Peter Schmeichel admits he was caught off-guard by Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire as Manchester United manager at the end of the 2012/13 season.
The Reds boss made the shock announcement on Wednesday morning and will take charge of his final game against West Brom on 19 May, before adopting a new role as a club ambassador and director next campaign.
When asked if he saw the decision coming, former Reds goalkeeper Schmeichel explained how the news has left him saddened, particularly after this term’s title triumph.
“I am shocked,” Peter said. “This has come as an absolute bombshell; I really didn't see it coming. I am sad and disappointed. I was really happy with what we have done this season, bringing the Premier League trophy home, so I am shocked.
However, the legendary Dane, who famously captained United to UEFA Champions League glory during his final outing in 1999, was keen to praise his former boss and shed some light on exactly why he is regarded as the greatest of all-time.
“The thing about Sir Alex is that for 95% of the players he has brought in over the 27 years, he has scouted them all for a long time,” Peter explained. “It is not just about what you do on the pitch, it is also about your personality and how you handle situations surrounding football, like the media.
“How a player is with the public and stuff like that is very important to him. He wants the players to understand that everybody wants a piece of Manchester United. He wants the players to represent the club in the best possible way.
“I was scouted for a long time and even though my move didn’t happen the first time United approached my club, it did happen 12 months later. He came to Denmark on the morning flight, I met him and he spent 15 minutes saying, ‘listen, I’ve seen what I want and I just want you to carry on developing and evolving as you have, and I will come back for you in the summer’.
“I was disappointed when the move didn’t happen at first but he took the time to see me and then flew