Manchester United are the most successful team in the history of English football having won 20 league titles, 13 of which have come in the Premier League era.
Over this time the club have produced some of the greats of the game and choosing their best team of the past two decades is a tough task indeed.
But Nimish Vyas has decided to take it on...
Peter Schmeichel, was the number one at Old Trafford from 1991 to 1999 and played a crucial role in United’s treble winning campaign.
During his time with Manchester United, the Danish goalkeeper won the league on six occasions and the European Cup once and amassed 113 cleans sheets in the English top flight.
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His closest rival for goalkeeper position comes in the form of Edwin van der Sar. The Dutchman may have 'only' garnered four league titles and 92 clean sheets but did play in three European Cup finals for the Red Devils.
However, his most impressive feat was going 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal in the 2008-2009 season. The two are arguably among the best goalkeepers ever but only one can claim a place in the starting XI. So will it be?
Van der Sar because the most remarkable aspect of the Dutchman’s successful career at Old Trafford was his age. He performed at a world-class level in his late 30s and early 40s.
Gary Neville gets the nod for the right back position. Neville was part of the Class of ’92 and played for the first team for 19 years.
He may not have been the potent right back with regards to his attacking abilities, but he certainly was one of the most reliable defenders in United’s team. In total he made 400 appearances for the club and collected eight league titles and two Champions League winners’ medals.
In a back line of four, the Serbian defender – Nemanja Vidic – wins the battle for one of the two centre back positions. Vidic was recently voted as United’s best ever January signing and would probably still be at the club if he had not suffered from a calamitous string of knee injuries.
He was near impossible to get past at his peak and is among the greatest of captains the club has ever had. Jaap Stam partners Vidíc in this all star lineup. The Dutch defender was a Red Devil from 1998 to 2001 and was a key component of United’s treble winning squad. Selling him was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's great regrets.
Lastly, Patrice Evra slots in at left back. Like Vidic, Evra was a January signing and the Frenchman proved to be a priceless purchase. His defensive contribution was as important as his attacking one, and Evra accumulated 21 assists during his stay at Old Trafford.
Despite the controversy always surrounding the Irishman, Roy Keane was the heart of the United squad for many years. Keane was the cog in the centre of the park, disrupting play with his ferocious combativeness.
Moreover, he never failed to inspire his team to victory; he will always be revered for his performance against in the 1999 Champions League semi-final against Juventus.
Partnering Keane in midfield is the artist that is Paul Scholes. Pele has been quoted saying, “if he was playing with me, I would have scored so many more.” So clearly, one cannot deny Scholes’ world-class quality. The Englishman scored 155 goals for the club and racked up 138 assists.
Cristiano Ronaldo - there was simply no other choice for this position. The Portuguese arrived at the Theatre of Dreams as a teenager, and under the wise guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, he has become the best player in the world.
Ronaldo can finish, dribble, create, and singlehandedly win a match. During the 2008/2009 season, Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d’or for his exploits at United.
Ryan Giggs, unsurprisingly, is given the right wing berth. The Welshman’s contributions to the Red Devils are still unfathomable to many.
He has won 13 league titles, scored 168 goals, made 952 club appearances, and is the oldest player to score in the Champions League. Giggs spent more than two decades playing for United and is now the assistant manager under Louis van Gaal.
Eric Cantona receives a spot on the team because of his immeasurable influence on United. The Frenchman scored 64 goals in 144 appearances – which is a good but not world class by any means.
He is more remembered for the charisma and excitement he brought to Old Trafford, possessing the essential aurora of a a fabled No.7.
Many credit Cantona for being the key in Manchester United’s resurgence under Ferguson. Choosing Cantona’s strike partner, however, is a much more diffuclt task as United has been home to many top forwards in the Premier League era.
Ruud van Nisetelrooy and Wayne Rooney are the two leading candidates for this position. Both were and are excellent, proven talisman.
Yet, what sets them apart is versatility, which is why Wayne Rooney is chosen over the Dutchman. Rooney is capable of playing up top but can also be the team’s playmaker; he is known for dropping deeper into the midfield in order to stamp more his influence on the game.
Do you agree with this team? Have your say in the comments section below.
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