Picking just ten players from all the great footballers United have had down the years was tricky. Here they are though, my top ten United legends…
10. Denis Irwin (1990-2002) – Irwin made five hundred and twenty nine appearances for United in twelve years. Nothing flashy about the full back, he got on with his job and always conducted himself with dignity. Solid at the back and good going forward, also a quality set piece taker.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-2009) – A tricky winger with power and speed to burn. Despite struggling early on in his career he developed into arguably the world’s best player and scored one hundred and eighteen goals in two hundred and ninety two games from midfield.
8. Peter Schmeichel (1991-1999) – ‘The Great Dane’ was a vital part of United’s domination during the 1990’s. A commander of his area and nigh on unbeatable in one to one situations. He ended his time at United by lifting the FA Cup trophy in his final match in the historic treble season.
7. Eric Cantona (1992-1997) – ‘King Eric’ played for just five years at Old Trafford and retired at just thirty one. He left a lasting impression though. He was voted United’s player of the century in 2001. To this day the fans still sing his name at Old Trafford thirteen years after he retired.
6. Paul Scholes (1994-Present) – Scholes is a midfielder with an eye for goal, great skill and excellent vision. He’s made over six hundred appearances for United and is fourth on the list of most appearances ever for the club. At approaching thirty six he is still performing at the highest level.
5. Denis Law (1962-1973) – Law is a multiple record holder. He’s United’s second highest goal scorer of all time, he’s scored forty six goals in a single season and he’s the only Scotsman to win the European Footballer of the Year award. He also jointly holds the record for Scotland’s highest scorer with thirty.
4. Bobby Charlton (1956-1973) – Charlton is United’s record goal scorer, with two hundred and fifty nine. He was a pivotal part of United’s 1968 European Cup success. A strong, skilful midfielder with a thunderbolt of a shot.
3. Roy Keane (1993-2005) – A controversial and temperamental player, but probably the best captain anyone could want. On and off the pitch Keane demanded nothing but 100% from his teammates and regularly dragged United out of trouble through determination and resilience. His finest moment saw him pull United through the 1999 Champions League semi final in Turin against Juventus. Despite being two goals down Keane rallied his troops and got them back into the game with a goal, despite knowing he’d miss the final if they got there.
2. George Best (1963-1974) – “Best was the greatest footballer ever.” Pele said that, and he should know. Best was the first sex symbol footballer and was comfortably the best player of his generation. He scored in the 4-1 win over Benfica in 1968’s European Cup final and was also voted European Footballer of the Year for the same season.
1. Ryan Giggs (1991-Present) – Giggs has made more appearances than anyone for United. He has won everything there is to win in club football more than once. He’ll be thirty seven in November and is show no signs of slowing down. He is the only player to have played and scored in every season of the Premier League. He’s gone from being a tricky winger to a playmaking central midfielder, and he’s done it with ease. A true legend. A great player, and you never see him swearing and screaming in a ref’s face or falling out of a club the night before a match. Great professional and a living legend.
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