Manchester United has been home to home to some of the greatest players to ever take to the field. The club has boasted some of the most creative, skillful and flawless players their ever we’re.
Every time there’s a debate about the best players to have ever lived, it’s highly unlikely not even a single Manchester United player will be on that list.
In this context, let’s take a look at some of the best players to ever play for Manchester United.
15. TOMMY TAYLOR
He’s one of those forwards who has gone under the radar quite a lot, as his playing career was in the 50s of the twentieth century. He scored 131 goals in just 191 appearances for Manchester United over the course of 6 seasons, which in itself is an exceptional scoring record. He won the English First Division twice with United, but his playing career ended early and abruptly as he was one of the 8 United players who lost their lives to the Munich air disaster.
14. ERIC CANTONA
The player who played a big role in revolutionizing the football in the late 90s, he arrived from Leeds United, our arch rivals, and took to the United life quite fast. Even though he’s quite famous for his antics on and off the field, there’s no doubt about his quality and what he brought to the team. He scored 82 goals in 185 appearances for United over the course of 5 seasons, playing in between the striker and the midfield. He bagged 4 league titles with United, 2 FA cups, and 3 community shields. Whenever his name is taken, his famous Kung Fu kick always comes in mind, along with his skills and haw dropping play which always amazed both sets of fans.
13. ALEX STEPNEY
One of the longest-serving goalkeepers for Manchester United, he was the United shot-stopper when United became the first English team to lift the European crown in 1968. He played for United for 12 years making 539 appearances in the process. Alex Stepney also won the league in ’67 and the FA cup in ’77 along with two community shields.
12. DAVID BECKHAM
As big as an icon he is today, he also had the same level of fame in his playing days at United, with the Old Trafford faithful hailing him and regarding him very highly. He came through the United ranks along with the class of ’92. He was part of the famous treble-winning side in ’99. He played for United for over 11 seasons also making a loan move away to Preston North End while at United. He made 394 appearances for United scoring 85 goals. His right foot once was hailed as the best in league with his ability to pick out crosses and pinpoint free kicks leaving the fans’ jaws dropped. His free kick ability led to the coining of the phrase “Bend it like Beckham”. He won 6 league titles, 1 UCL, 2 FA cups, 1 Intercontinental Cup, and 4 community shields.
11. ROY KEANE
He will always be remembered for the famous UCL semi-final, away to Juventus where he was up against the likes of Davids, Zidane, Deschamps. One of the best all round midfielders at his peak, he had the capability to the do any job which he was asked to do. His high work rate and extremely high work ethic was always lauded by players and managers alike, with him being an example for the squad as the captain. The Keane and Vieira bust up in the tunnel at Highbury always brings backs memories. He played for Manchester United for 13 seasons making 480 appearances and scoring 51 goals along the way. He was also part of the treble winning side but he missed the final due to suspension. He won 7 league titles, 4 FA cups, 1 Intercontinental cup, 4 community shields, and 1 UCL.
10. DENNIS VIOLLET
Playing as an inside forward he still managed to score 179 goals for United which is quite a feat, and he achieved this in just 273 appearances for the club. He was at the club for 9 seasons, winning 2 league titles with the club. He was one of the survivors from the Munich air disaster tragedy.
9. BILL FOULKES
One of the legendary and loyal centre backs of the club, his name is up there when United’s longest serving players will be talked about. He played for United for 19 seasons, making 688 appearances for the club. He was part of the ’68 squad, who won the European Crown. He also won 4 league titles, 1 FA cup, and 4 community shields. He was one of the few who survived the Munich air disaster.
8. GARY NEVILLE
One of the most loyal players in the clubs history, Gary Neville played his entire career at Manchester United. He came through the ranks of the club along with the class of ’92. At his peak, hailed as the best right back in the league. His chemistry with Beckham down the right is remembered to this date. He played for United for over 19 years, making 602 appearances for the club, and took over the captains armband from Roy Keane when he left for Celtic. He won 12 league titles, 4 FA cups, 3 league cups, 1 UCL, 1 Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 10 community shields.
7. CRISTIANO RONALDO
He came to the Theatre of Dreams as a kid, and left as a superstar. He honed his skills at United under Ferguson, and became one of the best of all time. He spent 6 seasons at United, scoring 118 goals in 282 appearances for the club. He won 3 league titles, 1 UCL, 1 FA cup, 2 league cups, 1 Club World Cup and 2 community shields. His partnership with United is among the most hailed one’s and up there with the likes of Best and Charlton, Giggs and Scholes. He also won the Ballondo’r the year he lifted his first European title.
6. WAYNE ROONEY
Arriving from Everton as a kid of 18, the level of expectations could never be high. He proved his worth by scoring a hat trick on his debut, in the UCL against Fenerbache. He might not have been the longest serving players for United, but he’s their record goalscorer with 253 in 559 appearances across 13 seasons. He won 5 league titles, 1 UCL, 1 UEL, 1 FA cup, 1 Club World Cup, 4 league cups and 5 community shields.
5. GEORGE BEST
He’s considered to be one of the most skill full players to have ever lived, but his tenure at United wasn’t that long, given his ability, having quit United at the age of just 27. He spent 11 seasons at United making 470 appearances, remarkably none of the bench, scoring 179 goals along the way. He was part of the United squad to lift their first ever European crown. He won 2 league titles, 1 UCL and 1 community shield. He’ll always be remembered to amaze the United faithful with something out of the ordinary and pulling out a new rabbit out of the hat every time.
4. DENIS LAW
Part of the famous trio of Best, Charlton, And Law. He was always the one who went undermined, between the trio. The centre forward scored 237 goals in 404 appearances for the club. He also was a part of the ’68 UCL winning side. He spent 12 years at the club, winning 2 league titles, 1 UCL, 1 FA cup and 2 community shield.
3. PAUL SCHOLES
Hailed as one of the best opposing midfielder by Xavi and Zidane, he came through the ranks along with the class of ’92. He spent his entire career at United, playing for them for 19 seasons. He switched from an attacking role to a deep lying play maker to be the most effective. He scored 155 goals in 718 appearances for the club. He won 11 league titles, 2 UCL, 4 FA cups, 3 league cups, 1 Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 5 community shields.
2. SIR BOBBY CHARLTON
The second highest score in the history of the club, he was also part of the ’68 UCL winning side. And the one of the trio of of Best, Charlton, and Law. He spent 17 years at the club, making 758 appearances and scoring 249 goals in the process. He won 3 league titles, 1 UCL, 1 FA cup, and 4 community shields.
1. RYAN GIGGS
The legendary winger spent 24 years at the club, making 963 appearances and scoring 168 goals. Roy Keane, valued him at 2 billion pounds in today’s market. Always hailed and lauded by the United faithful, he was part of the famous class of ’92. He won 13 league titles, 2 UCL, 4 FA cups, 4 league cups, 1 Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 2 Super Cup, and 9 community shields.