From the elegant Dennis Law to the rampaging Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United have definitely had their fair share of clinical strikers down the years but with the new season approaching and Jose Mourinho securing yet another season of Champions League action for the Red Devils let’s take a look at United’s top 5 all time goalscorers in the Champions League.
5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 20
The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ completed a transfer from Molde to Manchester United in 1996. Being signed as an unknown alternative to Alan Shearer, many United fans were sceptical when the club first announced the signing.
Making his name as an impact sub, Solskjaer went on to become a name of legend among the Old Trafford faithful.
Perhaps what Solskjaer is remembered for most is that famous night in 1999, the night in which he truly cemented his place in United history. His goal that night, secured United their first European Cup since 1968 and more crucially their third crown in the same season.
4. Paul Scholes – 24
Perhaps the greatest midfielder to ever grace the pitch at Old Trafford. Scholes’ elegance has been something United have failed to replace ever since his retirement.
Few midfielders of both his age and ours have been able to combine, with such skill, the aggression to survive in the English game and and the flair needed to make football look like art.
Scholes was arguably part of the two greatest United teams to ever exist, winning a multitude of Premier League’s as well as adding two Champions League titles to his name. One can only hope United’s academy will be able to produce a gem in the mold of Scholes once again.
3. Ryan Giggs – 27
“Rampaging wingers.” Once a phrase readily associated with Manchester United. Ryan Giggs was the epitome of this, part of the famed class of 92′, Giggs went on to become the most decorated United player of all time.
Goals were not the only thing the Welshman had in abundance. Giggs holds the record for the most Premier League assists of all time, with 162. In short Ryan Giggs was the winger everyone wished they had and everyone dreaded going up against.
If anyone were to bleed the red, white and black of United the Welshman would certainly be the first on the list. A true United legend, Giggs even had a short stint managing United only to be replaced with the now infamous Louis Van Gaal, much to the dismay of many United supporters.
Just recently appointed the new manager of Wales, many hope it will be the catalyst he needs to convince Ed Woodward of his credentials and allow him to eventually take the reins at Old Trafford.
2. Wayne Rooney – 34
What can be said about Wayne Rooney. A veteran, warrior, and leader on the field for United, few clubs get to enjoy the presence of such a player.
Now the all time leading scorer for United with 253 goals, Rooney’s record will be one that will certainly stand for decades to come.
Rooney was arguable part of the greatest front three the Premier League has ever seen, most memorable for tearing up the Premier League and Champions League along with Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo in the 07/08 season, in a year where United went on to win the double.
Rooney eventually left United in 2017 after a rather anti-climatic end to his career at Old Trafford, failing to hit the ground running during Jose Mourinho’s spell in charge, however no matter what way you look at it his name will forever be steeped in United’s history, whether you look at his 2008 Champions League triumph or the many records he broke while at the Theatre of Dreams.
1. Ruud van Nistelrooy – 35
Called the best finisher they had ever seen by many commentators, pundits and players alike, Ruud van Nistelrooy certainly made sure none of those comments were in vain.
150 goals in 219 appearances, numbers enough to make anyone shudder at the sight of them.
In the relatively short time the Dutchman played for United his achievements were truly remarkable. In his first three seasons, he hit the 100 goal mark and by the time he had got around to his fourth, he had become United’s leading goalscorer in the Champions League.
Unfortunately issues between van Nistelrooy and the club eventually forced Ferguson’s hand and he was sold to Real Madrid. Although van Nistelrooy’s eventual transfer left a bad taste in the mouth, the Dutchman’s passion for the club secured his place as a fan-favourite and his contributions secured his place in United folklore.