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If there ever was an example of a football school of excellence, Manchester United certainly own it. While the Old Trafford team may possess vast spending power, nobody can argue with the fact that they have built much of their success on their incredible academy system. A lot of clubs, from many other sports, have attempted to model the system, which has produced some of the very best players in the world such as the following:

George Best

Some would argue that George Best is the greatest player to ever play football, never mind arise out of the United academy. However, at the same time, these people will also agree that he was one of the biggest wastes – after cutting short his career following a succession of gambling, women and alcohol problems. Nevertheless, the fact he made 470 appearances for the club is still impressive, as is his goals tally of 179. His performances on the wings were at times out of this world and some have speculated that there will never be a player quite as talented as Best to ever step foot onto a football field.

David Beckham

In the case of David Beckham, United certainly did bring a player through who managed his career correctly. While Beckham did experience several misdemeanours in the early stages of his career, on the most part he was regarded as a brilliant example to children. Even though he developed a superb off-the-field brand, Beckham’s success on the pitch was also hugely impressive and he managed over 350 appearances for the club, bagging 86 goals in the process. Moreover, most of these goals weren’t just any old strikes, with Beckham’s right foot being regarded as one of the best in the game as he scored goals from all areas of the pitch.

Mark Hughes

Hughes was another one of United’s big success stories and the fact that he also played for the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea shows just how talented he was. After coming through the Red Devils’ youth setup, he became one of the most lethal strikers in the game and scored over 100 goals in two separate spells at Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs

This is one of the few players who have spent their whole career at United, which indicates just how highly regarded Ryan Giggs is in the world of football. A seasoned international, Giggs possesses a superb resume having also collected twelve Premier League winners’ medals. He has proved a constant menace down the wings for Sir Alex Ferguson and has over 110 goals to his name in over 640 appearances.

Paul Scholes

Scholes is regarded in a similar mould to Giggs, with the midfielder also managing to spend his entire career at the club. The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson worked tirelessly to bring the midfielder out of retirement in the 2011/12 season speaks volumes about his reputation at Old Trafford. He has recently made his 700th appearance in United colours and supporters are praying that he can extend his career and become an even bigger legend with the Red Devils.

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