With Sir Alex Ferguson’s 30th anniversary celebrations taking place this weekend, what better opportunity is there to discuss his best Manchester United eleven?
In a golden tenure that spanned over two and half decades, we were blessed with witnessing some truly special and unique players, making it an absolute headache to choose a side.
You’ll notice some notable absentee’s in my list, but I’ve made an effort to only list players of my time – a gentle reminder that I am a millennial!
Although Edwin van der Sar made it a tight call, it just has to be Schmeichel. Widely recognised as one of the best goalkeepers to have ever braced the Premiership, the Great Dane gets my nod in between the sticks.
Although he wasn’t necessarily the most talented, his passion and determination made Gary Neville a mainstay in the United back four for nineteen years. A graduate from the Class of 92, Gary Neville was a great player, great man… even better pundit!
One of the best centre-backs of his generation, Rio Ferdinand is an undisputed club legend. The complete defender, Ferdinand’s complimentary partnership with Vidic constituted to one of the best defensive pairings in Europe.
As the best defender I’ve ever seen in the game, Nemanja Vidic picks himself. Integrating immense physicality with absolute bravery, Vidic led United to three consecutive Premier League titles (five titles in total), the UEFA Champions League in 2008, the FIFA World Club Cup and three League Cup medals.
Being the millennial I am, I’ve decided to opt for fan-favourite Patrice Evra ahead of Denis Irwin – who was plying his trade just before my time. The Frenchman optimises the typical Manchester United flying fullback, providing stern defence cover whilst contributing lethal pace and width to United’s attacks, he was an integral part of Sir Alex Fergusons
One of the best players to have ever braced football, Cristiano Ronaldo needs no introduction!
The Ballon d’Or winner was at the forefront of United’s all-conquering Champions League winning side in 2008. Ruthless, clinical, lightning fast, iconic (I’m running out of adjectives!) Ronaldo was unplayable.
Arguably the best midfielder of my time, Scholes orchestrated the midfield for over two decades. Criminally underrated by the same media that lavish Henderson, Paul Scholes’s distribution, vision and intelligence was awe-inspiring, not to mention he didn’t have a bad shot, eh?
Roy Keane – Captain
Passionate, brave and somewhat terrifying, Roy Keane was the heartbeat of United’s team in the early 2000’s. No stranger to controversy, Keane’s fiery aura transcended the pitch.
The embodiment of the perfect professional, Ryan Giggs bleeds Manchester United. The club’s most capped player, Giggs typifies Manchester United – quick, dedicated, exciting, and local. The definition of a legend, our one-club man is the first name on Sir Alex’s team sheet.
Although heavily scrutinised at the moment, it’d be criminal to omit Rooney from the side. On the verge of breaking the club-record for goals, Wayne Rooney has been United’s – and England’s – poster boy for over a decade.
In his earlier days he proved to be a tantalising spearhead, but in recent years has adapted to a deeper, more influential role, Wayne Rooney’s influence as captain is prominent on and off the pitch.
Robin van Persie
Although it was tough decision, I’ve decided to choose van Persie purely for sentimental reasons.
The Dutchman’s first twelve months at the club were sublime. It was almost surreal that we acquired the best player in the league from such a fierce rival, who thereafter almost single handily lead us to our most recent league title; I still get goosebumps thinking about his wonder goal in our 3-0 demolition of Aston Villa!
Lethal is an understatement, the ex-Gunner’s heroics in 2012-2013 have solidified him as a Manchester United legend in my books.
Although the likes of Denis Irwin and Eric Cantona are notable absentee’s, I’d like to reiterate that I’ve chosen players of my time. Nonetheless, that’s my best Manchester United eleven – what players make yours, and why?