Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has picked a star-studded #One2Eleven for The Fantasy Football Club, Sky Sports reports. We asked him to pick the best players he has played with and among those selected by Giggs are Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.
Watch The Fantasy Football Club at 5.30pm on Friday evening when Giggs will talk through his #One2Eleven in full…
GOALKEEPER – Peter Schmeichel
Signed by Manchester United for just £550,000 in 1991, the Great Dane would go on to become one of United’s best-ever ‘keepers. He won five Premier League titles alongside Giggs as well as three FA Cups and also the Champions League in 1999.
GIGGS SAYS: “It was probably between three goalkeepers – Schmeichel, Neville Southall and Edwin van der Saar. But Peter was at the top of his game when I played with him… he was larger than life, a massive character and a winner.”
RIGHT-BACK – Gary Neville
United’s second-longest serving player behind Giggs, Neville also spent his entire professional career at Old Trafford. He captained United to the title in 2007 and made more than 600 appearances during his time with the club.
GIGGS SAYS: “The easiest decision in the team. He was England’s No 1 for so many years and he was so consistent. His biggest quality was his positional play, he was always in the right position.”
CENTRE-BACK – Jaap Stam
Stam won the Premier League in each of his three seasons at United and also won the Champions League alongside Giggs in 1999. Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted he made a mistake in selling Stam to Lazio in 2001.
GIGGS SAYS: “He had everything. He was good in the air, had good feet, was quick, strong and aggressive.”
CENTRE-BACK – Rio Ferdinand
Signed for a record fee for a defender in 2002, Ferdinand enjoyed 12 successful seasons with United. He formed a formidable partnership with Nemanja Vidic at the centre of defence and lifted the 2008 Champions League trophy with Giggs.
GIGGS SAYS: “He was a brilliant leader, brilliant in the air and a great defender. He would work well with Stam too.”
LEFT-BACK – Denis Irwin
Described by Sir Alex Ferguson as an “unbelievable player”, Irwin made more than 500 appearances for United after signing in 1990. He was the only ever-present in the double-winning campaign of 1993/94 and won the Champions League in 1999 at the age of 34.
GIGGS SAYS: “Another difficult one because I played with two brilliant left-backs – Denis Irwin and Patrice Evra. I just go for Denis because he was so consistent and he scored goals from penalties, free-kicks and open play and could also play with both feet.”
Another member of the Class of ’92 that won the FA Youth Cup with Giggs, Beckham went on to become one of the most famous footballers in the world. He won six Premier League titles with Giggs along with two FA Cups and the Champions League.
GIGGS SAYS: “The best crosser of the ball I have ever seen. You would make a run and he would put the ball into your path without having to break stride. A brilliant footballer.”
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Roy Keane
A tough-tackling midfielder, Keane joined United from Nottingham Forest in 1993 and took over as club captain in 1997. He would lead the team until his departure in 2005, during which time he won seven Premier League titles and the Champions League.
GIGGS SAYS: “The best captain I played under. A brilliant player who led by example. He would be the first name on my team sheet.”
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Paul Scholes
Along with Giggs, Sir Alex Ferguson said that Scholes was one of only four “world-class” players that he managed during his time at United. Scholes, who broke into the first team in 1994, made more than 700 appearances and also scored 155 goals.
GIGGS SAYS: “He could control a game and complemented Keane brilliantly. He was an unbelievable talent.”
LEFT MIDFIELD – Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portugal star was signed as an 18-year-old in 2003 after playing against United in a pre-season friendly for Sporting Lisbon. He was the Manchester United fans’ player of the year for three seasons and was the top Premier League scorer in 2007/08 with 31 goals.
GIGGS SAYS: “He was a brilliant player. He took a bit of time to settle but then grew into the world’s best player and has got stronger and stronger. He can score every type of goal and is just a phenomenal player.”
FORWARD – Eric Cantona
Despite only spending five years at Old Trafford, Cantona is regarded as one of United’s greatest-ever players. In his first season he helped inspire United to their first top-flight title in 25 years and won the Premier League three more times during his spell with the club.
GIGGS SAYS: “He had a massive influence on my career as a young player coming into the team. We struck up a good relationship and he ruled Old Trafford for five years. He was an unbelievable talent to play with and watch in games and training.”
FORWARD – Wayne Rooney
After joining United as a teenager, Rooney is now the club captain, joint-second top scorer of all time and England’s leading scorer. He has reached double figures in every season with the club and has been named in the Premier League Team of the Year on three occasions.
GIGGS SAYS: “He has got a bit of everything. He has embraced the role of captaining his country and then being United’s captain. He has been so consistent after starting out at such a young age.”