Manchester United First Team: Defenders

Adrian ConstantContributor IAugust 14, 2009

2 Gary Neville, Age 34, Appearances: 569, Goals: 7

Neville's one of the most experienced players they Manchester United have at their club—he’s worn every shirt and won every medal so he needs to keep setting new challenges for himself.

I think every game he plays now he’ll treat with the utmost respect. He’s committed to the cause, full of endeavour and he’ll be looking for an injury-free season.

21 Rafael, Age 19, Appearances 28, Goals: 1

Rafael has been inspirational. He instantly connected with the fans and showed an enthusiasm that’s required for a footballer at United. But he has a lot of progress to make and there are still things in his game he’s learning.

He’ll gain that knowledge here— he’s intelligent, a quick learner and he wants to be a winner. Mentally he’s very strong and committed and he’s taken great strides in a short period of time. He’ll be looking to progress again and try and make the right back spot his own.

22 John O’Shea, Age 28, Appearances: 343 Goals: 14

O'Shea's one of the most underestimated footballers at the club. He’s an ever-present in the squad and always willing to do the job asked of him. He trains exceptionally hard and nobody has a bad word about his attitude. He’s a winner and loves being around the club, which is what we love.

It’s great to see John progressing—he’s a regular international now and his main aim will be to cement a regular place in the team. John’s versatility is a credit to him. Some say it can go against you but John has a strong mental approach to football. Whenever he’s picked he performs at the highest level.

5 Rio Ferdinand, Age 30, Appearances: 311 Goals 7

Ferdinand has found the club that really suits him. He’s found stability and a club that has been able to really bring the best out of him. He brings a quality to The Teams defending that not a lot of other clubs have.

That’s the reason Manxhester United invested so much time, effort and money to get him to the team. There are some good centre backs in England but Rio’s been producing consistently high performances for years now.

15 Nemanja Vidic Age 27 Appearances 153 Goals 12

Vidic's and Ferdinand's partnership has been second to none over the last few seasons and Nemanja had a particularly good season last term. He’s strong, powerful and we think he can get even better. He’s aggressive and has a real defender’s mentality.

He does that job well and at times he probably goes a little bit unseen, but he’s extremely committed to the cause. He also contributes at the other end from set-pieces because he attacks the ball so well.

6 Wes Brown, Age 29, Appearances: 318, Goals: 4

Brown missed very few games when we won the Premier League and Champions League trophies in the 2007/08 campaign. But last year he was really unlucky with injuries, missing most of the campaign. But he's worked hard over the summer and, despite a recent set-back, we look forward to having him back in the team now.

23 Jonny Evans, Age 21, Appearances: 38, Goals: 0

Evans is a tall and very solid defender. He has good mental strength, too, and a strong work ethic which has helped him reach the level he is at now. He's also a very intelligent lad, both on and off the field. He's good with the ball at his feet and the great thing for the team is that he complements both Rio and Nemanja.

3 Patrice Evra, Age 28, Appearances: 147, Goals: 2

Evra is probably now establishing himself as one of the best left backs in Europe. That’s a credit to the effort he’s put in since arriving in England. He’ll be the first to tell you that he initially found life a little difficult in England and the Premier League a little daunting. But after a short spell he adapted magnificently and everyone can see he’s a fine player.

In the modern game, full backs play a big part in winning football matches and Patrice has all the skills in his armoury to be a complete player. He can drive forward, he can defend well, he’s fantastic in the air…and he’s developed all these attributes here at this club.