Wayne Rooney has named four Manchester United legends who he believes would have entered the current Manchester City side.
Both clubs have relatively little in common, but they are the only clubs to have achieved one of the greatest feats in English football – winning the traditional treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
United did so in 1999 by beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, while City defeated Inter Milan in Istanbul in May to match the achievement.
The win elevated Pep Guardiola’s side further up in the discussion of English football’s greatest ever clubs, with some fans believing they are the best team to grace the top flight in England.
With Erling Haaland in attack, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in midfield, and Ruben Dias and John Stones at centre-back, the City side is brimming with world-class talent when their entire squad is fit.
And writing in his column forThe Timesprior to last season’s Champions League final, United legend Rooney cast doubt over whether his dominating side of the late 2000s and early 2010s would have been able to beat Guardiola’s men over a 38-game season.
But he did name four United stars of that time period under Sir Alex Ferguson that he believes would have made it into the City XI – although did leave out Cristiano Ronaldo.
He wrote: “Could the 2008 United team have competed with City? Head to head, we’d have had a good chance. But over a 38-game season, they would have had the edge.
“I think we’d have been similar to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, able to beat them in one-off games but usually just a bit behind them in the final league table.
“There were players in our team who would have got into this City side. Paul Scholes would have been perfect, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic too.
“I believe I would have fitted into it as well – and I would have loved to play with Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland.”
City are currently on course to win their fourth consecutive Premier League title, as they are one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table after 12 games played.
Both sides face each other at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday – although both De Bruyne and Haaland are among nine injury doubts for Guardiola’s side.