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Manchester United: A club that is about more than just trophies

Achyut
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
5.61K   //    21 Aug 2014, 15:57 IST
Manchester United

As an ardent football follower, and more precisely English football, there is no much surprise about the greatness of a club namely Manchester United. One might argue with me that I maybe supporting this club as a result of its glorious trophy-laden past. But no, that is not the reason. I have a bizarre reason behind how I started supporting Manchester United, having been introduced to football.

It was the first time that I ever played a football video game. FIFA 08. I was still new to it. And I would always choose kick off. The home team to appear was always Manchester United, with their(our) opponents being the crosstown rivals, Manchester City. The game stats assigned to Manchester United fascinated me. I thought, is this really a good club? That is when I started digging its past, present through various documentaries and articles.

(Let me start referring Manchester United and its players collectively as “we” from here on).

United we stand, divided we fall -
We were always a force to be reckoned with. Way before PL was introduced. Manchester United, like any successful person/group, started off with failures. We were unorganized, amateur footballers who simply wanted to play football as a recreation.  But as the years passed, we started gathering ourselves and became one unit. On its road, to reach the highest glory. Different people coming together for one single purpose, which is the first reason why Manchester United inspires me. Our unity. Probably why we’re suffixed with United.

Fighting for a cause - 
We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs on the way to our current status. The most notable down being, us getting relegated after losing more than half of our Busby Babes on the fateful day of February 6th, 1958. I was disheartened to see such a bunch of great, consistent, well oiled and talented players losing lives. But.. among all those helpless players, there was a brave soul. Harry Gregg, who saved at least 4 lives, including the one of Matt Busby himself. It is this spirit of selflessness for the help of others, that inspired me.
(Harry Gregg’s heroic act)

Never give up so easy -
Right after this, we began our lives, again from scratch. No players, which meant obvious relegation due to losses. Real Madrid and other clubs offered help in the form of money and players. But we declined it and we began from a new batch. We slowly started rising from the ashes of the fallen (may they rest in peace) and eventually reached the top flight division and conquered it once more with the help of Matt Busby. It is this undying spirit and that crave for success that inspired me. 

Matt Busby was the manager of Manchester United when the Munich disaster happened.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man -
Whenever one plays for Manchester United, in the red jersey, they are entitled to carry immense pride in themselves. This pride amplifies manifold, when you are made the captain of such a big club. Roy Keane’s aggression on the field showed the extent he could go to back his teammates up and motivate them to do well. It was because of this moral support, United was very successful under his reign. Heck, we even won the famous treble under him.  It is the Irishman’s leadership which inspires me.

The famous treble winning team of Manchester United, led by Roy Keane.
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“United till I die” -
When it comes to playing football, one is usually advised to “forget the world and let the feet do the magic”. But to put that to practice, the player must show pure dedication and commitment for his club. Paul Scholes hung his boots up in 2011 but came back to stabilize the United ranks in 2012. Ryan Giggs has been around in Old Trafford for 20 playing years. Nemanja Vidic is known for having shown exemplary leadership skills, furthermore, risking his own body to save his team from awkward situations. This is evident from the fact that once, even though the Serbian defender had a bad collision which led to a broken nose, he stayed on for the entire 90 minutes to see us off properly. Such is the commitment of the players, which also has inspired me. (The midfield maestro’s class act by returning for his club from retirement).

Nemanja Vidic bleeding profusely against Southampton, but made sure that his last match for United was not a lost cause.

Belief in youth to lead the path -
Right from the Munich disaster, it was never really a doubt that we had to make players, because we were not going to get any from elsewhere. So the trend began from Matt Busby, where young players would be molded into superstars, and went on along with Sir Alex Ferguson, who is known for doing the same. His notable products are obviously, the class of 92’, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and several others to name. He backed young players to do the job for him, built their self esteem and motivated them constantly. It is this belief of his in youngsters to do well for Manchester United that inspires me.

Sir Alex Ferguson made a signing in 2003, which turned out to be an unstoppable phenomenon as of today, and we know him by the name, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aviero.

There is so much more to Manchester United than just trophies. These are just the small things which made the big picture colourful for us. It is because of our unity and pride that we stood up against the odds in times of adversity and rose from strength to strength to become one of the finest and the best in business. Manchester United and its members have taught me so many inspiring things which is why I respect and love it. 

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Achyut
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