Saturday, July 29, 2017

Manchester United Greatest All Time Team Under Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Manchester United All-Time Team Under Sir Matt Busby
Manchester United All-Time Team

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Sir Alex Ferguson is the most decorated manager in English football's history. He spent 26 years with Manchester United.  From 1986 to 2013, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles. 

Please see my Manchester United All-Time Team here.

Champions' League 2008

The Team
GK: Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)
He was regarded as one of the greatest keeper of all-time. He was voted the "World's Best Goalkeeper" in 1992 and 1993. He is best remembered for his most successful years at Manchester United, whom he captained to the 1999 UEFA Champions League to complete the Treble.  He is also the most capped player for the Denmark national team, with 129 games between 1987 and 2001. In addition to Euro 92, he played for his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and three additional European Championship tournaments.
Peter Schmeichel
GK: Edwin Van Der Sar (Holland)
The most capped player in Holland's history.  He was best remembered for being the Ajax keeper in 1995 that won the Champions' League and then, later for Manchester United for 6 seasons.  He won the Champions' League in 2007-2008. In between, he also played with Fulham and Juventus.

GK: Fabien Barthez (France)
He is France's most decorated goalkeeper.  He won the WC in 1998 at home and then, the European Championship two years later. He won  Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.  He had 87 caps for "Les Bleus".

RB: Gary Neville (England)
Along with his brother Philip, David Beckham, Paul Scoles, Ryan Giggs, and Nicky Butt, Gary Neville captained the Manchester United academy team that won the FA Youth Cup in 1991.  They all became fixtures for the senior team throughout the 1990's.  Gary Neville remained the team until 2011 and was the second, longest serving player.  For England, he was the most capped rightback in history.

CB: Rio Ferdinand (England)
Became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997.   He played 81 times for England  between 1997 and 2011, and was a member of three World Cup squads.  At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice. He won the Champions' League with Manchester United in 2008.
Rio Ferdinand 

CB: Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)
He spent 9 seasons as the starting center-back at Manchester United from 2006 and 2014, where he won every major trophy and established himself as one of the best center-backs of his generation.  He also played for Red Star Belgrade and Spartak Moscow.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.

CB: Steve Bruce (England)
Bruce played for Gillingham and Norwich before joining Manchester United in 1987, where he would play until 1996.  Under Sir Alex Ferguson, he won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup.  He also became the first English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the Double. Despite his success with his club, he was never selected to play for England. 
Steve Bruce
CB:  Jaap Stam  (Holland)
He was at one point the most expensive Dutch player and the most expensive defender in the world when Manchester United bought him for 10.6 million pounds.  He played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, A.C. Milan and Ajax. As well as club trophies, he won several personal awards, including being voted the best defender in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League. Stam played 67 international matches for the Netherlands, scoring three goals. He was in their squads for three UEFA European Championships and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

LB/RB: Denis Irwin (Ireland) 
Alex Ferguson considered him his greatest ever signing.  He played over 200 games for Manchester United, winning the Champions' League in 1999 and 7 Premiership titles. Irwin was capped by the Republic of Ireland national side 56 times, scoring four goals and featuring in the side that reached the second round (last 16) at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

LB: Patrice Evra (France)
Evra began his career with Nice and made his name with Monaco, but it was in Manchester United where he became one of the best left backs in the world.  He played for the Red Devils from 2006 to 2014.  At the time of writing, he earned 66 caps and was a key player for France since 2008.  He was the captain of the national team.  At South Africa 2010, he led a player revolt against Raymond Domenech.

DM: Paul Ince (England)
From 1992 to 2000, he was capped 53 times.  He was a key player for England at Euro 1996, WC 1998 and Euro 2000.  For his club career, he started with West Ham, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.  He is one of the few players who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.

CM: Michael Carrick (England)
He started his career with West Ham and Tottenham Hotspurs before moving to Manchester United in 2006.  At Old Trafford, he won every major trophy for club football, including the Champions' League Title in 2008.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.

CM/DM: Roy Keane (Ireland)
Keane was the captain of Manchester United from 1997 to 2005, where he won one Champions' League, 7 Preimer League titles and 4 FA Cups.  He was the PWA Player of the Year in 2000.  He had 67 caps.  He played for Ireland at the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA, but was sent home 4 years later before the start of the World Cup Finals in 2002. 
Roy Keane
CM: Bryan Robson (England)
He was at one point the most expensive British player.  He is considered to be one of England's best ever box-to-box midfielders.  He earned 90 caps for England. He went to three World Cup Finals, but he only played a major role in 1982.  He was injured in both 1986 and 1990.  He spent 13 years with Manchester United.

RW: David Beckham (England)
Beckham is the greatest ever icon to play the game. He started his career with Manchester United where he was a part of the famous team that won the 1992 FA Youth Cup. For the senior side, he won 6 Premiership titles and the 1999 Champions' League.  In 2003, he joined Real Madrid for the well-publicized "Galacticos" signing.  In 2007, he moved to LA Galaxy, where he kickstarted a soccer fever in the United States.  For England, he earned 115 caps and was a key part of the national team throughout his career.
David Beckham

LW: Ryan Giggs (Wales)
Sir Alex's longest serving player at Manchester United.  
He also holds the club record for competitive appearances. During his time at United, he won 13 Premier League winner's medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cup winner's medals and two Champions League winner's medals.

Ryan Giggs
AM/CM: Paul Scholas (England)
Scholas was a member of Manchester United's Class of 1992.  He spent 20 years with Manchester United's first team.  He won 11 Premier League, three FA Cup and two UEFA Champions League winners medals.  He earned 66 caps for England before he retired from the Three Lions in 2004.

FW/LW: Cristano Ronaldo (Portugal)
He is one of the greatest forward of his generation.  He is the most expensive players in history from 2009-2013 when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid.  At the time of writing, he won the Ballon d'Or winner three times and won Champions' League titles with both Manchester United and Real Madrid.  In 2016, he helped Portugal to win the European Championship, a month after winning the Champions' League with Real Madrid.
Cristano Ronaldo

FW: Eric Cantona (France)
Before joining Leeds United in 1992, Cantona was known as the bad boy of French football.  He moved to England to restart his career.  In England, he became a huge star.  He won the league title with Leeds United and moved to Manchester United.  At Manchester United, he became one of their best ever players. For the national team, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for the WC in 1994. 

FW: Wayne Rooney(England)
In 2002, Rooney made his professional debut as a 16 years old with Everton.  Less than a year later, he became England's youngest international when he played against Australia.  He made his big tournament debut at Euro 2004.  he scored 4 goals and named as a member of the tournament's best XI.  At the time of writing, he is England's key player for every major tournament since Euro 2004.  As for Manchester United, he has won 5 Preimer League titles.  In 2008, he formed a partnership with Cristano Ronaldo and won the Champions' League. 

Wayne Rooney

ST: Mark Hughes (Wales)
Best remembered for his spells with Manchester United.   He won two Premier League title medals, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners' Cups. He was the first player to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year award twice, in 1989 and 1991.

ST: Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Norway)  
Nicknamed "The Baby-faced Assassin".  He played 12 seasons for Sir Alex at Manchester United.  He is known to be "super sub" on the team.  He often scored important goals coming off the bench.  He was probably best remembered for scoring the winning goal against bayern Munich at the 1999 Champions' league Final. He was capped 67 times for Norway.

ST: Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Holland)
He was a prolific goal scorer. He won the top scorer award in three different European domestic leagues. He started with PSV Eindhoven.  He spent 5 seasons with Manchester United where he was voted as their best player twice.  With Real Madrid, he finished second as the European Golden Boot.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Honorable Mention
Gary Pallister, John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Wes Brown, Phil Neville, Mikael Silvestre, Nicky Butt, Lee Sharpe, David De Gea, Jimmy Leighton.

Squad Explanation
-- There are not many choices for the third keeper. Jimmy Leighton, and David De Gea were considered. De Gea might one day replace Barthez on the team.
-- The fourth centerback was between Pallister and Bruce. Bruce seemed to be rated higher.
-- Gary Neville has locked down the rightback position for too long.  No other rightback was considered. 
-- Paul McGareth played for Sir Alex, but better known for theoir feud.  The prime of McGareth's career was not under Sir Alex
-- Lee Sharpe got the Hionorabkle Mention because his peak was amazing(although it was short).
-- I should select both Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke as an unit, but Manchester United has too many legendary forwards: Cantona, Hughes, Rooney and Ronaldo.  So I could only take one.  Cole has a longer career than Yorke at the club.
--  Brian McClair was the last player considered. The team is loaded with his type of players, but he spent 11 seasons with the club.  Terry Sheringham was left off because of too many forwards. 


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