Michael Laudrup can empathise with the agonising Sir Alex Ferguson would have gone through before deciding to retire, but believes the outgoing Manchester United manager has got his timing spot on.
Laudrup and his Swansea side will be Ferguson's final Old Trafford opponents on Sunday, after it was announced in midweek the Scot is stepping down at the end of the season, with Everton boss David Moyes his replacement.
"It's fantastic for him, to prepare yourself and do it after winning a trophy so you can enjoy it is great, and it is nice when you can decide when to go, not to have others say 'maybe it would be better now if you left your job here and go up in the stands'," Laudrup said.
"In my career I felt I stopped my playing career at the top, he is doing the same. I remember I finished my career with Ajax, I had made up my mind in the winter as there was a World Cup in the summer and I knew through experience that after a World Cup the following season you have a moment where your form drops.
"The season was so good, we won the league by 17 points, we won the cup final 5-0 against PSV Eindhoven, so I knew next season could only go down so I felt this was the perfect time to stop.
"I won the double and went to the World Cup with Denmark knowing I could enjoy it. To end your career at the top, top. I said to myself I want to finish a day before not a day after I should have."
But Laudrup expects Ferguson to have a difficult time adjusting once his managerial career comes to an end.
"It is impressive how he has been going on like that, but after so many years it is a way of living more than a job. To be competitive year after year means you have something special, he will find it strange," he said.
"It's like when you stop playing. You can never prepare yourself, you can talk to people in the same situation but you have never been there yourself.
"You may have played at the top level for 20 years, and you can ask others how it is not to play, you can get some advice but when you get there it is different."