|Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel |
Time at the club: 1991-1999
Chris Myson: "The club's greatest ever goalkeeper enjoyed over half a decade being the best in the world between the sticks. Schmeichel commanded his area with a presence none of Sir Alex’s other keepers have measured up to.
"The Dane was phenomenal in one-on-one situations and always delivered in the high pressure games. His last match - the 1999 Champions League final - was a perfect example as he captained the Red Devils to victory in a fine individual display."
|Right-back - Gary Neville |
Time at the club: 1992-2011
Stephen Darwin: "Reliability comes to mind with Gary Neville who, in his pomp, was a nailed on starter for club and country and was certainly one of the more consistent performers for over two decades at Old Trafford.
"Not only was he sound defensively, the former England stalwart never shirked his attacking duties as he marauded up the right flank to combine with the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo."
|Centre-back - Steve Bruce |
Time at the club: 1987-1996
Greg Stobart: “Gets the nod over Rio Ferdinand because of his role in guiding United to the league title in 1993, the club's first in 26 years to set the foundation for the success that followed.
"Won three Leagues and three FA Cups as part of nine major trophies he picked up under Sir Alex and was the first Englishman of the 20th century to captain his side to a double."
|Centre-back - Nemanja Vidic |
Time at the club: 2006-present
Stephen Darwin: "A model of consistency, Vidic has been an absolutely colossal part of Ferguson's third great side.
"It's fair to say that he arrived at Old Trafford as something of an unknown quantity but he has developed into, without question, one of the best centre-backs in world football and has formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand."
|Left-back - Denis Irwin |
Time at the club: 1990-2002 Jonathan Birchall: “I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face - the most underrated defender in history. Ahead of his time for a Premier League full-back, fantastic at free-kicks and penalties and constant threat alongside Giggs on the left.
"Creative, dynamic and frighteningly consistent, the Irishman’s efforts against the best in Europe during the treble season cement his reputation as a true Manchester United great.”
|Right midfield - David Beckham |
Time at the club: 1993-2003
Stephen Darwin: "It's easy to forget just how important Beckham was to United with the circus that, even to this day, surrounds the LA Galaxy star.
"From the infamous boot-gate to his 60-yard strike against Wimbledon, Beckham's Old Trafford career was anything but dull and predictable. His ability from dead-ball situations is still up there with the very best in European football and his unerring determination to succeed for his boy-hood club helped endear him with the Red Devils' faithful."
|Centre midfield - Paul Scholes |
Time at the club: 1994-2011
Greg Stobart: "So many great players have lauded Scholes' ability that you just have to listen. A brilliant passer of the ball and, in his earlier days, a superb goalscorer arriving late from midfield to devastating effect. A one-club man who has rightly attained legendary status at Old Trafford.
"He is quite simply the best English player of his generation."
|Centre midfield - Roy Keane |
Time at the club: 1993-2005
Chris Myson: "An inspirational captain, Keane was the embodiment of the drive and desire that has made United so successful under Sir Alex.
"A fully committed player who delivered possibly the finest individual performance in United's history in the Champions League semi-final against Juventus when he was already suspended for the final and the club’s treble dream had looked to be all but over."
|Left midfield - Ryan Giggs |
Time at the club: 1990-present Jonathan Birchall: "An absolute phenomenon who has reinvented his game over the years. Still winning matches and displaying brilliance at the end of a glittering 20-year career.
"From flying winger to deep-lying playmaker, he has continued to make the difference with his intelligence and ability on the ball. United’s all-time record appearance maker and the player who best defines the Ferguson era."
|Attacking midfield: Cristiano Ronaldo |
Time at the club: 2003-2009
Chris Myson: “Has a record that speaks for itself. Arrived at the club as a relatively unknown teenager and left as the most expensive player in football history. A complete modern-day player with his pace, dribbling, strength, finishing and heading.
"Single-handedly won games and was sensational in the 2007-08 season, scoring 42 goals as United won the Champions League, picking up the Ballon d'Or as a result."
With so much success achieved in Sir Alex's quarter of a century at the helm, there are so many other talented players who contributed significantly but didn't quite make it into the ultimate XI. It's an impressive substitute list to pick from, and the argument will rage on that a few of them should have made our Greatest XI.
The 11 players who almost made it: Edwin van der Sar, Gary Pallister, Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Wayne Rooney, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy.