Manchester United is arguably the most famous club in world football with a rich history punctuated by glamour, success and tragedy.
They are the most successful club in terms of domestic success in England with 20 league titles to their name as well as 12 FA Cups, five League Cups and 21 Community Shield wins.
Manchester United have also won The European Cup on three occasions and as recently as 2008. Their first victory was in 1968 when they defeated Benfica 4-1 in extra time at a packed and jubilant Wembley Stadium.
Their second success came in 1999 in one of the most dramatic finals of all time. Having taken control of the club in 1986, the now legendary Sir Alex Ferguson built a new generation from scratch. His first few years were tough and there were calls for his sacking after three seasons.
But he was building strong foundations at the club and a new vintage of young players was starting to emerge. By the beginning of the 90’s he had finally returned the league trophy to Manchester after a 26 year wait. And from that point onwards the trophies flowed like never before.
And Manchester United were learning fast in Europe too. They were the first English club to re-enter the European Cup after the Heysel Stadium tragedy (and subsequent ban for English clubs) and by 1999 they had added a second European Cup trophy to their collection. Having been outplayed for most of the game in Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium Manchester United flummoxed Bayern Munich by scoring twice in the last few minutes of the game to win 2-1.
More domestic dominance ensued in what was the most successful period in Manchester United’s history. But it wasn’t until United signed the burgeoning talents of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo that The Red Devils return to the top of the pile in Europe.
But with these two incredible young attackers in the side Manchester United bewitched the opposition and got to three European Champions League finals in the space of four years between 2008 and 2012. They only won one of these finals – against Chelsea in 2008 – but this became the most successful period in the history of the club.
It defined a period of unprecedented success under the visionary tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson who left the club after 26 years in 2013. Manchester United have struggled to replicate the success they had under the brilliant Scot since he left but the club goes from strength to strength financially and remains one of the powerhouses of world football.
Manchester United’s nadir came in 1958 with the Munich air disaster where the majority of a brilliant young squad was killed in a plane crash. The club took 10 years to recover but under the management of another visionary leader, Sir Matt Busby, they returned to the summit of European football.
Manchester United play the football at Old Trafford which is one of the oldest and the largest grounds in club football in England. The capacity of over 76,000 is full for virtually every league game and Manchester United’s support is truly global.
The Red Devils have had teams littered with A-list talent down the years including the likes of Bobby Charlton, George best, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Dennis Law.
The current Manchester United side has world record signing Paul Pogba in it. Pogba returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2016 for £93.2 million.
The leading scorer in Manchester United’s history is Wayne Rooney who has over 250 goals for the club and succeeded Bobby Charlton in 2017. Charlton scored 249 goals for Manchester United.
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