Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs: Who is the greatest Man Utd player in history?

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Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs not only in England but in world football.

According to a 2019 study, the Red Devils have a worldwide fan base of 1.1 billion.

Then there’s the success with more English league titles than any other club and three European Cups to their name.

They may not have had too much recent success but United have an incredibly rich history.

Of course, you can’t be successful if you don’t have good players and the club have certainly had a few of those down the years.

Quiz: Can you answer these 15 questions about Manchester United's 2020/21 campaign?

1 of 15
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Who did Manchester United lose to on the opening day of the 2020/21 campaign?

But who is the greatest player to have ever played for the club?

That’s an impossibly difficult question to answer but Manchester Evening News have attempted to do just that. In fact, they’ve gone far further than that by ranking the top 50 players to play for the club ever!

So without further ado, let’s take you through from 50-1.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

50 - David Herd (1961-68)

49 - Teddy Sheringham (1997-2001)

48 - George Wall (1906-1915)

47 - Stan Pearson (1935-1954)

46 - Harry Gregg (1957-1966)

45 - Paddy Crerand (1963-1971)

44 - Jaap Stam (1998-2001)

43 - Paul Ince (1989-1995)

42 - Dwight Yorke (1998-2002)

41 - Billy Meredith (1906-1921)

50-41 summary

Plenty of names that may not be too familiar with your average fan with both George Wall and Billy Meredith starting their United careers more than 100 years ago.

However, there are a few modern greats with Teddy Sheringham just about sneaking into the top 50 while fellow Treble winners Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke also feature.

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40 - Johnny Carey (1936-1953)

39 - Brian Kidd (1967-1974)

38 - Brian McClair (1987-1998)

37 - Arthur Albiston (1974-1988)

36 - Michael Carrick (2006-2018)

35 - Sammy McIlroy (1971-1982)

34 - Andy Cole (1995-2001)

33 - Alex Stepney (1966-1978)

32 - Edwin van der Sar (2005-2011)

31 - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1996-2007)

40-31 summary

Current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, just misses out on a place in the top 30 - although he does beat coach Michael Carrick who finds himself in 36th.

Andy Cole’s six-year spell is enough to see him into the top 35 with the legendary Brian Kidd in at No.39.

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30 - Gary Pallister (1989-1998)

29 - Nobby Stiles (1960-1971)

28 - Norman Whiteside (1982-1989)

27 - Steve Bruce (1987-1996)

26 - Martin Buchan (1972-1983)

25 - Mark Hughes (1980-1986, 1988-1995)

24 - Dennis Viollet (1953-1962)

23 - Nemanja Vidic (2006-2014)

22 - Ruud van Nistelrooy (2001-2006)

21 - Jack Rowley (1937-54)

30-21 summary

We’re beginning to see more household names with club stalwarts Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes inside the top 30. Defender Nemanja Vidic spent eight successful years at Old Trafford and is 23rd, one below Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored 150 goals for the club.

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20 - Bill Foulkes (1950-1970)

19 - Denis Irwin (1990-2002)

18 - David Beckham (1993-2003)

17 - Rio Ferdinand (2002-2014)

16 - Tommy Taylor (1953-1958)

15 - Roger Byrne (1951-1958)

14 - David de Gea (2011-present)

13 - Gary Neville (1992-2011)

12 - Peter Schmeichel (1991-1999)

11 - Bryan Robson (1981-1994)

20-11

Inside the top 20 and we have club legends from all different era. Back in the 50s with Bill Foulkes, Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne up to the modern day with David de Gea.

David Beckham is in 18th, Rio Ferdinand 17th, while Peter Schmeichel is the highest-ranked goalkeeper in 12th.

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10 - Roy Keane (1993-2005)

9 - Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-2009)

8 - Wayne Rooney (2004-2017)

7 - Eric Cantona (1992-1997)

6 - Duncan Edwards (1953-58)

5 - Paul Scholes (1991-2013)

4 - Denis Law (1962-1973)

3 - Bobby Charlton (1956-1973)

2 - George Best (1963-1974)

1 - Ryan Giggs (1987-2014)

10-1 summary

So, Ryan Giggs is the greatest player in Man Utd’s illustrious history. The Welshman beats George Best and Bobby Charlton who make up the top three. Dennis Law and Paul Scholes complete the top 5.

There’s room for Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in the top 10 with ‘King Eric’ and Duncan Edwards in 7th and 6th respectively.

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