Manchester City and Manchester United are two of the biggest clubs in world football. They share an intense rivalry and have produced many great matches between them. In this article , we have tried to put together greatest XI ever of both these clubs. Have a look and tell us , who would win?
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GK- Peter Schmeichel
Manchester United have had many great goalkeepers over the years ,but none of them were as influential as Peter Schmeichel. Signed as a virtual unknown in 1991, his size, prodigious throwing and mammoth kicks immediately marked him down as something very different.
Schmeichel had personality in abundance and his relentless determination made him a force of nature. His saves were almost invariably followed by ferocious verbal blasts for the defenders who had failed to prevent the chance, and Ferguson described him as a “volatile individual” on the pitch.
He won 10 major trophies for United, starting with their first title triumph in 26 years in 1992/93 and ending with their historic, treble-winning Champions League success in Barcelona in 1999.
GK- Bert Trautmann
Whenever we think about Manchester City’s greatest goalkeeper, the first name that pop up in our mind is Bert Trautmann. From prisoner of war to City legend, his rise to stardom was a remarkable one.
The club’s decision to sign a former Axis paratrooper sparked protests and 20,000 people attended a demonstration against his signing. But so outstanding were his performances that he won over fans who initially protested against his arrival at Maine Road.
In 1956, he helped City to the FA Cup in the defining moment of his career. City beat Birmingham 3-1 in the final, but Trautmann injured himself following a collision with Peter Murphy in the 75th minute. He played on, though in pain, with pictures showing him clutching his ‘stiff neck’ at the end of the match. X-Rays later showed that he had broken it. He was named Footballer of the Year that same season – becoming the first foreigner to win the award. Trautmann played for Manchester City until 1964, making 545 appearances.
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RB: Gary Neville
A local lad from Manchester, Neville would sweat blood for the cause and was never afraid to put his heart on the line. He was one of Ferguson’s key generals, a hardworking, dedicated, one-club man at England’s biggest team during their most successful period.
T`here’s a reason that he won so many caps for England and trophies for Manchester Utd – his attitude. Neville wasn’t very flashy but he was solid, dependable and a better crosser of the ball than he was often given credit for.
CB : Nemanja Vidic
Vidic was signed in January 2006, and it’s fair to say that he had an massive impact on Utd’s fortunes . Vidic was a rock at the centre of Man Utd’s defence for nearly 8 years.
Vidic and Rio Ferdinand formed one of the best central defensive partnerships the Premier League has ever seen and the Serbian was the purer defender of the two in terms of his tackling, ability to organise and willingness to put his head where others wouldn’t put their boot.
CB: Rio Ferdinand
£30 million is the going rate for a semi-decent Premier League talent these days — but back in 2002 it was astounding. Considering many people scoffed at Ferdinand’s original £30 million transfer fee, he certainly paid that back multiple times over, at his 12 years at the club. Ferdinand arrived from Leeds United with that massive price tag around his neck — the classy England defender wore it lightly over his 314 appearances.
Though not renowned for his attacking abilities, he served as the perfect foil to Nemanja Vidic’s more combative approach with his cultured forward play and won numerous honours throughout his time at the club.
LB: Denis Irwin
Incredibly underrated player who, after a somewhat inauspicious start after his arrival from Oldham, went on to become the club’s most consistent and decorated player of the 1990s. Also weighed in with more than his fair share of goals.
The Irishman was a quintessential Alex Ferguson player. Quiet, unshowy but devastatingly effective at his job. Seven titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League winner — not bad for £625,000.
RB – Tony Book
Better known as ‘Skip’, Book joined City from Plymouth Argyle in 1966 for a fee of £17,000. Despite Book being almost 32 years-old and never having played in the top flight, he was one of the finest defenders in the country. All this from a player who had just two years earlier been playing for non-league football with Bath City and bricklaying part-time.
He was an inspiration as they edged United to the title in 1968. He suffered a career-threatening Achilles injury at the start of the following season, but returned to lead City to triumph in the FA Cup over Leicester, being voted joint Football of the Year with Dave Mackay – despite missing half of the season.
Allison said Book was one of the best defenders he’d ever seen and few who saw him play would disagree with that view. Tony captained City to many trophies, including the European Cup-Winners’ Cup, before retiring in 1974.
CB – Vincent Kompany
A modern day hero ,Vincent Kompany has been the backbone of the City defence in their recent success. Kompany was signed by Mark Hughes in 2008. Robust, intimidating and rapid, Kompany has lifted the Premier League trophy twice and has determinedly led the club into the new era.
He has been so integral to the club’s recent successes he has become a genuine club legend. His injuries have hampered him in recent years but he has fought his way back to become a member of Pep Guardiola’s squad , and everybody at the Etihad Stadium will be hoping he can play an integral role in whatever comes next.
CB – Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle was one of many homegrown players who reached their full potential following the arrival of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison in the summer of 1965. Having signed originally as an apprentice in May 1962, the former Stockport Boy played primarily at centre-back although when the need arose he was more than capable of turning out at full-back.
At club level he played 448 league games for Manchester City, scoring 32 goals and was voted as the club’s hardest player in the club’s official magazine. He scored for City in the 1970 League Cup Final win over West Bromwich Albion, and captained the side in the 1976 League Cup Final. Doyle made a total of 570 appearances for Man City scoring 41 goals before joining Alan Durban’s Stoke City for a fee of £50,000 in June 1978.
LB – Paul Power
Manchester born Paul Power was a versatile left-hand sided player who went on to become one of the most popular players ever to play for Manchester City. He had been a City fan since he was a boy and originally signed for the club as an amateur in August 1973.
He was a versatile player who could play both in defence and midfield and played for Manchester City till 1986. During his time at Maine Road he was named player of the year in both the 1980-81 season and in the 1984-85 season. He played in 447 games for the team scoring 36 goals before transferring to Everton.
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RM: Cristiano Ronaldo
Arguably one of the world’s best players, Ronaldo combined pace power and athleticism. Although he only spent six seasons at Old Trafford, which looks a little light compared with Ryan Giggs’s twenty-four, it cannot be argued that Ronaldo is one of the most luxuriantly talented players to have ever graced The Theatre of Dreams.
From 2006–2009 he was as dominant a presence in United’s team as any of his predecessors. His goals dragged the side to a hat-trick of titles and successive European Cup finals – he was well worthy of the 2008 Ballon d’Or. He perfected his own free kick technique and while he reached his best for Real Madrid, no United fan will ever forget his legendary 2007-08 season when he scored 42 goals.
CM: Paul Scholes
Widely regarded as the most gifted Englsh midfielder of his generation, Scholes is Possibly the most complete midfielder to have ever played for Manchester United, capable of taking up any position between attack and defence, it’s no wonder that Scholes holds the current record as the most decorated English footballer of all time.
Winning eleven league titles and two Champions League finals during his time at the club, Scholes’ commitment and professionalism was peerless. Though his goalscoring rate declined in the later stages of his career, he was capable of executing a defence-splitting pass right up until his retirement.
CAM: George Best
No history of Manchester United would be complete without a mention of the Belfast Boy. In United’s rich record of electrifying number sevens, the 1968 Balon D’Or winner George Best may come top of the pile. Speed, balance, vision, superb close control, the ability to create chances and score from seemingly impossible situations tells half the story. The other half was an uncontainable zest for the game as it should be played, a ceaseless trickery and joy.
The first celebrity footballer, renowned across the world for his antics on and off the pitch, his contribution to United’s resurgence in the 1960s cannot be underestimated. Scoring a decisive goal in the European Cup final against Benfica was just one highlight of a career that saw him climb to the very top of club football at the mere age of 22.
LM: Ryan Giggs
Mr Manchester United. Giggs made his debut the season before the Premier League began — and played for the club for an astonishing 23 years. A winger of devastating speed and skill, Giggs made the left-wing spot his own for nearly 20 years and even became the club’s all-time appearance record holder, making nearly 1000 appearances and scoring over 150 goals.
CDM – Yaya Toure
Manchester City signed Yaya Toure from Barcelona in 2010 and he was once again reunited with older brother Kolo who had signed from Arsenal the previous season. In his first year of English football, Yaya won the FA Cup, scoring the only goal in the final to lift City’s first major piece of silverware in 34 years. The club also secured Champions League qualification for the first time in modern football history.
A brilliant second season for Yaya included scoring 20 goals in 35 Premier League games – in his new attacking midfielder role – and a part in an historic last minute title victory which would later be described as the most thrilling final moment in Premier League history.
During his time at City, Yaya has won the African Footballer of the Year award four times, Premier League twice, League Cup twice and twice won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award, voted for by the public. He has also been voted into the PFA Team of the Year twice.
CM – Colin Bell
Widely regarded as greatest Manchester City’s player ever, Bell oozed quality, and gave his all for his team –earning his the nickname ‘Nijinsky’, in homage to the famous Derby-winning horse. He was the engine in the midfield during Manchester City’s greatest years as they won all domestic and European honours.
Bell is often regarded as one of England’s best attacking midfielders, and was voted Manchester City’s all-time cult hero by BBC Football Focus. Under manager Malcolm Allison, City won the League Championship in 1968, winning the League on the last day of the season (a 4-3 victory against Newcastle United). It was a remarkable feat, and just two years after climbing out of the second division.
In a 13-year spell, he made almost 500 appearances and scored 152 goals. He didn’t need words to show who was the best, he let his feet do the talking. However, Colin Bell’s career never reached the top of his game, only to have his career ended by injury far too early.
CM – David Silva
David Silva has been one of the most consistent performers of Manchester City in the recent past and it has earned him a place among the greats. In the context of the modern era, he hasn’t scored the goals of Sergio Aguero, nor has he produced the domination of Yaya Toure. And he certainly hasn’t displayed the emotions of Pablo Zabaleta or Vincent Kompany.
But it’s more than the numbers that tell the story of Silva in blue. A reserved figure off the field, he has inserted his personality on to the pitch, and within a team setting. In among bigger names and even bigger personalities, Silva has offered understated qualities, which can be somewhat obscure to the untrained eye. Silva has been the silent director behind this blockbuster production.
Bell, the man known simple as ‘The King’, has had his say on the matter: “Actually, David Silva is the greatest player to have represented the club.”
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CF: Bobby Charlton
Officially acknowledged as the continent’s best player in 1966, he’s one of only three Englishmen to win the European and World Cups. Often looked upon as one of the greatest midfielder/forwards of all time, Sir Bobby’s stamina, passing ability and attacking ferocity are the stuff of legend. The fact of his 1966 World Cup winner’s medal and Balon d’Or mean that, alongside the European Cup, FA Cup and league titles, his career saw him win just about all there is to claim in the world of professional football.
It was more than just his tremendous achievements that sparked instant recognition. Charlton stood for something that the world admired. He was a gentleman, the ultimate in old-fashioned sporting heroes. He was never in trouble, never argued with referees, showed honesty and respect to opponents. It made him a perfect role model, the essence of the Corinthian ideal. His status as the greatest ambassador in the history of British sport rested unequivocally on his unrivaled sense of fair play.
CF: Denis Law
A member of United’s Holy Trinity, he was back in the day , the Stretford End’s favourite, its very own King. And with good reason. Fearless, brave and aggressive, he played as the fans would like to. Scored every sort of goal, from 20-yard headers to acrobatic overhead kicks to six yard tap-ins. Ballon d’Or winner in 1964, he regularly topped the scoring charts before injuries started to take their toll on his slender frame. 10
His club record of scoring 46 goals in all competitions in a single season remains unbeaten today, space has to be made up top for Denis Law. His prolific goalscoring in the 1964-65 season helped to ensure Manchester United won their first league title since Munich, and led to him becoming the first Red Devil to win the Balon D’Or. Had his career not been hampered by a bad knee injury which he sustained in 1965, there’s no telling how many goals he might have scored, but his record of 171 league goals in 309 appearances will still take some beating.
Winger – Mike Summerbee
Joe Mercer’s brought Summerbee to Manchester City in for £35,000 in 1965, the 22 year-old had already made more than 200 league appearances for Swindon Town. He was to spend a decade at the heart of the stylish, attacking City side that was seen as the greatest in the club’s history.
Playing on the right wing, Summerbee was one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side which won four trophies in three seasons from 1968–70. In the deciding League fixture in 1968, Summerbee scored one of City’s goals in the thrilling 4-3 win over Newcastle that clinched the Championship. In the 1969 FA Cup Final, Summerbee’s run down the wing and cross set up Neil Young’s goal; the only one of the game.
Joe Mercer best summed up his value to the team:
“THE BRAVEST PLAYER WITH HIS BACK TO THE GAME I HAVE EVER SEEN. WHEN HE IS BUZZING HE TAKES THEM ALL APART.”
Winger – Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne is one of the present day superstars of Manchester City .He is one of the best playmakers and possess incredilble technique, wide range of passing, vision and long-range shooting skills, and is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe.
He is in his third season with Manchester City after being purchased from Wolfsburg in 2015. Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola was highly impressed by the Belgian last season and said “I think he is a special, outstanding player. He makes everything. Without the ball he is the first fighter, and with the ball he is clear – he sees absolutely everything.”
ST – Sergio Aguero
Manchester City have had many great strikers in the likes of Francis lee, Shaun Goater, Carlos Tevez, Billy Meredith, Eric Brook etc. But none of them were as influential as Sergio Aguero.