Manchester United’s best XI since Wayne Rooney arrived in 2004

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Football News

It’s Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United testimonial this evening and, to mark the occasion, we’ve created an XI of the best players he’s played alongside at Old Trafford over the last 12 years.

The United captain, who requires five more goals to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton as the Red Devils’ all-time leading goalscorer, will walk out onto the Old Trafford pitch with his three sons.

And the opposition? His beloved Everton, of course.


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Rooney has played with some truly great United players since arriving at the club in 2004, but we’ve still been forced to leave out some pretty big names.

Scroll down to see the team in full and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar

A very tough one to call.

Edwin van der Sar shades it over David de Gea due to the fact he helped the Red Devils win four Premier League titles, two League Cups, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Dutchman was also instrumental in the 2008 Champions League final, making the decisive save from Nicolas Anelka in the penalty shoot-out against Chelsea.

Honourable mention: David de Gea

Right-back: Gary Neville

Gary Neville played alongside Rooney for seven years at Old Trafford before hanging up his boots in 2011.

The former England full-back also helped coach the striker at international level, as part of Roy Hodgson’s staff, over the past few years.

Honourable mention: Rafael

Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand

One of the most technically-assured central defenders of his generation.

The former England international, a leader in the dressing room, helped United win six Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Honourable mention: Chris Smalling

Centre-back: Nemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidic was an absolute rock at the heart of the United defence.

His partnership with Ferdinand will be remembered as one of the best in the club’s illustrious history.

Honourable mention: Jonny Evans

Left-back: Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra is the obvious candidate for the left-back position.

The Frenchman was an ultra-consistent performer who *got* what it meant to represent Manchester United.

Honourable mention: Gabriel Heinze

Right-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Rooney forged a magnificent partnership together at Old Trafford.

Their relationship wasn’t affected, somewhat surprisingly, by the infamous winking incident at the 2006 World Cup.

Honourable mention: Juan Mata

Midfield: Paul Scholes

Rooney recently named Paul Scholes as one of the two best players he’s played with during his career, alongside Ronaldo.

"Paul Scholes is one of the best midfielders of all time,” Rooney was quoted as saying by Sky Sports this week. “His passing, vision and the way he controlled the tempo of games was incredible.’

Honourable mention: Michael Carrick

Midfield: Roy Keane

You wouldn’t imagine there are too many players Rooney has been worried to cross during his career, but Roy Keane is probably one of them.

The fiery Irishman, one of the best captains in United’s history, led by example in the middle of the park.

Honourable mention: Darren Fletcher

Left-wing: Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs was still playing out on the left wing when Rooney arrived.

The Welshman then moved into central midfield, before becoming the striker’s coach at Old Trafford.

Honourable mention: Nani

Striker: Wayne Rooney

United’s second-highest goalscorer of all time gets in ahead of Robin van Persie, who was outrageously good during the 2012-13 campaign.

Rooney has provided fans with some unforgettable moments over the past 12 years.

Honourable mention: Robin van Persie

Striker: Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rooney only played with each other for a couple of seasons, but the two strikers used to link up to great effect.

Remember this goal against Charlton at The Valley? *Shudders*

Honourable mention: Dimitar Berbatov

Do you agree with this XI? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Wayne Rooney
Alex Ferguson
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
David De Gea
Premier League
Ryan Giggs

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