Manchester United is without a doubt, the most successful club in English football’s history. The club has won the most number of League titles (20), 12 FA Cups, 3 UCLs, and the FIFA Club World Cup once and a record 21 Community Shields. In 1998-99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the continental European treble. Old Trafford has been host to some of the most popular players over the decades, many players dream to play for the badge. In this article, we look at the 5 most popular players who have represented Manchester United.
#5 Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes was a red through and through, the Salford born served Manchester United for 19 years. In the process, Scholes declined several offers from top clubs in England as well as Europe. He made more than 700 appearances for the club, the third-highest number of appearances by a player for the club, scoring in 150 of them. He is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of all time, as he makes his way into this list of the 5 most popular players who have represented Manchester United.
Scholes scored a brace in his debut as he led his club to victory in his very first match. In 1998-99, he played a key role in Manchester United’s success in the Premier League, FA Cup, as well as UEFA Champions League. He won 25 trophies, including 11 PL titles, more than any other English player, and two Champions League titles.
#4 Wayne Rooney
Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer and the only player to have scored 250 goals for the Reds, Wayne Rooney, is one of a kind. Rooney’s 208 Premier League goals make him the league’s second-top scorer of all time, he also has the third-highest number of assists in the PL, with 103. Not only for his club, but Rooney is also England’s second-most capped player and his nation’s record goalscorer.
Wayne enjoyed an illustrious career at the club, where he won 16 trophies and became the only English player alongside Michael Carrick to win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, and Club World Cup. Rooney enjoyed great success individually too as he was awarded the PFA Player of the year award for his remarkable season in 2009-10 season.
#3 Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs played for Manchester United for 23 seasons, making him one of the very few players who have made an appearance over 1000 times in all competitions. Not many know about this but, Giggs began his career with Manchester City but moved to arch-rivals Manchester United in 1987. Ryan also holds the club record for competitive appearances. When one chapter of his Football career in 2013-14, another began as he was named Manchester United’s assistant manager, he retired from playing the same day for the club.
One of the most decorated players of all time, Ryan Giggs won 13 League titles with the Reds, four FA Cups, two UCLs, one Club World Cup, and nine Community Shields. Giggs alone has more PL titles than all clubs in England except Manchester United and Liverpool. While at United, Ryan also won many individual trophies, some of them include winning the PFA Young Player of the Year consecutively, he is also the only player to score in each of the first 21 seasons of the PL. Giggs also holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history.
#2 David Beckham
Arguably one of the biggest names in world football, David Beckham began his glorious career at Old Trafford. David made over 250 appearances for the club in the league, in which he scored 61 times, he also made 81 Champions League appearances, scoring 15 goals. He made his senior debut for the club at the age of just 17, making, and after a brief loan at Preston North End, he gradually became a first-team regular at the club. But the moment Beckham truly announced himself as a star of Alex Ferguson’s star-studded team was when he scored a spectacular halfway line goal in a 3-0 win over Wimbledon.
The 21-year-old then went on to claim the club’s famous number 7 jersey following the departure of Cantona in 1997. In his 11 seasons at the club, David helped United to win a Champions League title and a treble in 1999, he also won six Premier League titles and two FA Cups. A part of the global phenomenon will forever be Red.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo
A player who doesn’t need any introduction, the Manchester United legend lit up England’s top division during his six-year tenure at Old Trafford. Looking at his pace, skill, and shooting, it was abundantly clear that Cristiano possessed extraordinary ability. Even though he only managed to score 18 goals in his first three seasons at the club, Ronaldo made his presence known after the 2006 World Cup, he went on to find the net 66 times in his last 3 seasons at the Theatre of Dreams.
Ronaldo left the club with one Premier League title, one Champions League, and a Ballon d’Or in 2008. The Portuguese legend produced the most exciting football of his career while at Manchester United, safe to say he is one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen.