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“Then I’m having the operation, then I’ve got the recuperation, then the season starts. So we’re all right.”

Ferguson, who will become a director at United once he steps aside for new manager David Moyes, made his decision to quit coaching last Christmas, after the death of his wife’s sister. He said Friday he has no regrets, not even when he felt dejected following United’s exit at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League in March, when winger Nani was controversially sent off with United ahead on aggregate in the two-legged match.

That denied Ferguson the chance of a third title in the Champions League, a competition in which he has always acknowledged United has underperformed for a club of its stature.

“I made my mind up long ago and that was it … you can’t be successful without disappointments, I think disappointments are good for you,” Ferguson said. “It’s a challenge to you and for your players’ character to recover and I think we’ve been doing that over the years.”

Ferguson was given a standing ovation at his final news conference Friday. He received a cake with a hairdryer made of icing on top, in reference to the so-called “hairdryer treatment” he dished out to players at halftime of matches.

That’s just one of the many things Ferguson will be remembered for.

“The memories are all there, 26 years at Manchester United is fantastic,” Ferguson said. “The day I came here was a privilege and the day I’ve left will be an honor. I’m lucky to have been here that long.”