Revisiting the Man Utd Xl from Ronaldo’s last Manchester derby

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Patrice Evra after scoring against Manchester City.

Manchester United‘s Cristiano Ronaldo is currently preparing to play in his 12th Manchester derby – 12 years after his 11th.

Ronaldo played against Manchester City for Real Madrid but his most recent Manchester derby was a 2-0 win over the Blues in May 2009.

We’ve taken a look at the United team from that game to see how they are all faring today.

Edwin van der Sar

Van der Sar’s clean sheet against City was one of 22 he recorded in the Premier League in 2008-09 as United won a third successive league title.

He decided to hang up his gloves after the 2011 Champions League final but came out of retirement for one game to help his former side VV Noordwijk in 2016.

The 51-year-old took on a job as Ajax’s marketing director in 2012 before being promoted to the role of chief executive in 2016.


Rafael joined United in 2008 and made the right-back spot his own during his seven years at the club, winning three Premier League titles and the League Cup. 

But the defender fell out of favour under Louis van Gaal and joined Lyon, where he played in Champions League wins over Manchester City in September 2018 and August 2020.

The 31-year-old spent a year with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir before returning to his native Brazil with Botafogo in September 2021.

READ: A tribute to Rafael, an embodiment of Man Utd’s Sir Alex Ferguson era

Nemanja Vidic

Vidic was at the peak of his powers during the 2008-09 campaign, winning the Premier League Player of the Season and Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards.

The centre-back replaced Gary Neville as club captain in 2010 and led Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to their 19th and 20th Premier League titles.

He left United at the end of the 2013-14 season and saw out his playing career with an injury-plagued 18-month stint at Inter Milan.  

Jonny Evans (John O’Shea, ’71)

After loan spells at Royal Antwerp and Sunderland, Evans returned to Old Trafford and enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season at United in 2008-09.

Despite competition from Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, he became a key player for United and made nearly 200 appearances in all competitions. 

The Northern Ireland international was deemed surplus to requirements by Van Gaal in 2015 but has continued to be a respected name, impressing for both West Brom and Leicester City.

O’Shea ended his United career in 2011 but played for a further eight years at Sunderland and Reading before hanging up his boots.

Patrice Evra

Evra famously made his United debut in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in January 2006 but was on the winning side on this occasion.

The left-back was named in the FIFPro World XI in 2009 and also enjoyed some success post-United, winning two Serie A titles with Juventus and reaching the Champions League final in 2015.

He later hit the headlines kicking a Marseille fan and had a forgettable three months at West Ham before hanging up his boots in 2019. 

The 40-year-old now works as a pundit and continues to endear himself to United supporters by mocking Manchester City on social media.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Paul Scholes, ’58)

After starting and scoring in the win over City, Ronaldo made just three more appearances for United before completing an £80million move to Real Madrid.

The Portugal international then took his game to another level in Spain, scoring 438 goals in 450 appearances and winning two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues. He then moved to Italy with Juventus in 2018 and won two Serie A titles.

Despite being linked with a controversial move to the Etihad, Ronaldo eventually decided to complete a fairytale return to Old Trafford in 2021 and has already made a big impact.

Scholes retired at the end of the 2010-11 season, only to make a comeback in an FA Cup win over City a few months later. The midfielder retired for a second and final time in 2013 and now works as a pundit.

Darren Fletcher

Fletcher did his defensive duties in this fixture but starred in the next Manchester derby, scoring twice in their 4-3 win over City in September 2009.

An unfortunate illness decimated his final few years at the club, but he recovered and went on to play for West Brom and Stoke City before hanging up his boots.

The 37-year-old returned to Old Trafford in a coaching capacity in 2020 and has since been appointed as their technical director.

Ryan Giggs

United’s win over Cty in May 2009 was one of 36 Manchester derbies that Giggs played in during his illustrious playing career at Old Trafford.

The 47-year-old finally announced his retirement in 2014 and began his own managerial career with the Welsh national team in 2018. He now co-owns Salford City along with Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers.

Park Ji-sung (Wayne Rooney, 58)

Park didn’t steal the spotlight but was often entrusted with starting the big matches by Ferguson due to his tireless displays in midfield.

After retiring in 2014, he studied management, law and humanities of sport at De Montfort University in Leicester and now works as an advisor at a K League 1 club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. 

Rooney remained at Old Trafford until 2017, becoming United’s all-time leading goalscorer in the process. He retired in 2021 and has begun his managerial career with Derby County.

READ: A tribute to Park Ji-sung, the key cog & battery in Man Utd’s winning machine

Carlos Tevez

Tevez scored United’s second goal in the win over City but then became the most unpopular man in the red half of Manchester when he crossed the divide a few weeks later.

“Nothing happened with Ferguson, it was a normal relationship,” Tevez told Marca in 2016. “I went on loan to Manchester United for two seasons, and in the last year, Ferguson told me they will pay the fee to keep me.

“We reached the Champions League final in Rome, and I had no contract on the table. Then I went to City and they complained, but I had no offer to sign for United, and I was free to leave.”

The former Argentina international scored 58 goals in 113 games for City, helping the club win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title in 2012. 

He left England to join Juventus in 2013 and now finds himself without a club after leaving boyhood club Boca Juniors in 2021.

READ: Carlos Tevez: A priceless striker who even proved Fergie wrong

Dimitar Berbatov

Despite Tottenham accepting a bid from Manchester City, Berbatov rejected their advances and instead joined United in the summer of 2008.

“I don’t think it was that close, to be honest,” Berbatov told FourFourTwo in 2018. My agent told me about some interest but I said, ‘Don’t even bother mentioning anyone else, I’m going to Man United,’ because of the history, the players, the tradition, everything.

“I think it was the night before City signed Robinho from Real Madrid and my agent said, ‘Berba, there’s another team in for you’. I said, ‘F*ck off, we’re going to Man United.'”

The striker scored 56 goals in 149 appearances for United, winning two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. After spells in France, Greece and India, he announced his retirement in 2019.

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