Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hit out at Sepp Blatter and suggested he could be “too old” to be president of FIFA.
Ferguson’s remarks came in the wake of Blatter’s suggestion that United’s decision to reject Real’s approach for Cristiano Ronaldo against the player’s wishes was like “modern slavery”.
In an interview with GQ magazine published in The Times, Ferguson said: “I think Sepp Blatter is in danger…or has reached a point now where he is being mocked within the game.
“Whether he is getting too old, I don’t know. But things can happen to people in power. Look at some of the despots in Africa.”
While denying he was comparing Blatter to the likes of Robert Mugabe, he said: “That would be ridiculous. All I’m saying is that, from a position of great power, he has uttered so many ridiculous statements that he is in danger of seriously damaging his credibility.
“So when he came out with that stuff it created a furore and rightly so, the year after the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.”
The Manchester United boss also revealed he had been expecting Real to try to sign Ronaldo following their move for Gabriel Heinze a year earlier.
“It was different for me because I knew it was coming, so I wasn’t surprised,” he continued. “When we sold Gabriel Heinze to Real Madrid we knew it was going to happen because Ronaldo was very close to Heinze.
“I knew what they were doing. I don’t believe they were interested in Heinze – good player though he is. The end game was to get Ronaldo.
“What made it really obscene was that Madrid, as General Franco’s club, had a history of being able to get whoever and whatever they wanted, before democracy came to Spain.”