5 foreign players who deserved to retire at Manchester United

Manchester United v Hull City - Premier League
Manchester United v Hull City - Premier League
Priyank Mithani

Manchester United is one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in the history of football. Playing for the Red Devils itself is a big achievement, let alone playing for numerous seasons for them.

Some of the best players in the world have had the luxury of playing and retiring at Manchester United. While it is a boon for many players, not every player has had the provision to retire at United.

Some foreign Manchester United players deserved better treatment

Manchester United have had some world-class foreign players in their history and in comparison to the English players, not all of them were able to retire at the club. The likes of Eric Cantona, Edwin van der Sar and others have been fortunate to retire with the Red Devils.

That being said, some of the foreign players missed the opportunity to retire at Manchester United. Without further ado, let's take a look at those foreign players who deserved to retire at United:

#5 Park Ji-sung

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League
Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Considered as one of the most successful players in the history of Asian football, Park Ji-sung was a very underrated player at Manchester United. He signed for the Red Devils in 2005 after impressing while playing for PSV Eindhoven.

The South Korean was a versatile player as he could play anywhere in the midfield. His high energy and intense work-rate were very difficult to match on the pitch. Sir Alex Ferguson rated Park very highly for his intelligence and the reliability he provided in big games.

Sir Alex Ferguson on the mistake he made against Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League Final: “ I should have changed at half time and put Ji Sung Park on Messi. If I had played him against Messi I think we would have beat them.” [@sportbible]

The former PSV player won four Premier League titles and made 133 league appearances for the Red Devils. Over time, his place in the starting eleven was getting uncertain, which is why he sought a move to Queens Park Rangers. He left United in 2012 and retired from football in 2014. With his contributions, it is safe to say he deserved to hang up his boots at Manchester United.

#4 Antonio Valencia

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

The Ecuadorian made a name for himself while playing for Wigan Athletic. This earned him a move to Manchester United in 2009. Antonio Valencia initially played as a right winger.

With his tremendous pace and physical strength, it was quite difficult to stop him. He used to go past defenders easily and produce wonderful crosses for the Manchester United forwards to feast on. Over time, Valencia struggled a bit to be productive in the attack, especially after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Former Manchester United skipper Antonio Valencia has just got a tattoo of him lifting the #UEL trophy in Stockholm on his left leg.

The former Wigan man then adapted to a more defensive role and started playing as a right-back. Courtesy of his pace and strength it was very difficult for the opposition attackers to get past him.

Valencia gave his all to the Premier League giants as he made 241 league appearances for them. He left Manchester United in 2019 and retired after making just 25 appearances in total during stints in Ecuador and Mexico. The former Manchester United captain deserved to retire with the Red Devils.

#3 Ruud van Nistelrooy

Manchester United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Manchester City

Manchester United had a stunning striker in the form of Ruud van Nistelrooy when the Dutchman was signed from PSV Eindhoven in 2001. With his clinical goal-scoring abilities, the right-footed striker was a massive threat in attack.

The Dutch forward did not take long to make an impact in the Premier League as he scored 23 goals in his very first season in England. The following season he won the league with Manchester United, winning the Premier League Golden Boot in the process by scoring 25 goals.

𝗧𝗛𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗗: Ruud van Nistelrooy Champions League goals ⚽️🗣️ "I remember a really fantastic pass from Beckham against Juventus at Old Trafford which I poked over the keeper on the volley from that pass."1⃣ This finish back in 2002 = ______@RvN1776 | @ManUtd | #UCL

Ruud van Nistelrooy was consistently among the goals and that's what made him a phenomenal striker. Unfortunately his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson went south in 2006 and he decided to join Real Madrid. His good form continued but injuries did reduce the life of his football career. It would have been fitting to see him retire at United given how wonderful he was with the Red Devils.

#2 Patrice Evra

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League
Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Arriving from AS Monaco, Patrice Evra was signed by Manchester United under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson. The Frenchman was an adventurous left-back, always interested in being participative in the attack.

Evra had a stellar career with Manchester United, winning five Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League trophy. His passion for the club was immense and it was very evident on and off the pitch. He made 273 league appearances for the Red Devils in his nine seasons at Old Trafford.

Post Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, Evra found it very difficult to deal with new manager David Moyes. This instigated him joining Juventus for the next three seasons. He was never meant to leave Manchester United and was bound to retire at Old Trafford considering his love for the club. But not everything goes to plan in life and football.

#1 Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United v Hull City - Premier League
Manchester United v Hull City - Premier League

The dashing Serbian was signed from Spartak Moscow in 2006 by Manchester United. Nemanja Vidic's partnership with Rio Ferdinand at the back was one of the best the Premier League has ever seen.

With his aggression, smart reading of the game and intense tackles, Vidic had a strong presence in United's defense. He would bleed to death but make sure he went all-in into his tackles. His goal-scoring threat from set-pieces was a bonus for the Red Devils.

Van Dijk was unbelievable this season for Liverpool but look at Nemanja Vidic’s stats in the 2008/09 season. Shows how good Vidic was 💪

Nemanja Vidic made 211 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils and is surely one of the best defenders of his generation. Post Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, even the Serbian defender did not feel comfortable at United, resulting in him joining Inter Milan in 2014.

He hardly played for a full season for the Italian side before retiring from the game. Given his useful contributions to Manchester United, Vidic too deserved to retire in Manchester. It is a pity that some of the great United players like him did not get that luxury.

Edited by Nived Zenith


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