Date: 10th October 2006 at 1:08pm
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Earlier feelings of betrayal aside, Ruud van Nistelrooy has respect for Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Dutchman left United this summer after falling out with Fergie last season. After all the usual comments about how he loves Real above all, Ruud still had a good word for his former mentor.

‘United was a fantastic time in my life, not only football but we met some wonderful people’ he told The Times. He insisted that he bore no grudge against the United boss, depsite their obvious disagreements.
‘I owe him a lot and respect him a lot,’ van Nistelrooy added. ‘What happened wasn’t so big not to talk to him. I said my thing and we just have to move on. Many great players have left United and other clubs’

His last words are too true, but if we believe a certain Pierre-Andre Gignac (and the media hype around him) then a great player’s successor can be on his way to United.
Gignac, a 20-year-old Lorient striker, whose reputation is growing rapidly and his performances earned praise from the France manager, Raymond Domenech, admitted being a huge fan of the Dutch goal-machine but that’s not all – he fancies himself to wear United’s No. 10 shirt!

‘I won’t tell you that I try to copy him, but I am a huge fan of the great Ruud van Nistelrooy’ Gignac said.
‘I appreciated this player a lot. My dream is to be just like him.

‘France and England are the places where I want to play football.

‘Replacing the great Ruud at Manchester United, that would be the bomb. Yes, wearing the number 10 at Old Trafford.’

However, he actually seems far from realising his dream as United were not reported to be interested in him. Of course, his claims may well turn the spotlight on him so we’ll see.