Sir Alex Ferguson

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Legendary coach, goalkeeper Bobby Clark retires

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He learned from Alex Ferguson, won 17 caps for Scotland, and led Notre Dame’s men to an NCAA title.

Now Bobby Clark, one of the best coaches in American college soccer history, is hanging up his whistle after 17 years at Notre Dame.

[ MORE: NBC’s profile on Bobby Clark ]

As a goalkeeper, Clark set a shutout record that lasted 38 years and required Edwin van der Saar to break it.

As a coach, Clark developed MLS and USMNT stars like Matt Besler, Dillon Powers, Harrison Shipp, Justin Morrow, and Jeb Brovsky.

The full statement is here.

“I just finished telling our team that this, my 17th season at Notre Dame, will be my last,” said Clark. “This has been possibly the hardest decision I have had to make in my time at Notre Dame. I have loved my time at this University and, although I have kept postponing retirement, with my 73rd birthday coming up next year I felt it was time to be in a position to spend quality time with Bette, my wife of almost 50 years, my children and importantly my seven grandchildren. I have always looked at my team as extended family, so the players will be greatly missed. If I stretch my collegiate coaching career back to when I began at Dartmouth back in 1985 then I really do have a lot of extended family.”

“The dominance is over” — Mourinho accepts current Man United reality

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If nothing else, the last three years have at least taught us one thing: it’s not Sir Alex Ferguson‘s Manchester United anymore.

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Seventh-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes are a far cry from the first-, second and first-place finishes of the final three years of Ferguson’s reign, which ended with Man United as Premier League champions of the 2012-13 season. Six months into Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford, the Red Devils look the closest thing to Fergie’s glory years as we’re yet to see.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundupWednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

While I’m thinking it, and United fans the world over are undoubtedly thinking it — they’re unbeaten in their last 11 PL games, after all — but Mourinho isn’t buying it — not yet, at least — or resting on his laurels of a jab half-done. Ahead of Sunday’s colossal clash with Liverpool (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho is the first to admit there’s still a long way to go to restoring Man United as champions of England (above video).

VIDEO: Watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s wild sideline antics in Portugal’s win

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Judging by this footage Cristiano Ronaldo has a future as a manager.

Injured and forced off 25 minutes into the EURO 2016 final on Sunday, Portugal’s captain and talisman quickly went from tears or devastation when he was stretchered off, to full beast mode.

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We’ve heard about him giving a rousing, inspiration speech in the dressing room at half time and then his actions on the bench, on the sidelines and alongside Portugal’s manager Fernando Santos showed just how much he cared about leading Portugal over the finish line to win their first-ever major trophy.

Ronaldo, 31, still has a few more years left in the tank at Real Madrid and perhaps elsewhere but Portugal’s all-time leading scorer should seriously think about a future in coaching.

[ VIDEO: Young Portuguese fan consoles crying Frenchman

Look at the video below. He’s made for it.

BONUS: Not content with just having a busted knee himself, Ronaldo was so fired up sitting on the bench that he punched a teammates knee. Turns out it really hurt Adrien Silva.

BONUS, BONUS: Perhaps this is who Ronaldo developed his managerial acumen from: Sir Alex Ferguson. Taken under Fergie’s wing as a teenager, Ronaldo was greeted by his former Manchester United boss as he walked hobbled down the steps at the Stade de France after lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy into the Parisien sky.

Just look at his face when he realizes Sir Alex was there during one of his finest moments.

Pochettino to Man United? Spurs boss spotted with Alex Ferguson

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Mauricio Pochettino isn’t allowed to have an innocence lunch with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

That’s just the way these things work.

The current Tottenham Hotspur manager, 44, and his assistant coach Jesus Perez were spotted by the paparazzi in central London on Tuesday leaving a restaurant with United’s former legendary boss Sir Alex. That sparked rumors that Pochettino could become United’s next manager.

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Back in March Ferguson waxed lyrical about Pochettino and despite Tottenham’s boss recently verbally agreeing to a new five-year contract at White Hart Lane, this meeting will increase speculation that United are lining him up to become their long-term boss.

Of course, these days Ferguson is a director and club ambassador for United. So it’s all starting to make sense, right?

With Pochettino currently guiding Tottenham to second place in just his second season in charge and knowing a point in Spurs’ final game of the season will secure runners up spot, there’s obvious reasons why the talented Argentine manager would be on his shortlist.

Currently Louis Van Gaal only has one more year left on his contract as United’s boss and following their 3-2 defeat against West Ham United on Tuesday, the Red Devils can’t finish in the top four if Manchester City win away at Swansea on the final day of the season.

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That could mean the end for Van Gaal, 64, and although Jose Mourinho has been consistently linked with taking over at Old Trafford, is Pochettino United’s preferred choice?

Look, it would be strange if United’s hierarchy aren’t sounding out potential new managers with LVG’s deal having just over 12 months to run. Despite reaching an FA Cup final and giving the Red Devils a slim chance of finishing in the top four this season, the Dutchman has struggled massively despite being given huge amounts of cash to buy new players and rebuild the squad Ferguson left behind when he retired in 2013.

Below are pictures of Pochettino and Ferguson from the Daily Mirror, as they claim that Spurs knew about the lunch and are relaxed about the situation as it was no more than a meeting between two soccer people who enjoy each other’s work.

Spurs fans, how relaxed are you about this?

Ferguson on Guardiola: He won’t replicate Barca success at Man City

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Sir Alex Ferguson has already been speaking about Leicester City and their Cinderella story as Premier League champions-elect, and the former Manchester United boss has also weighed on Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival at Manchester City.

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Guardiola. 45, will arrive at the Etihad Stadium this summer after signing a three-year deal to take charge of United’s crosstown rivals.

Despite his undying allegiance to Manchester United, Ferguson did hail the appointment of Guardiola as a “real coup” for City but has left the Spanish coach with a warning shot: underestimate the Premier League at your peril.

If anybody knows about the power of the PL, it’s Ferguson.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, Ferguson referred to Pep as “Pepe” throughout his answers and is sure he will be a success in his first assignment in England but told him it won’t be easy.

“Well, Pepe, without question has a fantastic work ethic about him. He demands that from all his training sessions. So anyone who thinks they are not going to work hard, they won’t last long, I’m sure of that. He has got great coaching ability, there’s no doubt about that.”

“It is interesting because it will be difficult for him to replicate what he did at Barcelona. Obviously Man City have a real coup in getting him because he’s an outstanding coach but Pepe won’t find it as easy. English football is not easy and every foreign coach who has come to England will tell you about that. Arsene Wenger, when he came to England after a few months he was talking about that. Jose when he came, after his first season, he realized what he achieved was hard work.

“He will be a success, I don’t think he will ever replicate what he did at Barcelona but that is a high standard. They were the best.”

Now, Fergie admires Guardiola. That much is clear. His Manchester United side were dissembled by Guardiola’s Barcelona in two UEFA Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011 at the height of Guardiola’s powers.

However, the comments from Sir Alex about Guardiola not be able to replicate what he did at Barca at Man City smack of sour grapes.

Let’s see if “Pepe” can prove Fergie wrong…