Blanc: Sir Alex Ferguson saw his players as his sons

The ex-Manchester United defender pays tribute to the 71-year-old's tactical and human sides, while former keeper Fabien Barthez feels that the Scot's retirement is "wise"
Former Manchester United stars Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez have become the latest in a long list of footballing names to pay tribute to their former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

The ex-defender, who ended his playing career at Old Trafford, complimented the Glasweigian's managerial style and praised to the profound impact that he had on his playes.

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"He influenced all the players he had at his orders. With his longevity, he influenced two, maybe three generations," Blanc told RMC. "He impressed me on the tactical aspect but also on the human aspect. He has a gift to manage others.

"He wasn't on the training pitch every day but he never let anyone do the human management in his place.

"He had great players in front of him but he always saw them as his sons. I'm not surprised that Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are still there; the club has a family dimension."

Former Red Devils goalkeeper Barthez, who spent four years under the Scot's tutelage from 2000, echoed Blanc's sentiments but feels that the news does not come a surprise.

"For him, values like respect and humility are essential and he involved everybody on following those values," the 41-year-old remarked. "He was also very protective of his players.

"I think he planned this for two years. It is quite normal that he stops now. I'm not really surprised. It is a wise decision. He will be able to fully enjoy his time with his grandchildren."