The 13 Greatest Footballers Who Played for Sir Alex Ferguson

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IApril 12, 2009

The 13 Greatest Footballers Who Played for Sir Alex Ferguson

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    Since Sir Alex Ferguson has become the manager of Manchester United in 1986, the club has won many different championships, and had many different players make a positive or negative contribution to the team.

    He has helped make them into the richest and the most popular club in the world, and has helped make different players achieve their full potential—which is why many people consider him to be the greatest manager of all time.

    This slide show will present the 13 greatest players on Man United since Fergie took over and the reasons why they are so good.

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#13 Wayne Rooney: 2004-Present

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    Rooney came over from Everton in 2004 in the most expensive deal for a teenager ever (worth 25.6 Million Euros) while he was quickly becoming the face of English football.

    He came to Man United to compete in European Competition and became an extremely important member of the team as a striker since his arrival (scoring more than 60 goals as a Red Devil).

    He was a fixture on the team that won the 2008 Champions League, as well.

#12 Dwight Yorke: 1998-2002

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    One of the players that helped to bring the treble to Manchester United, Dwight Yorke was a huge player in his five years of service for the Red Devils.

    Cole was able to get the deciding goal for United to get them into the Champions League final, and he also set up the winning goal against Juventus in the same semifinal for Andrew Cole to get Man United into the final.

#11 Andrew Cole: 1995-2001

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    Cole came to United in a shocking deal from Newcastle in 1995, and became a huge part of the team, as he had over 195 appearance with them, scoring 93 goals in the process.

    He scored the winning goal against Tottenham in the final game of the season, which gave them a one point edge over Arsenal, allowing them to win the Premier League on their way to becoming the only English team to ever accomplish the treble.

#10 Gary Neville: 1992-2001

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    The former captain of Man United, Neville has been a key member of the defense since he became a full time starter in 1994.

    He was one of Fergie's Fledglings during the 1990s.

    He was a huge member of the team that accomplished the treble in 1999, and he is considered to be one of the greatest defenders in team history.

    Recently, he has had to deal with injuries, but he remained resilient and continued to play until early 2011.

#9 David Beckham: 1993-2003

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    David Beckham, one of the most famous footballers in the world today, started his professional career with United in 1993 and played with them until 2003.

    Overall, he scored 62 goals in 265 appearances with the club.

    His popularity grew as he was with United, and he became a key member of Fergie's Fledglings during the 1990s.

    He was also a huge contributor on the United team that won the treble in 1999.

#8 Cristiano Ronaldo: 2003-2009

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    Cristiano Ronaldo, the player who replaced David Beckham, has become one of the best footballers in the world during his time with Man United.

    He became the first Portuguese player ever on United, and helped the club to become one of the best teams in Europe.

    In 2007-2008, he scored 42 goals in all competitions, and helped United win the Premier League and the Champions League, as he won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year.

    He has scored over 100 goals for Man United during his tenure.

#7 Roy Keane: 1993–2005

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    Keane joined United in 1993, and quickly became an important member of the team. During his career with United, he scored 33 goals in 323 appearances.

    He became the captain of United in 1997, and, in full form in 1999, he was another important member of the United team that accomplished the treble (even though he was suspended for the final).

    He was known to stand up for his teammates, or disrespect them, which brought him criticism.

#6 Paul Scholes: 1994-2011

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    One of only nine players to have over 500 appearances with Man United, Paul Scholes has been one of the best (and one of the most accomplished) players in Manchester United history.

    One of Fergie's Fledglings of the 1990s, Scholes scored a huge goal in the 1999 FA Cup final, and was one of the huge contributors on the team that won the treble that same season—even though he was suspended for the final.

    He has scored over 100 goals with the club and scored the winning goal against Barcelona in 2008 which brought United into the Champions League final that they won against Chelsea.

    Scholes finished his career with an appearance in the 2011 Champions League final.

#5 Ruud van Nistelrooy: 2001-2006

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    One of the most purest goal scorers of all time, Ruud van Nistelrooy came to Manchester United and was just an incredible acquisition as he scored some great goals for United.

    Ruud was able to score the huge penalty that got Man United their decisive 2-0 win over Arsenal to end the 49 match unbeaten run by the Gunners, and also won four trophies overall for Man United.

#4 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 1996-2007

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    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (aka Baby-Faced Assassin), was one of the players who Ferguson helped make into a star.

    He started his career with United as a super-sub, but he had a knack for scoring big goals, most notably against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final, when he scored the second, and winning goal in stoppage time, giving United the title and the treble.

    In the early 2000s, he became a starter, but injuries caught up to him, which severely limited his playing time. However, he never gave up, and continued trying, despite the injuries, until his retirement in 2007.

#3 Eric Cantona: 1992-1997

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    The man that has helped to make Manchester United the way they have become today, Eric Cantona was the force that changed English football forever as he solidified himself as a great player.

    Throughout all of the highs and lows, Cantona was always a Red Devil and a person that deeply cared about being a member of Manchester United as he won nine trophies with United.

#2 Peter Schmeichel: 1991-1999

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    Arguably the greatest goalkeeper ever, Schmeichel hit his prime with Man United after coming over from Brondby in 1991, and he was a major reason for their sucsess during the 1990s.

    During his 292 appearances with the club, he robbed many different players with some of the most unbelievable saves ever, and kept United in many different games.

    He also was known to be a big offensive threat on corner kicks at the end of games, which was key in helping United gain crucial points and goals in important games.

    In his final season with United, he was the starting goalie when United won the treble in 1999, ending his time with United on a high note.

#1 Ryan Giggs: 1990-Present

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    Ryan Giggs has been one of the greatest players in Manchester United history, as he has the most appearances for anyone who has played on the club and has scored over 100 goals with them.

    Ferguson picked him up as a 14-year-old in 1987, and has only played for United since then. He was one of Fergie's Fledglings of the 1990s, and is the only player to score a goal in every Premier League season since its creation in 1992.

    He scored one of the most famous goals in United history in 1999, when he ran half the field against Arsenal's defenders, and scored the winning goal in an FA Cup semi-final replay, on their way to winning the FA Cup, the Premier League, and the Champions League (the treble) that year.