Manchester United's 10 Greatest Players of All-Time

Kym CharlesContributor IMay 18, 2009

4 Dec 1996:  Profile of Eric Cantona of Manchester United before a Champions League match against Rapid Vienna in Vienna, Austria. Manchester United won the match 2-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Ross  Kinnaird/Allsport

With Manchester United picking up their 18th English Football Premiership title and also having a record 11 FA Cups it would be a brave person to suggest they are not the greatest club in England (Liverpool people are a brave bunch though).

But who are the greatest players to have played for the club in its 131 year history? Here is my top ten for you to debate over.


The longest serving captain in United's history.  He moved from West Bromwich Albion in 1981 and "Captain Marvel" quickly made the midfield his own.  His leadership abilities were second to none.


The Welsh maestro has entertained and amazed the Old Trafford faithful through many changes of personnel.  No matter who his team mates happen to be he has found a way to be effective and a major contributor.  His skill with the ball at his feet is matched only by the elite.


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One of the most successful captains in the history of the game.  The Irish midfielder is mostly remembered for his fierce determination and will to win.  Many times when the going got tough in games Keane would elevate his intensity and drag his side to the win.


Quite simply the greatest goalkeeper of his era.  The Great Dane marshaled his troops at the back with an authoritative voice and commanded his area with skills rivalled by very few in history.


Announced his arrival as a teenager with a goal from behind the halfway line.  His star rose to international mega-star proportions and became one of the best attacking midfielders of his generation.  A fan favourite.


The Portugese magician has set new standards for goal scoring from midfield.  His over the top happy feet annoys some and astounds others but there is no denying his skill.  One of the great exponents of the dead ball shot.  Still has time to move up the list if he stays.


The fiery Frenchman became a central figure in the revival of Manchester United winning four titles in his five years at the club.  He imposed himself on matches like few could but he could also turn a match with a moment of brilliance.

His temper sometimes got him into trouble, most notably the "Kung Fu Kick" incident but he is still one of the most beloved players in United history.


He survived the Munich air disaster and as a young player was instrumental in the rebuilding of United.  He redefined the midfield role in English football and his shooting from long range became an intimidating weapon. 

He captained the club through one of their great periods of success.  Has continued to be an ambassador for the club and football in general.


A career tragically cut short when he died at the tender age of 21 due to injuries sustained in the Munich disaster.  He was just about to fulfill his undoubted talent and explode into superstardom (such as it was back then). 

Sir Bobby Charlton once described Edwards as the only player who ever made him feel inferior.  High praise indeed.  Many people have said Edwards could have been the greatest English footballer ever.


The Northern Irish prodigy was discovered by United scout Bob Bishop at 15 who allegedly sent Manager Matt Busby a telegram stating "I think I've found you a genius."  Best went on to prove that scout correct.  His extravagant skills mirrored his extravagant lifestyle off the pitch. 

He could play almost anywhere in the front half.  He is consistently rated as one of the best players ever in the world.  I think his legacy is best summed up by the Irish saying "Maradona good, Pele better, George Best."

There are so many players who have missed out on this list including Denis Law, Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin, Teddy Sheringham and the list goes on.  The debate on a top 10 consensus could last a lifetime.  Debate away.

For more stories please visit Today In Sport.


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