Manchester United take on Juventus tonight to commemorate Gary Neville's illustrious career at Old Trafford. To mark the occasion we've picked an XI of the best players to grace both clubs during Nev's time in football.
Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel: Beats Gianluigi Buffon as first choice in our team as he was, at the time, the best in the world. Manchester United consider him to be a legend even though Edwin Van der Sar could have a valid stake to that claim. However, most, if not all United fans would pick Schmeichel to go in goal.
Right Back - Gary Neville: Spent almost 20 years at United. Once described as the best right-back of his generation, Neville amassed over 500 games for his side before the strain of injuries doomed his career to collapse into retirement. He was a real big deal at Old Trafford and won everything there was to win.
Centre Back - Jaap Stam: The Dutchman was a bit of a traveller having played for Lazio and AC Milan, but his best years were with the Red Devils. A rock of a defender who struck fear into opposition strikers, but he was sold by United following a row over his autobiography 'head to head' in which he supposedly criticised his team-mates.
Centre Back - Ciro Ferrara: An Italian legendary defender who learned how to play against the great Diego Maradona at Napoli. A model stopper who is regarded as one of the best Italian players of his time. He captained Juve to major honours during his career and he was a regular starter at the club during his 12 years there. Would later coach the Old Lady, but it all ended in a sacking following a poor campaign during the 2009/10 season.
Left Back - Gianluca Pessotto: Juve always in his blood despite being discarded by Milan as a youth. He was prominent in the Champions League-winning feat of 1996 and became a tour de force at the back where he always was comfortable playing against many a great forward in one of the best defences at the time. He jumped off a balcony following Calciopoli such was his love for the club, but he survived.
Right Midfield - Zinedine Zidane: Regarded as the best footballer on the planet and won a World Cup whilst at Juve with France. Any coach would have him in their team. He beats Scholes to being in our XI. The Englishman is great, but Zidane won three world player of the years, Scholes never came close. A phenomenal player and the most certain to be in any side. He led the Old Lady to two consecutive Champions League finals, but lost both.
Didier Deschamps was great, but Keane dragged his side to final and is deservedly in the XI.
Centre Midfield - Roy Keane: Captained United in their historic treble-winning season but never played in the 1999 final. However, he was crucial against Juve in Turin during the second-leg semi final. He scored the comeback goal which sparked a memorable night for his side. He played so hard that he got booked and missed Bayern Munich at Camp Nou. A true leader. Had heart and lungs and was always successful. A real driving force in midfield, he lifted so many trophies and had great battles with future Juve midfielder Patrick Vieira when he was a Gunner. Didier Deschamps was great, but Keane dragged his side to final and is deservedly in the XI.
Centre Midfield - Pavel Nedved: Came to the club to replace Zidane. He wasn't cheap, but the boots he had to fill were enormous and no-one could have done a better job. Sublime against Real Madrid in 2002/03 semi final and dragged the Italians to Old Trafford, but was suspended and missed the final against AC Milan who won on penalties. Heartbreak for the 'Furia Ceca' but Zidane wasn't missed when Nedved was in the team. Did just as good a job as the Frenchman and won a Ballon d'Or. Attributes included the use of both feet which helped him provide great assists and even better goals. Now a director at the club following retirement two years ago.
Left Midfield - Ryan Giggs: The best Premier League player of all time and he has gone down into the history books at United. He always seemed to score against Juve in the great battles between both teams. Despite this, fans of the Italian club admired and desired the Welshman for his great dribbling skills and goals. An all round legend who scored in 15 Champions League seasons - a record shared with Spain great Raul.
Striker - Alessandro Del Piero: Filled the boots of Roberto Baggio, and how. He won it all with Juve whom he joined in 1993 after impressing the great Giampiero Boniperti who signed him from Padova. Del Piero scored one of the fastest Champions League goals at Old Trafford. He stayed after Calciopoli, and still plays now after signing a new deal to take him to June 2012. The greatest ever Juventus player according to fans and statistics.
Striker - Eric Cantona: Was a genius of what he was during his time in Manchester. Never scored the most goals and was hardly prolific, but he was the architect at Old Trafford. He played in his own special way despite controversies which followed him around grounds. The fans loved it, and the beautiful goals he scored. He was loved for what he did. Represented all there is of the true great player, one of a kind in his own right.
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