Rob Smyth

Cristiano Ronaldo: The freak of nature – and nurture

Few believed anyone would reclaim the Ballon d'Or from Lionel Messi – but most didn't bargain on Cristiano Ronaldo's tenacity to win the prize.

In Alex Ferguson’s league

Rob Smythe looks at Sir Alex Ferguson's 13 titles at Old Trafford - in order of achievement.

Ferguson learns from rare mistakes to master mind games with smile

Sir Alex Ferguson's reign as Man United manager has been filled with titles but along the way he also mastered the art of mind games.

Fergie’s fledglings fail to take flight

In the delirious aftermath of Manchester United's victory in the European Cup final of 1999, commentator Clive Tyldesley sounded a note pitched perfectly between caution and celebration: ''Gary Neville, 24, David Beckham, 24, Nicky Butt, 24, [Ryan] Giggs, 25. Whatever they achieve in their future, I doubt they will ever, ever cap this.''

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