22 years to the day that they signed their first professional contracts in 1991, six Manchester United stars met up for a reunion in Manchester, with superstar David Beckham leading the way.
Known as ‘Fergie’s Fledglings” as they all came from the United youth setup and into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team together, David Beckham, brothers Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes rolled back the years as they hit the town for a night out in Manchester.
All six will go down as greats of the famous English club, as well as carving out top careers on the international stage.
But it is quite amazing to see all the players getting on so well, 22 years after they first came together.
So here is the rundown on what the class of ’92 are up to now, in case you didn’t know.
Beckham has just retired this season, obviously you knew that, so did Phil Neville and Paul Scholes who were both offered the role of assisting David Moyes at United. Phil Neville took that offer but Scholes decided he wanted a break, as he famously enjoys his life in the shadows. (In fact I don’t think anyone outside of the United locker room has ever heard him talk longer than 30 second since 1991. Seriously.)
Then there is former United captain Gary Neville, who is carving out a superb career for himself as a soccer pundit for Sky Sports. While Nicky Butt retired a few years back but is United’s current reserve team coach. And then there is Ryan Giggs, who began playing in United’s first-team before them all and is still planning to do this season, while also taking on a role as player-coach for Moyes.
Just incredible. So will we ever see a youth team like this again? It will take some beating.
Between these six players seen going out for a casual stroll on the cobbled streets of Manchester (pictured, left) they’ve amassed 428 international appearances. If you put all their medals together you would have 132 and the list of incredible achievements just goes on.
And the incredible thing is that all of them are still enraptured by the indomitable pull of Manchester United. Despite all that time spent at the club and all they have given, they can’t wait to give something back.
The Nevile brothers are heavily involved, Phil more so now with his coaching role. Butt manages the reserve squad, Scholes will no doubt be involved at some point, Giggs is a player-coach and I wouldn’t bet against Beckham returning in an ambassadorial role one day.
Whatever happens, 22 years on, seeing these six men grouped together brings memories of United dominance flooding back. Whether you are a Manchester United fan or not, you have to marvel at the incredible things these six fellows achieved in their playing career.
Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.
Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.
We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.
PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier has been arrested following an argument with police after a night out in a Paris, a police official told The Associated Press on Monday.
The official said Aurier was arrested at 5:50 a.m. local time after he spent the night at a club with friends near the Champs-Elysees. The official said Aurier was put in a holding cell for “using violence on a police officer.”
The police official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly of the case.
The Copa America Centenario opens in California on Friday, as the stars of North, Central and South America take center stage in the United States.
Well, most of them.
Neymar is out of the tournament thanks to an agreement between Barcelona and Brazil that will allow the superstar to play in August’s Olympics in Rio. And Barca teammate Luis Suarez is expected to miss the group stage for Uruguay while recovering from a hamstring injury.
As usual the focus will be on Lionel Messi and Argentina, whose powerful roster has finished runners-up at the 2014 World Cup and three of the last four Copa America tournaments. Opening with Chile before matches against Bolivia and Panama, Argentina will be expected to make a deep run. Critics know Messi is one of the best players in recent memory, but his failure to land a title outside of the Olympics with a squad that often includes Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain has haunted him, in a sense, at the international level.
Chile won’t be feeling much pressure after winning the 2015 Copa, albeit in controversial fashion that included whispers of home-cooking and a dirty incident from Gonzalo Jara that pained Uruguay physically and competitively. Still, Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) will put on a show on American soil in an attempt to repeat. And keep an eye out for Eduardo Vargas, whose production with Chile far exceeds what he’s done at clubs Hoffenheim, QPR, Valencia and Napoli.
Uruguay may be without Suarez for a while — nothing new given his suspension for biting at the World Cup — but Edinson Cavani will look to make amends for his wrongly-given red card in last year’s tournament. Abel Hernandez was dynamite in lifting Hull City back into the Premier League this season, while Uruguay boasts one of the world’s most complete backs in Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin.
Andres Guardado of Mexico is criminally underrated and one of the best playmakers on the planet. The PSV man is joined on a solid El Tri roster that includes Bayer Leverkusen star striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
The USMNT will have to contend with Colombia’s star men, highlighted by James Rodriguez, the Real Madrid forward and star of the 2014 World Cup. Carlos Bacca can also dominate stretches of action for Los Cafeteros.
Neymar is out for Brazil, but holy smoke that roster is terrific. Group B’s favorites will roll out Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Chelsea’s Willian, Zenit’s Hulk and Real Madrid’s Casemiro.
Other Premier League players on Copa America rosters
Major League Soccer players on Copa America rosters
Kaka (Brazil / Orlando City)
Kendall Waston (Costa Rica / Vancouver Whitecaps)
Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica / NYCFC)
Johan Venegas (Costa Rica / Montreal Impact)
Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica / DC United)
Christian Bolanos (Costa Rica / Vancouver Whitecaps) Tim Howard (USMNT / Colorado Rapids)
Matt Besler (USMNT / Sporting KC)
Graham Zusi (USMNT / Sporting KC)
Kyle Beckerman (USMNT / Real Salt Lake)
Michael Bradley (USMNT / Toronto FC) Clint Dempsey (USMNT / Seattle Sounders)
Gyasi Zardes (USMNT / L.A. Galaxy)
Chris Wondolowski (USMNT / San Jose Earthquakes)
Jermaine Jones (USMNT / Colorado Rapids)
Darlington Nagbe (USMNT / Portland Timbers)
Steve Birnbaum (USMNT / DC United)
Nelson Valdez (Paraguay / Seattle Sounders)
Carlos Gruezo (Ecuador / FC Dallas)
Soni Mustivar (Haiti / Sporting KC)
Andre Blake (Jamaica / Philadelphia Union)
Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica / New York Red Bulls)
Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica / Portland Timbers)
Je-Vaughn Waton (Jamaica / New England Revolution)
Giles Barnes (Jamaica / Houston Dynamo)
Simon Dawkins (Jamaica / San Jose Earthquakes)
Anibal Godoy (Panama / San Jose Earthquakes)
Blas Perez (Panama / Vancouver Whitecaps)
Alberto Quintero (Panama / San Jose Earthquakes)
NASL players on Copa America rosters Yasmani Duk (Bolivia / New York Cosmos)
Pascal Millien (Haiti / Jacksonville Armada)
James Marcelin (Haiti / Carolina Railhawks)
Jean Marc Alexandre (Haiti / Fort Lauderdale Strikers)
Jerome Mechack (Haiti / Jacksonville Armada)
USL players on Copa America rosters Ryan Thompson (Jamaica / Saint Louis FC)