Tributes have flowed from all corners of the Twittersphere and real world since he made the statement this morning, from current and former players who served for and against him, stars of other sports and world leaders (well, the British PM, anyway). 

Cross town arch enemy Manchester City’s captain Vincent Kompany showed his class with this Tweet. 

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who presented Fergie with the Coach of the Year award last year, said: 

One of his greatest achievements, Cristiano Ronaldo, still has close ties with Man U after leaving for Real Madrid.

Ladbrokes is running a book on his successor, with Everton boss David Moyes, Real’s Jose Mourinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp to top contenders. 

From other sports, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is a fan …

… and he agrees with Ladbrokes’ call.

Irish golf star Rory McIlroy also paid his respects.  

If David Cameron was going to comment on Luis Suarez he was sure to jump on this bandwagon.

And understandably, Man U chief executive David Gill got soppy at the announcement, saying:

“I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of working very closely with Alex for 16 unforgettable years — through the treble, the double, countless trophy wins and numerous signings.

We knew that his retirement would come one day and we both have been planning for it by ensuring the quality of the squad and club structures are in first-class condition.

Alex’s vision, energy and ability have built teams — both on and off the pitch — that his successor can count on as among the best and most loyal in world sport.

The way he cares for this club, his staff and for the football family in general is something that I admire. It is a side to him that is often hidden from public view but it is something that I have been privileged to witness in the last 16 years.

What he has done for this club and for the game in general will never be forgotten. It has been the greatest experience of my working life being alongside Alex and a great honour to be able to call him a friend.”

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