It takes a lot to deflate Alex Ferguson. And by a lot, I mean a lot. He is, after all, one of the great figures of the modern game, the most successful coach in the history of British football, and a figure revered widely in all of sport. Yet, in the pressroom at London’s Wembley Stadium on May 29, 2011, the seemingly unflappable Scotsman cut a wretched figure. “Well, they really mesmerise you with their passing, and we never really controlled [Lionel] Messi.” A sense of defeatism filled the room. These were a fatalistic set of words you would have scarcely expected from a proud and seasoned winner like Ferguson.
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