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10 Greatest Manchester United players of all time

Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the 2008 European Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the 2008 European Cup
Paul Benson
Modified 11 Oct 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

Manchester United Football Club began life as Newton Heath in 1878, later changing its name to Manchester United in 1902.

United moved in to their current home over a century ago, when they relocated to Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams in 1910.

United are arguably the most successful club in English Football history, having won a record 20 top tier League Championships (13 of which coming in the Premier League era), 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and 3 European Cups. They are the only English club to be World Club Champions as well.

They are one of the richest clubs in the world and the best supported with fans across the globe in such continents as Asia and South America.

Legendary for their famed academy that has produced such Footballing legends as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, the Nevilles, George Best and Bobby Charlton to name a few. A tradition that is still in full force today in 2018, with the likes of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford.

In 2016-17, they became one of only five clubs in history to win every UEFA trophy available to them when they claimed the Europa League. The only other clubs to do so are European giants Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

The club's longest serving managers, Sir Matt Busby (1945-69, 1970-71) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1986-2013) enjoyed the greatest success at the club winning 18 of the club's 20 League Championships and all of the team's European Cups between them.

Over the course of their history, many legendary Footballers have played in the famous red shirt in front of the Stretford End and in this slideshow, SK count down the 10 greatest players in United's history.

The following slideshow revisits the careers of 10 men who did more for the club than anyone else.

10 true legends of the club.


#10 Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-09)

Major Honours Won: 8

Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to take one of his trademark free kicks
Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to take one of his trademark free kicks

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as a fresh faced 18 year old from Sporting Lisbon, after he impressed United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson and his players in an August 2003 friendly.

United agreed to pay Sporting £12.24 million after the game and Ronaldo signed on for the 2003-04 season.

Despite his indifferent form for the club in his initial seasons, Ferguson persevered with his young star and suddenly in the 2006-07 season everything just clicked.

After the departure of United's talisman striker, Ruud Van Nisterooy who had been at odds with Ronaldo, the Portuguese grew into a more varied attacking role than just that of a winger which he had primarily played as in his first seasons with the club.

With more freedom going forward, Ronaldo prospered and scored 23 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions as he helped United to win the Premier League for the first time since 2002-03. The club also reached the FA Cup Final and European Cup Semi-Finals as they once again became a force on the big stage.

Ronaldo and United improved on as successful 2006-07 with a League and European Cup Double in 2007-08 during which Ronaldo scored a mammoth 42 goals in 49 appearances.


His performances earned him the 2008 Ballon d'Or, the first United player to win the award in 40 years, following George Best's 1968 success.

Ronaldo's success caught the attention of Real Madrid who attempted to prise him away from the club, however Ferguson convinced Ronaldo to stay an extra year and Ronaldo's 26 goals helped the club win a League and League Cup Double in 2008-09.

Ronaldo departed United at the end of the season when he joined Madrid for a then world record fee of £80 million. However, his mark had forever been left on United.

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Published 11 Oct 2018, 01:14 IST
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