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Now, if the longest serving boss in the Premier League had been talking about the club's greatest servants since his reign began in 1986, then Scholes and Giggs would have to be right up there, along with Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Brian McClair and Dennis Irwin.

But, in truth, not many observers would put Giggsy and Scholesy at number one and two in a top ten of players who have served under Alex Ferguson. Compiling such a list is no easy task.

First, there are the players that don't quite make it into the top ten. There is no room on this particular hall of fame for the following United legends:

Gary Neville, because he is a great professional but by no means a great player, decent enough defensively but very average going forward.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who spent 11 patient years at the club and was a useful little striker but never a world class one.

Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister, who were, again, great servants, but journeymen defenders on a global scale.

Jaap Stam, who despite being the finest centre-back in the Premier League at the time was booted out by Fergie after three years.

Rio Ferdinand, doesn't make the cut because of his lapses in concentration that occur in every other game he plays in.

Paul McGrath, although he is the greatest Irish defender of all time and did indeed look like Nelson Mandela's son.

And neither do Paul Ince, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Butt, Nemanja Vidic or the excellent Carlos Tevez. But the most glaring omission, and the one that's certain to receive the most criticism, is Wayne Rooney.

Since his arrival on the Premier League stage, there is no doubt that Rooney has been a huge revelation. He is that most uncommon of English players - a technically-gifted second striker who is able to mesmerise and destroy in equal measures.

He is still the only current member of the England football team who regularly uses the outside of his foot. But he doesn't make this list of United greats because he hasn't quite proved himself worthy of inclusion yet.

The finest English talent since Paul Gascoigne hasn't lived up to his potential. In fact, there is a genuine fear that he might even be going backwards as a player. His first touch, these days, is often heavy and sometimes even sloppy. He himself admits that he has lost the ability he used to have to go past defenders. And, against the classiest of opponents - AC Milan in last season's Champions League, for example - he can be nothing short of missing in action.

So here, in order of greatness, are the best ten players to ever play under Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United.

1. Eric Cantona
Not for nothing is he referred to as King Eric. The Rimbaud-quoting French genius who, in the words of Roy Keane, "glided into the arena as if he owned the f****** place," has to be number one. Cantona's influence on the club he joined from Leeds in 1992 is almost immeasurable. He changed the way they trained, changed the way they played, even the way they re-fuelled. As George Best, the greatest player to ever pull on a Reds shirt, once said; "I'd give all the champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside him in a big European match at Old Trafford."

2. Roy Keane
Like Cantona, Keane is a true maverick. And, like Cantona, he was not your average footballer. Intelligent, supremely focussed, slightly unhinged and a leader of men who was capable of grabbing a game, and his team-mates, by the scruff of the neck and literally forcing events to go his way. Who will ever forget his stellar performance in dragging a down-and-almost-out United side back from two goals down against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final of 1999 in Turin?

3. Peter Schmeichel
Not so much a goalkeeper as a screaming, Rudolph-nosed, superhuman with the smothering capabilities of thousand goose-feathered pillows. He wore an XXXL shirt size. No other keeper, before of since, has been so commanding in his own penalty box area: his organisational skills and distribution saw him transcend the status of shot-stopper. In 2001 Schmeichel won a Reuters poll with more than 200,000 participants who voted him as the best goalkeeper of all time. The Old Trafford faithful reckon he was worth 12 points a season at least.

4. Bryan Robson
Before Roy Keane, there was Bryan Robson. Captain Marvel led his team out onto the pitch for 12 years, making him the longest-serving skipper in Man United's history. Back in the 1980's, people used to call United a 'one-man team'. Robson was that man. A ferocious tackler with a habit of making perfectly-timed runs into the box, he was always at the centre of Ferguson's plans, everyone else rotating around his aggressive, match-winning aura. The epitome of the all-action modern midfielder.

5. Paul Scholes
Despite growing up as an Oldham Athletic supporter, Paul Scholes has spent his entire career at Old Trafford. This small, quiet, asthmatic is apparently the only one of the long-serving United players never to receive the hair-dryer treatment from Alex Ferguson. His great technique, wide range of passing and ferocious long-distance shooting have made him one of the first names on the team sheet for more than a decade. If he'd improved his tackling, he'd be rated as one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe.

6. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Or Rutgerus Johannes Martinius van Nistelrooy, to give him his full name. If Alex Ferguson's reign at Man United has been short of one thing, it has been world class centre-forwards. Cole, Yorke, Solskjær, Saha - none of them were world class. This Dutch Greg Rudeski look-a-like definitely was. In 200 appearances for United he scored an astonishing 150 goals. And, as is always the case with six-yard box predators, most of them were more about being in the right place at the right time than aesthetic delight. He continues to prove his worth at Real Madrid by scoring 33 goals in his first season with 'Los Merengues'.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo
It's difficult to remember any other player who has had such an all-conquering influence on the Premier League as Cristiano Renaldo has had this season with Manchester United. He has scored 25 goals in 26 games so far and has, at times, been almost unstoppable. Dispensing with the more ridiculous side of his dribbling, the Portuguese winger has been by far the most outstanding performer in the league and has led some people to ask, 'what would Man United do without him?'

8. Ryan Giggs
Possibly the last of the genuine left-wingers in the game, Giggs has played 636 games for just one club and has been one of the key components in the lighting quick attacking philosophy that has defined Man United for the last ten years. Why is he so low down on this list? Because the occasional incredible display and the odd breath-taking goal have disguised the fact that he doesn't always perform to the level he's credited for.

9. David Beckham
With his move to Real Madrid, his sojourn in Los Angles and all the tabloid activity that's surrounded his every breath, it's easy to forget how important David Beckham was at Man United. Twice runner-up in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards, 'Golden Balls' dodged his lack of pace and ability to go past players by becoming the most deadly crosser of the ball & free-kick taker in the world ever. Always gave 100%, sometimes even more, but probably should have used some the time he spent on marketing himself to make himself a better footballer.

10. Mark Hughes
Blessed with incredible upper body strength and clinical finishing ability, Hughes was an unusual blend of work-horse and spectacular goal-scorer. The Welshman's talent for holding the ball up was second to none, as was his capacity for unleashing gymnastic volley's that would almost break the net as they fizzed past the goalkeeper's outstretched hand. 'Sparky' scored 165 times in 453 games for Man United and is currently doing a pretty good impression of being Britain's best young manager with Blackburn Rovers.

In my view, this list is bollocks! Totally disagree with the stupid reasons they excluded Wazza for. "Poor first touch" "Gone backwards", stop with that bollocks! He is a better all-round player now than he was previously and his first touch is simply magnificent. Last season, he amassed a total of 25 goals and 16 assists. The statistics also prove that he is getting better, his season goal & assists tally has progressed and he single handedly won the first leg against AC Milan by bagging a superb brace @ San Siro. Where was Ronnie on both legs? The list itself isn't that inaccurate, but excluding Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin & Jaaps Stam is absolutely horrible. The list is filled with too much attackers!

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how did ronaldo made it to 7th?
u cant become an all time great just because u excelled in 2 seasons
and i cant disagree more with the comments on wayne rooney, he may not be in top ten yet, but it is definitely not true that he often gone missing against the big boys, and he still have one of the finest first touches and the fastest brains and the imagination and creativity to put his teammates through on counters.

and on the list, it tends to ignore the contributions of the defenders, they may not be as glamorous as the attackers, but nonetheless vital to the team, big misses like dennis irwin and gary neville. u cant stay in utd first team for over a decade without real abilities.
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