Where are they now? The last Man Utd XI picked by Sir Alex Ferguson

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledges the fans after his final game in charge of the club.

After 26 incredible years at the club, Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of his 1,500th and final Manchester United game in May 2013.

Ferguson, who had just won his 13th Premier League title, watched on as United played out an entertaining 5-5 draw with West Brom on the final day of the season.

We’ve taken a look back at their side from that day to see how those players have fared since.

Anders Lindegaard

Lindegaard failed to usurp David de Gea as United’s first-choice goalkeeper but still made 10 Premier League appearances in 2012-13, earning himself a winner’s medal in the process.

“I’m super proud of it, but it was not me who won that title,” he told the Guardian in November 2021. “I’m aware that in the great history of Manchester United I’m a whisper in the wind.”

The Denmark international moved to The Hawthorns on a permanent basis in 2015 before having brief stints at Preston North End and Burnley.

He’s now back in Scandinavia with Swedish side Helsingborg and scored his first career goal in July 2020.

Antonio Valencia

After filling in at right-back in Ferguson’s final game, Valencia made a permanent transition to the role under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

The former Ecuador international found a new lease of life when moving into his new position, winning the United Players’ Player of the Year award in 2016-17.

But he fell out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was released by United at the end of the 2018-19 season, ending his 10-year stint at Old Trafford.

The 36-year-old then spent two years in Ecuador and then Mexico with LDU Quito and Queretaro before hanging up his boots in May 2021.

READ: A tribute to Antonio Valencia, the winger turned world-class right-back

Phil Jones

Jones joined United from Blackburn in 2011 and established himself as a regular under Ferguson, who tipped the defender for a bright future at Old Trafford.

“Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player,” Ferguson said in April 2013. “I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, no matter where we play him.

“At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch. He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him.”

But the centre-back failed to live up to those lofty expectations and has spent most of his United career on the treatment table.

While he is still on United’s books, Jones has made just two Premier League appearances since the start of 2019-20 and is regularly linked with a move away.

Jonny Evans (Rio Ferdinand, 83)

After being deemed surplus to requirements by Van Gaal, Evans followed Lindegaard to West Brom in the summer of 2015. The Northern Ireland international got his career back on track at the Hawthorns before joining Leicester City in 2018.

“You know, Jonny Evans should have been a Manchester United player now, of course,” Solskjaer said in March 2021. “But sometimes football takes you other places when changes in management happen.”

Ferdinand can now be found as a pundit on BT Sport after hanging up his boots following an unsuccessful spell at QPR.

Alexander Buttner

Buttner made just 13 Premier League appearances during his two years at United but definitely doesn’t regret the move.

“My adventure with Manchester United was not a failure,” Buttner told Algemeen Dagblad in 2017. “Who can say that they have won the Premier League title? I can say that. Even Steven Gerrard hasn’t managed it. I played more games for United than I ever dreamed of.”

The left-back has been on a world tour since leaving Old Trafford in 2014, enjoying spells in Russia, Belgium and America.

Having left New England Revolution in January 2021, he is now back in his native Netherlands with Eredivisie side RKC Waalwijk.

Tom Cleverley (Ryan Giggs, 60)

Once regarded as the heir to Paul Scholes, Cleverley struggled under David Moyes and was heavily criticised by United fans throughout 2013-14.

“The hard part for me though was the year under [David] Moyes. The way the fans turned on you,” Cleverley told the BBC in 2020. “That was my club you know. I had been there since I was 11-years-old. For the fans to go as sour as they did.

“That disappointed me. I was a player who would try 100% a game. It wasn’t a fact of trying, I just wasn’t good enough that year.”

The 32-year-old was shipped off to Everton in 2015 and has since made over 100 appearances for Watford, where he remains.

Giggs spent one more season at United before calling time on his illustrious playing career at the end of 2013-14. He then became Wales manager in 2018 and helped his country qualify for Euro 2020.

Michael Carrick

Carrick enjoyed his best-ever season in 2012-13, winning the United Players’ Player of the Year award and earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

The midfielder then spent five more years at United, adding the FA Cup and the Europa League to his plethora of honours.

After hanging up his boots in 2018, he joined Mourinho’s coaching staff at Old Trafford and now works alongside Solskjaer.

Anderson

A former Golden Boy winner, Anderson made just five appearances for United following Ferguson’s retirement and joined Internacional on a free transfer in January 2015.

The 33-year-old finished his playing career at Turkish second division club Adana Demirspor and retired in September 2020. He now works for the club as an external relations officer.

READ: A tribute to Anderson, Manchester United’s cult hero and great showman

Shinji Kagawa (Paul Scholes, 69)

Despite scoring a brilliant hat-trick against Norwich City in March 2013, Kagawa failed to live up to expectations during his two years at Old Trafford.

The former Japan international returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and spent another five years with the Bundesliga side, making 145 appearances in all competitions.

He then had a brief spell at Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza before joining Super League Greece club PAOK on a one-and-a-half-year contract in January 2021.

Scholes left United alongside Ferguson at the end of the 2012-13 season and now works as a TV pundit.

READ: An ode to Shinji Kagawa at Man Utd and one of the calmest hat-tricks ever

Javier Hernandez

After falling out of favour at United, Hernandez spent 2014-15 on loan at Real Madrid before completing a permanent move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

The Mexico international rediscovered his best form in Germany but then had disappointing spells at West Ham and Sevilla.

He replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic at LA Galaxy in January 2020 and has recovered from a slow start, scoring 17 goals in 21 MLS appearances in 2021.

Robin van Persie

Signed as Ferguson’s farewell gift, Van Persie fired United to the title with 26 Premier League goals in 2012-13.

But the former Netherlands international failed to replicate that form under Ferguson’s successors and was sold to Turkish side Fenerbahce in 2015.

“I did ask him [Ferguson] the question how long his intentions as to stay and he said three years so that was in my mind when I decided to make the move from Arsenal,” Van Persie told us in 2019.

“Would I have changed my decision if I knew Sir Alex would be leaving at the end of that season? It is a good question and one that I can’t answer.”

He finished his playing career at Feyenoord and now works as an assistant manager for their Under-16s, coaching his son Shaqueel in the process.


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