The former Netherlands striker left Old Trafford after a blazing row with the legendary boss
At the end of the 2005/06 Premier League season, Ruud van Nistelrooy would have been forgiven for thinking he was due a new Manchester United contract after scoring 21 goals in the league.
However, by the time next season came around he was playing his football in a different country.
The Dutchman’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson had disintegrated so rapidly in the space of five months after a very nasty falling out.
Van Nistelrooy was left on the bench for the Carling Cup Final against Wigan Athletic in February of that year and, in a fit of rage, became extremely irate.
The Scot recalled how the striker swore at him from the dugout which was effectively the end of his career at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Eleven Sports for TV programme ‘Made in the Eredivisie’, the 42-year-old revealed what actually happened on the bench in that infamous night in Cardiff.
“It was very harsh, both ways,” he said. “Especially after five years of having such a strong bond.
“I learned so much from him and, in all modesty, him from me too. And yet the end was ruthless.
“It was me who took the first step .. to make it OK again.”
“I called him … I felt bad about what I had done to him … the names I called him on the bench the entire match. In a blind rage I shouted at him.”
While the Dutchman never specifically tells the interviewer what he called Ferguson, it could be inferred that he called him a ‘Scottish pig’.
“I called him a number of things in a blind rage,” he admitted. “Cocky and stubborn as I was, I couldn’t snap out of that for some time after.
“That’s how it all crashed.”
After 150 goals in 219 games at United, Van Nistelrooy was sold to Real Madrid in the summer.
Had the ex-Netherlands striker not called to eventually apologise to his former manager, it is unlikely the duo would have spoken again.