Sir Alex Ferguson on his biggest transfer regret: Del Piero is the only one who I would've gone mad for

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 31. ožujka 2021.

Sir Alex Ferguson on his biggest transfer regret: Del Piero is the only one who I would've gone mad for

Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably the best manager of all times and the "arguably" is probably not needed. In his legendary managerial career, decorated by many trophies and stellar players, the Scottish tactician has only one regret in the transfer department. Not signing Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero.

SAF revealed that his own players implored him to sign the Italian.

"Del Piero is the only one who I would've gone mad for. After a Champion's League match between United and Juventus, in which he destroyed half of our defence, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville came to me and asked me to buy him at all costs, because someone like him would've made us win everything for decades," stated the retired Manchester United legend.

Ferguson went into detail on how he tried to sign Del Piero and how the popular Pinturicchio stayed loyal to the club.

"And so I contact the Juve representatives, and the lad's agent. He refused even before listening to my proposal, telling me that Juve was the best place for him and, that while he respected Mancheseter United, he would never have been able to betray the black and white colors. A pity, because I never again saw someone like him," said Ferguson.

Following the Calciopoli scandal when Juventus was relegated to Serie B, Del Piero still stayed with his Old Lady.

"A champion on and off the field, I courted him even just after Italy's World Cup win. In that time, Real Madrid were also after him and, given the issues around Juventus at the time, I imagined that between us at United and the Galacticos, there would be a fair auction to get him. And so I called him directly, avoiding talking to Juventus: 'Alex, I'd like you at United', I said. 'You'll be the star of the squad, and together we'll win everything. Don't listen to Real Madrid, and come here'. He laughed and replied: 'Sir, you know that nothing has changed from all those years ago. Juve are facing difficult times, and I have to help them. I can't be a coward'."

Ferguson then revealed how the saga ended on a beautiful note.

"I thought it'd be useless to go on, I said my goodbyes and didn't hear from him again. In 2008, at a friendly, I saw him again and he greeted me with a hug. He didn't speak great English, but he apologized for having refused my offer, explaining why he'd done it. I put my hand on his shoulder and reassured him, 'you wanted to save Juventus, and you did it. That's all that counts'. When someone asks me what player I always wanted to train, but never got the chance, I always say: Alessandro Del Piero."


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