Manchester United South American All-Time Team XI
After Manchester United snapped up Argentinian, Lisandro Martinez, from Ajax’s clutches, it raises the question as to who would make Manchester United’s South American All-Time XI.
Over the 145 years of the prestigious club, only 22 South Americans have plied their trade on the field for the Red Devils.
We opted for a flat 4-3-3 to offer a broader range of South American flavour, but the biggest names that are sitting on the bench tend to be forwards (sorry not sorry, Angel Di Maria).
Manchester United South American Starting XI:
1. Sergio Romero (Argentina)
Across 2018-2019, a legitimate argument could be raised that Sergio Romero was the best number two goalkeeper in the world. Racking up 39 clean sheets over 61 games for the Red Devils, Romero was a firm fan favourite over his six-year stint.
2. Rafael (Brazilian)
The stronger of the Brazilin brothers that joined United in 2008, Rafael enjoyed great success at United under Sir Alex Ferguson. Brilliantly creative when driving the ball forward, Rafael’s passion for the club remains one of the last United players to truly play for the badge.
3. Marcos Rojo (Argentina)
Who can forget the infamous burnt toast eater? A hard-hitting, full-blooded defender, somehow the Argentine spent nearly seven years at the club without receiving a red card. Technically lacking, Rojo was a fan favourite for his meaty challenges.
4. Gabriel Heinze (Argentina)
A flexible centre-back/left-back option, Heinze endured a mixed run with United. After a sensational first season in Manchester, Heinze would sour his legacy by demanding a transfer to rivals, Liverpool, before being shipped off to Real Madrid.
5. Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)
A decade-long career with United resulted in a glittering trophy haul. Signed as a right winger, developed into a right back, Valencia forged a top-tier career for a player that could only play off one foot. Although, to be fair, the Ecuadorian rifled that screamer against Stoke off his left boot.
6. Fred (Brazil)
Last season was a year of vindication for the Brazilian midfielder. Mocked for dire defensive performances during his first couple of seasons, Fred has finally been allowed more freedom to roam with the ball. There is still time left for Fred to grow his legend.
7. Juan Sebastian Veron (Argentina)
The most expensive transfer in English football at the time, Veron joined United with huge hype following his success at Lazio. Veron was a modern player ahead of his time. The Argentinian was at his best in a system of slow-build up, whilst Fergies’ 4-4-2 left Veron with fewer short passing options.
8. Anderson (Brazil)
Blessed with talent, Anderson provided endless creative output in the midfield. Injuries and a lax approach to training shortened his career, yet on his day, Anderson was capable of producing highlight reels. Any transfer fee was worth his 2008 Champions League penalty alone.
9. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
One of the elite strikers of the past generation, Cavani proved his excellence during his twilight years at United. Wearing the legendary number 7 shirt for his debut season, Cavani finished as United’s third top goalscorer – netting 17 goals in 21 games. Last season, Cavani struggled with injury and Ronaldo’s return, but the Uruguayan will remain a cult hero.
10. Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
Unfortunately, Diego Forlán’s time at United never worked out as expected. A monster at every other club he played at, Forlán’s issues stemmed largely from a case of bad luck. The Uruguayan is still fondly remembered for his brace at Anfield to secure a 2-1 victory.
11. Carlos Tevez (Argentina)
A true pantomime villain. Initially adored by United fans due to his endless gas tank and knack for chipping in with vital goals. The striker eventually burnt bridges after forcing a move to Manchester City, before unceremoniously lifting a “RIP Fergie” banner after City won the Premier League.
Defenders: Alex Telles, Gullermo Varela, Fabio
Midfielders: Kléberson, Andreas Pereira
Forwards: Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria