England manager Roy Hodgson has praised Alex Ferguson after Manchester United claimed their 13th Premier League title under the Scot.
United reclaimed the title from local rivals Manchester City following a 3-0 rout of Aston Villa on Monday, a victory set up by Robin van Persie’s first-half hat-trick.
Hodgson said he is amazed by Ferguson’s longevity and ambition after 21 seasons in charge of the Old Trafford outfit, labelling the 71-year-old a ‘”magician” for mounting title challenges each season.
“It’s incredible. I think the most incredible thing about it is being able to do it year after year,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.
“There’s no doubt that there is a certain lack of appetite that comes with winning things. It’s very, very difficult to be as hungry for your second title as you were for your first and it must be even harder to be as hungry for your 25th title, or whatever it is now if you take all of Alex’s titles together.
“We are talking about someone with incredible ability and an ability to keep himself fresh. How many Manchester United teams has he actually constructed in this period of time and this 25 years in which they have won 13 league titles and goodness knows how many cups and European cups?
“To be frank, if we’re going to talk about magicians in football then the only magicians I know are people like Sir Alex Ferguson, who year after year keeps producing incredible performances from his teams and his players and keeps being able to rebuild teams from the ashes of his previous team.”
United’s successful campaign was steered by a large English contingent, with the likes of Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, and Wayne Rooney, among others, helping deliver the club’s 20th league title.
And Hodgson is delighted to see so many players who have featured in his squads thriving domestically.
“It’s very nice to see a lot of very good English players are coming through thanks to their incredible academy system and they are going to be very important for me. That is of course a major bonus,” he said.
“It’s a particular bonus when I go to watch matches because when I go to see United play, there’s a good chance I’ll see a number of English players, which unfortunately isn’t always the case when I go watch matches.”