Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs is still amazed by Sir Alex Ferguson’s “unbelievable” work ethic, even after nearly 25 years as manager of the club.
Giggs has been a stalwart member of Ferguson’s squad for the last 20 of those years, becoming the most decorated player in British footballing history in the process after winning 12 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, along with a number of domestic cups.
As Sir Alex nears his 70th birthday, Welsh winger Giggs is still impressed by his manager’s ability to strive for success in so many competitions, and his love for the Old Trafford club.
"You can have all the qualities in the world, but hard work is the key to everything," Giggs told Inside United.
"He's seen plenty of quality players come and go at United over the years, but the main thing that sets great players apart from the rest is their work ethic.
"And he leads by example, of course. He's always first in at the training ground and last to leave, and he wants to see that kind of mentality from his players as well.
"He just loves his job. He loves watching United play. He loves seeing players develop. He loves everything about his job. You couldn't do what he does at his age and have the work ethic he's got if you didn't love it.
"We might have got home from a European away game at four in the morning, yet you can pretty much guarantee he'll be first in at Carrington at 8am the next day - and will be last to leave.
"You'll then stick the TV on later that night and see him at a function in London. It's unbelievable."
Giggs himself is often regarded as an inspirational figure to younger generations, having now played at the highest level for two decades during an exemplary professional career.
But the 37-year-old admitted that he has always been indebted to Sir Alex for how his footballing life has panned out.
"I have known him for 25 years now and he's seen me develop from a 13-year-old to where I am now," he continued.
"He has always been there to support me and help me develop my game.
"And he's always known what's best for me during my career, especially early on, and now at this later stage too."