The world has seen many great managers, but Sir Matt Busby remains one of a kind. It is often said that tough times test the character of a man, and if that is true then Busby passed with flying colours.
After the tragic Munich air disaster which occurred on 6th February 1958, Manchester United had nothing but tears in their eyes. The plane crash impacted the club greatly but that didn’t put down Busby’s spirit. The genius from Scotland stood up and did everything in his power to get Manchester United back to the top.
It takes special courage to rebuild a team from scratch, and Busby accomplished this mission in an extraordinary fashion.
Manchester United returned back to top as they won the league in 1965 and 1967. They also became the kings of Europe in 1968 as they won the Champions League that year by defeating Benfica in the final.
Busby was great and so were his players. The legendary Scottish manager managed some of the greatest players of all time, and here we rank the top 5 players who played under him:
#5 Tony Dunne
A strong lad from Ireland, Dunne was one of the best left-backs of his time. The Irishman played in about 530 games for Manchester United, making him one of the most capped Red Devils players of all time.
What made Dunne so special was his sheer commitment to the game which was adored by the United faithful. He was part of the famous United team which won the Champions League trophy in 1968. He started the game which United went on to win 4-1 against Eusebio's Benfica.
Dunne was part of the United revival side which climbed its way back to the top as they won the 1965 edition of first division football in England and then went on to repeat the heroics again in 1967. His trophy count doesn't stop there as he won the 1963 edition of the FA Cup as well with Manchester United.
The legendary Irishman was named as the Irish footballer of the year in 1969.
#4 Denis Law
Often considered one of the greatest strikers to have ever played for Manchester United, Law is a legend of the game in every sense. The former Scottish footballer ranks third among the all-time top scorers for Manchester United with 237 goals, and possesses one of the best goals to game ratios in the history of Manchester United.
An out and out striker, Law always found a way to put the ball in the back of the net. The Scottish forward formed a famous trio alongside George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton - the 'United Trinity' as they were famously known.
Law was named as the best player in the world in 1964, and to this date remains the only Scottish player to have ever won the prestigious Ballon d'Or.
Law was a vital factor in United's rise back to the top as the majestic striker top-scored for the Red Devils in the 1964-65 season with 29 goals. It was a season United won, their first victory since the Munich air disaster.
#3 Bill Foulkes
Bill Foulkes is probably one of the most adored Manchester United footballers of all time. The rock solid centre-back was the true embodiment of United's spirit and a crucial member of the Matt Busby Era.
He survived the 1958 air disaster, a tragic moment in football's history. Foulkes was named as the captain of Manchester United after this horrendous incident and the rest, as they say, is history.
A vital member of the squad, Foulkes witnessed United's rise back to the top and stood by the team during the tough times. He played a key role in United's 1968 European triumph.
Talking about the 1968 edition of the tournament, probably the most interesting matchup of the season was when Manchester United took on Real Madrid in the semifinal. Foulkes was the deciding factor as the skipper scored the winner against the Los Blancos and took United to their first European Cup final, which they won against Benfica.
Foulkes played in 18 seasons for United and won numerous trophies, which included 4 first-division titles, 4 charity shields, 1 FA Cup and 1 European Cup.
At over 680 appearances, Foulkes is one of the most capped players in the history of Manchester United too.
#2 Bobby Charlton
If a poll is conducted to name the greatest Manchester United player of all time or the greatest English player of all time, then Bobby Charlton would be the odds-on favourite to top the list.
From accurate passing to instinctive scoring, Charlton mastered the art of attacking football. The Englishman famously held the record of being the all-time top scorer of Manchester United and England before being overtaken by Wayne Rooney in both the lists.
Charlton helped England win the FIFA World Cup in 1966 when England defeated West Germany in the final to secure their first and till date only World Cup title. His efforts were recognized too as he won the Ballon d'Or title in that very year.
Charlton formed the legendary United trinity alongside Denis Law and George Best, a trio often considered as the greatest of all time. During his legendary career, the Englishman won a lot of trophies including the famous 1968 European Cup.
At 758 appearances, Sir Bobby Charlton is the second most capped United player of all time.
#1 George Best
And on top of our list is the great George Best - a man who could do wonders with the ball at his feet. A winger, Best was well capable of dribbling past the entire opposition or score from 40 yards out.
Often considered one of the greatest players of all time, Best had a unique style of play which relied greatly on pace. The blazing winger scored 179 goals in about 470 appearances for Manchester United and helped the club win many trophies including the 1968 European Cup.
The Irishman won the Ballon d'Or in 1968 for his sensational footballing prowess. Best donned the famous number 7 jersey for Manchester United which started the story around the now-iconic jersey. He had set the standard so high that over the years only a handful of players have been able to justify the true value of the number 7 jersey.
In total Best won the first division title twice during his illustrious career. Whenever the topic for greatest players of all time is discussed, his name is mentioned in the same breath with the greatest of the greats.