The Switzerland boss says that the Scot's successor at Old Trafford will have to deliver success instantly in order to live up to the 71-year-old's legacy
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"He worked so long for Manchester United, you do not even know who was there before him," Hitzfeld told Sky Sport News HD.
"He is the club's face. The timing might have seemed perfect to him after United won the Premier League. He will surely stay in Manchester and be a representative for the club.
"What he achieved is extraordinary and unique. His successor will automatically be measured on Ferguson's success. The new coach has to be successful from the start or else it will be difficult for him."
Ferguson's final game in charge of United comes on May 19, when they travel to West Brom. It will be his 1500th as the club's manager.
Goal revealed shortly after the announcement of Ferguson's retirement that Everton boss David Moyes is set to be handed the reins at United, with confirmation expected soon.