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Fergie's best XI: The midfield

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Dan Walker | 09:54 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

As we close in on Saturday's Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona at Wembley, we've asked Football Focus pundits Mark Lawrenson and Lee Dixon to pick Sir Alex Ferguson's best-ever United side.

The debate kicked off on Tuesday with the defence. Both Lawro and Dixon went for Peter Schmeichel over Edwin Van der Sar in goal but they couldn't agree on the back four. Lawro opted for Denis Irwin, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister and Patrice Evra, while Dixon went for Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Irwin.

So what about the midfield? Plenty of options here: Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bryan Robson, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona. Surprisingly, Lawro and Dixon were in complete agreement.

You can view their choices - and the reasons for them - below.

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Don't forget, we want your picks and opinions, too. Stick your comments down below.

Our pundit pair will be back on Thursday to discuss the forward line. See you soon and thanks for all the comments on the last one. Keep them coming.


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  • Comment number 1.

    giggs, ronaldo, keane and scholes, cantona was a forward and ronaldo could also be classed as one...

  • Comment number 2.

    Has to be Giggs, Scholes, Keane and Beckham. No question.

  • Comment number 3.

    ronaldo, scholes, hargreaves and giggs

  • Comment number 4.

    Keane, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes

  • Comment number 5.

    I would definitely agree with Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes and Giggs, but surely Cantona was a striker and has to be one of the front two. He was always regarded as a striker at Utd and was bought as such. No way he can be left out because you have him down as a midfielder!

  • Comment number 6.

    Got to be Beckham, Keane, Scholes and Giggs

  • Comment number 7.

    Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Ronaldo


    Harvey Wallbanger

  • Comment number 8.

    Ronaldo, Keane, Robbo, Giggs.....not to shabby

  • Comment number 9.

    There's no argument, it has to be the midfield of 1999

    Ryan Giggs
    David Beckham
    Roy Keane
    Paul Scholes

    Ronaldo is of course a brilliant footballer but he was more of a goalscorer than provider like Beckham & Giggs were.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think you can't argue against


    The only debate is Ronaldo or Beckham. I'll go for Beckham based on my English bias

  • Comment number 11.

    Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes & Giggs

    With Becks on the bench, because if I was on the opposing team, I would be more scared of Ronaldo than Beckham.

  • Comment number 12.

    With the majority here

    Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes, Giggs

    Can't believe #3 has gone for Hargreaves over Keane.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Chelsea fan I would go for as a whole


    Neville . Ferdinand. Stam . Irwin

    Beckham . Keane. Scholes

    Ronaldo . Cantona . Giggs

    Subs: Van Der Sar, Vidic, Evra, Butt, Rooney, Van Nistelrooy, Robson

    I think thats pretty decent and a season winning side

  • Comment number 14.

    Ronaldo, Scholes, Keane and Giggs...simples

  • Comment number 15.

    This is all very interesting but i think i'd rather hear more about Lee Dixon's smelly armpits!

  • Comment number 16.

    its got to be Ronaldo left Giggs and Scholes centre and George Best right

  • Comment number 17.


    Prunier, De Laet, May, Fortune

    Bellion, Kleberson, Veron

    Bebe, Dong, Manucho

    subs Bosnich, Djemba Djemba (so bad they named him twice), Poborsky, Obertan, Cruyff, Milne, Owen

    And how much did this lot cost?

  • Comment number 18.

    Has to be:

    Giggs (best left winger ever?)
    Keane (best midfield ball winner ever - for United certainly, and only challenged by Vieira in world football)
    Robson - for me he edges Scholes on significant, but that's very debatable...
    Beckham - better output than Ronaldo and a far better team player. Maybe less so while he was actually a United player, but who could argue with his uber-consistent crossing and free kicks?

    For the others, Hargreaves had the potential but never had the opportunity to really show it for us; Ronaldo, an amazing player but hard to put into a authentic position and more of a forward than a winger or midfielder; and Scholes, huge creative force, and with the most amusing array of tackles going.

    In defence, has to be Dixon's call - Neville has been a legend, and i'd have to say that Irwin edges Evra. Pallister and Bruce were stalwarts, but can't really compare to the talent of Ferdinand and Vidic.

  • Comment number 19.

    Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs Sub: Ronaldo

    Reason for becks is that he works better with my choice right-back: gary neville. Moreover Ronaldo as impact sub is extremely scary for opposition! :)

    And why Cantona in midfield? He's a forward isn't he?

  • Comment number 20.

    13) I really can't argue with your choice of players!

    Cannot see the video, therefore do not know what Mark and Lee said for the midfield if anyone cares to tell me?

    My Midfield would have to be;

    RW - All day long Ronaldo (Although i do believe United are a better team without him AT THE MOMENT)
    CM - Roy Keane
    CM - Bryan Robson
    LW - GIGGS! (No need to think about that one!)

    For the whole team though id have to pick

    GK - Van der sar

    RB - Neville
    CB - Vidic
    CB - Stam
    LB - Irwin

    RW - Ronaldo/Beckham
    CM - Keane
    CM - Robson
    LW - Giggs

    RF - Rooney or Ronaldo (Thats if Beckham is on the Right wing)
    LF - Cantona

  • Comment number 21.


    I agree, this is by far the best Manchester United team, from a Liverpool fans point of veiw. But seriously I'd go for;


    Neville Vidic Stam Evra

    Ronaldo Scholes Keane Giggs

    Cantona Hernandez

    Hernandez is signing of the century, quality to see him in real red though

  • Comment number 22.

    #17 surely Veron's worth a mention based on a ratio of price against contribution?!

  • Comment number 23.

    #17 and that team still has more Premier League winners than Liverpool

  • Comment number 24.

    @20 - spot on

    Giggs (best left winger ever?) - nope. Tom Finney. Gigg's isn't even your best ManU left winger. That's Best.
    Keane (best midfield ball winner ever - for United certainly, and only challenged by Vieira in world football) - not best ever by a LONG shot - Souness, Giles, Makelele and Viera were all better footballers, and Ince in his day was just as good.
    Robson - for me he edges Scholes on significant, but that's very debatable... - you got this one right :)
    Beckham - better output than Ronaldo and a far better team player. Maybe less so while he was actually a United player, but who could argue with his uber-consistent crossing and free kicks? - good point, two totally different kinds of player - depends on your team setup who gets the nod. I'd go for Ronaldo over Becks purely for the attacking options he brings, though I'd argue that Becks has a better "big game" mentality...

  • Comment number 25.

    Giggs, Keane, Scholes, Ronaldo.

    Robson would come close in the middle of the park.

    The only way Beckham would get in would be if Ronaldo played up front. The only thing Beckham has over Ronaldo is crossing from a dead ball situation. Pace, strength, skill, aerial ability, shooting, finishing, crossing in open play, two footedness... the list of things Ronaldo is better at goes on and on.

    "Beckham - better output than Ronaldo"

    Only if, by "ouput", you mean "tabloid column inches". Ronaldo scored over 20 more goals in over 100 games less!

  • Comment number 26.

    Best Team 3-5-2 formation.

    Tiaibi, DEF Prunier, Blanc, May, MID Yordi C, Djemba-Djemba, Kleiberson, Chadwick Bebe. ST Bellion, Owen,

  • Comment number 27.

    George Best played everywhere across the front, so you could say he's United's best ever right/left winger, inside forward, striker and attacking midfielder if you wanted, and you'd have a strong argument. However, as he played right wing in his best years for United, I think Giggs' place is safe colonel_white.

    As for Fergie's best, I agree with Ronaldo, Scholes, Keane and Giggs. Ronaldo gets the nod ahead of Beckham for his outstanding goal haul in his last few seasons. I think Keane and Scholes at the peak of their powers would more than compensate for Ronaldo's selfishness when it comes to possession and creativity.

  • Comment number 28.

    The debate about the team would be made easier if everyone was putting forward their vote with the same criteria.
    Are people naming a team of players they'd have at the peak of their powers for 1 season or match?
    Or are people naming a team of players they'd want to have for 10 seasons based on their ability AND consistency?
    Are people thinking of individuals 1 by 1 or thinking who would play well with eachother in the same team?
    Are some people actually looking at players' contribution per cost (in transfer fees & wages)??

    Perhaps people could give a proper explanation along with their chosen 11 (& subs).

    My preference of criteria would be to consider every position individually, taking into account longevity as a player and what they achieved at the club / how they performed during their time at the club (under Fergie. As this is a debate about Fergie's best 11). The periods of the players' careers outside of Fergie's management should not be discounted but should have a severely diminished influence on consideration.

    - This is coming out a little more complicated than I imagined but I think it makes it easier to debate now.

    Under the criteria I have specified this would be my team (4 4 2):


    G. Neville




    Van Der Sar
    P. Neville (was unfairly over criticized at utd for 1 or 2 blunders with England)
    Van Nistelrooy

    Will happily explain to anyone who disagrees and demands explanation.

    Also, i've noticed that some people get quite agitated when people put across their opinions. It is a debate that is purely down to subjective view and everyone's opinion is valid. One is allowed to disagree but give proper reasons with SUBSTANCE.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm surprised that the names of Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes haven't been mentioned. Great players in a relatively underrated United team of the early 90's.

  • Comment number 30.

    im sorry but is it just me or is everyone forgetting about probably the best player to ever live Sir Bobby Charlton surely he has to be named in the best manchester united midfield.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hands up if you cannot read where it says FERGIE'S in the title.

    Last time I checked Best never played under Fergie.

  • Comment number 32.

    Alot of people seem to be debating either beckham or ronaldo i personaly say beckaham for a few reasons he was alot more loyal to manchester united than ronaldo and even though ronaldo is a far better overall player beckham is better in a team of players ronaldo likes to try and control the game which dont get me wrong is amazing but beckham plays more for the team and personaly i would rather see someone playing for the team than themselves.

  • Comment number 33.

    @31 - if you read the original comment @18, the poster said that they thought Giggs was the best left winger EVER. I said that I thought Best was ManU's best left winger ever. I didn't say that Best played under Ferguson.

    Hands up those who can't follow the thread :)

  • Comment number 34.

    #260 NOT FAIR! You do realise that David May played in the 1999 Champions' League final don't you? Back the those days, Butt, Scholes and May were rarely missing from (at least) the subs bench!
    think; 20th Century, John O'Shea.. you'll be pretty close!

  • Comment number 35.

    I agree with Dixon and Lawro, Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes and Giggs are my pick too.

  • Comment number 36.

    @17, scousesimon

    thanks for answering a question that's been bugging me all season. Who was the Frenchman at United just before the arrival of EC. Prunier. Didn't play much. Shocking side by the way!

  • Comment number 37.


    Just reread 17. You're dead right about David May. Also surprised Ronny Jonssen (spelling?) doesn't get a mention in dispatches.

  • Comment number 38.

    Robson - best goal scoring midfielder ever for United under Fergie
    Scholes - best midfielder
    Giggs - best left wing
    Ronaldo- right wing (and goalscorer!)

  • Comment number 39.

    How about...

    Jesper Blomqvist, Kleberson, Eric Djemba-Djemba, David Bellion

  • Comment number 40.


  • Comment number 41.

    The problem with picking these all time 11s is how well they would actually play together and in what formation. In a rigid 4-4-2 you would probably go for Beckham over Ronaldo, otherwise it would be a 4-3-3 which would mean no place for Cantona. In terms of an 11 that would work best i would go for Schmeichel, Neville, Vidic, Ferdinand, Irwin, Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs, Cantona, Van Nistlerooy, in a 4-3-3 Id chuck in Robson, Rooney and Ronaldo for Giggs, Beckham and Cantona.

  • Comment number 42.

    17: very funny.
    what happened to paul ince? has had a bad press since leaving united and think he is underrated for his contribution at the time

  • Comment number 43.

    The best 11 based upon a 4-2-3-1 formation is:


    G.Neville, Vidic, Pallister, Irwin

    Keane, Robson

    Ronaldo, Cantana, Giggs,

    Van Nistelrooy

    Bench: Van der Sar, Ferdinand, Evra, Ince, Beckham, Scholes, Cole

    I think that would win the league !!!

  • Comment number 44.

    I've been praising Paul Ince all day. But on yesterdays blog!!! D'oh!!

    My midfield 4 -


    To echo one or two others, its a tough choice.

    All great, great players to choose from.

    I go for Ince over Keane because I think he was there form the start of the SAF era, more or less anyway.

    Help lay the foundations for the success that followed.
    Was part of the '94 team that I think was SAF's best ever.
    Didnt conquer Europe because of the 4 foreigner rule at the time.
    Bought by Inter for £8mill (at the time alot of money)

    Keane was great
    Ince was greater.

  • Comment number 45.

    Surely the defence has to include Stam who was the best centre back Man United have had since Fergie was put in charge.

    The goalkeeper picks himself. The defence for me is Irwin, Stam, Vidic and Evra.
    Midfield - Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes and Giggs. Upfront is a difficult one. I mean you have Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cantona and Wayne Rooney - how do you pick two from that? I will go for process of elimination, Rooney is out as the others reached a higher level than him but of course Rooney has many more years left. Yorke only spent a few years and United and although was fantastic the other players were better, believe it or not. Cole was a great goalscorer but the others were better all-round players in my opinion. So that leaves Cantona, Sheringham and van Nistelrooy. For me one was an absolutely fantastic goalscorer and the other two were excellant at linking play and also scoring. So I am left with a situation where I must leave out Sheringham or Cantona. Sheringham is one of my favourite players of all time, so I'm afraid Cantona misses out on my list - just. Sheringham and van Nistelrooy for me.

  • Comment number 46.


    Prunier wasnt at United just before Cantona arrived.

    Prunier trained with Utd for a while in 96/7ish if memory serves me.
    Played a couple of games. One of which was a 4-1 defeat at Spurs.
    and was then never seen again.


    Blomqvist was part of the treble winning side of '99.
    Played at Goteberg with distinction.
    Didnt really get a chance at Milan.

    Could well have achieved more if it wasnt for an injury from which he never really recovered from in 2000.

  • Comment number 47.


    De Laet May Prunier Fortune

    Jordi Djemba Djemba Klebersen Chadwick

    Bellion Dublin

    What a team...

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    Schmeichal - no comment needed

    GNev - SAF's most consistent RFB.

    Irwin - Has won more than Evra thus far, so edges him at the moment.

    Ferdinand - Rolls Royce.

    Stam - Solid as a rock. Sold 3 season too early due to fall out over his autobiography. Cost SAF and Man U maybe a couple of more champs league titles in doing so.

    Beckham - Utds biggest fan and showed it every time he played.

    Ince - Just about edges Keane and Robbo.

    Scholes - no comment needed

    Giggs - see above

    Ronaldo - became the best player on the planet during his time at Man U.

    Cantona - Legend.



  • Comment number 50.

    Ronaldo vs Beckham debate really comes down to who you have up front. (Keane, Scholes and Giggs are shoe-ins.)
    Assuming you have Cantona (Instead of Rooney) and van Nisterooy (Instead of Cole), with Giggs running in from the left and Scholes down the middle, who would you really prefer to be putting the ball in?
    I would choose Beckham for a team. Ronaldo is an infinitely better player though.

  • Comment number 51.

    Has to be like many others have said. Beckham Giggs Keane and Scholes.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ronaldo, Robson, Scholes, Giggs.

    I think Keane's poor disciplinary record just gives the edge to Robson.

  • Comment number 53.

    beckham robson keane Coppell

  • Comment number 54.

    @47 - Dublin was a decent player, VERY unlucky with injuries - ManU never got to see the best of him, bit like Hargreaves in that respect. By the time he came back, Cantona was established so he was sold on. He did well at Coventry afterwards, as I recall, so I think its a bit harsh to list him as a failure. Also, Ferguson bought him for £1m and sold him for £2m, which is good business I reckon.

  • Comment number 55.

    Actually i retract the robson thing after watching the video at the top, Keane Instead :)

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Tuff call on this one!

    Anyone for Park in the midfield??? And Van nistelrooy upfront...he was just scoring for fun.....

  • Comment number 58.

    @38 calum54
    Robson - best goal scoring midfielder ever for United under Fergie


    Ermm where did u get your stats for this fact????

  • Comment number 59.

    Bryan Robson, has got to be in there with Beckham Keane and Giggs, Ronaldo up front for me!

    Robbo Drag and kicked a average side into a decent one, all the other midfielder played in a very solid team.

  • Comment number 60.

    Peter Schmeichel (GK)

    Gary Neville (RB), Jaap Stam (CB), Rio Ferdinand (CB), Dennis Irwin (LB)

    Cristiano Ronaldo (RM), Bryan Robson (CM), Roy Keane (CM), Ryan Giggs (LM)

    Eric Cantona (SS), Mark Hughes (CF)

    I definitely think that Peter Schmeichel in goal is an easy decision. He was one of the world's best Goal Keeper's, if not THE best.

    Gary Neville right back for his consistency and at his best he was magnificent. Jaap Stam over Nemanja Vidic because they are both similar players but you would never see Jaap Stam get turned over in games like Nemanja Vidic has against teams like Liverpool or Chelsea. Rio Ferdinand at his best and full fitness with his experience is just a rock at the back and definitely Dennis Irwin over Patrice Evra as his defensive abilities are much beyond that of Patrice Evra's.

    The midfield for me was a hard choice. Leaving out significent players such as David Beckham and Paul Scholes really shows you the merit Fergie's XI deserves. So for me, Cristiano Ronaldo over David Beckham in the right midfield because of his pace, goal ratio and general play. In centre midfield, Bryan Robson and Roy Keane. With these two, no one would get past the midfield and Bryan Robson would be joining in attack and both are very good passers of the ball, (perhaps not as good as Paul Scholes but for general work rate, defensive abilities and attacking prowess), then I would choose these two. Then an easy choice with Ryan Giggs on the left.

    This leaves the last two positions for upfront. For me it would have been Eric Cantona and Ruud Van Nistelrooy. However, I think both of these players are selfish and would not work well together. This is why I have opted for Mark Hughes as he and Eric Cantona had a great understanding and partnership which would work, having Eric Cantona playing behind Mark Hughes as a second striker.

  • Comment number 61.

    As a Man Utd supporter of 50 years, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind:

    Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs

    and Scholes is the best/greatest United player in my time as a supporter!

  • Comment number 62.


    Ferdinand Stam Vidic
    Ince Scholes
    Kanchelskis Giggs
    Ronaldo Van Nistlerooy

    a lil bit attacking with 3 at the back but there you go! Solkjaer & becks could easily be in there but I like kanchelskis & Sheringham!

  • Comment number 63.

    ---------------------------Van Nistelrooy-------
    -------Ronaldo (Free Role)----------------------





    Van Der Sar
    P. Neville

    Why not accommodate both Beckham and Ronaldo? By playing Ronaldo in a more advanced position (almost giving him a free role) you get his under-rated head on the end of Beckham's crosses & scoring like it's going out of fashion. If Ronaldo were to get injured...Cantona would be perfect in this role. In a 1st XI, I'd opt for Nistelrooy over a Cantona/Rooney as he'd have a field-day being on the shoulder of the last man/feeding on the spoils.

    As Keane is in the team as a midfield General you would also get the best out of Scholes' attacking play (20+ Goals in 2002/2003) as he would be free to occupy that hole between midfield and attack. This would also be where I'd play Rooney if Scholes were to get injured and/or suspended from a dodgy tackle.

    Against Bigger teams I would perhaps play a 4-5-1, dropping Ronaldo (who was rubbish in big games anyway) and flooding the midfield by playing Robson alongside Keane with Scholes/Rooney/Cantona free to occupy that "hole" behind Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

    I went for Stam alongside Vidic as he combined the speed & ground-play of Ferdinand with some of that physicality that Vidic possesses in droves. Basically, if I was a Drogba or a Carroll or a Torres, I'd fancy my chances of skinning Rio more than I would coming out on top against the big Dutchman. Had he not published his autobiography and crossed Fergie, he would have achieved even more than he did in his short time at United. Ferdinand would be great cover and a good pairing for either Vidic or Ferdinand.

    Which leaves Phil Neville. Key Word? Versatility. He could realistically cover the back-four and midfield.

    I'd fancy this match-day squad of 18 against any of the others suggested.

  • Comment number 64.

    Laughable some of these people puting Beckham ahead of Ronaldo. Not even in his league.

    Ronaldo Scholes Keane Giggs.

    Clearcut and really no argument.

  • Comment number 65.

    I know Fergie has mainly played 4-4-2 but I wouldn't be selecting them in that formation, I'd have:


    Neville (G) - Ferdinand - Vidic - Irwin


    Beckham - Scholes

    Ronaldo - Giggs
    Van Nistlerooy

    Subs: Van Der Saar, Evra, Bruce, Ince, Cantona, Rooney, Solskjaer.

    Far too many to chose from really once you get forward, Hughes, Cole, Yorke, Sherringham, Kanchelskis etc all could have an arguement for featuring - and if it was a big game you'd want Park in your squad. The main problem though is I couldn't leave either Beckham or Ronaldo out of that - it is hard enough to leave Cantona out but 3 number 7's would be a bit much!

    (I don't really remember football prior to '92 so can't really judge the likes of Robson, Mcgrath, etc).

  • Comment number 66.

    This idea of classifying either C. Ronaldo or Eric Cantona as midfielders must be a joke. Ronaldo is a forward. Cantona is a forward.

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm actually shocked some people are putting Ince ahead of Keane. Keane was one of the greatest ever United players, let alone just under Fergie. He was a monster of a player, and carried the whole team at times, in ways Ince could never do, and Keanes winning mentality was so evident every time he went on the pitch. Imagine having to fight it out with Keane for the ball in the centre of the park, now that's scary.

    As for the Beckham v Ronaldo debate, Ronaldo is quite literally on a different planet to Beckham in terms of talent. I don't think this was a who loves united the most competition, so Beckham doesn't win on any level other than maybe tracking back, which is hardly the greatest attribute you're looking for in a best of an era right wing poll. Beckham was also never close to being the best player in the word, which is something Ronaldo has been consistently challenging for and of course won it once, and that's against one of the greatest of all time in Messi. Add to this Ronaldo's 40 goal plus season and Beckham is a long way back, as he would be for pace as well. Even from free kicks, Beckham's forte, you could argue for Ronaldo on some levels.

    There is no sane alternative for Giggs on the left, and that leaves Scholes, and is anyone seriously suggesting Scholes doesn't make the line up?

  • Comment number 68.

    ronaldo scholes keane giggs no doubt

  • Comment number 69.

    I just read the intro to this video above, and noticed Cantona listed as an option for one of United's 4 greatest midfielders under Fergie??? Whoever wrote that should resign from their post immediately as it clearly involves a subject they know little about. The only mitigation is if they are 12, and someone is trying to make them look silly, and that's probably a sackable offence as well given you shouldn't be picking on 12 year olds in the work place.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    fergies best squad player ever gotta be j o shea!! played everywhere for utd (including nets vs spurs), not the most talented but always does a job! not in any starting line ups but gotta be on everyones bench! agree with the boys on the midfield although becks is unlucky that ronaldo was soo good!

  • Comment number 72.

    schmeichel. Irwin. Stam. Rio. Evra. Giggs(just the best) keane. Scholes. Beckham. Forwards this is hard to pick so..............for me its. Ruud. 30goals a season easy. Just in the hole behind him KING. ERIC. Reason. Is this goalkeeper no 1else comes close back 4 seperate and together are solid. Middle of the park is the best the EPL has ever seen and upfront proven goalscorer in Ruud and for Eric what can u say but genius.......ll.. that's what I think

  • Comment number 73.

    Ronaldo keane scholes giggs. Dribbling ability, trickery, goalscoring, set pieces, determination, desire, fight, tackling, class, vision, shooting, crossing. That midfield with those players at their peak would be very difficult to beat. The wide players are wingers, they are fast and keep the width and will cross and score goals and the midfield players will not be intimidated they will win the fight but in scholes they have that piece of class and vision that will on numerous occasions free the two wide players.

  • Comment number 74.

    @34 You're a united fan presumably. David May didn't play in the champions league at all the season they won it, let alone the final. Which was why it was hilarious to see him jumping about at the front in all the photos...

  • Comment number 75.

    Shame @37 too. Having said that if I was to expect any fans not to know the details of their own history it would be united. Weird that it took a Magpies fan to correct you...

  • Comment number 76.

    @gooner8 Ronaldo keane scholes giggs That midfield with those players at their peak would be very difficult to beat.


    makelele zidane guti figo, there beat
    busquets xavi iniesta, there beat
    gattuso, pirlo, seedorf, kaka, there beat

    3 midfields which i can comfortably say can beat that utd midfield

  • Comment number 77.





  • Comment number 78.

    My United Team - coming from a Liverpool Fan :

    Schmiechel - Best Keeper ive witnessed!

    G. Neville - Hate him but credit where credit due!
    Stam - Colossal, like like Vidic but Better!
    Ferdinand - Reads the game so well, very good!
    Evra - Such an athletic, attacking full back, defensively sound, too!

    C. Ronaldo - In my eyes the best player the prem has had (behind Gerrard of course :P )
    Ince - He could score, create and get stuck in!
    Scholes - Pass master, such a clever player!
    Giggs - WOW! even at 37 hes uniteds best LM!

    Van Nistelrooy - Goals galore. Right place right time, Linekar-esque!
    Wayne Rooney - His creativeness and intelligence will give RVN and Ronaldo countless goal scoring opportunities!

    My omissions -
    Roy Keane - People call Barton a thug, this man was worse, so overrated IMO, he was a brute, not a footballer, Makelele is was better in the same position and he didnt need to hurt players did he!?

    Cantona - absolutely amazing in patches but sulky, ineffective, lethargic in much more! He just reminds me of Berbatov but better, not for me!

    Becks - I love this man, but was he ever as good as the media hype? not so sure, fantasic passer and free kick taker- but is that enough to be a world class player?

    Still a good 11 though, i think?

  • Comment number 79.

    Great choice #77.Very little mention of Ferdinand and Berbatov despite 5 goals in a game and seven winning goals has no mention and will probably not be around long enough to prove SAF judgement wrong.Could not believe that someone mentioned Hernandez!!!!. Hopefully he will prove that one day he can fill the boots of Ole Gunnar but the jury is still out.A fit Hargreaves would have had to receive serious consideration.

  • Comment number 80.

    People on this post have really surprised me.

    George Best; Bryan Robson; Paul Scholes; Ryan Giggs.

    How on earth has Best hardly been mentioned on this post?? And Robson was a better Football than keane, but they equalled in the "Captain" role.


    G Neville, Pallister, Vidic, Irwin

    Best, Robson, Scholes, Giggs



  • Comment number 81.

    Ronaldo Keane Scholes Giggs Beckham Them 5 would be great together

  • Comment number 82.

    to the bitter L*verpool fans posting a team of United flops. For every one bad player Ferige has signed, Liverpool have probably signed at least two. Best start getting your "well, we've won more League Cups than you" excuse ready for a few years time when we overtake you in Europe.

    Anyway, my midfield would be the classic 99 midfield of:


  • Comment number 83.

    Can't believe anyone is arguing Beckham over Ronaldo. I know there's a certain amount of sentiment on these lists, but come on Ronaldo at the peak of his powers was PHENOMINAL and he carried Uts to those three consecutive titles in a way the Beckham could never have managed in his wildest dreams. I also think its fair to say that Ronaldo is AT LEAST as good as Beckham when it comes to free kicks (Supposedly Beckhams claim to fame) I don't have a problem with Beckham, I think he was a great player for Utd in his time but surely you would have arguably the greatest Prem player of all time over Beckham in your dream team.

  • Comment number 84.

    I felt I had to subscribe and suggest the players I have the fondest memories of.

    Schmeichel (Awesome, can you imagine being a forward going for a cross and you hear "KEEPERS", fav moment spread eagle save against Inter Qtrs 99)

    Neville (In his hay day first name on the team sheet)
    Stam (Colossal freightening man, SAFs' biggest regret was to sell him)
    Vidic (A true defender, ignores the pretty stuff and never makes a mistake)
    Irwin (Unsung hero, Excellent defender, fantastic free kick specialist)

    Ronaldo (Goals galore, not necessarily a team player, alternative Beckham)
    Scholes (Edgar Davids said Scholes was the most difficult player to get near he ever played against)
    Keane (Engine, winning mentality, headed goal against Juve in Turin 99)
    Giggs (No need to explain, the goal against Arsenal FA Cup 99)

    Cantona (Won 5 Titles in 6 years, the year with no title was 1995 as he was banned for kicking a supporter)
    RVN (Consistent goal scorer, not necessarily a team player, alternative Rooney )

  • Comment number 85.

    Schmeichal, G.Neville, Bruce, Ferdinand, Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs, Cantona, Ronaldo

  • Comment number 86.

    Beckham versus Ronaldo is the only debate, and that's mostly because it's brief brilliance over longevity. With Scholes on the pitch you don't really need to worry about someone knocking 60 yard passes about, so Ronaldo.

    The one call I can't make is which one from Stam and Ferdinand. Bruse and Pallister were good but they were from when the premiership was still recovering from the european ban, realistically, in the time of Baresi, Costacurta, Mattahaus, Aldair, Koeman, Kohler, Hierro and the like, they weren't close to the best defenders in the world. Vidic is probably the best centre back in the world right now, Stam and Ferdinand were almost there, arguably Vidic is a Stam mark II so Ferdinand for better balance.

    rooney and rvn is tough too. Cantona similarly was difficult to put as the best forward in the world, unlike those two, but basically, he's one of the defining legends of the club (and my favourite player ever) so he's undroppable.

  • Comment number 87.

    @gooner8 Ronaldo keane scholes giggs That midfield with those players at their peak would be very difficult to beat.

    makelele zidane guti figo, there beat
    busquets xavi iniesta, there beat
    gattuso, pirlo, seedorf, kaka, there beat

    3 midfields which i can comfortably say can beat that utd midfield

    @Malouda is better than nani

    Zidane - yes. Probabaly the best midfielder to ever grace the game
    Xavi, Iniesta, Makelele - Maybe, pretty good shout.
    The rest - You are having a laugh.

    Your username speaks volumes on judging talent...

  • Comment number 88.

    I can understand people going for Beckham ahead of Ronaldo on some levels, but Ronaldo is just absurdly skilful, quick, powerful and scores goals for fun. Beckham was- at his peak- undeniably the best set-piece taker, and one of the best crossers of the ball, in the world; oh, and he would run a million miles for you every game- great, but really, Lawro said it: when you want to win a game, you want Ronaldo's qualities over Beckham's every time.
    Anyone who chooses Ince over Keane just has memory issues. Ince was very good, clearly, but also had Robson to play along side him. Fact was, for about 6 or 7 years, there were two United teams- there was the one that was capable of literally almost anything on a football pitch, and there was the one without Roy Keane. The hairs on the back of my neck still stand up when i think about that performance in Turin, I have never seen anything like it in my life, and doubt i shall again. As an aside, he was also the driving force behind pretty much everything good the Repubic of Ireland did for ten years. Don't recall Ince ever having quite that much impact internationally?
    To go to the other debate which prevails: yes, Robson was brilliant to be honest, certainly the best English midfielder of his generation, and partially defined the modern day English "box to box" midfielder. But for me it's a similar debate to the Beckham-Ronaldo one: Paul Scholes was simply capable of the most profoundly brilliant things, be that the perfect pass, beating a man or finding space without apparently even doing anything, and then that shot! His goalscoring record alone speaks for itself- 150 goals for United, scored 20 in one season, and between 1997-98 and 2004-5, only once finished with fewer than ten goals (2001-2, when he scored nine).
    People may say "Yeah, but Scholes and Keane played in a much better team than Robson or Ince.". I say "No, they were the reason it was such a better team.".

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm not sure about Bryan Robson ("Robbo"). Robbo played during a time when the English league hadn't got many influx of top players and mgrs from other parts of the world. There was a alck on emphasis on Organization & Tactics then. Hence, he went hustling bustling every where and that made many fans like him as an all-action man. Put him into today's game and he will more likely to un-balance the team.

    Giggs, Scholes, Keane are amongst the "finalists". Hargreaves failed to qualify simply he just didn't play enough for MU.

  • Comment number 90.

    Forgive this post for being slightly off topic, but @13 scousesimon

    Gk Sander Westerveld
    RB Djimi Traore
    CB Julian Dicks
    CB Jan Kromkamp
    LB Paul Konchesky/Andrea Dossena
    RM Jermaine Pennant
    CM Bruno Cheyrou
    CM Salif Diao
    LM Mark Gonzalez
    CF Robbie Keane
    CF Sean Dundee

    SUBS: Leto, Josemi, Nunez, Kyrgiakos, Erik Meijer, Lucas, Ngog, Babb, Biscan, Baros, Diouf, Voronin, Itandje, Cisse, Abel Xavier, Diomede

    Manager: Hodgson or Benitez

  • Comment number 91.

    Why has lawro picked two left backs in his back 4?

  • Comment number 92.

    Put this on yesterday but I'll put it back up (and will probably do so again tomorrow!):

    Schmeichel - contender for greatest ever
    Neville - in his prime consistent full back that was good in both defence and attack
    Ferdinand - classiest defender we've had on the pitch
    Stam - most solid without Vidic's rashness
    Irwin - similar to Neville, but had an excellent free kick to boot
    Ronaldo - picks himself
    Robson - offered more in terms of all-round play than Keane and Ince
    Scholes - unparallelled vision amongst United players, and dealdy from the D in his youth
    Giggs - I think he's a better player now than in his trail-blazing youth, he can hurt teams in more ways
    Rooney - Performed in Europe whereas sadly Cantona never did
    Van Nistlerooy - with the supply behind him this guy couldn't miss.


    VDS, Parker, Bruce, Pallister, Evra, Beckham, Keane, McClair, Kanchelskis, Cantona, Solksjaer. The second XI could beat most teams as well!

  • Comment number 93.

    roy keane by far the best

  • Comment number 94.

    LW - Giggs
    CB - Scholes
    CB - Keane, no doubt about him: a ball winner, a great team leader/captain in the world of football and always gives 110% in every game he plays. U can hardly find a captain who can criticize the perfomance of his team mates or even a manager. He can do that...
    RW - Beckham, no doubt about him either

  • Comment number 95.

    Good Morning Gentlemen !

    THE MIDFIELD KEANE, McGrath, Scholes .

    Mcgrath Simply due to fact Often regarded as one of the best pure defenders in the game . Forget about his knees .

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Beckham, Keane, Schole, Giggs

    For me Beckham gets the nod over Ronaldo as even though Ronaldo is the more gifted player, Beckham gave Utd a lot more years playing at the top and was more of a team player. Ronaldo had 3 good season (two of them great), but was inconsistent up until he hit the form he has never looked back from.

  • Comment number 98.

    Reckon you could have two top class Fergie XI’s…

    Neville Stam Bruce Irwin
    Beckham Keane Scholes Giggs v1.0
    Cantona Hughes


    Van Der Sar
    Da Silva Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Fletcher Robson Giggs 2.0
    Ronaldo Van Nistelrooy Rooney

    *Giggs v1.0 1991 – 1998. The speedy left wing dynamo that tore Arsenal apart.
    *Giggs v2.0 2003 – present. The creative midfielder that’s going to tear Barca apart on Saturday.

  • Comment number 99.

    Under SAF, my Best United XI would be:


    Neville - Ferdinand - Vidic - Irwin

    Beckham - Scholes - Keane - Giggs

    Cantona - Van Nistelrooy

    Subs: Van der Sar, Stam, Evra (good cover for LB OR LM) Ronaldo, Rooney, Sharpe, Hughes. Unbelievable options from the bench. Wow, what an 18 that would have been.

  • Comment number 100.

    Some great suggestions but how can anyone pick Vidic over Ferdinand?! Yes, Vidic is a wonderful defender and Rio has injury problems but you can't deny the class Rio has brought to the team. He is a Rolls Royce of an athlete and his positional sense is astounding. Plus his temprement is better. A few stupid red cards every year from Vidic (he's still awesome though). Besides, you've got to include both!

    Here's my shout (from 90s onward because that's what I know):

    Van der Sar




    Subs: Schmeichel; Evra, O'Shea; Sheringham and Ronaldo.



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