Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

The Greatest Manchester United Players of All Time

Manchester United

Manchester United, the legendary English soccer team, has a storied history filled with countless domestic and European titles. Throughout the years, the club has been home to some of the greatest players in the world. In this article, we will count down the top 25 Manchester United players of all time.

25. David De Gea

David De Gea

  • Position: Goalkeeper

David De Gea, the loyal servant of Manchester United, kicks off our list. Since joining in 2011, De Gea has consistently pulled off incredible saves, earning himself the team’s player of the year award for three consecutive seasons. With nearly 400 appearances for the club, De Gea has proven himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

24. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Next on our list is the hero of the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Known as the “Baby Faced Assassin,” Solskjaer was a prolific super-sub, always ready to score important goals. Although his managerial tenure at the club didn’t yield major success, his impact as a player is undeniable.

23. Denis Irwin

Denis Irwin

  • Position: Left-Back

Denis Irwin, one of the finest left-backs in the game, claims the 23rd spot on our list. Spending 12 years at Old Trafford, Irwin played nearly 400 matches for the club. Sir Alex Ferguson himself hailed Irwin as his best signing, recognizing his immense contribution to the team.

22. Steve Bruce

  • Position: Centre-Back

Next up is Steve Bruce, a rock-solid defender who played a crucial role in securing Manchester United’s first Premier League title in 1993. Although he later transitioned into management, Bruce’s impact on the team as a player cannot be overlooked.

21. Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra

  • Position: Left-Back

Patrice Evra, the greatest left back in Manchester United’s history, takes the 21st spot. Known for his eccentric behavior and funny punditry work, Evra was a vital component of multiple title-winning teams. He played a crucial role in the club’s 2008 UEFA Champions League triumph.

20. Andy Cole

Andy Cole

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Andy Cole, a prominent member of the treble-winning squad in 1999, secures the 20th place on our list. During his six years at Manchester United, Cole emerged as the club’s primary goal scorer. His contributions played a significant role in their domestic and European success.

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19. Bill Foulkes

  • Position: Centre-Back

Bill Foulkes, a survivor of the tragic Munich Air Disaster, joins our list from the iconic “Busby Babes” team of the 1950s. Foulkes, the club’s fourth-highest appearance maker, had a long and successful career with Manchester United, both as a player and later as a manager.

18. Nemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidic

  • Position: Centre-Back

In 18th place, we have Nemanja Vidic, the rock-hard Serbian center-back known for his formidable partnership with Rio Ferdinand. Vidic’s defensive skills and fearlessness made him a nightmare for opposing strikers. He played a pivotal role in Manchester United’s 2008 UEFA Champions League victory.

17. Mark Hughes

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Mark Hughes, nicknamed “Sparky,” earns the 17th position on our list. A prolific goal scorer, Hughes played in two spells for the club, accumulating 83 goals in 256 games. After retiring, he transitioned into a successful managerial career.

16. Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Ruud Van Nistelrooy, a deadly striker, comes in at 16th place. In his five-year stint with Manchester United, Van Nistelrooy scored an impressive 95 goals in 150 Premier League games. Although he didn’t achieve European success with the club, his goal-scoring prowess remains unmatched.

15. Gary Neville

Gary Neville

  • Position: Right-Back

Gary Neville, part of the famed “Class of 92,” is widely regarded as the greatest right back in Manchester United’s history. Neville’s 600 appearances for the club spanned nearly two decades, during which he played a crucial role in multiple UEFA Champions League victories.

14. Edwin Van der Sar

Edwin Van der Sar

  • Position: Goalkeeper

Edwin Van der Sar, initially brought in as a backup goalkeeper, quickly established himself as one of the greatest in history. Van der Sar’s reliability and crucial saves, including his unforgettable penalty shootout heroics in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, solidified his place in Manchester United’s history.

13. Roy Keane

Roy Keane

  • Position: Defensive Midfielder

Fiery Irishman Roy Keane, known for his leadership skills, claims the 13th spot on our list. Keane’s toughness on the field and unwavering commitment to the team made him one of the best captains in Manchester United’s history. Despite some clashes with Sir Alex Ferguson, his impact remains undeniable.

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12. Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

  • Position: Centre-Back

Rio Ferdinand, hailed as the best defender in the club’s history, partnered with Nemanja Vidic to form an impenetrable defensive duo. Ferdinand’s elegance and defensive prowess made him an integral part of Manchester United’s success, including their 2008 UEFA Champions League triumph.

11. Duncan Edwards

  • Position: Defensive Midfielder

Duncan Edwards, tragically killed in the Munich Air Disaster, was a player who showed immense promise. Despite his life being tragically cut short, Edwards’ exceptional technical skills and ability to navigate past defenders made him a standout player during his time at Manchester United.

10. Bryan Robson

  • Position: Central Midfielder

Bryan Robson, known as “Captain Marvel,” bridges the gap between the pre and post-Sir Alex Ferguson eras. Robson’s passing ability and penchant for scoring crucial goals earned him a vital role in the team. He was a true legend for Manchester United.

9. Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel

  • Position: Goalkeeper

Peter Schmeichel, widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in Manchester United’s history, secures the 9th spot. With his imposing physique and commanding presence, Schmeichel played a crucial role in the team’s treble-winning season in 1999. He is a beloved figure among fans.

8. Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes

  • Position: Central Midfielder

Paul Scholes, a member of the famed “Class of 92,” was a loyal servant to Manchester United. Known for his passing ability and remarkable goals, Scholes rarely missed a game during his career. His contribution to the team was immeasurable, and he remains an iconic figure.

7. Denis Law

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Denis Law, one of the few players to play for both Manchester clubs, earns the 7th spot. With 184 goals in 307 appearances, Law’s impact on the team was undeniable. He remains the only Scottish player to have won the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in soccer history, takes the 6th position on our list. Ronaldo’s two spells at Manchester United saw him become the focal point of the team and a key contributor to their success, including the 2008 UEFA Champions League title.

5. Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Eric Cantona, an eccentric French hero, is one of the most beloved players in Manchester United’s history. Known for his skillful play and unique personality, Cantona provided memorable moments both on and off the pitch. His impact on the team is still cherished by fans around the world.

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4. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs

  • Position: Left Midfielder

Ryan Giggs, the finest player from the “Class of 92,” holds the record for the most appearances in Manchester United’s history. With 949 games and 164 goals under his belt, Giggs was a key contributor to the team’s success throughout his career.

3. Sir Bobby Charlton

  • Position: Attacking Midfielder

Sir Bobby Charlton, the only player on our list to receive a knighthood, was a crucial member of Manchester United’s iconic 1968 European Cup-winning team. With Manchester United, he scored a record 249 goals in 758 appearances. His contributions to the team and English soccer are legendary.

2. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Wayne Rooney, arguably the greatest English soccer player of all time, is the second-best Manchester United player in our list. As the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 253 goals, Rooney’s impact on the team cannot be overstated. His incredible range of goals and his leadership skills define his legacy.

1. George Best

George Best

  • Position: Left Winger

At the top of our list is the incredible George Best, the greatest Manchester United player of all time. Best, often referred to as the “Elvis Presley” of soccer, mesmerized fans with his silky skills and flair. With 353 appearances and 137 goals for the club, Best left an indelible mark on the game.

Q: Did any Manchester United players make the list who are currently playing for the club?
A: Yes, David De Gea is the only current squad member included in the list of top players.

Q: Who is the youngest player on the list?
A: Duncan Edwards, tragically killed in the Munich Air Disaster, was the youngest player to make the list.

Q: Are there any players on the list who also had successful managerial careers?
A: Bill Foulkes and Mark Hughes both had successful managerial careers after their playing days.

Manchester United has been privileged to have had some of the greatest players in the history of soccer. From legendary goalkeepers to prolific goal scorers, each player on this list has made their mark on the club’s history. While opinions may differ, these 25 players have undoubtedly left an indelible legacy at Manchester United.