Sir Alex applauds UEFA People project

"There are many parallels between my experience in building a team and the aims of the UEFA People project," says UEFA coaching ambassador Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sir Alex Ferguson speaking to UEFA.org
Sir Alex Ferguson speaking to UEFA.org ©UEFA.com

Sir Alex Ferguson spoke to UEFA.org about the UEFA People project.

"Building a team that can exceed your expectations and meet your objectives isn't an exact science. When I am asked about the longevity that I enjoyed at Manchester United, I tell them that it's about being able to persist in my philosophies in the time I was there, and having the determination to do well.

"My job was to build football teams, and football clubs, ready for success but many of the same principles can be applied in many walks of life.

"These days, I am the UEFA coaching ambassador and they are launching a project this summer that informs people about the range of roles that they do by looking at their jobs through the eyes of their staff. It is called UEFA People and will focus on the purpose, passion and pride of being an employee there and working with some of football's biggest tournaments.

"For me, that's the starting point of building a great team: to tell people what your objectives and expectations are. When I met with players they knew that Manchester United expected to play in a certain way and targeted winning trophies. That was a given. But where the aims are less clear, telling people what you are looking for and engaging with them, is the key to making a successful team.

"I went to Budapest a few years ago and spoke to young coaches and told them that recruitment itself is not enough. You have to be ready to develop players in football just like professional development is vital in other industries, and is to those UEFA People too. As a manager, I looked for other key characteristics too, like drive and determination, to push on and get results where other teams may have accepted that it wouldn't be their day. That was why we were known at Manchester United for those results that we earned in the last ten or fifteen minutes of some big matches.

"Making people aware of what UEFA is about as an organisation and what they expect will help them to define what characteristics they are looking for to drive them forward. When we won trophies, I celebrated that night and after that, I was looking forward to the next one. UEFA will be the same when they deliver the Champions League final and EURO this summer. But by engaging the talent they have now through this project – and reaching out to signings of the future – they can lay the foundations for an even stronger team in the coming years."

 Sir Alex Ferguson is UEFA's coaching ambassador.