Sir Alex Ferguson autobiography: Roy Keane, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo - autobiography release could reveal all

A number of typically brutal observations are expected when Ferguson's autobiography launches later today

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The Independent Football

The football world is waiting in anticipation for the release of Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, with the footballing world bracing itself for more brutal behind the scenes revelations from the former Manchester United manager.

The contents of the book have been kept a well-guarded secret, although very few are expecting a dull affair when Ferguson reveals his view on his career since the 1999 treble success.

Clashes with Roy Keane, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy have been rumoured to be among the pages that will allow an incredible insight into the greatest manager of all time’s career. With Ferguson retiring from management in May following his record 13th Premier League triumph, he has waited until after the end of his managing  days to unleash what is likely to be the most influential book about the sport to-date.

“We all fear the worst,” joked Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – a one-time rival to Ferguson turned admirer and friend.

And with an afternoon press conference to follow the book’s release, Ferguson will once again be the centre of attention. The fact that his hand-picked successor David Moyes is currently struggling with life at the helm of the Red Devils ahead of an important Champions League clash with Real Sociedad needn’t matter in the slightest – the spotlight is firmly of Ferguson.

Journalist Paul Hayward, who is responsible for putting Ferguson’s career into print, said: "Ferguson decided several years ago to revisit the upheavals of the past decade, and to examine how he maintained control in the face of changes in United's ownership, the rise of player power and the new threats posed by Roman Abramovich's Chelsea and the Middle-Eastern wealth of Manchester City."

Despite clashes along the way, Hayward admits that Ferguson acknowledges those such as Keane, Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo among the “great players he has managed” and elaborates further on his main rivals over the years – Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez.

It is widespread knowledge that there is little love lost between Ferguson and the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager, with Benitez regularly encroaching in feuds with the United boss – Ferguson once famously labelled the Spaniard “a baby”.

Another tentative relationship could be under analysis if – as expected – Ferguson draws on the racism row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez, with Kenny Dalglish expected to come out on the wrong side of things. The fact that the two have crossed paths in the past can only worsen things.

Roy Keane had a fierce rivalry with Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira over the years


But the biggest talking point appears to be that of his former captain, Roy Keane, and that infamous interview that was pulled from the schedule of the club’s official television channel MUTV, in which Keane was widely critical of a number of their younger players which eventually led to the Irishman’s exit.

And what about Beckham and the flying football boot? Beckham’s Old Trafford exit was far from simple, with a number of reported incidents culminating in ‘Goldenballs’ feeling Ferguson’s wrath in a widely-publicised dressing room incident. Beckham eventually moved on to Real Madrid, but Ferguson is expected to expand on the former England captain’s time under his reign.

David Beckham celebrates scoring for United in 2001