May 26, 2023
Manchester United: My Top 10 Players (Part 3/6)
Mik Bowers. DAZN Bet’s very own football fanatic, and unashamed Man-U fan, brings us regular highlights of his favourite games. If you’ve missed the game, or just want a reminder, then Mik’s got you covered. Mik gives us his thoughts on the matches, focusing mainly on the FA Cup, The Premier League and occasional games from the major European tournaments. This week, in preparation for the all-Manchester FA Cup final Mik is sharing some of his favourite United players.
If you ask any football fan, of any team, in any league in the world, they will have favourite players. Those certain ones they regarded as a special talent, someone the team couldn’t do without. Someone who held that team together, who made the team play better when they played. Whatever the reason, everyone has favourite players, and not everyone agrees. Fans can be split on a particular player, some may like them, some may not. That’s why people can talk about football for hours!
I continue my list of top 10 Manchester United players. Don’t forget, this is only my opinion. Agree, or not, that’s up to you.
Today we have my 7th and 6th top 10 Man UTD players
7. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney, born on October 24, 1985, in Croxteth, Liverpool, is a renowned English footballer who has left a lasting mark on the sport. Rooney’s exceptional skills, versatility, and goal-scoring prowess have solidified his place as one of the greatest football players of his generation.
Rooney began his professional career at Everton Football Club, making his debut at the tender age of 16. Even at 16, he was considered as strong and powerful as some players twice his age. His performances quickly caught the attention of football enthusiasts worldwide. Rooney’s remarkable goal-scoring ability and tireless work ethic propelled him to the forefront of English football. In 2004, he burst onto the international stage with his sensational performances during the UEFA Euro tournament, where he became the youngest scorer in the history of the competition. (YouTube video clip)
Rooney’s talent and potential attracted the interest of Manchester United, one of the most successful clubs in English football. In 2004, he joined the Red Devils for a record-breaking transfer fee for a teenager. At Manchester United, Rooney flourished under the guidance of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He formed a formidable partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo, propelling the club to numerous domestic and international triumphs.
During his 13-year stint at Manchester United, Rooney achieved remarkable success. He won five English Premier League titles, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup. Rooney’s contribution to the team was immense, as he became the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 253 goals, surpassing the previous record set by Sir Bobby Charlton. His performances were characterized by his explosive pace, clinical finishing, and ability to create opportunities for his teammates.
Beyond his club career, Rooney also left a mark on the international stage. He represented England in numerous major tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships. Rooney became England’s all-time leading goal scorer, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record. His dedication to the national team and his relentless drive on the pitch earned him the respect and admiration of fans worldwide.
Rooney’s playing style was defined by his versatility. He possessed exceptional vision, passing accuracy, and an uncanny ability to find the back of the net. Rooney was equally adept at playing as a forward, attacking midfielder, or even dropping deeper to dictate the game’s tempo. His versatility and adaptability made him a vital asset for any team he represented.
Rooney’s legacy extends beyond his playing career. After leaving Manchester United in 2017, he returned to his boyhood club, Everton, for a brief spell before embarking on a new chapter in his career in the United States, joining D.C. United in Major League Soccer. His fighting spirit and never say die attitude are summed up in one video clip for D.C United.
In 2020, he hung up his boots to focus on his coaching career, taking charge of Derby County.
Rooney’s legacy will be remembered for generations to come, inspiring future players to emulate his dedication, passion, and love for the game.
Rooney was a brilliant passer of the ball and a brilliant goal scorer. But, like many of the players in my list, it was his work ethic that got him in my top 10. I’m convinced Sir Alex Ferguson could get the best out of even average players. Although Rooney was no average player. He worked tirelessly for the team and knew, like many others that he, as a player, was no better than the team itself. One of my favourite goals from Rooney came while he was arguing with the ref. While still complaining, and not really watching the game, the ball fell kindly to him. One sweetly struck shot and the ball was in the back of the net.
He had a passion, determination, want to win attitude. Always getting stuck in, always challenging, and of course, weighing in with some absolute belting goals. Because of his sheer work ethic and passion, seen in the clip above for D.C. United, Rooney makes it into the top 10 at number 7…
6. Cristiano Ronaldo (1st stint)
Cristiano Ronaldo, born on February 5, 1985, is a Portuguese professional footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Known for his incredible athleticism, goal-scoring prowess, and versatility, Ronaldo has achieved remarkable success throughout his career.
Ronaldo began his professional career with Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, where his exceptional skills quickly caught the attention of scouts from top European clubs. In 2003, he signed with Manchester United, where he showcased his immense talent and helped the club win numerous domestic and international trophies, including three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League. During his time at United, Ronaldo established himself as a prolific goal-scorer and won his first Ballon d’Or award in 2008.
Ronaldo could strike the ball with either foot and scored some fantastic goals cutting in from the wing from left or right, and he was also particularly good in the air. His athleticism allowed him to leap high in the air to reach almost impossible headers. The winning goal he scored against Sampdoria for Juventus showing how incredibly high he could leap!
In 2009, Ronaldo transferred to Real Madrid for a then-world record fee. His stint with the Spanish club was nothing short of extraordinary. He shattered numerous records, became Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer, and led the team to four Champions League titles. Ronaldo’s time in Madrid also saw him win four more Ballon d’Or awards, cementing his status as one of the greatest players of his generation.
After nine successful seasons in Madrid, Ronaldo made a surprising move to Juventus in 2018. Despite facing new challenges in Italy, he adapted quickly and continued to display his exceptional skills, contributing significantly to Juventus’ domestic successes. Ronaldo has showcased his consistency and longevity by maintaining an exceptional goal-scoring record well into his thirties.
In addition to his club success, Ronaldo has made a significant impact on the international stage. He has been a key figure for the Portuguese national team since his debut in 2003, leading them to victory in the UEFA European Championship in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2019. With numerous records and achievements to his name, Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest players in the history of international football.
Ronaldo’s playing style is characterized by his remarkable speed, agility, and aerial ability. His athleticism allows him to excel in one-on-one situations and contribute both as a goal-scorer and a playmaker. Ronaldo possesses a powerful and accurate shot, often finding the back of the net from long-range or set pieces. Moreover, his dedication to fitness and relentless work ethic have played a crucial role in maintaining his high-performance levels over the years.
Off the field, Ronaldo has become a global icon and a brand unto himself. With his striking looks, charismatic personality, and active social media presence, he has amassed an enormous following worldwide. Ronaldo’s endorsement deals and business ventures have made him one of the wealthiest athletes in the world.
His immense talent, dedication, and success on and off the field have made him an inspiration to millions of fans worldwide. As he continues to dazzle audiences with his skills, Ronaldo’s legacy as one of the greatest footballers of all time is secure.
Ronaldo, for his first stint at Manchester United, playing for Sir Alex Ferguson, was an incredible player. I’ve mentioned before, I think Ferguson was a great man manager and could get the best from pretty much anyone. All of his teams were hard-working. Ferguson didn’t really like prima donna players and Ronaldo could have easily fallen into that category. He was occasionally moody, and at times appeared to spit his dummy out, but he was targeted by many during games so it’s easy to see why he got upset. Despite the sometimes arrogance, he was a brilliant player who seemed to be able to score at will. I personally wasn’t keen on his return to Old Trafford. I couldn’t see it being any better than his first spell at the club. Nevertheless, he returned, scored a few more and went on his way. Ronaldo, and Messi, will probably forever be known as the best footballers the world has ever seen. If it wasn’t for his sometimes poor attitude, Ronaldo probably would have been in my top 2.