Manchester United have enjoyed an embarrassment of riches in terms of playing staff through their glorious history as the most decorated side in English football.
To pick a greatest Manchester United player of all time is a joy and a curse at the same time – but ‘a nice problem to have’ as many a top manager might opine.
TFF attempts to pick a winner from a plethora of princes.
Will be the choice of many for greatest United player of the lot. Best was a true magician whose genius seemed completely natural and effortless.
His achievements should also be heralded because he was a flair player who dared to defy defenders in an era when tackling was a full contact sport. Best was scythed on a weekly basis but it never stopped him from playing the game with a sense of fantasy.
King Eric was not only a brilliant individual talent. But he played for Manchester United at a crucial moment of their history.
Along with Sir Alex Ferguson of course, Cantona was the main catalyst for the Manchester United renaissance and the twenty years of dominance which ensued.
The Frenchman seemed to imbue the whole young and talented squad with the sense of belief which had been missing the 26 fallow years which had gone before his arrival.
And those tricks and flicks, which could open up a game in a moment, were to die for.
Could easily have become the undisputed greatest player of all time at Manchester United had his career and life been so cruelly taken away at the tender age of 21.
Edwards was, in a strict sense, the complete footballer. He was a mammoth midfielder who shielded the defence manfully. He could go box to box and had a wonderful passing range. He carried the ball upfield with aplomb. And he could assist and score goals with effortless ease.
Had Edwards played on for another ten years the names of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Dennis Law may well have been utterly eclipsed by that of the Englishman.
Mr. Manchester United has has as long an association with the club as anyone. He played for the club between 1956 and 73 and scored 249 goals in 758 games – a record which was only eclipsed in 2017 by Wayne Rooney.
Charlton scored goals from all angels for fun but wasn’t even an out and out forward. He could play in several positions from attacking midfield to the wide areas and was a consummate team player as well as being a footballer of immense individual ability.
Not always the most popular player amongst the fans – mainly due to two periods in his Manchester United career where he seemed to agitate for a move – but Rooney was easily one of the best players in the history of the club.
Without him TFF often opines that United would not have achieved the same trophy haul. Because, towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign Rooney was head and shoulders above the rest and he dragged an arguably mediocre side to serial silverware.
He surpassed Charlton’s record to become Manchester United’s greatest ever goalscorer in 2017.
Manchester United’s Best Player of ALL Time?
The football machine. Some may debate that a player who only stayed at the club for six years, and was highly inconsistent for the first two of those, could possibly be deemed Manchester United’s greatest player ever.
But he was every bit as good as George Best and even more professional. Ronaldo make a total mockery of every opponent in his last three years at Old Trafford and would surely have broken every scoring record had he not joined Real Madrid in 2009.
United fans: is there any question that Cristiano Ronaldo was the greatest player ever to tread the boards at The Theatre of Dreams?