The Blues' interim manager lauded the healthy competition he has shared with the retiring Scot, while Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas also hailed the 71-year-old's contributionRafa Benitez has joined the praise for old rival Sir Alex Ferguson following the Manchester United manager’s decision to step down at the end of the season.
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“I’ve said before that I like to challenge and compete against him,” said Benitez. “Now that he’s retired I wish him health.
“I think he will enjoy football in a different way. I don’t have a problem with him after football.”
Benitez was speaking after his Chelsea side drew 2-2 with Tottenham on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge as the race for a place in next season’s Champions League hots up.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas also hailed Sir Alex's legacy after 27 years in charge at Old Trafford, reserving special praise for his personality on and off the field.
Villas-Boas said: “The world of football will miss the great example of the manager, his great charisma and passion.
“To re-create the team as he has done is tremendous but what stands out is his human qualities. He’s a great example, in football and in life. It’s with great pity that he is leaving but the legacy that he leaves speaks for itself.”