Sometimes, it is best to keep things simple.

Alex Ferguson Retires - Man UnitedSir Alex Ferguson has decided to retire at the end of this season. For the first time in over a quarter of a century, Manchester United will be in the market for a new manager. Next season, for the first time in his club career, Ryan Giggs will be playing under a manager who is not Ferguson; Giggs is 39 year old, in case you were wondering. Now let those facts sink in for a while to truly grasp the momentousness of this occasion.

Words fail while trying to write an eulogy for the man. It is simply not in the nature that there ever will be another Sir Alex Ferguson. Modern football may not allow it, but that is beside the point. A man building up a legacy spanning over 27 years at one of the greatest clubs in the world? Bloody hell, indeed.

Back in 1986, with the club floundering in the lower half of the old Division One, this young upstart from north of the border was brought in. His greatest achievement till then: breaking up the Old Firm duopoly in the Scottish league with Aberdeen and subsequently defeating mighty Real Madrid in a Cup Winnerai??i??s Cup final. But at United would he be able to bring back the halcyon days of 50ai??i??s and 60ai??i??s? He did so and how.

It is futile to recount in details the episodes of his stellar Old Trafford career. His fight to dismantle the drinking culture presiding among the players in the nascent years of his reign, his failure to win silverware during his first five years at the club, the watershed event of winning the FA Cup in 1990, leading United to their first league triumph in a quarter of a century in 1993, introduction of Fergieai??i??s Fledglings, the treble of 1999, wresting back supremacy from Chelsea ai??i?? bankrolled by Roman Abramovichai??i??s millions ai??i?? in the later half of last decade, ensuring United are the most decorated club in England with 20 league titles and 11 FA Cups, etc. The list goes on and on.

But the thing that stands out is his undying quest for success which made such a glorious streak possible. While the appetite of lesser mortals would have been satiated with glory a long ago, Sir Alex was relentless in his pursuit for trophies. In his mind, nothing or no one was greater than the club. He wielded a ruthless axe when it came to getting rid of players whose services were no longer required at the club. In certain cases, it might not have been the popular decision (Roy Keane, for example), but more often than not he was vindicated in the end.

He always wanted to leave the club in a ruddy state of health. In that regard, he has yet again achieved success. With a league winning squad having a fine blend of youth and experience and the shape of clubai??i??s finances being as good as it has been in recent years, this truly is the perfect time for the grand old man to ride off into the sunset, safe in knowledge that his empire will not crumble anytime soon. Pressure on his successor may be tremendous but he will have all the tools at his disposal to carve out a new legacy.

At the end of it all though, how do we bid goodbye to the greatest club manager in the modern era? Maybe the best way is to by treasuring his memories. After all, what is life but a set of memories? The future is uncertain, the present is perpetually transient. All we have to hold on and cherish are our memories. Memories of our greatest triumphs, memories of our gut-wrenching failures, memories of trivial joys, memories of crushing disappointments and memories of Sir Alex Ferguson as the manager of Manchester United Football Club ai??i?? forever and always.

So long Sir Alex, thanks for all the memories.

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