Remember Manchester United’s all-conquering 2007/08 team? Then here we’ll look at where all those players are now in 2020.
Few will forget the Manchester United team that won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2007/08. They didn’t have it easy, with Chelsea and Arsenal finishing close behind in the standings. But that only made their success even more satisfying.
Three players made the PFA Team of the Year in the process. While Cristiano Ronaldo won the Golden Boot with a record-equaling 31 league goals, among five other honours. He also earned the first of his five Ballon d’Or awards.
Perhaps the Portuguese’s greatest moment, though, was that terrific header in the Champions League final itself. Despite Frank Lampard equalising for Chelsea, Man United won on penalties to win a third UCL crown.
In 2020, we’ll check out where the stars of that famous Red Devils squad are now in their respective careers.
Edwin van der Sar
After four years of playing for Fulham, Van der Sar relished another chance of playing for a top club and didn’t disappoint. His strong performances helped Manchester United win the EFL Cup during his debut campaign.
The Dutch goalkeeper again proved his worth in 2007/08 by keeping 15 clean sheets to help United win a 10th Premier League title. He also saved three spot-kicks in the Community Shield penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea. A sign of things to come, perhaps?
Van der Sar then famously saved Nicolas Anelka’s spot-kick to win the Champions League final for United.
Despite regular groin problems, the keeper kept 25 clean sheets and conceded just 24 goals in 44 games across all competitions.
After retiring in 2011, Edwin made a brief comeback five years later for VV Noordwijk and saved a penalty against Jodan Boys.
The 49-year-old nows works as the CEO of his old club Ajax.
Amid Gary Neville’s injury troubles. Sir Alex Ferguson turned to Brown as his main right-back for 2007/08. It was a big call to make, but the Englishman delivered anyway. He also provided the cross that led to Ronaldo’s opener in the Champions League final.
After a glory-laden 15 years playing for Manchester United’s senior team, Brown joined Sunderland in 2011.
The defender spent the following five years in Sunderland before enjoying brief spells with Blackburn Rovers and Kerala Blasters.
Rio was always a rock in the Manchester United defence, and the 2007/08 campaign was no exception. In fact, he only missed three Premier League games to help the club only concede 22 goals. No doubt it gave them an edge in the closely contested title battle.
But Ferdinand’s greatest impact probably came in the Champions League, where he captained United in five of their seven knockout games. Among them was the final itself against Chelsea.
The Englishman was vital in that stage, especially in the semi-finals against Barcelona. His strong performances in the two-legged tie helped United record clean sheets in a narrow 1-0 aggregate win.
After leaving Old Trafford in 2014, Ferdinand spent one year playing for QPR before retiring. He then briefly turned to Boxing before settling down as a television pundit.
While there were some early doubts over his future, Vidic delivered another batch of strong displays in 2007/08.
Alongside Ferdinand, the Serbian was virtually unstoppable in the Manchester United defence. Although he missed some key clashes that season, namely both legs of the semi-final clash against Barcelona.
But Vidic played the full 120 minutes in Moscow as the Red Devils overcame Chelsea on penalties to lift the Champions League.
The centre-back retired in 2016 following a short spell with Inter Milan.
Despite a somewhat sluggish start to his Old Trafford career, Evra was Ferguson’s undisputed preference for the left-back position in 2007/08.
The Frenchman made an impressive 48 appearances in all competitions that season to win a second Premier League title. His strong performances down the flanks were vital for Manchester United’s European success as well.
Following his exit in 2014, Evra played for Juventus and Marseille before returning to England four years later for a brief stint at West Ham.
The 38-year-old confirmed his retirement in 2019 and now works as a trainee coach in United’s academy.
The Welshman continued to impress everyone by delivering consistently strong performances in his twilight years. In fact, he made a staggering 43 appearances in all competitions.
Giggs also famously scored the decisive spot-kick that won Manchester United the Champions League title in Moscow. It was his second European title and probably the most memorable of his entire career.
After retiring in 2014, Giggs worked as an assistant to Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford for two years.
The 46-year-old currently works as head coach of the Wales national team.
The 2007/08 campaign wasn’t Carrick’s best one, considering the injury problems that hampered him throughout. However, he played the full 120 minutes and scored from the spot in the Champions League final. A brilliant way to end a difficult season.
The English midfielder remained a Red Devil until retiring in 2018 and is now part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching staff.
Meet the man whose brilliant goal against Barcelona sent Manchester United into the Champions League final. He intercepted a weak clearance from Gianluca Zambrotta at Old Trafford before smashing the ball into the net. It’s probably is one of his greatest moments.
But there was always more to Scholes than goals, with the midfielder often setting the tempo in games. In many ways, he ticked all the boxes for Ferguson. The Scot even convinced him to come out of retirement in 2012 to help an injury-stricken United.
Since retiring for the second time in 2013, Scholes has become a television pundit. He’s also a co-owner of Salford City alongside Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville.
Now to the extraordinary Ronaldo, who enjoyed his best season for Manchester United in 2007/08.
The Portuguese superstar managed 42 goals and eight assists in only 49 appearances across all competitions. It won him several major honours, including the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year.
Although 40+ goals in a season isn’t anything new to Ronaldo, having scored countless times for Real Madrid since a world-record €94m transfer in 2009. A club-best of 450 goals in 438 games sums it all up.
The now five-time Ballon d’Or and Champions League winner has become football legend in his own right. Some even label him as the greatest of all-time.
Now 35, Ronaldo continues to smash home many goals for Italian giants Juventus.
After remarkably saving West Ham from relegation, Tevez joined Manchester United in 2007 on a two-year loan deal.
The Argentine striker settled in well by providing 19 goals and seven assists in 48 appearances across all competitions. Thus he won the Premier League and Champions League during his debut campaign.
Although Tevez didn’t fare so well in the following season and controversially joined Manchester City in 2009. He helped end the Citizens’ wait for a league title in 2012 before leaving in 2013.
A 36-year-old Tevez is currently in his third stint at Boca Juniors following spells with Juventus and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
The striker often played out wide in 2007/08 to enable Ronaldo to be the focal point in Manchester United’s attack. While it may have seemed a questionable call, the results were indisputable. Therefore, Ferguson saw no reason to change such a good thing.
Although Ronaldo’s departure for Real Madrid in 2009 allowed Rooney to take on a more central role in United’s attack. The outcome? A club-record 253 goals in 559 games in all competitions.
The 34-year-old left Old Trafford in 2017 as a five-time Premier League winner and an Old Trafford icon for life.
After spells with boyhood club Everton and DC United in the MLS, Rooney joined Championship side Derby County in January in a player-coach role.
Other notable players
A product of Manchester United’s youth system, O’Shea made 394 appearances for the first-team. His versatility was a useful asset for Sir Alex Ferguson especially.
The Irish defender left for Sunderland in 2011 and briefly played for Reading before retiring in 2018. He currently works as an assistant coach for the latter.
Sadly, the English midfielder never lived up to his potential because of all the injury setbacks he suffered at Manchester United.
Hargreaves made just 39 appearances in total between 2007 and 2011 before a retiring a year later at Manchester City.
Because of a long-term ankle injury, Neville made just one appearance throughout the entire 2007/08 campaign. Therefore, he played no part in the club’s success that season.
The former Red Devils skipper retired in 2011 and now works as a television pundit.
The Portuguese winger had a promising debut campaign in 2007/08, which included a memorable winner against Tottenham.
Once Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2009, Nani took on a more prominent role down the Man United flanks. The highlight was in 2010/11, where he managed 10 goals and 20 assists in 49 outings. But things soon tailed off, with the player leaving for Sporting CP on loan in 2014.
Now 33, Nani plays for MLS side Orlando City following spells with Fenerbahce, Valencia, Lazio and a third one at Sporting.
Everyone had high hopes for Anderson, who boasted a reputation for being a talented attacking midfielder.
But while the Brazilian enjoyed a decent start to his Red Devils career, things never really got off the mark. His attacking instincts seemingly deserted him, with just nine goals in total.
Although making 21 assists in 181 appearances is still a respectable stat. It’s just United fans hoped for better, considering all the pre-hype surrounding his arrival in 2007.
The 31-year-old left Old Trafford in 2015 for Internacional in Brazil before retiring four years later.
The Scottish midfielder made 342 appearances during a trophy-laden 14 years playing for Man United. He was always a reliable option for Ferguson and gave his all every time on the pitch.
Now 36, Fletcher retired in January 2020 following spells with West Brom and Stoke City.
Like Fletcher, the French defender was always a useful option for Ferguson to use on the pitch. Especially when something happened to his preferred options Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Mikael Silvestre made 361 appearances for the Red Devils before joining Arsenal in 2008. He later played for Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and Chennaiyin before retiring in 2014.
Now 42, Silvestre briefly occupied a role as director of football for Rennes from July 2015 to December 2016.
Sir Alex Ferguson
The Scot is one of the greatest managers in football history, if not the best.
After coaching Aberdeen and the Scottish national team, an unknown Ferguson joined Manchester United in 1986 during a difficult period. And while things didn’t start smoothly, he soon kicked them into gear.
The Red Devils flourished under Ferguson and became a dominant force in English football.
27 years later, Sir Alex retired as a 13-time Premier League champion and a winner in every club competition in England.