The Scot hinted he feels like he jinxed the club against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 and joked the referee didn’t understand Fergie time.
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his greatest regret as Manchester United manager is missing out on the Champions League final in 2001-02.
The Red Devils were eliminated from the competition at the semi-final stage by Bayer Leverkusen, denying the legendary manager the opportunity to lead his side out at Hampden in his home city of Glasgow.
Ferguson had a tremendous record in cup finals at the home of Scottish football, winning on three occasions, and he rues the missed opportunity to do so on the European game’s biggest stage.
“The one I really great was not taking Manchester United to the final in 2002,” he said as Glasgow’s logo for Euro 2020 was unveiled on Tuesday. “The whole build up was about getting to the final in Glasgow, but we lost the semi-final to Leverkusen.
“We were a bit unlucky – we ran out of time,” he joked, with a reference to the famous ‘Fergie time’. “The referee couldn’t understand my time and his time!”
Ferguson even feels that he may have jinxed his side before their fixture against the Germans.
“In the build up to the final at Hampden, I was told to go up to Glasgow and check out hotels,” he said. “So I went up and checked out hotels that would have been ideal for us. I was driving back from Glasgow and I said: ‘I don’t like it, why have I done this?’ And then we lost the semi-final, but that’s life.”
Although Leverkusen reached the final, they were defeated 2-1 by Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane’s winning strike still remembered as one of the all-time great European Cup.