Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been compared to Michael Jordan after The Last Dance, but he shares similarities with former Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Michael Jordan share similar character traits, as The Last Dance documentary proved

The timing of a return to training for Premier League players has probably worked out well, given the Monday ritual of waiting for the new episodes of The Last Dance to drop is now over.

The ten-episode series, that has played out over five weeks on Netflix, has been the talk of WhatsApp groups and Zoom fitness sessions at clubs up and down the country, with a renewed admiration for Michael Jordan and the Chigaco Bulls of the early-to-mid 1990s the result.

It’s been a fascinating series to follow, even for those who don’t particularly follow basketball, shining a light on the characters involved at the era-defining Bulls, from Jordan to Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, as well as the dynamic and tension between head coach Phil Jackson and general manager Jerry Krause, an example of how a structure involving a director of football wouldn’t guarantee harmony.

Now that The Last Dance is over the topic this week has shifted onto who is football’s closest equivalent to Jordan? In terms of superstar status, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fit the bill, but the series showed Jordan was about more than endorsements and that famous “Republicans buy sneakers too” attempt to market himself straight down the middle of America.

It’s his burning desire to win and the length he will go to get there that has most captivated football dressing rooms. Jordan dragged the rest of the Bulls up to his standards, kicking and screaming. He could come across as a bully with a brutal line in savaging his own teammates, yet he did it all to try and make them better. It’s clear that almost all of his teammates understood that’s why he did it and when they responded to his challenge Jordan respected them for that. Most spoke about him with fondness as well as respect. Continue reading

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