• Fergie completed the signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2001 after a drawn-out transfer saga. The Dutchman would become one of United's best ever strikers.
  • Sir Alex then broke a British transfer record to sign Juan Sebastian Veron for £28.1 million. However the Argentine did not live up to expectations.
  • Ferguson announced that he would retire at the end of the 2001-02 season, eyeing up a Champions League final at Hampden Park as his final game in charge.
  • However United were dumped out of the competition by Bayer Leverkusen at the semi-final stage; destroying Fergie's hopes of a fairytale ending.
  • This result spurred the Scotsman on to continue as Reds boss, as he decided he had unfinished business at Old Trafford.
  • Sir Alex was soon breaking more transfer records in 2002, making Rio Ferdinand the most expensive British player of all time by paying Leeds £30million.
  • After an uncharacteristic bare patch in his career, Fergie was soon back to winning ways, as he lifted yet another Premier League title in 2003.
  • A sight that the United fans never thought they'd see again, as Sir Alex's decision to postpone retirement seemed to have payed off.
  • Kleberson was the player that United fans were more excited about signing in 2003, but Sir Alex saw something special in a young Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • A man often tipped as Sir Alex's successor, then Celtic boss Martin O'Neill, met with the United gaffer ahead of a pre-season friendly in America.
  • Not a man to mince his words, Sir Alex is ushered to the stands by the fourth official.
  • Ferguson's longest-serving captain, Roy Keane, lifts the 2004 FA Cup with his gaffer, but United were beaten to the league by the Arsenal Invincibles.
  • Yet another big-money signing for Fergie, this time plucking the promising Wayne Rooney from Everton. The young striker would become talismanic for United.
  • The Scot reached his 1,000th game in charge of Manchester United on 23rd November 2004, marking the occasion by appearing in the team photo.
  • The Reds' clash with rivals Arsenal in 2004, dubbed 'Pizzagate', saw Fergie allegedly hit in the face by a stray slice of pizza during a tunnel fracas.
  • Sir Alex takes some time to sign a few autographs following a Premier League match in 2004.
  • Ferguson was faced with a new challenge from 2004, as a fellow mind-game enthusiast took the reigns at Chelsea.
  • Sir Alex alongside Everton manager David Moyes, another man tipped to be Sir Alex's successor when he eventually retires.
  • Former United captain Bryan Robson joined Ferguson to pay tribute after the passing of Old Trafford legend George Best.
  • Fergie ended a relatively barren five-year spell with success over Wigan in the 2006 League Cup final. Chelsea won the league, and Liverpool the FA Cup.

Sir Alex: 2001-2006

Fergie completed the signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2001 after a drawn-out transfer saga. The Dutchman would become one of United's best ever strikers.