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Sir Alex Ferguson named the most 'annoying' player he faced in 26 years as Man Utd boss

Sir Alex Ferguson named the most 'annoying' player he faced in 26 years as Man Utd boss

Sir Alex Ferguson described the player as "fantastic" and felt the need to man mark him in games.

Sir Alex Ferguson has named a Chelsea legend as the most 'annoying' yet 'fantastic' player he faced during his iconic spell at Manchester United.

Ferguson came up against an array of talents in the Premier League and beyond as he enjoyed a glittering tenure at Man United.

He won a staggering 13 Premier League titles with the Red Devils as he battled with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City for the major honours.

And he singled out former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola as the player who annoyed him the most but showered him with high praise.

Ferguson called the diminutive Italian 'fantastic' and 'brave' as he recalled an FA Cup meeting, where he was forced to 'man-mark' him.

"Now, little Zola, he annoyed me. He was one of those players who was unperturbed about who he was playing against," he said. "He always seemed to have a smile on his face and that annoyed me. I said, 'How can he be enjoying himself playing against United? Nobody else does'.

"He was fantastic. Talented. Beautiful balance. Brave. I remember we played Chelsea in the FA Cup a couple of years ago in the treble. We got them in the early rounds and we drew 0-0 at Old Trafford and I man-marked him."

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Ferguson added: "That’s how much respect I had for him. But he was a fantastic player. I loved watching him. He was enjoyable. That was the thing, for me to say that of an opponent tells you how much I admire them."

Zola spent seven stunning seasons at Stamford Bridge, making 311 appearances and scoring 80 goals.

He won two FA Cups and one Football League Cup during his time at the club and later returned as a member of Maurizio Sarri's coaching staff in 2018.

He also had managerial spells with West Ham, Watford and Birmingham.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United, Chelsea