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Manchester United’s Greatest Premier League Team
Janes Jersey We take a look at what we believe to be Manchester United’s greatest team since the inception of the Premier League after Manchester United finished their lowest Premier League finish in the first season since Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Peter Schmeichel (1991-1999)
Peter Schmeichel is Manchester United’s best ever goalkeeper and one of the best goalkeepers the world has ever seen.
Schmeichel joined the club from Bronby for a bargain price of £505,000 in the summer of 1991 and made his Manchester United debut in a 2–0 win over Notts County.
In his opening season in the Premier League, Schmeichel helped the club to their first league title for 26 years, keeping an impressive 22 clean sheets.
Schmeichel won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups and one League Cup.
He also led the team to the Champions League trophy for the club.
During his eight years with Manchester United, Schmeichel made 392 appearances, keeping an incredible 178 clean sheets and scoring one goal against Rotor Volgograd.
He became the first goalkeeper to keep 100 clean sheets in the Premier League when he kept a clean sheet against Crystal Palace.
Schmeichel won the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 1992, 1993, 1997 and 1998.
Gary Neville (1992-2011)
Gary Neville was a graduate of the famous “Class of 92” which included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary’s brother Phil.
Neville made his senior debut against Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup in September 1992, having led the youth team to the FA Youth Cup title in the 1991–92 season.
Gary Neville became the team’s first choice after Paul Parker was injured, a position he held until his retirement in 2011.
Neville was appointed club captain following the departure of Roy Keane in November 2005.
Neville made 602 appearances for the club, scoring 7 goals, winning 8 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and 2 European Champions League trophies.
Dennis Irwin (1990-2002)
Dennis Irwin was one of the most reliable and consistent artists of his generation, though often underrated.
Irvine joined Oldham in a £625,000 move from Oldham Athletic in the summer of 1990 and made his debut on 25 August 1990 against Coventry City.
In his first season with the club, Irvine helped the club win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, defeating Barcelona in the final.
Irvine was an ever-present as Manchester United won their first league title for 26 years and was also present in every game of the 1993–94 double-winning season.
Irvine won seven Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup, one European Champions League and one European Cup Winners’ Cup while with the club.
Denis Irvine made 529 appearances and scored 33 goals for Manchester United before joining Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of the 2001–02 season.
Jaap Stam (1998-2001)
Jaap Stam only lasted three seasons with the team but became hugely popular with the Manchester United faithful.
Stam joined the club from Dutch side PSV for a then world record fee of £10.6m for the defender and made his debut in the 3–0 defeat against Arsenal in the Charity Shield.
Stam helped Manchester United to a famous treble of Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions League in his first season with the club.
Manchester United became the first team to win three consecutive seasons while with the club.
Stam made 127 appearances for Manchester United and scored a goal in a 6–2 win against Leicester.
Stam was voted UEFA Club Defender of the Year in 1998–99 and 1999–00.
Rio Ferdinand (2002-present)
Rio Ferdinand is arguably the best footballing midfielder of a generation and England’s most accomplished defender since the legendary Bobby Moore.
Ferdinand joined the club for a British record transfer fee of £30m and is still the most expensive English footballer in history and the most expensive defender in world football.
Rio made his debut for the team on 27 August 2002 in a Champions League qualifier against Zlagerszeg, which Manchester United won 5–0.
Ferdinand helped Manchester United win the Premier League in his first season at the club, playing 28 league games.
Ferdinand failed a drugs test in September 2003 which earned him an eight-month ban.
Ferdinand made nearly 450 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 8 goals and winning six Premier League titles, two League Cups and one Champions League trophy.
Rio led Manchester United to a memorable penalty shootout win against Chelsea in the Champions League final.
Ferdinand joined the FIFA World XI for the 2007–08 season.
Ryan Giggs (1990-present)
Ryan Giggs is the oldest member of the “Class of 92” and the only one to play past the age of 40.
Giggs made his debut for the club on 2 March 1991 in a 2–0 defeat and scored his first goal for the club in a 1–0 win over Manchester City.
Giggs is the only player to appear in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992.
He also scored a goal in every campaign until the 2013–14 season.
Giggs is the most decorated player in the history of English football with an incredible 13 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cup winners medals, 3 League Cup winners medals and 2 Champions League winners medals.
Giggs has made over 950 appearances for the club, scoring a record 168 goals for a Manchester United player.
In a truly illustrious career, Giggs has set many records including most appearances in the Premier League, most Champions League appearances, most goals by a British player in the Champions League and the oldest goalscorer in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-2009)
Cristiano Ronaldo was often referred to as a show pony in his early days because his numerous step-overs looked great but were not particularly productive.
During his time at the club, under Ferguson’s guidance, Ronaldo showed the undoubted potential to become one of the best players in the world.
Ronaldo joined Sporting Lisbon for £12.2m after impressing Alex Ferguson in a friendly against Manchester United.
Ronaldo made his debut as a substitute in a 4–0 win over Bolton on 16/08/03 and scored his first goal in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth.
In his first season, Ronaldo helped Manchester United win the FA Cup, scoring his first goal in a 3–0 win over Millwall.
Ronaldo made 292 appearances for Manchester United and scored an impressive 118 with 42 goals in 49 appearances as he helped Manchester United win the Premier League and Champions League, winning several individual awards including the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in the process.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and a Champions League trophy with Manchester United before joining Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of £80m.
Roy Keane (1993-2005)
Roy Keane was a dominating, tough-tackling, highly competitive central midfielder who epitomized the spirit of Manchester United under Alex Ferguson.
Keane joined the club in the summer of 1993, signing for £3.75m from Nottingham Forest, and made his debut on 23 August in a 2–1 win against Aston Villa.
In his first season with the club, Keane helped the team to a famous double, winning the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Following the shock retirement of Eric Cantona at the start of the 1997–98 season, Keane was handed the captaincy of Manchester United, a position he retained until his departure in 2005.
Keane made 480 appearances during his 12-year spell at the club, scoring 51 goals and winning seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League trophy.
Keane left the club on 15 December 2005 to sign for boyhood club Celtic.
Paul Scholes (1993-2011 and 2012-2013)
Paul Scholes is the last member of the “Class of 92” to feature in our great Manchester United Premier League team.
Scholes was one of the greatest attacking midfielders of his generation, although he was occasionally frustrated by his ability to mistime tackles which earned him over 120 yellow cards and 10 red cards and famously missed the 1999 Champions League final through suspension.
Scholes made his debut for the club on 21 September 1994, scoring both goals in a 2–1 League Cup win over Port Vale.
In his first season as a first team player, Scholes helped the team finish 2nd in the Premier League and reach the FA Cup Final where they lost 1–0 to Everton.
Scholes famously retired from professional football at the end of the 2010–11 season before Ferguson returned to him in January 2012.
In two spells with Manchester United Scholes made 718 appearances and scored 155 goals and won eleven Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and two Champions League trophies.
Eric Cantona (1992-1997)
Eric Cantona was nicknamed “King Eric” by Manchester United fans, considered by many to be Manchester United’s best ever player, and his name still rings around Old Trafford.
Cantona signed for the club on 27 November 1992 from rivals Leeds United for £1.2m and made his debut as a substitute against Manchester City on 6 December 1992.
In his first season, Cantona led the team to their first league title in 26 years as they won the Premier League, 10 points clear of Manchester United.
In January 1995, Cantona gained notoriety for the wrong reasons when he launched a kung-fu style kick at a Crystal Palace fan, sending him hurtling back into the tunnel. The incident led to Cantona being banned from football for eight months and many say Manchester United should win the league title.
Following the departure of Steve Bruce, Cantona was handed the captain’s armband at the start of the 1996–97 campaign in which Manchester United won their fourth title in five years.
At the end of the 1996–97 season, Cantona surprisingly announced that he was retiring from professional football at the age of 30.
Manchester United Cantona made 185 appearances and scored 82 goals and won four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (2001-2006)
The last place in the team is filled by Ruud van Nistelrooy who is the most clinical finisher to play for the team in the Premier League.
Van Nistelrooy signed for the club in the summer of 2001 from PSV Eindhoven for a fee of £19m and made his debut in a 2–1 Charity Shield defeat against Liverpool.
In his first season with the club, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in the league (he set a record of scoring in 8 consecutive matches which he later broke) and 36 goals in all competitions.
Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 appearances during his five years with the club and won a Premier League title, an FA Cup and a League Cup.
Left the club in July 2006 after rumors of a falling out with Ferguson van Nistelrooy and signed for Real Madrid for an £11m fee.
– Edwin van der Sar
– Nemanja Vidic
– Ronnie Johnson
– David Beckham
– Lee Sharpe
– Wayne Rooney
– Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Ultimate Super Sub!!)
Here’s our verdict against the great Premier League side Manchester United, feel free to let us know if you disagree!
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