Manchester United Profiles
The Red Devils. Old Trafford. The Theatre of Dreams. Names synonymous with arguably the greatest football club to grace the game. From the pitch it plays its games on, to their legendary coach, Manchester United has carried some of the greatest names in football. From David Beckham and Eric Cantona to Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic and Sir Alex Ferguson, the club has been home to legends of the game. The current United roster boasts one of the most impressive and talented lineups on earth as they begin their 2017 U.S. Tour. Here are just a few of the many world renowned coaches and players you should know about before Real Salt Lake’s match against the Red Devils on July 17:
Dubbed the ‘Special One’ and widely considered one of the best coaches on earth, Mourinho has won it all. He has coached in four different top-tier leagues, winning major trophies in each with the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid prior to his signing with United in 2016. As a manager, he has lead teams to Champion’s League Trophies on two occasions and a FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2010 among an abundance of individual honors. The Special One looks to bring another Champions League Trophy and Premier League title to the red side of Manchester as the 2017 season begins.
First appearing for United in 2011, MF Paul Pogba quickly became one of the world’s most exciting midfielders with his explosive athleticism, crisp passing and blistering goal scoring ability. The French international was sold by the club in 2012 to Italian giants Juventus before being brought back to Old Trafford for a staggering $116.4 million fee. In his first season back from Italy Pogba appeared in 33 games, scoring five goals and tallying 4 assists. At 24 years of age Pogba is hard to miss in the center of the midfield standing at 6’3”, making him a consistent presence in United’s midfield for years to come.
David de Gea
Signing for United in 2011, GK David de Gea has inserted himself as a mainstay in the team’s lineup week in and week out, and stamped his place as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. At 6’4” de Gea has won the Premier League once, Europa League once, The FA Cup once and the English Community Shield three times as a starter for the club, giving reason for his multiple Sir Matt Busby Award’s Player of the Year awards for the club. In 2016/17, de Gea appeared 35 times for United, winning 16 games and registering 14 clean sheets with 74 saves.
Coming to United in June, the Swedish center-back has burst onto the scene as one of the brightest young defenders in the world at just 22 years of age. A member of the Swedish National Team, Lindelof came to United from Portuguese side Benfica after five seasons at the club where he scored two goals in 48 appearances. The right footed defender can play primarily as a center back but is commonly moved to the right back giving defensive versatility all around the pitch for United.
United’s Player of the Year for the 2016/17 season, Herrera enters his fifth year in a United shirt on the back of a one goal, six assist season in the Premier League. The Spanish international is arguably one of the best center midfielders in the game with roughly 68 completed passes per game making him one of the most accurate passers in the BPL. After United legend Wayne Rooney’s departure to Everton there were rumblings of Herrera becoming the Red Devil’s next long-term captain before Michael Carrick took the armband.
As Manchester United’s newest signing, the 24-year-old Belgian comes to United just eight days ahead of the team’s trip to Sandy after being purchased for $97 million from Everton. Scoring an attractive 25 goals for Everton in 2016/17, Lukaku made himself one of the most sought after players in the world as the Premier League season came to a close in May. Lukaku is one of only five players to have scored 50 Premier League goals before the age 23, giving fans plenty to salivate over for years to come. Fans may remember Lukaku for his role for Belgium against the United States in the 2014 World Cup as he scored what was to be the winning goal to push the Belgians through to the quarterfinals.