Ronaldo, Keane, Best: What is Man Utd's greatest XI in history?

Manchester United have played home to some of the greatest footballers in history.

The team may have struggled over the past few years, but lest we forget the success the club has enjoyed in the past.

Thanks to the enormous amount of world-class players to have plied their trade at Old Trafford, the Red Devils have secured an extraordinary number of trophies.

At the time of writing, United have won 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups, five League Cups, 21 Community Shields, three Champions Leagues and one Europa Leagues.

Yeah, that’s a lot of silverware.

Due to the fact that United have enjoyed multiple successful eras, from the Busby Babes to their Premier League dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson, picking the club’s greatest ever XI is effectively an impossible task.

There are simply too many legendary players to pick from.

Man Utd's Old Trafford stadium

But despite that fact, the folks over at Goal have provided their take on the ‘greatest Manchester United XI’ debate – and they’ve made some seriously bold calls.

Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nemanja Vidic and Ruud van Nistelrooy are just some of the star names to not make the cut.

Let’s take a look at their team, which is lined up in a modern 4-3-3 formation, in full…

Cody Gakpo to Man Utd? (Football Terrace)

GK – Peter Schmeichel

The obvious choice. A cornerstone of the Fergie era, Schmeichel is regularly labelled as the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeeper.

Peter Schmeichel with Man Utd

RB – Gary Neville

Mr. Consistent for United and a player who is rather underrated in the present day. His link-up with Beckham on the right was special.

Gary Neville with Man Utd

CB – Rio Ferdinand

A Rolls-Royce of a defender. Ferdinand didn’t really possess a weakness in his playing days, which is why he’s ahead of Vidic, Jaap Stam, Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce here.

Rio Ferdinand with Man Utd

CB – Duncan Edwards

Part of the famous Busby Babes, those who played with Edwards say he could have been the greatest of all time. He tragically died in the 1958 Munich air crash aged just 21.

Man Utd legend Duncan Edwards

LB – Denis Irwin

A two-footed genius who barely ever put a foot wrong during his trophy-laden time at United. The Irishman’s set-pieces were pretty darn special too.

Denis Irwin with Man Utd

CM – Sir Bobby Charlton

A bona fide legend for club and country. Charlton was the ultimate goalscoring midfielder and rippled the back of the net 249 times for United. He also won the 1966 Ballon d’Or while on the club’s books.

Man Utd legend Sir Bobby Charlton

CM – Roy Keane

He left way back in 2005, but United have still never really replaced Keane. That’s how good the Irishman was, a truly unique talent – and also hard as nails.

Roy Keane in action with Man Utd

CM – Bryan Robson

The phrase ‘complete midfielder’ is a perfect way to describe Robson. He really could do it all, with the Englishman and Keane probably tied for the title of United’s greatest ever captain.

Bryan Robson with Man Utd

RW – George Best

A maverick and a phenomenon. In his absolute prime during the 1960s, the wing wizard was quite simply unplayable. Off the field issues hampered his career somewhat, but he’s still rightly regarded as an all time great.

George Best with Man Utd

CF – Dennis Law

A striker who isn’t really appreciated by younger fans. Part of the ‘Holy Trinity’ alongside Best and Charlton, Law scored goals for fun. The Scotsman bagged 237 in 404 appearances for United and has two (yes, TWO) statues outside Old Trafford.

Dennis Law with Man Utd

LW – Cristiano Ronaldo

Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, so Ronaldo simply couldn’t be left out. Won the 2008 Ballon d’Or as a United player and still managed to score 24 goals for the club in what was a hugely tough 2021/22 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action with Man Utd

Man Utd’s ‘greatest XI’

Man Utd's greatest XI

Premier League 2000s quiz: Can you name these 30 players?

1 of 30

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