Needless to say Manchester United is one of the most popular and powerful football brands worldwide, but some mightn’t be aware how much United care about helping young talents to develop and transform themselves into top professional sportsmen. In that sense, the Manchester United Academy does feed the first-team with fresh blood on a regular basis and nurture both English and European clubs.
Straight from the Trafford Training Centre (commonly referred as “Carrington” and formerly known as “The Cliff”) uncountable generations have graduated, the most famous being “The Busby Babes” (including Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton and George Best amongst others) and “The Fergie Babes” (featuring Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham and Nicky Butt).
Besides the afore mentioned Giggs and Scholes, as many as six players of the current United squad come from The Academy, namely en Ben Amos, Jonny Evans, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck. A remarkable achievement especially considering Manchester United’s obligation to chase every title and the financial muscle of their opponents.
In addition, another 30 former Academy’s members ply their trade in either the Premier League or the Championship, being Sunderland’s John O’ Shea and Wes Brown arguably the most notorious names. Shouldn’t also be neglected the fact the several others have has successful careers away from Old Trafford, including the current FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro double winner Gerard Piqué.
Former Manchester United Reserves or Academy players
Premier League (9)
European top-flight leagues (6)
* Matches played and goals scored for Manchester United first-team.