Sir Alex Ferguson will be among the 9,500 fans in attendance at tonight’s Europa League final as he cheers Manchester United on against Villarreal.
The Scot is among United’s travelling party for the European showpiece on Wednesday evening and will be hoping to see one of his former players, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, win his first trophy in charge.
Ferguson has remained an ever present pillar of support to the Norwegian since he took charge and current players make no secret of the affection they have for the 79-year-old.
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And if you’re going to take advice from someone then it probably should be from a man that during his 26 years with the Red Devils won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles.
Ahead of tonight’s match, United tweeted a picture of Ferguson sat at a dinner table with the likes of Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes.
For many of United’s young stars, tonight’s match will be the biggest game of their careers and the importance of the calming presence of Ferguson to help them banish any last minute nerves cannot be overlooked.
Solskjaer alluded to his former boss in his press conference earlier this week, saying: “Just to have him around when we eat in the restaurant, I'm sure the players if they wonder about something, they can ask him.
“He's always about for a chat because this is the club of his heart. I hope he is going to enjoy it tomorrow night because I have to say I owe most of my career to him.”
Ferguson was well known for dishing out the hairdryer treatment to his players when things didn’t go his way, but he also gave hundreds of team talks that inspired a generation of talent at Old Trafford.
However, defender Luke Shaw isn’t sure Ferguson will be giving motivational talk to the team as a collective on the day of the final.
“I wouldn't expect him to speak to us,” said Shaw.
“We see him around the hotel at the moment a little, but within the team we have to inspire ourselves and focus on what we need to do as a group.

“I am sure we don't need people to inspire us for the game tomorrow, as much of a legend as he is. Inside our group we need to do that ourselves.
“Of course I'm sat next to the manager now and I am sure he'll be doing that tomorrow so I'm not sure we'll be seeing too much of Sir Alex.”

Sir Alex Ferguson has travelled out to Poland for the Europa League final

Image credit: Getty Images

While the team talks will rightly be left to Solskjaer to prepare his side accordingly tonight, Ferguson has been doing his part individually with players behind the scenes.
Nobody will appreciate his advice more than current club captain Harry Maguire, who remains a major doubt for the final due to an ankle injury.
In a recent interview with former Red Devil Gary Neville, Maguire was presented with a hand-written letter from Ferguson.
Maguire looked humbled to have received such a gift and insisted he would take the letter home to read in private.
While Solskjaer will rightly take the plaudits if his team get over the line against Villarreal, rest assured whatever he has learned he’ll be thanking Ferguson for the influence he’s had on his career.
There are few things in football that money can’t buy and words of wisdom from Sir Alex is one of them.
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