Over the years Manchester United have had some extremely talented players that have dominated English and world football and some still continue to do so.
The Fantastic Five of Manchester United were George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
These five players were certainly eye catching in all their performances during the different decades of Manchester United Football Club.
One thing they all have in common is that they wore the glorified Number 7 shirt, which is a prestigious moment for a Manchester United footballer.
The last of the Fantastic Five at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo had some encpasulating times as a United footballer. He managed to win all major silverware, including the Premier League and Champions League. In my opinion, Ronaldo was the best of the lot because he scored 42 goals in one season and also managed to win the prestigious Ballon D’Or in 2008. The perfect replacement for David Beckham. The Portuguese wing wizard also scored some unbelievebale goals at United, including the free kick against Portsmouth and the header against Roma in the Champions League.
There was no doubting of Beckham’s ability. He was a world class player who always produced in the biggest of matches. Beckham was part of the memorable 1999 squad that lifted the glorious treble. His two corner kicks in the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp ensured United score two goals in the famous Fergie Time to win the Champions League in one of the most dramatic ways ever. Two goals in additional time. Beckham left United in 2003 and Ronaldo was bought in to replace the English midfield maestro. David Beckham has also scored some fantastic goals himself, including the half way line chip against Wimbledon.
French forward Eric Cantona was known for his off the pitch antics and was also dubbed a ‘hothead’ by some people. But on the pitch there was not a single doubt that the United legend was born to play football. Cantona managed to win four Premier League titles in five years as well as two League and FA Cup Doubles. Nicknamed as ‘King Eric’ by the Manchester United faithful, Cantona ended his career in Manchester United in decorative style. He played a key role in the revival of Manchester United in the 1990s. Cantona was also voted as Manchester United’s greatest ever player by Inside United magazine.
English midfielder Bryan Robson was a monumental part of Manchester United. He captained the team to three FA Cups and a European Cup Winners Cup. Bryan Robson, nicknamed Captain Marvel, was known for a range of different attributes which made him part of the Fantastic Five at Manchester United. He had a good goal scoring record as well as terrific anticipation, movement and off the ball and possessed high levels of stamina as well as great tackling techniques to name a few. Bryan Robson also got capped 90 times for England, making him the sixth highest capped player for England at all times. Currently, Bryan Robson is a global ambassador for Manchester United.
George Best was the first of the Fantastic Five to wear the famous Number 7 shirt as a Manchester United player. Now, sadly, George Best has passed on after his death on 25th November, 2005, aged 59, due to complications from the immunosupressive drugs he needed to take after a NHS liver transplant in 2002. Best was a phenomenal footballer on the pitch and managed to win the European Cup with United in 1968 and was also named European Footballer of the Year in 1968. Apart from the Beatles, George Best was an iconic figure in the world. Known for his pace, acceleration, beating defenders with ease and being both footed were only a few of many attributes that George Best possessed as a Manchester United and a Northern Ireland player. However, Best had problems off the pitch too, mainly related to alcoholism, in which sadly led to his death.