Di Canio reveals Fergie regret

Paolo Di Canio has revealed his pride that Sir Alex Ferguson twice tried to sign him and is disappointed he will not be opposing the retiring Manchester United manager.

Last Updated: 10/05/13 at 11:42 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: Was wanted by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Paolo Di Canio: Was wanted by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Di Canio took charge at Sunderland just two days after United won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light in late March and Ferguson's imminent retirement has denied the Italian the chance to pit his wits against the 71-year-old.

Ferguson was a fan of Di Canio during his playing career and was keen to bring him to Old Trafford in the early 2000s when he was at West Ham United.

"He called me two Christmas Days in a row and I thought it was my friend so I swore down the phone," said Di Canio. "He said 'no Paolo, this is Alex', I said 'Alex who? Is this you?' still thinking it was my friend and swore again.

"I said no, it was incredible to think about for me especially as I was 31 and he wanted me to play behind the strikers because Teddy Sheringham was nearly 40 and ready to quit. I thought this is mad that he wants me. I thought it was a joke but I said I can't trade.

"But it was a fantastic moment and gave me more energy because he was an important manager and you think you are a top footballer, I didn't have high esteem.

"I'm sad because we all know every story has to end one day. But I know in his book, he had three big regrets and one was not signing Paolo Di Canio. It made me proud.

"For the rest of my career as a manager, my big regret is not to be able to stand in the dugout next to him. It would be great to stand next to that football god.

"I saw all the documentaries and there is one moment which tells you why he won everything.

"On May 11 1983, he won a Cup Winners' Cup and after 10 days, he won the Scottish Cup and at the end of the day, his face was very angry and described it as a 'rubbish performance'. That is why he won everything; two cups in 10 days, but he was angry with his squad."

David Moyes has been confirmed as Ferguson's replacement and Di Canio feels the Everton manager deserves a crack at a big job.

He added: "David Moyes has proved he deserves to go one step forward to the top level. In my opinion, he is the right man.

"David has done an amazing job in the last 12 years at Everton. He has his philosophy and doesn't spend a lot of money.

"Good luck to him, it's a tough job, but we live to do these tough jobs."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f he can find the right player? Surely the manager of one of Europe's top clubs has a well-researched short-list and has a good idea of who he wants to bring on-board? If I can find the right player sounds like someone going out on Saturday night on the pull, and the nearer you get to midnight the lower your standards drop.

CamberleyGooner
Wenger to buy centre-half

C

an someone point Brenda towards the real premier league table rather than the imaginary table in Brenda Land

bludsucker
Rodgers still targets top four

P

lease, please 365 can you find out what he drinks and let me know?

citymanofoz
Rodgers still targets top four

Footer 365

Transfer news: Inter Milan reveal interest in Liverpool midfielder Lucas but not Tottenham's Aaron Lennon

Inter Milan have dismissed reports they want Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon during January, but admit Liverpool's Lucas is a target.

Scottish Championship: Chairman David Somers says Rangers 'living beyond their means for years'

Rangers chairman David Somers claims a number of 'legacy issues' from previous boards have contributed to the current financial state of the club.

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger will buy a centre-half in January

Arsene Wenger will buy a centre-half if he can find "the right player" and says he has no qualms about spending money.

Mail Box

Wenger Has Made Arsenal Mentally Weak

We have plenty of reaction to yesterday's result, with Mailers sick of Wenger, Mertesacker and Skrtel in particular. Plus why it's not yet time for 'Austin for England'...

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property