Sir Alex Ferguson on Chinese football


Sir Alex Ferguson released his second autobiography this week and the press were eager to find out what he really thought of Beckham, Keane, Wenger, Rooney etc at the launch event in London. Press conferences like this tend to have a fairly standard format, where either a moderator invites journalists by name to ask questions, or the TV reporters kick things off and it follows from there.

But they were all taken by surprise when Ferguson walked in nearly ten minutes early and as things were still settling down, a Chinese journo asked for Ferguson’s views about Chinese football and also why he had allegedly been rude to a female reporter in the past (details of this were not clear). Fergie laughed off the second part, before answering:

Chinese football is just growing. We’ve been out there two or three times and you can see the development. It takes time to reach the level of Japan or Korea, but my advice would be to continue the progress and be patient.

Hardly earth-shattering stuff, but credit to the journalist for getting the question in. The only other “Chinese” reference to come out of the event was the revelation that Aussie goalkeeper Mark Bosnich – a “terrible professional”, according to Ferguson – was partial to a bit of gongbao jiding. From the Guardian:

Ferguson signed Bosnich for Man Utd. Twice.

“We played down at Wimbledon and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu. I told him, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mark, we’ve got the weight off you. Why are you tucking into all that stuff?’ We arrived back in Manchester, and Mark was on mobile phone to a Chinese restaurant to order a takeaway. Is there no end to you? I just couldn’t make an impact on him.”

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