was just as combustible a character, if not more so. But it was that edge on the field that so endeared him to United fans and made him the player everyone else wanted in their team.

Roy Keane, alex ferguson

Cristiano Ronaldo (signed from Sporting Lisbon, 2003)

Ferguson signed a teenage Ronaldo for £12.24million and it looked as if he may have paid over the odds for little more than a showboater in the early days of the Portuguese forward’s United career.

He soon showed his game was not just about stepovers, though, developing into one of the world’s most potent players. Ronaldo scored an incredible total of 42 goals for the club in the 2007-08 season as the Red Devils won the Champions League.

Although his exit to Real Madrid a year later was a blow, the world record £80million fee he commanded softened it considerably.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Sir Alex Ferguson

Edwin van der Sar (signed from Fulham, 2005)

Van der Sar was 34 when he arrived at Old Trafford for an undisclosed fee, but the Dutch goalkeeper was in no way a fading force.

It soon became apparent that Ferguson had finally found the solution in a position which had been a problem for United since Schmeichel’s departure, as Van der Sar’s reliable hands helped the team achieve a new period of success.

He broke a multitude of records with his clean sheets in the 2008-09 season and finally retired from football in 2011, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League with the Red Devils.

sir alex, Edwin Van der Sar

Provided by Press Association Sport

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