Sport Soccer

Friday 24 February 2017

The treble winners of 1999

PETER SCHMEICHEL: The Danish goalkeeper's eight-year spell at United ended with him lifting the European Cup in the Nou Camp. Won countless games with his ability and presence and widely regarded as the world's best during the 1990s. 10

GARY NEVILLE: Although injury ravaged his later years at Old Trafford, Neville was at the peak of his powers in 1999. England's undisputed first-choice at right-back, his partnership with David Beckham down the right flank was a formidable unit. 8

RONNY JOHNSEN: The Norwegian centre-half was calm and assured on the ball and also a threat in the air when going forward. Rarely made a mistake, but his game was immeasurably helped by the presence of Stam alongside him. 7

JAAP STAM: Alex Ferguson labelled the Dutch defender as a 'colossus' and, in his first full season at United, he was a rock at the heart of the defence. Strong, physical and deceptively quick, Ferguson has since admitted making a mistake in selling the centre-half. 9

DENIS IRWIN: The Irish full-back will go down as one of Ferguson's best buys after arriving in a £625,000 deal from Oldham in 1990. Comfortable on either foot, utterly consistent and offered a threat from free-kicks when Beckham wasn't around. 8

DAVID BECKHAM: 'Goldenballs' was at the height of his career in 1999, playing on the right flank of Ferguson's formidable midfield quartet. Pinpoint delivery from crosses, goals from midfield and some stunning free-kicks too. 8

PAUL SCHOLES: Scored 11 goals from midfield, including one in the FA Cup final against Newcastle, but missed the Champions League final through suspension. In 1999, Scholes was box-to-box as well as a great passer. 9

ROY KEANE: United's captain forged his iconic status by driving the team to victory against Juventus in the Champions League semi-final, despite knowing a ban would rule him out of the final. The dominant midfielder of the 1990s. 10

RYAN GIGGS: The Welshman was United's flying winger, his mercurial talent highlighted by the stunning solo goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final. Shared wing duties with Jesper Blomqvist, but always favoured for the biggest games. 8

DWIGHT YORKE: Hit 29 goals in his first season at the club following his move from Aston Villa in August 1998 and formed a deadly partnership with Cole, which was supplemented by the talents of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 8

ANDY COLE: Although he scored 121 goals in seven years at Old Trafford, Cole was always viewed as a striker who would miss as many as he would score. A harsh label to apply on the England forward, who often delivered in the big games. 7

TOTAL: 92

Irish Independent

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