Top 10 Best Players in Manchester United History

Best Players in Manchester United History: Manchester United are one of the greatest English and European clubs in history. Since its founding in 1978 as Newton Heath, the club have enjoyed great success and trophies. In particular, there are 20 English league titles, 12 FA Cup victories and 3 Champions Leagues won.

Between the Busby years with the famous “Busby Babes” and the Ferguson era, Manchester United have known many great players throughout its history. Thanks to their talent, these players have made Manchester United the great club it is today.


Top 10 Best Players in Manchester United History


Find out who are the Top 10 Greatest Players in Manchester United history.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo:

  • Full Name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  • Date of Birth: 5 February 1985
  • Place of Birth: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

Cristiano Ronaldo is undeniably one of the greatest players of the 21st century. He is a hard worker, who has become one of the best thanks to his professionalism. Thanks to his sense of placement and his vision of the game, CR7 often finds himself in a very good position to finish an action. Very precise and skilful in front of goals, he is also part of the ranking of the best scorers in history.

After a first season with Sporting Portugal, Ronaldo joined Manchester United in 2003. He imposed himself very quickly there thanks to his liveliness, his dribbling and his finish. The young Portuguese won the Premier League, an FA Cup and the Champions League three times with the Red Devils. He becomes one of the best players in the history of Man United. Between 2009 and 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo imposed himself on the European scene with Real Madrid and won 4 new C1s. After spending 3 seasons at Juventus, he returns to Manchester United in 2021.

In addition to his great club career, CR7 is also a legend in Portugal. He is the most capped player, with 178 caps, and the top scorer in Portuguese history, with 109 goals scored. After being an unfortunate finalist in 2004, he won the first international title in the country’s history at Euro 2016. Cristiano Ronaldo is quite simply one of the best Portuguese players of all time.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
2003–2009 19684

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League2006, 2007, 2008
FA Cup 2003–04
FA Community Shield 2007
UEFA Champions League2007–08
FIFA Club World Cup2008

9. Roy Keane:

  • Full Name: Roy Maurice Keane
  • Date of Birth: 10 August 1971
  • Place of Birth: Cork, Ireland
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Roy Keane is a legendary Manchester United midfielder. Aggressive and powerful player, Keane wins the majority of his duels. His unwavering will and his rage to win allow him to always be 100% throughout the match. Thanks to his defensive skills and his very committed style, he also appears in the ranking of the best defensive midfielders in history.

Keane is making his professional debut with Irish club Cobh Ramblers. Very quickly spotted by Nottingham Forest, he discovered the elite of English football, but the club was finally relegated to the second division despite good performances from the Irishman. Roy Keane then joined Manchester United, where he became captain after a few seasons. With 7 English league titles, 4 FA Cups and a Champions League won, he is one of the best players in Manchester United history.

In selection, Roy Keane does not have quite the same success. Between 1991 and 2005, he participated in 67 international matches and scored 9 goals for Ireland. However, he played only one major tournament, the 1994 World Cup, where the Irish reached the round of 16. Keane is still considered one of the greatest Irish players of all time.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1993–2005 3263

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002
FA Cup1993, 1995, 1998, 2003
FA Community Shield1993, 1996, 1997, 2003
Intercontinental Cup1999
UEFA Champions League1998–99

8. Peter Schmeichel:

  • Full Name: Peter Bolesław Schmeichel
  • Date of Birth: 18 November 1963
  • Place of Birth: Gladsaxe, Denmark
  • Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

Peter Schmeichel is arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Danish and Manchester United history. Tall and physically imposing, Schmeichel is blessed with good relaxation and excellent reflexes. One of the specialties was the “star jump” in the style of a handball goalkeeper. A true defense leader, Schmeichel is one of the best goalkeepers in history.

After starting in smaller Danish clubs, Schmeichel joined Brøndby IF, the largest country club. The Danish goalkeeper won the championship 4 times, a Danish Cup and even reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Spotted by Manchester United, he joined the club in 1991 and stayed there for 8 seasons. With 5 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups and a Champions League victory, he has become one of the greatest players in Manchester United history.

Peter Schmeichel is not only a Man United legend, he is also one of the best Danish players of all time. He had 129 caps between 1987 and 2001, making him the most capped player in Danish history. His greatest achievement in selection remains Euro 1992, where the Danish selection wins the tournament against all odds, in particular thanks to many decisive saves by Schmeichel.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1991–1999 2920

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998
FA Cup1993, 1995, 1998
Football League Cup1991–92
FA Charity Shield1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
UEFA Champions League1998–99
European Super Cup 1991

7. Paul Scholes:

  • Full Name: Paul Scholes
  • Date of Birth: 16 November 1974
  • Place of Birth: Salford, Greater Manchester, England
  • Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Paul Scholes is without a doubt one of the best players in Manchester United history. The English midfielder is a versatile player, very hardworking, and always ready to sacrifice himself on the pitch. In addition to his defensive qualities, Scholes is endowed with a good vision of the game, which allows him to raise cleanly. Thanks to his powerful and precise strikes, he also often turns into a goalscorer.

Trained at Manchester United, Paul Scholes has remained loyal to the club throughout his career. He is the third most capped player in club history with 718 games played. The English player has an impressive record with Man United. He has notably 11 English league titles, 3 FA Cups, as well as two Champions League victories.

In addition to his club career, Scholes has also been an England international player. He competed in two World Cups and two Euros, but failed to do better than the quarter-finals in both competitions. Despite not having won any title with the Three Lions, Paul Scholes is still considered one of the best English players in history.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1993–2011 466102
2012–2013 335

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
FA Cup 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
Football League Cup2008–09, 2009–10
FA Charity Shield1996, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2010
UEFA Champions League 1998–99, 2007–08
Intercontinental Cup 1999
FIFA Club World Cup2008

6. Denis Law:

  • Full Name: Denis Law
  • Date of Birth: 24 February 1940
  • Place of Birth: Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Position(s): Centre forward

Denis Law is a Scottish international player, legendary Manchester United striker. Very combative on the pitch, Law was an extraordinary goalscorer, capable of scoring in any situation. In addition to his commitment, he is a very technical player, and still today the only Scottish player to have won the Ballon d’Or.

The young player made his debut with Huddersfield Town, where he played for 4 seasons in the 2nd division. After short stints at Manchester City and Torino in Italy, he signed up with Manchester United in 1962. Denis Law first won the FA Cup, before winning the championship twice and then the Champions League in 1968. L The following year, he became the competition’s top scorer despite elimination in the semi-finals.

Law is not only one of the best players in Manchester United history, he is also one of the greatest Scottish players of all time. In 55 international matches, he has scored 30 goals. However, the Scottish striker only played one World Cup match in the last year of his career in 1974.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1962–1973 309171

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Football League First Division1964–65, 1966–67
FA Cup1962–63
Charity Shield 1965, 1967
European Cup 1967–68

5. Eric Cantona:

  • Full Name: Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona is quite simply one of the greatest players in Manchester United history. He is a very technical player, who eliminates his opponents thanks to his feints and accelerations. Cantona is also a powerful, rough and aggressive player who can get out of hand at times. Often decisive in the offensive sector, he is both a scorer and a decisive passer.

Trained at AJ Auxerre, Cantona made his professional debut and his first matches in Ligue 1. He will go through several French clubs, including OM, Bordeaux and Montpellier, but it is in England at Leeds that he really goes. reveal themselves. Cantona won the Premier League with Leeds before joining Man United in 1992. With the Red Devils, “Eric the King”, he won the championship 4 times, the FA Cup twice, and became a Manchester United legend.

Eric Cantona is also a French international player between 1987 and 1995. His career in the France team is mixed. He was crowned European hopeful champion in 1988, but then only participated in Euro 1992, where France was eliminated in the first round. However, he remains considered by many to be one of the best French players of all time.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1992–1997 14364

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League1992, 1993, 1995, 1996
FA Cup1993–94, 1995–96
FA Charity Shield 1993, 1994, 1996

4. Duncan Edwards:

  • Full Name: Duncan Edwards
  • Date of Birth: 1 October 1936
  • Place of Birth: Woodside, Dudley, England
  • Place of Death: Munich, West Germany
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
  • Position(s): Left half

Duncan Edwards is an English player, great legend of the Red Devils. He is one of the Busy Babes, that glorious generation of Manchester United players in the 1950s. A very versatile midfielder, Edwards is a powerful player who excels in his tackles as well as in his passing or shooting. His physical strength is such for his young age that many nicknames are given to him, such as “The Tank”.

The young England player made his Manchester United debut at the age of 16, which was a record at the time. Edwards won the English championship twice and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with the English club. When he is only 21, he has already played 175 games for the Red Devils. Sadly, Duncan Edwards died following the plane crash that brought the team back from Belgrade in February 1958 at the age of 21.

Edwards also started his international career very early, at just 18 years old. Selected 18 times, he scored 5 goals and took part in qualifying for the 1958 World Cup, a tournament he unfortunately could not compete in. Despite his short career, he remains one of the best players in Manchester United history.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1953–1958 15120

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
First Division1955–56, 1956–57
FA Charity Shield1956, 1957

3. Bobby Charlton:

  • Full Name: Robert Charlton
  • Date of Birth: 11 October 1937
  • Place of Birth: Ashington, Northumberland, England
  • Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder
  • Forward

Bobby Charlton is one of the greatest players in English history. A true playmaker, he is an excellent passer, but also a formidable scorer, thanks to his powerful strikes at ground level. His most famous gesture remains the ball toe, which will make him really famous across Europe. We also find Bobby Charlton in our ranking of the best attacking midfielders in history.

Manchester United legend Charlton has spent most of his career with the Red Devils. Despite the tragedy of the Munich air crash, he remained at the club and became one of the major architects of the reconstruction of Manchester United. The English midfielder won the championship three times, an FA Cup and the Champions League in 1968. Bobby Charlton is undoubtedly one of the best players in the history of Manchester United.

In addition to his rich club career, Charlton was also one of the key elements of the English team which won the 1966 World Cup, the only major international title in England’s history. The same year, he won the Ballon d’Or, which rewards his exceptional season.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1956–1973 606199

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Football League First Division (3)1956, 1964, 1966
FA Cup 1962–63
Charity Shield (4) 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967
European Cup1967–68
FA Youth Cup (3)1953, 1954, 1955

2. George Best:

  • Full Name: George Best
  • Date of Birth: 22 May 1946
  • Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Position(s): Winger
  • Attacking midfielder

George Best is one of the greatest strikers of all time. A true genius of the round ball, Best is a very creative player, but also very agile. He is also part of our ranking of the best dribblers in history . Most often aligned with the position of left winger, Best is not only an excellent dribbler, he is also a formidable scorer, as evidenced by his numerous goals.

The young Northern Irishman was spotted early on by Manchester United, where he would start his career at the age of 17. George Best quickly forged a place in the team and won his first titles. He won the championship in 1965 and 1967, then the Champions League in 1968, where he scored a decisive goal in the final. This season, Best is also the top scorer in the league, with a total of 28 goals.

The same year, his performances were rewarded with the most prestigious individual football title, the Ballon d’Or. George Best is arguably the best player in the history of Northern Ireland. However, he will never manage to qualify his team for a major international competition. But for Red Devils fans, George Best remains one of the best players in Manchester United history.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1963–1974 361137

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Football League First Division1964–65, 1966–67
Charity Shield 1965, 1967
European Cup 1968

1. Ryan Giggs:

  • Full Name: Ryan Joseph Giggs
  • Date of Birth: 29 November 1973
  • Place of Birth: Canton, Cardiff, Wales
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Ryan Giggs is a Welsh international player, who has spent his entire career at Manchester United. A versatile midfielder, he is most often positioned on the left side, where he can shine with his speed and sense of dribbling. In addition to sometimes scoring extraordinary goals, Giggs is above all an extraordinary passer, able to provide many assists to his partners. Ryan Giggs is quite simply one of the best wingers in football history.

Trained at the Manchester United club, the young Welsh player quickly won his first titles, eventually forging one of the most beautiful records in the history of the club. Ryan Giggs wins 13 times the championship, 4 times the FA Cup and 2 times the Champions League with the Red Devils. Player of one club, he remains his entire career at Man United. In the space of 24 seasons, he played 963 games, a record, and scored 169 goals. Very fair play, Giggs received no red card throughout his club career.

With the Welsh selection, Giggs does not have the same success. He does not participate in any major tournament with his country, despite his 64 caps and 12 goals. Ryan Giggs still competed in the London 2012 Olympics with Great Britain, but the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals. However, it is for his performances with his club that he goes down in history as one of Manchester United’s greatest players.

Career Manchester United:

YearsMatchesGoals
1990–2014672114

Honours Manchester United:

CompetitionYears
Premier League 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
FA Cup1993, 1995, 1998, 2003
Football League Cup1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09
FA Community Shield1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013
UEFA Champions League1998–99, 2007–08
UEFA Super Cup1991
Intercontinental Cup 1999
FIFA Club World Cup2008

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