What is the all-time greatest Manchester United XI based on former players’ selections?

Roy Keane was the latest Manchester United legend to name his all-time XI at the club, but do his selections align with other former Red Devils?

After Manchester United's win over Brentford on Monday evening, Roy Keane became the latest former player to be asked the age-old question - name your all-time XI.

The former Red Devils captain not only left himself out, but perhaps more surprisingly omitted former midfield partner Paul Scholes.

Keane and Scholes formed a formidable duo in the heart of midfield at the peak of United's success, but he couldn't justify a place for him in the side. Instead, the 50-year-old opted for a midfield partnership of Bryan Robson and Paul Ince.

So with another Man Utd all-time XI now stored in the archives, Planet Sport looks through previous former greats' United dream teams to pick a definitive greatest XI.

Roy Keane's all-time XI

Roy Keane, Man Utd

Starting off with Keane's XI, it seems fitting that the hardy Irishman opted for a classic 4-4-2 for his side.

Keane went for a strike partnership of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo and provided another talking point by selecting Pallister and Stam over the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Nevertheless, Keane's all-time XI is characteristically physical and combative - a good effort overall.

Line-up: Schmeichel, Neville, Pallister, Stam, Irwin, Giggs, Robson, Ince, Beckham, Rooney, Ronaldo

Paul Scholes' all-time XI

Paul Scholes, Man Utd

Now for the man Keane left out of his side - Paul Scholes picked his all-time XI back in 2018 and only agreed with the former Sunderland boss on six.

Ronaldo missed out on a spot in Scholes' side, with the 47-year-old instead choosing a strikeforce of Teddy Sheringham and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Unsurprisingly, Scholes also went for a 4-4-2 formation with Giggs and Beckham out wide.

Line-up: Schmeichel, Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Irwin, Giggs, Keane, Robson, Beckham, Sherringham, Van Nistelrooy

Wayne Rooney's all-time XI

Wayne Rooney Man Utd Apr17

Now for Manchester United's highest ever goalscorer, Wayne Rooney. After spending 13 years at Old Trafford, Rooney departed the club in 2017.

Three years after his exit, Rooney selected his dream XI, and he's the first on our list to include himself in his selections.

It's hard to argue with his inclusion, though - the trio of Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best strikeforces ever seen.

Line-up: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Carrick, Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez

Gary Neville's all-time XI

Gary Neville

Having carved out a career as a pundit following his retirement, Gary Neville has named plenty of all-time XI's in his time - including a dream team of Man Utd's overseas players.

But Neville has also produced a straight-forward United all-time XI, and he was humble enough to exclude himself from the line-up.

Line-up: Schmeichel, Irwin, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Rooney

Rio Ferdinand's all-time XI

Rio Ferdinand, Man Utd

After 12 years at Old Trafford in which he made over 300 appearances and captained the side to multiple honours, it's not  surprising that Rio Ferdinand found his way into plenty of the best XIs.

But when it comes to his choice, who gets the nod? Well, the 43-year-old put himself alongside his iconic centre-back partner Nemanja Vidic in defence, but he struggled more as he worked his way up the pitch.

Ferdinand actually couldn't choose between Rooney, Tevez, Van Nistelrooy or Robin van Persie for his strikeforce - so we've chosen for him. In go Rooney and Ruud.

Line-up: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Carrick, Ronaldo, Rooney, Van Nistelrooy

Ryan Giggs' all-time XI

Ryan Giggs, Man Utd

Time for Manchester United's record appearance-maker. Ryan Giggs made a mind-boggling 963 appearances for the Red Devils during his 23-year career.

With 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cup wins and two Champions League medals to his name, he's without doubt a legend of the game, but he's left himself out of his all-time XI.

Cristiano Ronaldo has instead taken his place on the left flank, with Giggs the first on this list to pair Rooney with Eric Cantona up front.

Line-up: Schmeichel, Neville, Ferdinand, Stam, Irwin, Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes, Beckham, Rooney, Cantona

Juan Mata's all-time XI

Manchester United's Juan Mata during the Emirates FA Cup fourth round match at Old Trafford

It seems likely that we've just witnessed Juan Mata's final game for Manchester United, with the Spaniard waving goodbye to Old Trafford after his eight years at the club following the win over Brentford.

Of course, Mata arrived at the club under David Moyes and hasn't enjoyed nearly half as much success as others on the list, but his all-time XI is certainly eye-catching.

The classy Spaniard has turned back time and selected Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best in his side. He's also the first to go with three at the back - experimental!

Line-up: Schmeichel, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Scholes, Giggs, Charlton, Best, Ronaldo, Beckham, Cantona

Sir Alex Ferguson's top five players

Roy Keane Sir Alex Ferguson Man Utd

Sir Alex Ferguson was obviously central to Manchester United's success in the Premier League era.

He's the man responsible for building so many world class teams, but who would he select as his best?

Well, while the legendary Scot insisted he couldn't pick a full XI, he did highlight five players that were undroppable.

Ironically, Ferguson claimed that you "couldn't leave out Scholes", a piece of advice Keane seemed to ignore.

Ferguson also highlighted Robson as undroppable, and suggested that Cantona, Ronaldo and Giggs were also nailed on to make his dream XI.

So who makes the all-time greatest Man Utd XI?

Man Utd, Champions League 1999

Having gone through some of the dream XIs created by former greats, we can tally up who were the most selected stars.


Starting between the sticks, Peter Schmeichel was in five of the seven all-time XI's, with Edwin van der Sar claiming two nominations.


As for the defence, Rio Ferdinand is the first name on the teamsheet with six nominations out of seven, with only Keane not selecting him.

Alongside him is Nemanja Vidic after the Serb picked up four nominations, while Gary Neville claims the right-back spot with five votes.

The left-back spot saw Denis Irwin and Patrice Evra both scoop four votes each, but with Irwin receiving one of his votes as right-back we're giving the spot to Evra.


With most of the XIs containing four midfielders, we've chosen to do the same. After receiving seven nominations - including special praise from Ferguson, Giggs is the first of our midfielders, operating on the left.

Scholes also makes the side with six nominations, with only Keane and himself not selecting him. Alongside him is Keane, who appeared in three of the sides, and rounding off the midfield is David Beckham, who was present in four of the all-time XIs.


That leaves just two spots to occupy up front, and after being picked in six of the sides - and then a Ferguson seal of approval on top - Cristiano Ronaldo will spearhead the side.

Alongside him is Wayne Rooney, after the former Red Devils captain was picked in five of the XIs.

Eric Cantona followed closely behind with three nominations, but the Frenchman will have to settle for a spot on the bench.

All-time, All-time XI: Schmeichel, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Rooney

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