Juan Mata has picked his perfect all-time Manchester United XI.
Mata grew up watching football in the 1990s and his all-time Manchester United XI certainly reflects his age. However, it is hard to go against some of the players he’s picked due to the success and acclaim they brought to the club.
Mata goes with an entire back line of players he has played with since joining the Old Trafford club in January 2014, which may peeve some of the purists who feel the likes of Denis Irwin or Gary Neville are deserving of a mention. Behind them Peter Schmeichel unsurprisingly gets the nod.
In midfield, snubbed players include Roy Keane, who captained the club for most of his time at Old Trafford, and in one of the club’s most successful periods ever.
Only two of the Mata’s XI have not played under the guidance of world football’s greatest ever manager, Alex Ferguson while Mata is particularly praising of his final choice, Bobby Charlton, who he says must ‘obviously’ be in the team.
Mata also speaks highly of a certain Englishman:
“Obviously Paul Scholes has to be there. One of the best midfielders in the history of football.”
He also appears to be a major fan of David Beckham:
“[Beckham] was the one who changed the club and the club changed him.”
Check out who the Spain international thinks would make for the most perfect Manchester United team of all time below.
While much of the squad David Moyes, and subsequently Louis van Gaal, inherited from Ferguson has now retired or been transferred elsewhere there is a new breed emerging at Old Trafford which is so far beginning to produce some positive results domestically.
Despite a disappointing Champions League performance during the week, there is a sense United now have the quality in place to truly push for silverware once again.
Who knows, maybe we’ll see some of today’s current squad making their way into all-time XIs in the future.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena