Many great English footballers have revolutionized Manchester United Football Club with their audacity and wizardry.
If Manchester United's management would have been chauvinistic, we sure as hell would've missed the likes of Ronaldo and Eric Cantona donning the red shirt, but players like Rooney and Beckham are as talented and dexterous as the foreign imports and have mesmerized the fans with scintillating displays on the pitch.
So, let us take a look at the five greatest Manchester United FC players to have played for England (For chauvinists, consider the other way round...).
1. Sir Bobby Charlton
Position: Attacking Midfield
Sir Bobby Charlton has to be a footballing angel sent down to earth to bring us the richest gifts that football can bring. He comes from another age and is a remarkable man for any age.
He is a World Cup winner, won the Ballon d'or the same year, a European Cup winner, and numerous other accolades and trophies along the way.
Charlton was one of the survivors of Munich air disaster. He became the torch bearer for Manchester United as the club looked to get back on its feet and ensure that those pioneers who had lost their lives had not done so in vain.
Charlton formed a lethal attacking partnership with Dennis Law and George Best (aka the United Trinity). He played a monumental role in Manchester United's resurgence.
He was renowned for his attacking instincts, his passing abilities from midfield and his ferocious long-range shots. He was the epitome of speed and grace.
The knight commander of the British Empire is arguably the most deeply-respected, celebrated and the most naturally gifted English football player in the history of the beautiful game.
His name is unequivocally etched in the hearts of United fans as he was admired and respected by both his team and his rivals - a true sporting legend.
2. Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace the Premier League.
Despite having a small frame, being asthmatic and short-sighted, Scholes became as revered for his technique, which only speaks volumes about his character and alacrity.
During his stint at Old Trafford, Scholes won 25 trophies, including 11 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles and numerous other accolades and trophies along the way. With over 700 appearances and 150 goals for the Red Devils, the Englishman is a legend of the game with pure, innate talent that will never disappear.
There isn’t a player of his mould anywhere in the world - he controls and distributes the play better than anyone and has indestructible mental strength. He had an eagle-eyed view of the pitch and could pick anyone out in an 80-yard radius.
The Ginger Prince stands head and shoulders above all and is a true genius of the game. With a ball under his feet, he ruled the world. One of Sir Alex Ferguson's fledglings, Scholes still inspires young aspiring footballers and is admired my many legends of the beautiful game.
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3. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney's career is second to none among English Premier League players. He was a stalwart in United's lineup since coming to the club as an 18-year-old.
He is the all-time leading goalscorer for England and the only player to have scored over 250 goals for the Red Devils. He had attributes that set him apart from the rest - his work rate and backtracking were so uncharacteristic of many rival strikers.
Rooney was an integral part of United’s league-winning squads in 2010–11 and 2012–13. During the 2011–12 season, he scored a personal record of 27 Premier League goals.
The Red Devils’ all-time leading goalscorer spent 13 trophy-laden seasons at Old Trafford, winning five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, three League Cups, one UEFA Europa League, and one FA Cup.
He is the most complete forward in EPL history and was lethal both inside the box and from distance. At his peak, he could play in any position and excel. He could play as a striker, number 10, winger or an attacking mid-fielder.
He was and still is a great team player, adding to his individual brilliance, and is a genuine, proper legend of the English game. He will always retain legendary status after 13 hugely successful years at Old Trafford.
4. Gary Neville
Position: Right Back
Gary Neville is one of the most decorated English and European footballers of all time. He was Manchester United FC's second longest serving player in the squad.
With over 600 appearances for the Red Devils, the right-back has won eight Premier League titles, two Champions League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, one FIFA World Club Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2015 and was voted in the PFA Premier League team of the year on five occasions.
Neville formed a formidable partnership with fellow Fergie's fledgling David Beckham; they owned the right flank with together. He was never behind in providing innumerable and invaluable assists and was extremely intelligent in reading the game.
The Englishman was rarely beaten in one-on-one situations and was known for his solid runs and dangerous crossing upfront.
He was hardworking, loyal and intelligent and has been a key part in Manchester United FC's dominance for most of the past two decades.
He established himself as the most accomplished right-back of his generation and his unwavering commitment will be forever adorned by United fans.
5. Rio Ferdinand
Position: Centre Back
Rio Gavin Ferdinand is regarded as one of the finest defenders of his generation who was symbolic of the transformation from the bruising physicality of the competition’s early years to the refined style of today.
He began his career with West Ham United FC and with Leeds before the Red Devils signed him for £30 million. Sir Alex Ferguson placed a lot of stock in his continental style of play (which is evident from the price splashed on him...) and he formed a deadly partnership with Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence.
Back then, he was the most expensive footballer in British history and the most expensive defender in the world for the second time. By the time he turned 18, he was already good enough to be called up as England's youngest and most promising defender.
His most significant moment came in 2008, when he captained the Red Devils to a Champions League victory against Chelsea in the final. During his stint at United, the Englishman had won six Premier League titles, one European Cup, two League Cups and the FIFA World Club Cup. Rio's contribution has been a major factor in outstanding defensive performances under Sir Alex Ferguson.
With over 450 appearances for the Red Devils, Rio proved himself to be one of the finest defenders in world football during his 12 successful years at Old Trafford.
England has produced some wonderful players who went on to play for the greatest club in the Premier League.
Old Trafford has seen countless English greats come and go, and they will be etched in our memory for years to come.
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