We rank Man United’s Legends XI ahead of game against Barcelona
Manchester United’s Legends side play their Barcelona equivalents at Old Trafford, as 22 old men in far better shape than the Ladbrokes News team strut their stuff.
So, ahead of this fixture we’ve taken a look at the United XI, to rank them on their stints with the Red Devils, from finest to flop…
#11 – Jesper Blomqvist (4/10)
Perhaps it’s harsh to put the Swede in bottom spot as injuries hampered his time at United, but he failed to fulfil his potential after joining in 1998 and left with just 38 appearances and one goal to his name three years later.
#10 – Alan Smith (4/10)
Another who saw his time at United hampered by injury, it’s still arguable whether the workmanlike Smith ever had the quality to succeed at such a big club. One mesmerising display against Roma aside, he was pretty mediocre.
#9 – Raimond van der Gouw (5/10)
Peter Schmeichel’s deputy, the Dutchman was a relatively safe pair of hands, though he had little of the Great Dane’s agility and none of his commanding presence. Did once sign an autograph for Ladbrokes News’ resident United fan, though.
#8 – Ronny Johnsen (6/10)
Classy on the ball but prone to getting injured by a passing gust of wind, the versatile Norwegian was a decent performer at either left-back or centre-back. Once scored twice in one game against a very bad Nottingham Forest side.
#7 – Dimitar Berbatov (6/10)
An initial liability who later became a fan favourite, ‘Berba’ went from hapless penalty-scuffer to netting 20 Premier League goals in the 2010-11 season, including a hat-trick against Liverpool, before Fergie inexplicably sold him. A truly wild ride.
#6 – Wes Brown (7/10)
The archetypal example of a 7/10 player, Brown was always good but never spectacular. A versatile, trusted lieutenant in Ferguson’s side, he was basically a better John O’Shea. Still playing at the age of 37, spending last season with Blackburn Rovers.
#5 – Phil Neville (7/10)
In much the same bracket as Brown, P-Nev was there for a big chunk of United’s glory days, with his displays as consistent as his frosted-tip highlights. Lacked brother Gary’s crossing ability, but was composed on the ball and read the game well.
#4 – Louis Saha (8/10)
Without recurring injuries, the Frenchman could have been a genuine great for United. His haul of 41 goals in 122 appearances – many of them off the bench – is impressive in itself. With a bit more luck on the fitness front, he could’ve chalked up far more goals and outings for the club.
#3 – Dwight Yorke (9)
Simply put, there’s absolutely no way United would’ve won the treble in 1999 without the Trinidadian hitman. He scored an incredible 29 goals that term, including eight in their triumphant Champions League Final victory. Followed that up by another excellent campaign, though a poor final season in 2001-02 stops him taking the #2 spot.
#2 – Edwin van der Sar (9)
Broke the English league record for the most minutes without conceding a top-flight goal – with a whopping 1,311-minute stint of success between the sticks. Also saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to secure victory in the 2008 Champions League Final. Not quite a Schmeichel-level performer for the club, but not far off.
#1 – Paul Scholes (10)
He’s not the only player in this side who fully warrants the ‘Legend’ tag, but out of this XI, nobody can match his feats in a United shirt. The Ginger Maestro played 703 times for the club, scoring 149 goals and lifting 10 major trophies.
The only blot on his copybook? Scholesy’s todger popping out on the Old Trafford turf in the mid-90s following one mistimed challenge. Hopefully it’ll be his footballing skills that make the headlines in this Legends clash.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing