Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the greatest football managers in the history of the game, and he coached some pretty special players during his glorious reign at Old Trafford.
We've picked out our best XI from the Fergie era, as well as a selection of quality names that deserve an honourable mention on the subs bench.
🇳🇱 Edwin van der Sar
The Dutchman was consistency personified between the sticks for United and was Fergie's number 1 during the club's most trophy-laden years.
🏴 Gary Neville
GNev was a brilliant servant to the club. He played under Fergie for 19 years, featured 602 times for the manager, won 17 major trophies and captained the side between 2006 and 2011.
🏴 Rio Ferdinand
Sir Alex insisted that United break the bank with a then-record £30m fee to land Ferdinand in 2002 in a protracted transfer from Leeds United. Rio won ten major honours and was one of the elite centre backs in world football between 2005 and 2009.
🇷🇸 Nemanja Vidic
The Serbian cost United only £7m in 2006, a figure that looks like a ridiculous bargain now. His partnership in the heart of the defence with Ferdinand will go down in folklore. Vidic became only the second-ever non-British club captain in 2011 and was an absolute rock.
🇫🇷 Patrice Evra
The five-time Premier League winning Frenchman was consistently praised by Ferguson for his leadership and regarded as one of the best players in the world in his position. United have struggled to replace Evra's consistency at left-back.
🇮🇪 Roy Keane
The combative Irishman was the literal driving force behind United's dominance of English football in the late 90s and early 00s. His feuds with Arsenal's Patrick Vieira and even his own manager are things of Premier League legend. Keane was a man who would win at all costs. Unfortunately, Keane's exit from the club was an acrimonious one after a fallout with Fergie, but his legend remains.
🏴 Paul Scholes
The soft-spoken redhead was the man that made United tick from the heart of midfield with his brilliant range of passing and silky touch. No English player is more widely-praised by foreign players as Scholes has been over the years. Zinedine Zidane, Xavi and Andrea Pirlo were all huge fans of a player that Xavi called "the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years."
Scholes won 11 Premier League trophies and two Champions League crowns. He also came out of retirement in 2012 to play for a further 18 months, and United fans adored him for it.
🏴 Ryan Giggs
The Welsh wing wizard was handed his pro debut by Fergie as a 17-year-old in 1991, and he went on to make 963 appearances for the Red Devils, more than any other player in the club's history. Giggs was the only man present for all of Fergie's title wins and he scored at least a goal in each of the first 21 Premier League seasons before he retired. Consistency, longevity and brilliance were hallmarks of the Giggs game, as well as a will to win. He also ran the length of the Villa Park pitch to score in iconic fashion against Arsenal in the FA Cup semifinal in 1999, United went on to win an unprecedented treble that year.
🇫🇷 Eric Cantona
The unpredictable, brilliant Frenchman was at his peak in the 1995/1996 season, scoring key goals in their title-run. He scored all types of goals including audacious chips, stunning volleys and more. Cantona was a controversial, colourful figure who will never be forgotten.
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo
Ferguson faced Ronaldo in person when United took on Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 and decided that he had to sign him, and sign him he did. Ronaldo endured a tough start at United as a raw teenager, often criticized for being too much of a showboat and not producing good enough final balls for his teammates.
However, Ronaldo became integral to United's success under Ferguson, when the club won three consecutive Premier League crowns between 2006 and 2009. A Ballon d’Or win in 2008 followed United's Champions League win against Chelsea in Moscow. Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game, if not the very greatest.
🏴 Wayne Rooney
The club's record goal-scorer notched a hat-trick on his debut for the club against Fenerbahce in the Champions League and he never really stopped putting the ball in the net for a decade and more. Rooney won nine major trophies under Fergie and scored and created great goals throughout his decorated stay at Old Trafford.
Jaap Stam, Dennis Irwin, Steve Bruce
David Beckham, Michael Carrick, Nicky Butt
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Carlos Tevez, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham
Like so many of the players that he coached, Sir Alex will go down a legend of the beautiful game.
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