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The best 5-a-side Man United legends team

Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's all-time top-scorer.
Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's all-time top-scorer.
ANALYST

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Five-a-side football is a variation of association football, in which each team fields four outfield players, and a goalkeeper. It has a smaller pitch, smaller goals, and a reduced game duration. Five-a-side games are played indoors or outdoors on artificial grass pitches enclosed within a barrier or "cage" to prevent the ball from leaving the playing area, and to keep the game continually flowing.

This miniature version of football has always held the fancy of football aficionados. It has been cherished aplenty by players and fans alike. Today, we bring to you a 5-a-side team picked from Manchester United legends. This team has two strikers, a midfielder, a defender, and a goalkeeper. Do read on to find out who makes the team and who doesn't.

Peter Schmeichel (Goalkeeper)

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Peter Schmeichel
Peter Schmeichel

For the keeper's slot, there is a mighty tussle between Edwin van der Sar and Peter Schmeichel, two of the greatest goalkeepers to have played for Manchester United. There is very little to choose between the two, but we go with the latter because of his X-factor, and ability to buy into the team's philosophy.

Schmeichel was one of the rare goal-scoring keepers for the Old Trafford club. With his penchant to go forward and join the attack in the dying moments of games, the Dane famously scored an injury-time goal in the 1995 UEFA Cup against Rotor Volgograd. Despite his heroics, United lost the tie on away goals.

The father of current Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, Peter Schmeichel kept 128 clean sheets in 310 Premier League appearances. Van der Sar was just as impressive at goal, keeping 132 clean sheets in 313 appearances in the English top-flight.

However, Schmeichel senior was a part of more wins, having experienced 175 victories and 55 losses. Van der Sar, on the other hand, had 166 wins and 76 losses. This is the reason the Dane gets the nod over the tall Dutchman.

Nemanja Vidic (Defender)

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Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidic

There is a fierce competition between Nemanja Vidic and his good friend Rio Ferdinand for the sole defender's spot in this team.

Vidic, who played from 2006 to 2014 for the Red Devils, made a total of 211 appearances in the Premier League. With Vidic in defence, Man United had 95 clean sheets, which is roughly one clean sheet per 2 games. Besides, the 38-year-old also scored 15 goals and provided three assists during his time at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand's record was not half as bad either, being a part of 131 Premier League clean sheets in 312 games during his 12 years at the club. The Englishman scored seven top-flight goals and provided six assists for Man Utd during this period.

But it is the Serb who gets the nod because of a superior clean sheets to games ratio, and goal-scoring prowess.

David Beckham (Midfielder)

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David Beckham
David Beckham

David Beckham made 261 Premier League appearances in the ten seasons he played at Manchester United. During the period 1992 to 2002, the midfielder scored 62 goals, and provided 80 assists.

The Englishman's creativity was evident in his 15 freekicks which are the most by any player in the history of the Premier League. Beckham was often the go-to man for his side from other set-pieces.

A colourful character on and off the pitch, the 44-year-old was a magician, especially from dead-ball situations. Beckham beats his fellow class of '92 colleagues, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to take the sole midfielder's spot in this team.

Wayne Rooney (Forward)

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Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

No Manchester United forward line can be complete without a certain Wayne Rooney. The Englishman was one of the most gifted centre-forwards of his time, and one of the greatest ever to turn up for the Three Lions.

After starting his career at his boyhood club Everton, Rooney arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2004-05. With 253 goals in all competitions, the diminutive Rooney is Manchester United's all-time top-scorer.

Rooney scored 183 of his 208 Premier League goals for the Old Trafford club during his 13-season stint at the club between 2004-05 and 2006-07. It is a record Premier League goal-haul by any player for a single club.

A player who invariably turned up for the big occasions, Rooney always gave Manchester United fans something to cheer about. He is the leading goalscorer for England as well, having struck 53 goals, while is 120 appearances are the most by an English player, behind Peter Shilton.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (Forward)

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Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy

Going purely by his superior goal-scoring stats, Ruud van Nistelrooy edges out a certain Cristiano Ronaldo for the second striker's spot alongside Rooney.

This may come as a surprise to many because Ronaldo is considered to be one of the best players in the world at the moment. But during his tenure at Old Trafford, the Portuguese only had one season when he scored more than 30 goals whereas van Nistelrooy averaged nearly 20 goals every season except one.

In 150 Premier League appearances for the side, during 2001-02 to 2005-06, the Dutchman scored 95 goals and provided 14 assists. Van Nistelrooy, a classical centre-forward, was a clinical goal poacher who scored goals aplenty. Ronaldo, during his six seasons with Manchester United, scored 84 goals and provided 34 assists in 196 games.

The Dutchman benefits from the fact that he arrived at Old Trafford when he was at his prime, aged 25, whereas Ronaldo was only 18 when the latter first played for the club. This probably explains the significant difference in their respective goals per game ratios.


Edited by Bhargav
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