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

s that Subbuteo's Shaun Wright-Phillips? Crikey, I thought he'd retired. Although I guess 'Only' QPR is like a retirement home.

duckman
The Earl Grey Gossip

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

Footer 365

Premier League: Louis Van Gaal confirms Wayne Rooney will captain United in Manchester derby

Louis van Gaal has confirmed Wayne Rooney will play and will captain Manchester United in Sunday's derby against City.

Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus shrugs off transfer talk

Marco Reus insists his future is the last of his concerns amid reports Bayern Munich want to sign the Dortmund ace.

Premier League: Wenger not ruling out Arsenal title bid

Arsene Wenger is not ruling the Gunners out of the title race despite being nine points behind leaders Chelsea.

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

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