Out of all of the clubs in the Premier League, Manchester United is the one that has won the most silverware and, therefore, poses the biggest challenge in picking a best starting XI of all time from its plentiful list of world-class footballers.
While there’ll be debate about who has been left out of this starting XI, the 11 footballers featured below certainly are deserving of a place in this all-time Manchester United team.
Here’s the best starting eleven of all time for Manchester United:
Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)
For me, there are only two keepers who contend to be among the best ever eleven starters for Manchester United. One is Dutch Edwin van der Sar. The other is Danish Peter Schmeichel. If David de Gea is to be counted among the Old Trafford elite, he needs to win trophies, reproduce his current form over a longer period, and settle down in Manchester for more seasons. Schmeichel gets the nod from me because I consider him more important and also better overall than Van der Sar. Schmeichel was bought for almost nothing by Alex Ferguson and played a pivotal role in the club’s rise to prominence in the 1990s. Schmeichel excelled in the one to one duels with opponent strikers and he owned the penalty box due to his physical and vocal presence. He cut an imposing figure and often won the psychological battles against his opponents, some of whom freezed in front of The Great Dane. Schmeichel crowned an impressive Old Trafford career with lifting the trophy after that memorable Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999, the year the club won The Treble. He was twice crowned the best goalkeeper in the world.
Right back: Gary Neville (England)
There are several criteria that influence my decision on who to include in the best-ever Manchester United eleven. One is club longevity and loyalty, titles, and caps. In that sense, Gary Neville is up there among the best, not just in the history of Manchester United. He developed into a modern full back with a great positional sense, a decent technique, and a mind to attack. Neville also had speed, he could cross the ball, and he was a good tackler. His understanding on the right with David Beckham was a classic partnership in which both knew how to complement each other.
Right central defender: Rio Ferdinand (England)