Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is credited for transforming the Red Devils and the careers of many footballers in the process. The boss was clear and confident with his ideas and his style of play, in his glorious tenure he signed many talented players and mentored them until they were world class. But there were a host of players Sir Alex didn’t want at the club as they didn’t fit his ideology.
One such player who went on to become successful but was denied by the Man United boss was Bayern Munich’s French legend Franck Ribery. Sir Alex was left unimpressed by the versatile midfielder after watching him play for only 45 minutes. The then 22-year-old Ribery was part of Ligue 1 side Marseille.
According to Toni Blair’s latest diary, it all dates back to 2006, when Sir Alex and his close friend Alastair Campbell were watching Ribery play for his club Marseille against Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup in February, 2006.
A report in Sunday Times said, that the duo was there measuring the performance of Ribery for a future move.
“Alex was watching Franck Ribery, the Marseille winger, but decided by half-time he was not good enough for United,” Campbell reveals in an excerpt from his publication.
Sir Alex was not convinced with the 22-year-old’s football and trusted his gut to not make a move for him. Following this collapse the French midfielder secured a move to Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in 2007, for a reported €25 million and went on to win several honours with the club.
Whether or not this was a formidable decision by the most successful Manchester United manager, Ribery has been an integral part of Bayern’s some of the most successful performances in recent years. The midfielder has won 7 Bundesliga titles and a Champions League crown with the Bavarian giants.