PAOLO Di Canio admits he is disappointed that he will never get the chance to pit his wits against Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson, who this week announced he will retire at the end of the season, was a big fan of Di Canio as a player, with the Manchester United manager failing with an attempt to sign the Italian when he was at West Ham.
But Di Canio says it is a “big regret” that he will now miss out on tackling Ferguson from the dug-out after just embarking on his Premier League managerial career.
The Sunderland head coach said today: “I’m sad because we all know every story has to end one day.
“But i know in his book, he had three big regrets and one was not signing Paolo Di Canio.
“I thought he was mad or drunk that day! But it made me proud.
“For the rest of my career as a manager, my big regret is not to be able to stand in the dugout next to him.
“It would be great to stand next to that football god.
“I saw all the documentaries and there is one moment which tells you why he won everything.
“On May 11 1983, he won a Cup Winners Cup and after 10 days, he won the Scottish Cup and at the end of the day, his face was very angry and described it as a ‘ rubbish performance’.
“That is why he won everything; two cups in 10 days, but he was angry with his squad.”
As for Ferguson’s successor at Old Trafford, Di Canio believes David Moyes is an ideal candidate after the former Everton boss agreed a six-year deal with the Premier League champion.
“David Moyes has proved he deserves to go one step forward to the top level,” added Di Canio.
“In my opinion, he is the right man.
“David has done an amazing job in the last 12 years at Everton. he has his philosophy and doesn’t spend a lot of money.
“Good luck to him, its a tough job, but we live to do these tough jobs.”