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With one of the biggest global fan bases in all of soccer and owning a packed trophy cabinet the envy of any club across Europe, Manchester United are a welcome addition to the 2019 International Champions Cup line-up.
Last summer United thrilled the 64,000 fans in attendance at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami with a 2-1 victory over reigning European champions Real Madrid, and they’ll be intent upon achieving similar success this year.
With a roster full of world-class superstars, United will be among the favorites to be crowned International Champions Cup champions for 2019.
United may not have been able to add to their haul of Premier League titles since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but they have still experienced success in the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League in recent seasons.
And, under the tutelage of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær – a club legend thanks to his 11 successful seasons as a player at Old Trafford – United have once again been playing some of the most exciting, attack-minded football in the Premier League.
With a healthy blend of emerging young talent and established stars, United are building towards further success in the near future, for which the 2019 International Champions Cup could be a springboard.
With 20 top-flight titles to their name, no team has been crowned English champions as often as United.
The Red Devils have also been champions of Europe three times, with their most recent Champions League success coming in 2008, when the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez powered Ferguson’s side to a league and European double.
Some of the greatest players in English football history have worn the famous red shirt of United, from the likes of Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton and George Best, through to ‘Class of ‘92’ alumni David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
Stadium – Old Trafford
With its capacity of 74,994, United’s Old Trafford home – nicknamed the Theatre of Dreams – is the largest stadium in British club soccer, except for when Tottenham were temporarily homed at Wembley Stadium.
Originally opened in 1910, the famous stadium has undergone several evolutions over the years. Old Trafford had to be rebuilt after the Second World War when bomb damage forced United to play at Maine Road, home of rivals Manchester City, from 1941 to 1949.
Expanded several times during the Premier League era, with new tiers added to the north, west and east stands, and with the corners connecting these stands also built up, resulting in the capacity increasing from 44,000 in the early 1990s to its current limit.
Coach – Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Adored on the red side of Manchester thanks to his dramatic last-minute winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final triumph over FC Bayern – which secured a historic Treble for United – plus more than a decade of excellent service, Solskjær was a popular appointment when he replaced José Mourinho in the Old Trafford hotseat in December 2018.
Initially installed as temporary boss, Solskjær quickly lifted spirits at the Theatre of Dreams by implementing an attacking style of play – as well as an unforgettable come-from-behind win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16. On March 28, and having won 14 of 19 games in charge, Solskjær was appointed United coach on a three-year deal.
Adhering to club traditions of fast, forward-thinking football and the use of skilful wingers, United are among the most entertaining teams in Europe at present.
Paul Pogba – A World Cup winner with France in 2018, Pogba is the heartbeat of this United side.
The most creative member of the Red Devils’ midfield, the man whom United re-signed from Juventus for a world-record $116million in 2016 is also a direct goal threat, whether timing runs into the penalty area or shooting from distance.
David de Gea – Regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world by many, Spanish shot-stopper De Gea has been named the club’s Player of the Year a record four times.
Signed from Atlético de Madrid as a 20-year-old in 2011, the United No.1 overcame a difficult first season in England to develop into a world-class performer.
Marcus Rashford – After bursting on to the scene as an 18-year-old in February 2016, whether playing on the wing or centrally as a striker, Rashford has become one of United’s most reliable performers.
A deadly finisher with lightning pace, the 21-year-old has established himself as the side’s first-choice centre-forward this season and is demonstrating why he is considered one of Europe’s brightest talents.
Ones to Watch
Tahith Chong – Dutch teenager Chong was handed a senior Debut in January’s FA Cup third-round victory over Reading at Old Trafford, and the wild-haired winger looks destined for a long and bright career at Old Trafford.
Although left-footed, Chong can play on either side of the attack and is a crowd-pleaser thanks to his speed and dribbling skills.
Diogo Dalot – Signed from Porto for $25million as a raw 19-year-old last summer, Portuguese full-back Dalot has been earmarked to become a mainstay of the United backline for the next decade.
Fast, tenacious and a cultured crosser of the ball, the youngster has all the tools to succeed at the highest level.