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Following confirmation on Wednesday that the Manchester United manager was to step down, the former Bianconeri boss reveals the great rapport they share

Marcello Lippi has claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson once revealed he modelled his Manchester United squads on his Juventus team, following confirmation of the Scot's imminent retirement on Wednesday.

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The current Guangzhou Evergrande boss had a great rivalry with the coach, especially during his first stint in charge of the Bianconeri between 1995 and 1999.

His second stint (2001-2004) was less successful on the European front - his only success outside of Italy with the Turin club came in 1996 - but the World Cup-winning coach revealed that he and the Old Trafford boss enjoyed a great professional relationship off the pitch.

"Many times he told me that he took the example of Juventus to build his great Manchester United [sides]," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I don't speak English and his variety is very unique and we always required an interpreter. Then we discovered that we both spoke French and communicated that way. We had a great rapport.

"We exchanged bottles. He gave me whisky and I gave him wine that he appreciated a lot. We discussed everything. I didn't expect it. A person with his culture and intelligence can do any work that he desires."

Goal revealed following the retirement announcement that the successor to Ferguson is set to be Everton manager David Moyes, with an announcement expected imminently.

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