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6 Man Utd players make BBC’s all-time Premier League XI

The Premier League celebrated its 25-year anniversary on 15 August.

Over the past few weeks the BBC have been taking votes from its audience to decide who the world thinks have been the best eleven players.

A list of so-called BBC experts selected the initial shortlist, though it did include Bryan Robson, who made only 32 Premier League appearances, and Neville Southall, who was in much decline during the final stages of his career when the league began, whilst also missing the likes of Matt Le Tissier and David Ginola.

There were 379,172 votes in all, according to the BBC, with six Manchester United players making up the final XI.  They were as follows:

Peter Schmeichel

Arguably the greatest goalkeeper of all-time and certainly the best the Premier League has ever seen.  Peter Schmeichel was key to ending our 26-year wait for the top flight title in 1993 and went on to win five Premier League titles in all before hanging up his boots.  He was also our goalkeeper for our dramatic 1999 Champions League final victory.  Peter has even had time to become a father and watch his son, Kasper Schmeichel, win the Premier League more times than Liverpool.

Peter Schmeichel was the overwhelming winner for the goalkeeper position with 63% of the vote.

Gary Neville

There must have been little competition for the right-back spot as well, as Gary Neville won the Premier League on eight occasions.  He was a solid defender and a great leader on the pitch.  Part of the Class of 92 only extends his popularity at the club.  Made exactly 400 Premier League appearances for us between 1994 and 2011.

Gary Neville took 48% of the vote.  Ashley Cole was selected at left-back with 55% of the votes; a landslide victory as perhaps United fans were torn between Denis Irwin and Patrice Evra.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand had spells with West Ham United and Leeds United before we made him the most expensive defender in the world in 2002.  He went on to win six Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League with us, as well as captaining the England national team.  He was slowing down at the end of his career with United but was still given a further season in the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers before hanging up his boots in 2015.

Rio Ferdinand took 54% of the vote – more than John Terry whom was selected alongside him in the centre of defence.

Cristiano Ronaldo

There was only going to be one winner on the right wing and David Beckham didn’t even come close.  Cristiano Ronaldo wowed audiences during his time at Manchester United before his then world record transfer to Real Madrid where his career and fame only excelled further.  The Portuguese star was a key part in the side he won three Premier League titles with, the 2008 Champions League and an FA Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo received 72% of the vote.

Paul Scholes

11 Premier League titles and two Champions League winners’ medals makes Paul Scholes the second most decorated player in the BBC’s all-time XI.  He was a catalyst in our midfield who contributed to several goals each season after making his debut in 1994 and hanging up his boots for a second and final time in 2013.

Paul Scholes (48%) received a few more votes than Steven Gerrard (47%).  Combined they kept out the likes of Roy Keane, Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira.  Gerrard is the only player in the BBC XI that didn’t win a Premier League medal during his career.

Ryan Giggs

The only player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League, scoring in a record 21 consecutive.  The legend that is Ryan Giggs won the left wing role hands down.  He has 12 Premier League titles, two Champions League medals and four FA Cups that make up his credentials.  He was an incredible player down the left wing who made a huge contribution to several of our Premier League successes.

54% of the BBC audience included Ryan Giggs in their team.

Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the two strikers, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Andrew Cole and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

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