This no football malarky is rubbish, isn’t it?
A halt couldn’t have come at a worse time for Manchester United fans; their best patch of form this season sees them firmly back in contention for a top-four spot, with Bruno-mania well and truly running wild at Old Trafford, brother.
But just as Bruno Fernandes signs and takes the Premier League by storm, a global pandemic slithers out of nowhere and saves the rest of the clubs in the league from the Portuguese maestro. Not Hulk Hogan, as previously hinted.
So instead, here’s a team of Manchester United’s greatest Premier League players – with each nationality only allowed to be represented once.
Peter Schmeichel (GK)
When it comes to goalkeepers, Manchester United have been fortunate enough to have some of the best in that position. And Massimo Taibi.
Schmeichel’s consistent heroics for United saw them enjoy one of their most successful spells ever, throughout the 1990s. The Denmark international was the man between the sticks for that treble-winning season in 1999, as well as a number of years previous, where he produced some simply mind-blowing stops.
The Great Dane blemished his reputation among United fans with a move to rivals Manchester City in 2002, but that will never overrule his incredibly successful eight years at Old Trafford.
Antonio Valencia (RB)
Admittedly, Antonio Valencia will never be remembered as United’s best right-back, but he was certainly a more than important servant to the club during his 10-year stay.
The Ecuadorian initially joined the club as a right midfielder in 2009, but slowly transitioned into a right-back after a brief period as United’s number 7, where he would remain for the rest of his time in Manchester.
Nemanja Vidic (CB)
Forging an incredible partnership with Rio Ferdinand during his peak years, Nemanja Vidic is without doubt one of United’s greatest centre-backs.
Praised for his leadership qualities and physical style of play, the Serbian was vital in the late 2000s for Manchester United, and helped them to five Premier League titles and a Champions League in 2008, among many other trophies, in his eight years with the club.
Ronny Johnsen (CB)
All great centre-backs need the perfect partner to accompany them in the defence, and Ronny Johnsen was exactly that to Jaap Stam in 1999.
Johnsen is perhaps the dark horse of this list, but it’s easy to forget that the Norwegian enjoyed a mostly successful stint with United in the late 90s, and was a part of the treble-winning squad in the 1998/99 season, which cannot go unnoticed.
Patrice Evra (LB)
“I loveeeee this game!”
The words of every Xbox and PS4 owner as they enter their eighth hour in a single day playing Call of Duty under lockdown, but also the words of Patrice Evra, who became a fanfavourite at United between 2006 and 2014.
Evra’s leadership qualities and passion for the club was enough for fans alone, but his performances throughout the late 2000s for the club were also impeccable, with Sir Alex Ferguson heaping praise onto the Frenchman various times throughout his career.
Cristiano Ronaldo (RM)
Hold back the tears, United fans. I know.
One of the greatest professional footballers ever, and still one of the two best players in the game today at 35 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo lit up the pitch at the Theatre of Dreams from 2003 to 2009, before making the move to Real Madrid.
Primarily a left-winger in his time at United, the Portugal international was electric. Fans will never forget his partnership with Wayne Rooney in the 2007/08 season, where he bagged 42 goals in all competitions.
Roy Keane (CM)
Another one whose leadership skills and aggression sometimes overshadowed his technical prowess, Roy Keane is one of United’s greatest captains.
The Irishman won 17 major trophies in 12 years at United, and his performances in midfield see him recognised as one of the best in his position. A midfield maestro and all-round hard man, Keano was – and still is – never one to be messed with.
Park Ji-sung (CM)
Signing for United in 2005 from Dutch side PSV, Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung became known for his versatility in midfield and his exceptional fitness and tireless work rate, which earned him the nickname ‘Three-lungs Park’.
Park was an incredible servant to the Red Devils during his seven-year stay with the club. Often deployed in big games, Sir Alex Ferguson famously stated that leaving him out of the squad in the 2008 Champions League final win against Chelsea was one of the hardest decisions he ever made.
Ryan Giggs (RM)
One of the most decorated footballers ever, the record holder for most Premier League assists, and a magnificent perm in his heyday, Ryan Giggs has done it all.
The Welsh winger spent his 24-year long senior career at United, and won 13 Premier Leagues, two Champions Leagues and much more, as his performances wowed fans every time. He would transition from a pacy winger into a midfielder toward the end of his career, spanning over 1,000 appearances, and served as interim-manager for four games in 2014.
Wayne Rooney (ST)
He holds the records for the most goals scored for both Manchester United and England, and is no doubt one of the best players England has ever seen.
Rooney bagged a hat-trick in the Champions League on his debut for United in 2004, which was the start of an immense 13 years with the club, where he picked up 16 pieces of silverware. Despite his decline in his latter years, Rooney will forever be remembered as a United and England legend.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (ST)
One of the greatest strikers to ever grace the Premier League, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored an incredible 150 goals in 219 games in all competitions for Manchester United.
Ruud joined the club in a slightly less successful period during the early 2000s, and left United having only won four major trophies. Despite a rocky end to his stay in Manchester after five seasons however, he will forever be loved by United fans for his outstanding ability in front of goal.