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'We have parked our rivalry' - Rangers boss Gerrard reveals 'secret' phone calls with Sir Alex Ferguson

09:49 BST 12/05/2021
Sir Alex Ferguson Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool legend says he has been in regular contact with the former Manchester United manager during his time at Ibrox

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has revealed he has held "secret" phone calls with Sir Alex Ferguson, admitting that "since I retired we have parked our rivalry up".

For the best part of 15 years, Gerrard and Ferguson were in direct competition in the Premier League as the former became Liverpool's club captain and the latter sought to knock the Reds off their perch and turn Manchester United into the most successful club in England.

Ferguson succeeded before retiring in 2013, while Gerrard left Liverpool two years later as an Anfield icon and moved into management after a brief stint in MLS with LA Galaxy. 

What's been said?

The 40-year-old has gradually built up a reputation as one of the brightest young coaches in the game at Rangers, and has now confessed to seeking out advice from his old adversary about the inner workings of Scottish football.

“I’ll let you into a little secret: I’ve had a couple of conversations with him,” Gerrard said of the ex-Manchester United and Aberdeen boss after being named Manager of the Year by the Scottish Football Writers' Association.

"Since I retired we have parked our rivalry up and he gave me time on the phone to bounce a few things off him, a few questions to do with the management up here at Rangers. He was fantastic in those conversations. At some point moving forward I’d love the chance to sit down with him and have a coffee.

"He’s agreed to that and that’s fantastic from his point of view because he doesn’t have to give me his time, especially being a rival, but I think that goes to show what type of man he is. He’s not just the iconic manager we all know.”

Gerrard reacts to Ferguson praise

Ferguson praised Gerrard for his work at Rangers in an interview with The Guardian earlier this week, insisting the former England international has already mastered the "art" of dealing with the media.

"He's done magnificent. He really has, both on and off the field," he said. "A press interview can lose you your job in management, but Steven's press conferences are fantastic. He's cool, he's composed, he gives the right answers. He's really top because it's an art."

Asked what Ferguson's complimentary words meant to him, Gerrard responded: “It’s very high praise and I’m extremely flattered. He’s an iconic figure in the game.

"Through no fault of our own we became big, big rivals at Liverpool and Manchester United, the two biggest clubs in British football. We were massive rivals for many years and he’s someone that even though he was a rival I looked up to him immensely because he is such an iconic figure in the game.

"What he achieved in the game is up there with the very best who have ever lived. So I’m really flattered and humbled by his words.”

Gerrard and Ferguson compared

Gerrard won nine major trophies with Liverpool before his departure in 2015, including the Champions League and two FA Cups, and has been able to add more silverware to his collection at the start of his management career.

He has guided Rangers to the Scottish Premier League title in 2020-21 and they will finish the campaign unbeaten if they avoid defeat in their final two fixtures.

Gerrard still has a long way to go to match Ferguson's coaching exploits though, with the 79-year-old having delivered 38 trophies during his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

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