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Platini hails 'indelible imprint' left by Ferguson

Platini - writing in his end-of-season message as part of UEFA's 2012-13 review - labelled the 71-year-old as one of the greatest servants in football.

Ferguson - who won the Champions League twice with Manchester United in 1999 and 2008 - retired at the end of last season after 27 years in charge at Old Trafford.

He has retained some involvement in football as a non-executive director and club ambassador at United. And Platini hopes Ferguson can provide a similar ambassadorial role for the governing body.

"The 2012-13 season will also be remembered as the year one of the game’s great servants called time on his career," he wrote.

"Twice a winner of this competition as manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has left an indelible imprint on the UEFA Champions League.

"It is strange to think that a coach who has featured so prominently across the European football landscape over three decades will not be seen issuing his instructions on the touchline next term.

"But we hope he will continue to play a role with us behind the scenes, helping shape the direction of the sport and safeguarding its future.

"We wish him well in his well-earned retirement."