Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that despite the wealth of talent seen during his 26-year reign at Old Trafford he only ever managed four world class players.
In an interview with the BBC the 13-time Premier League winner claimed that of all the players he managed only Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs can be thought of in that regard.
“When we brought Cantona in we won the league that season – it was his mere presence and his ability to make and score goals,” the 73-year-old explained.
“The younger breed like Ryan and Scholes were just fantastic players and the thing about those two was longevity.
“Are there players who have played right through the whole of the Premier League and performed at the level they have? There are none, absolutely none.”
There can be no doubt that those four players are among the best to have played under Fergie but here at Ladbrokes News we feel there are more than a handful of players who can feel aggrieved at not being rated as world class by their former manager.
We’ve narrowed it down to five and today we are asking you have your say by voting for the player who should have made that fearsome four a fantastic five.
The Great Dane was the so often the reliable last line of defence for United, helping the Red Devils to the league title on five occasions and also adding three FA Cups, a League Cup and the Champions League to the Old Trafford trophy cabinet. Uefa Goalkeeper of the Year for 1992, 1993, 1997 and 1998 and IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper in 1992 and 1993 there are plenty who feel Schmeichel was world class, even if Fergie doesn’t.
Having shelled out a total of £34m to prise Ferdinand away from Elland Road, Fergie clearly rated the former West Ham starlet. Six Premier Leagues, three League Cups and a Champions League win later and the United gaffer will feel that the fee was more than justified and as the cool, calm and composed focal point of the Red Devils defence for 12 seasons many will feel the Peckham-raised defender takes his place among the world’s elite.
A divisive character, Beckham has been levelled with accusations of chasing fame over success on the pitch – most notably by Fergie himself – but there are few better sights in football than a perfectly-hit cross or free-kick from Becks. Noted for his tireless dedication in training few people come close to the former United, Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy and PSG man when it comes to dead ball situations.
Given their acrimonious split there was no way Ferguson would praise Keane in the recent interview but if those personal differences were put to one side the Irishman would surely have made the list. The engine in United’s midfield for 13 years Keane got the best from all those around him and helped Fergie instil a belief and determination in others that might not have been possible in his absence. His performance in the 1999 Champions League semi-final against Juventus, where he inspired his side to a famous comeback win was the epitome of world class.
With Rooney in the midst of a 12-game barren spell for United it’s hard to argue his case but the striker is now England’s highest ever goalscorer and is fast closing in on Bobby Charlton’s Red Devils record. Despite spells on the sidelines and being utilised in a deeper role in recent years Wazza has amassed 233 goals and counting in a red shirt and recently earned the praise of none other than Lionel Messi – has the former Evertonian’s dalliance with Manchester City cost him a place on Fergie’s list?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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