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Manchester United's greatest ever players by number

Manchester United's greatest ever players by number
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Sports Mole takes an alternative look at Manchester United's greatest ever players, listing them by shirt number from Cristiano Ronaldo to Giuseppe Rossi.

As the most successful top-flight team in English football history, Manchester United have naturally boasted some of the greatest names to have ever graced this country.

The Red Devils were one of the dominant forces in European football under Sir Matt Busby in the 1960s, while Sir Alex Ferguson restored their place at the pinnacle of football during the most successful managerial spell ever.

The Scot delivered on his promise to knock Liverpool off their perch, winning 13 Premier League titles to take their overall record up to 20.

United's dominance has waned since Ferguson's retirement, but their status as one of the biggest clubs in world football still enables them to attract some huge names.

Here, Sports Mole takes an alternative look at the club's greatest ever players, listing them by the shirt number they wore.

Such a stipulation sees the likes of Jonathan Greening, Paddy McNair and Giuseppe Rossi make the cut, whereas some of the biggest names in United history miss out.

George Best's exclusion, for example, needs a special explanation - the winger is arguably the most talented player both the club and British football has ever produced, but the number seven and 11 shirts he wore most often have intense competition.

Best made nowhere near as much of that talent as Cristiano Ronaldo or Ryan Giggs, the latter of whom made a club-record 963 appearances and was part of all 13 Premier League title-winning teams.

Ronaldo has gone on to become one of the greatest players of all time, meanwhile, earning him the iconic number seven ahead of luminaries such as Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and David Beckham, in addition to Best.

The club's best goalkeepers vie for the number one jersey, Sir Bobby Charlton sees off Andy Cole for number nine and Bill Foulkes misses out to Rio Ferdinand for the number five.

The number 10 is another iconic shirt at Old Trafford, with the likes of Denis Law and Ruud van Nistelrooy missing out to all-time record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.

See below for our full list of Manchester United's best players by number, with other contenders in brackets.

Man Utd's greatest ever players by number

1. Peter Schmeichel (David de Gea, Edwin van der Sar, Harry Gregg, Alex Stepney)
2. Gary Neville (Paul Parker, Viv Anderson)
3. Denis Irwin (Patrice Evra)
4. Pat Crerand (Steve Bruce, Ray Wilkins)
5. Rio Ferdinand (Bill Foulkes, Paul McGrath, Gordon McQueen)
6. Nobby Stiles (Jaap Stam, Gary Pallister, Martin Buchan, David Sadler)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Steve Coppell)
8. Nicky Butt (Brian Kidd, Gordon Strachan, Paul Ince)
9. Bobby Charlton (Andy Cole, Frank Stapleton, Brian McClair)
10. Wayne Rooney (Denis Law, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Teddy Sheringham, Mark Hughes, David Herd, Lou Macari, Norman Whiteside)
11. Ryan Giggs (George Best, John Aston)
12. Phil Neville (Chris Smalling)
13. Park Ji-Sung (Roy Carroll)
14. Andrei Kanchelskis (Javier Hernandez)
15. Nemanja Vidic (Clayton Blackmore)
16. Roy Keane (Michael Carrick)
17. Nani (Henrik Larsson, Daley Blind, Raymond van der Gouw)
18. Paul Scholes (Ashley Young)
19. Dwight Yorke (Marcus Rashford)
20. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Robin van Persie)
21. Ander Herrera (Henning Berg, Diego Forlan, Rafael)
22. John O'Shea (Sergio Romero, Henrikh Mkhitaryan)
23. Luke Shaw (Jonny Evans)
24. Darren Fletcher
25. Antonio Valencia
26. Shinji Kagawa (Mason Greenwood)
27. Mikael Silvestre (Marouane Fellaini)
28. Gerard Pique (Morgan Schneiderlin)
29. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Tomasz Kuszczak, Wilfried Zaha)
30. John O'Shea
31. Nemanja Matic (Bastian Schweinsteiger)
32. Carlos Tevez (Victor Valdes)
33. Paddy McNair (Chris Eagles)
34. Jonathan Greening (Anders Lindegaard)
35. Jesse Lingard
36. Matteo Darmian
37. James Garner (Robbie Brady, Donald Love)
38. Axel Tuanzebe (Danny Higginbotham, Michael Keane)
39. Scott McTominay
40. Ben Amos (Joel Pereira, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake)
41. Federico Macheda (Joshua King)
42. Giuseppe Rossi
43. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
44. Adnan Januzaj (Andreas Pereira)
45. N/A
46. Richard Eckersley (Lee Martin)
47. Danny Welbeck
48. Will Keane
49. James Wilson
50. Darron Gibson
51. Timothy Fosu-Mensah
52. Larnell Cole
53. Brandon Williams
54. Mason Greenwood
55. N/A
56. N/A
57. N/A
58. Di-Shon Bernard
59. Largie Ramazani
60. N/A
61. N/A
62. N/A
63. Dylan Levitt

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