Top 5 Signings under Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United

A look into the best-ever signings under Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United, dominating football across Europe.
Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Sir Alex Ferguson joined Manchester United in 1986 and went on to become the most decorated British manager in its history winning every available trophy including the Premier League for a record 13 times. The Scottish manager retired in 2013 and managed a glittering array of stars during his decorated career at Manchester United. We look at his top 5 signings that went on to make the biggest difference at Manchester United.


Rio Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 from Leeds United on a British transfer fee record and went on to become one of the best defenders of his generation at Manchester United. The England International went on to make a solid defensive partnership with Nemanja Vidic and was one of the most feared defensive pairing in the Premier League. The towering center-back was a go-to man for manager Sir Alex Ferguson and went on to play 455 times for the club while scoring on 8 occasions. The England International won the Premier League 6 times under Sir Alex Ferguson alongside 3 League Cup titles and a Champions League during the famous 2007-08 season on a rainy night in Moscow.

Rio Ferdinand was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as a reliable option. His influence at Manchester United was immense as he was at the heart of a winning United engine at the back. His ball playing ability was unique in the league at that time and went on to give United an extra advantage of a trait little exercised at that time. Overall Rio Ferdinand rates as one of the best signing to play for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand / Clive Mason/GettyImages


If there is one player who defines the ferocity and competitiveness of Manchester United, it has to be Roy Keane. Sir Alex Ferguson described the Republic of Ireland international as one of the best he worked with. The ferocious slayer ensured a feared presence in the midfield in great United teams. A vocal leader on the pitch, Keane was always giving his best on the pitch and was there for the team whenever needed. The legendary midfielder made 480 appearances for United in his 12 years at the club and scored 51 times during his decorated career for the Red Devils.

Champs League SF Roy Keane
Champs League SF Roy Keane / Getty Images/GettyImages

Always rallying the team forward, Roy Keane is remembered for his aggressive attitude in the center of the park. His intimidating presence was key to many United victories and was honored with the club captain badge by Sir Alex Ferguson for his unwavering commitment and leadership attributes. Roy Keane joined United in 1993 and went on to win 7 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cup medals and a famous Champions League win in United's treble-winning season of 98-99. Above all, he went on to become a club legend despite a rocky end with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005. The United faithful remember Keane as one of their own and a leader of the pack.


Wayne Rooney emerged as a teenage sensation on the Premier League landscape with Everton. He turned heads when a 16-year-old bald, fierce forward started firing in the Premier League only to be poached by Sir Alex Ferguson for his United side in 2004. The English forward made a name for himself at Manchester United where he appeared 559 times for the club while scoring a record 253 goals for the club.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

The United forward was fierce and intimidating to defenders. He was always Sir Alex Ferguson's answer to an occasion in need and rescued the gaffer countless times. Rooney went on to make one of the most historic partnerships with Cristiano Ronaldo, a partnership whose fear echoed throughout Europe. The English Forward always gave his 100 percent and went on to win the Premier League title 5 times and the Champions League once. Wayne Rooney also won the League Cup on 4 occasions alongside a single FA Cup and Europa League title. With various personal accolades also, Wayne Rooney will always be remembered for his 17 years as a club legend and one of English Football's finest forwards.


Arguably one of the best-ever footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo arrived as a young, timid winger and departed as the best player in the world. Sir Alex Ferguson, after a pre-season game was able to get the star Portugese to United in a deal worth every penny. One of Sir Alex's best signings, Cristiano Ronaldo made a name for himself at Manchester United when he fazed the Premier League defenders, wreaked havoc on the wings with his flair, and frightened the goalkeepers with his knuckleballs. Defences stood in awe when Cristiano Ronaldo took that deep calming breath before a free kick, only to see the rattling of the goal with his thunderous strikes.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo- UEFA Champions League Final / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Hailed for his exemplary relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson as his father like, Cristiano Ronaldo fully returned all the trust in putting United to a different landscape despite being a young star in an array of a star-studded United team. Ronaldo went on to play 346 times for the club in his two stints and scored 145 goals while winning 3 Premier League titles, 1 Champion League title, a single FA Cup medal, and 2 League Cups.

"Cristiano has been a marvelous player for Manchester United. His contribution has been a major factor in the club’s success in that time and his talent, his ability to entertain and his infectious personality have enthralled fans the world over."

Sir Alex Ferguson


Collar up with a swag, 7 at the back, and a cocky attitude was enough for defences to fear when facing Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson was years into his managerial career but was missing that jigsaw in his puzzle. In came Eric Cantona with a big personality to manage. A lot of people may dispute Eric Cantona's spot at the top of Sir Alex Ferguson's best signings but he was the catalyst that fired United to the heights of the Premier League. Eric Cantona retired early at 29 but in his just four and a half years at Manchester United, he carved his dynasty like a King. King Cantona played 182 games for United scoring 82 but his legacy at United was much more than the goals he scored. He brought an aura to United. An aura that lasted for years and eventually translated into its success at home and in Europe.

Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona-Manchester United / Getty Images/GettyImages

Eric Cantona was a monumental figure at Manchester United, a certain player who had the attitude and aggression of a winner. King Cantona was the essential figure that was required for the upcoming young stars at Manchester United who eventually propelled United to great heights. Eric Cantona was able to win 4 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups at Manchester United. A trophy cabinet that boasts his marvels on the field but more than that he left a lasting impression for the future stars to take. It was he who made the number 7 shirt galvanized again at United after the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best.

Eric Cantona will always be the king of Old Trafford and his legacy, his crown. Only a legendary manager like Sir Alex Ferguson could manage his potential considering what he was capable of. This is why the king comes at the top of Sir Alex Ferguson's best-ever signings. That lob against Sunderland, that kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park, or that famous press conference, it was King Cantona's world at United and we were just living in it.