Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the solitary moment he missed giving up management came just a year after his retirement.

Ferguson announced his retirement as Manchester United boss eight years ago after claiming his 13th Premier League title in his final season following nearly 27 remarkable years in the Old Trafford hot seat.

The legendary Scot's retirement led to a downturn in the club's fortunes and the Red Devils have been unable to mount a serious title challenge since his exit.

Ferguson has revealed that he retired from management to provide support for his wife Cathy after the death of her sister Bridget.

And the 79-year-old revealed the moment he most missed the game came after a visit to the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Lisbon in 2014.

Sir Alex Ferguson attended the Champions League final in 2014

Ferguson witnessed Cristiano Ronaldo score in a 4-1 extra time victory for Real after a dramatic Sergio Ramos late equaliser in normal time.

"No, there’s moments if you’re vain enough to think that way," he told the UTD Podcast, when asked if he still thought about returning to elite management.

“I made my decision because of Cathy’s sister dying and she was on her own, there was no doubt about that.

“I took Cathy to the European Cup final the next year when Real (Madrid) played Atletico (Madrid) in Lisbon and that was the first time I said to myself ‘God, I miss this’.”

“I went down to see (Cristiano) Ronaldo after the game and Carlo Ancelotti was their manager, a fantastic guy.

“He saw me in the corridor and said Cristiano is going to a medical to get tested so said ‘come in’ and all the players came to shake my hand. It was a really nice moment.

“That’s probably the only time I’ve said to myself I miss this, a big game like that.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson hailed Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford from Juventus.

Ferguson was delighted with the return of Ronaldo after first signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 (


Manchester United via Getty Images)

Ferguson shares a close relationship with the five-time Ballon d'or winner and was said to have played an instrumental role in the forward choosing United this summer.

"It's fantastic," he said. "You saw on that Saturday (against Newcastle) that it was like Caesar entering Rome after victory. 'I came, I saw, I conquered.' It was fantastic.

"I mean, for anyone who is a United fan, we could have had a million people in there, without doubt, as there were so many outside, hundreds outside."

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