There's a certain aura that surrounds great icons in professional sports. Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and many others have carved a legacy for themselves that will live on forever. But whilst the players do the dirty work, behind all their success is a manager or coach that guides them towards glory. For more than 26 years, that man for Manchester United was Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now you can say what you want about Fergie, and many people do, but he's a legend. There's simply no other way to put it, because otherwise you wouldn't be doing him justice. He's a man who was a renegade who didn't listen to the doubters and the haters, instead choosing to manifest a way in which he could ensure his name went down in the history books.
It wasn't always smooth sailing for the Scot, and he even ran the risk of being sacked at one stage. But thankfully cooler heads prevailed, and when you look at his 38 trophies at Old Trafford it soon becomes obvious just how good he was.
When we look through the years of historical greatness in this profession, names like Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley are often mentioned in the same breath as the former Red Devils boss. But the thing is although they were successful, they weren't as able to adapt to the conditions of different eras as smoothly as Fergie.
Over the course of his tenure at the club, the now 74-year-old oversaw players who were paid peanuts every week all the way up to Cristiano Ronaldo who earns as much in seven days as some people do in a lifetime.
But that didn't phase him, and neither did the increased pace but decreased physicality of the game. Ferguson's mind for the sport allowed him to change the style in which his team played a number of times, which is why every single one of his 13 league titles were thoroughly deserved. Just look at some of the players he had at his disposal in his final season. They shouldn't have been good enough to be champions, but he made them just that.
Then there's his durability. Nobody should be able to go that long at a club and not be sacked. It seems almost impossible that it happened but it did, and these days the trigger fingers of chairmen up and down the country are too quick to chop and change the managerial position. There's no trust these days.
For all these reasons and more it really is beyond difficult to see anyone even coming close to touching the truly legendary status of Sir Alex Ferguson, and that's the way it should be.