Soccer is one of the most famous and most viewed sports around the world. Every country has its league, and every league consists of a certain number of competing teams. Modern soccer, or soccer as we now know it, started in England; the home of the Barclays Premier League. The Barclays Premier League is known to be one of the most exhilarating, competitive and unpredictable leagues in the world.
Many strong teams compete in the Barclays Premier League and it is always hard to expect who the winner will be, but for the past few years, out of all the teams competing in the Premier League, one team stood out and proved that it is truly the best English team in this period of time, and that team is Manchester United. Manchester United F. C. was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR F. C. and the name was changed to Manchester United F. C. in 1902. Manchester United F. C. s home ground is Old Trafford, which is located in the city of Manchester. The team’s nickname is The Red Devils; the nickname was given to them because of the picture of a red devil that appears on the team’s badge. Manchester United only missed one season in the Barclays Premier League when they got relegated after losing to their current rivals; Manchester City. The team’s history consists of great managers, football legends and many titles; both domestic and regional.
Manchester United is a club that is famous for it’s huge fan base. Manchester United supporters are spread all around the world and not just England or Europe. Manchester United’s fans, or the red army as some people might call them are known to be very loyal to the team. Unlike Barcelona and Real Madrid’s fans, Manchester United fans stick with the team no matter what and they never criticize a player for not performing well in a certain match.
Most of the people who support Barcelona and Real Madrid support them either because of a certain player in their squad (Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo) or because they win a lot of matches. Not many Barcelona and Real Madrid fans know about the history of the teams, its achievements or the legends that came out of it. And unlike Arsenal fans, Manchester United’s fans owe nothing but respect to the great players who end up leaving the team. For example, when Real Madrid played Manchester United a few weeks ago n Old Trafford, the fans were chanting “Get a plane, bring Ronaldo back from Spain! ”. And when Ronaldo scored a goal against the team that made him what he is today (Manchester United), United’s fans cheered for him. However, when Robin Van Persie, one of the best strikers in this period of time, left Arsenal and joined Manchester United, Arsenal’s fan base went crazy. Arsenal fans were burning their “RVP” t-shirts and criticizing him for leaving them.
Over the years Manchester United had many different managers, but the manager who stands out the most is Sir Alex Ferguson who’s been managing the team since 1986. Every Manchester United player and every member of Manchester United’s huge fan base has nothing but respect to that man as he made so many contributions to the team. Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t only liked by Manchester United’s fans, but almost every person who watches soccer, regardless of what team he/she supports, admits that he is one of the best managers in the world and that the contributions he made to Manchester United are unmatchable.
Unless you support one of its rival teams, you simply can’t deny that Manchester United has been the best English team in the past two decades as they have won 19 Premier League titles that is more Premier League titles than any other English team has ever won (Liverpool comes in second place with 18 titles) and they’re on their way to win their 20th title with no sign of any competition from any of their rivals. For the past few decades, Manchester United have been dominating the Barclays Premier League.
Even though they don’t win the title every season, Manchester United never failed to finish in the top five since Sir Alex started managing them as I mentioned earlier. For the past two decades, Manchester United was either the winner or the runner-up of the Barclays Premier League, and they always gave it their hardest and made it a huge challenge for the other teams to maintain their positions whether the team was Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal or any other team.
The best example that shows how hard Manchester United fight for the title is what happened last season (2011-2012) with Manchester City as Manchester United won against Sunderland, while Manchester City were losing to Queens Park Rangers, which is something that no one expected, until the last few minutes when Manchester City scored two goals, won the match and therefore won the title by goal difference.
Manchester United weren’t only successful in England, but also in Europe with around 200 UEFA Champions League appearances and 5 major European titles. Manchester United is a team that doesn’t miss the UEFA Champions League too often especially after Sir Alex Ferguson took over. In the current UEFA Champions League (2012-2013), Manchester United qualified to the knockout stage and was chosen to go against Real Madrid and everyone knew that it is going to be a very exciting game to watch.
In the first leg, everyone was rooting for Manchester United to lose against Real Madrid as the game was played on Real Madrid’s field; Santiago Bernabeuo, but Manchester United didn’t fail to rise to the occasion, score the first goal in the game and tie with Real Madrid. However, in the second leg which was played in Old Trafford, Real Madrid managed to win the game and qualify to the next round with a little help from the referee, therefore, knocking Manchester United out of the race for the UEFA Champions League title.
Manchester United’s success isn’t limited by the amount of titles the team has, but much like Real Madrid, it includes the huge amount of football legends this team has created. Many world-class legends started out or played in Real Madrid such as Ruud Van Nistelroy, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo who played for Manchester United as well. Out of all the many legends this club created, Ryan Giggs stands out the most.
With around 1000 appearances and more than 150 goals, Ryan Giggs is definitely one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United F. C. as he is now 40 years old and he still plays for the team. In his early days, Ryan Giggs used to coach Danny Welbeck who is currently 22 years old and plays for Manchester United. The list of legends who played for Manchester United includes many outstanding players such as Eric Cantona, Michael Owen and, of course, Sir Bobby Charlton who still watches every game the team plays. The list also includes some top-notch goalkeepers such as Peter Shmeichel and Edwin Van Der Sar whose son now plays as a goalkeeper for Manchester United’s U-12 team.
Most people would compare Manchester United’s history to Liverpool’s, as they are both teams with great history that is full of Legends. Despite of their poor level now, Liverpool used to be a great team with many world-class players and it is just one title away from tying with Manchester United for team with the most Premier League titles as they currently have 18 Premier League titles to their name and 5 Champions League titles to their name (2 titles more than Manchester United).
Manchester United’s history doesn’t only consist of championships and titles, but it also consists of some big tragedies. The biggest tragedy in Manchester United’s history was when the airplane that was carrying the team back from Munich after their game with Bayern Munchen crashed with all the team members in it, causing most of the team’s players to die. Some of the survivors of this crash got traumatized and therefore quit playing football.
However, one of these survivors was Sir Bobby Charlton, who, as I mentioned earlier, continued his career with Manchester United and later became one of the legends this team created. It took the club a couple of years after the crash to return to its level, but they eventually managed to come back even stronger than they were before. Manchester United’s current roster is believed to be one of the best rosters the team has ever had. The roster is filled with magnificent, world-class players.
In offense, the team has one of the best finishers in this period of time; Robin Van Persie. The team also has Wayne Rooney who is an outstanding English player and some young players who have great potential such as Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) and Danny Welbeck. The team’s midfield is probably its strongest section as it has Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes who are two of the team’s legends, and Ashley Young, Luis Nani and Luis Antonio Valencia who are known to be three of the fastest players in the Premier League.
The team’s defense also consists of many world-class defenders such as the Serbian Nemanja Vidic –the team’s captain- and Rio Ferdinand in the center, and very fast defenders such as Patrice Evra and Rafael Da Silva as left and right backs. Manchester United was always known for having a great goalkeeper. After Edwin Van Der Sar retired, the Spanish David De Gea came to continue Van Der Sar’s mission and guard the team’s net. De Gea didn’t tart off really well, but he eventually adjusted with the team and with the Premier League and he is now turning into one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Just because Manchester United is now the best English football team and one of the best teams in Europe and the world, that doesn’t mean that they win all their matches because they are superior to the other team. In the past few years it became very clear to everyone that referees are being more lenient with Manchester United than they should be, which caused everyone to accuse them of bribing the referees.
Even though no proof has been found, but everyone believes that they really do that. Even I, a die-hard Manchester United fan, admit that the team I support bribes referees, as one can’t just deny it. Most referees help Manchester United reasonably. However, Howard Webb, United’s favorite referee, takes it to a whole new level. Most Manchester United fans get happy when they find out that he’s going to be the referee in a certain match because it’s almost a guaranteed win.
Overall, I’d say Manchester United is a team of rich history, which full of championships, great unforgettable players who made football a lot more interesting for all of us and great managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, and despite of their bad habit of bribing referees, most their matches are very intense and fun to watch as they are now called “Kings of comebacks” because of their last-minute goals which usually lead them to winning the match. They might not be the greatest team in the history of football, but they are definitely ranked amongst the top five in that category.