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Best? Ronaldo? Charlton? Cantona? Who Is The Greatest Ever United Player?

George BestManchester United fans have been lucky enough to see many great players over the years, who’d all rank highly amongst the greatest ever players in the World. With Ronaldo approaching George Best’s record for most goals scored by a winger at the club, the topic of who is the greatest of all time has arisen in the media.

George Best is widely regarded as the best player ever in the game, often mentioned alongside the likes of Pele and Maradona. He was a special player and a special man who lit up the game whenever he played. Along with his team mates, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, he is often considered as the best player to ever don our shirt.

With the Munich Air Disaster anniversary approaching, Duncan Edwards is a player who is receiving a lot of column inches at the moment, whose career was cut unfairly short after losing his life to injuries he sustained that night in Munich. Charlton, who had the privilege of playing with both him and Best, has long sung the praises of Edwards, claiming that he is the only player to make him feel inferior.

Roy Keane and Bryan Robson were great leaders for the club in the 80s and 90s, fearless in their approach to the game and fulfilling their desire to win. They were the engine behind United and lead United to victory and trophies time and again.

Eric Cantona was a unique talent with special ability, whose confidence in his game was there for all to see. It was his influence which helped guide the ‘kids’ of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to the Double in their first real season at the club. The latter are two players Ferguson has this week named as the best two players he’s had at the club.

This leads us up to the modern day, with Cristiano Ronaldo looking like undoubtedly the best player in the World at the moment, scoring 27 goals in as many games this season.

The Times has today attempted to answer the question of who the greatest player to ever wear our shirt is. “The answer, of course, depends on your criteria. Do you judge greatness primarily on talent? Or does longevity play a significant part? And how much importance do you assign to trophies-won?”

So far, George Best is leading the poll with 29.8%, Cristiano Ronaldo following in second with 21.5% of the vote. Eric Cantona and Bobby Charlton lie in third and fourth place.

So then, who do you think is the greatest ever and why?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. jimmy Bob says:

    Bobby charlton for me , most games most goals.

    Best was a legend but for a brief period, if ronaldo stays for 10 years he could be the king.

    honourable mentions to keane robson law edwards schemicel eric and scholes

  2. Eddie says:

    Cristiano Ronaldo for me, cause he has amazzing talent, no other like him. And, at the moment, he IS Manchester United! He scores in every game, man of the match every game, he doesnt lack anything to his game…except for not showing up in those BIG GAMES

  3. Tom F says:

    Charlton. For not only what he did as a player but for what he still does now. He is as valuable to Manchester United now as ever and I personally have so much respect for that fact alone.

    Too many great talents at United to mention, but honourable? Charlton pips that one. Ronaldo has a long way to go and is not as close as some of the others that fell short before they became TRUE United legends. Rooney will be, in 20 years time looked back on as a TRUE United player as he never want’s to leave, Ronaldo does, not that I blame him. I dread the time as I’m as big a fan of Ronny as anyone.

  4. UnitedRay says:

    Cantona and pete schimeich for me. Ronny still loses the ball too much for my liking and he dives too much. He is a great player but i realise he is becoming too selfish. Maybe because i prefer wazza and didnt like how ronny always taking shots when a pass might have been better

  5. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    I haven’t seen Best play so I can’t really say but there was a similar situation with Ronaldinho and Pele. Before the 2006 World Cup when Ronaldinho was the undisputed best in the world, having won back to back league titles and the Champions League, people in Brazil were comparing him to Pele saying that if he won the World Cup, he will have been the best player since Pele. Now, nobody dares mention those two in the same breath. Not to say Cristiano will necessarily be like that but to be remembered as a true great, he must carry on doing this for the next few years not just two seasons. He’s only 22 so who knows, we might be seeing the best player since Best.

  6. kramer says:

    what is with this ronaldo doesn’t show up in big games BS? what the hell do people want from him? to score a hat trick every game? he set up what should have been a goal against the dippers this season; he scored one, set the other up and set up one which giggsy should’ve converted against the arse this season. in previous seasons the boy used to have to run all alone with the ball from defence to attack so that the defence would get a breather. he performs brilliantly for portugal. he scored against milan, and played brilliantly against roma in both legs. he wins us games every fucking week, yet he is a bottler.
    utter fucking rubbish.
    but i agree with OMelhorDoMundo. it is premature to compare him with all time greats just yet. he needs to keep doing it for a few seasons, and win some more trophies to be truly considered among the all time greats.

    p.s. i don’t know if swearing is allowed on here. apologies if it isn’t.

  7. Tom F says:

    I do also believe Ronaldo, who I think is absolutely amazing DOES NOT showp at big games in Domestic football. Not to say he doesn’t have any mpact at all but you will find in all the big games he loses the ball a lot more, tries one too many step-overs and the like. Saying that, the reason I don’t moan about it is that evn if Ronny is having a bad game he is still likely to score “SPURS”.

  8. PG says:

    Ronaldo has the capacity to take the game by the scruff of the neck and create something out of nothing. I am gunner by heart…but he is head and shoulders above any ManU players I have seen. A Champion.

  9. denton davey says:

    SIr Bobby is number one – what a player; what a gentleman; what a legend.

    Next, Giggs/Best – Ryan has had awesome longevity and fabulous talent; Georgie was, alas, a candle-in-the-wind.

    Then, Scholes, Cantons, Keane, and Robson.

    No matter how good they are now – and they are really, really, really good -Ronaldo and Rooney both need years and years of quality performances before they can be considered in the top seven because the competition for inclusion is really awesome.

  10. Tom F says:

    Denton knows!!!


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