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Are Man Utd the best ever club side?

Manchester United secured a unique treble by adding the European Cup to the FA Cup and Premiership title with victory in Barcelona. The Red Devils were crowned European champions after a dramatic climax when they scored twice in the dying minutes of the game. Can they now be considered the best ever club side?

Background ¦ Your reaction

The Background:

Manchester United have been crowned the kings of Europe after the 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.

United's treble triumph
The European Cup final triumph in Barcelona came on top of the Premier League title and the FA Cup - a treble unprecedented in the history of the English game.

Love them or hate them, it is a magnificent achievement. But where does it place them in the world game?

The United team of 1968 has already taken its place in soccer's hall of fame, while Celtic used to pick up trophies in their sleep. In 1967, after all, they picked up five titles - all the domestic silverware plus the European Cup for good measure.

And teams across Europe could point to golden eras when the trophy cabinet was pulling out the wall plugs - AC Milan, Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, Bayern themselves and a host of others.

Further afield the list could take on epic proportions, but would any of them have held a torch to United?

What do you think? Just how good is Alex Ferguson's all-conquering side?

Vote now.

Background ¦ Your reaction

Your Reaction:

Best or not, we have to give them credit for finishing this season with such flourish! They didn't get where they are with nothing! Kudos for never giving up even to the last minute of the game! Keep at it, United!!
Samuel, India

If Manchester United were the best team ever they would have dominated the European Cup final for 90 minutes and not snatched it in the last two minutes.
Lathe Jones, Australia

It is a great relief to read so many people talking sense through the Internet discussion, because we certainly are not hearing it from the shrill sports journalists. Like the worst dogmatic politicians, they are completely ignoring the plain statistical facts to suit their case. It is clear that Liverpool were a greater side, Paisley a greater manager - thank god we are not all swallowing this media rubbish about Man U.
Mat, Australia

Best club this decade YES. Best club ever NO. When you see what they have done this decade people might say they are the greatest ever, but what about Liverpool and Forrest. Or going out of England, Ajax and Madrid. If we keep rocking on next decade we just may become the greatest club ever.
Donny, USA

Luckiest? Maybe. But greatest club side of all time? That's just absurd.
Peter Spencer, Ireland

Luck is created by greatness. Bayern were so staggered by the equalizer that they just gave up. Manchester will need to repeat the European Championship at least two more times. They have the money and a young enough squad to repeat their feat. I suspect that they will win it again in a similar way. With their last minute goals Manchester United will strike fear into the heart of their foes. It really seems to be their style and part of the mode of the club.
Daniel, USA

I don't see how a team who were lucky to get two goals in injury time in the European Cup final when they didn't look like scoring for the other 90 minutes can be called the best side around now, let alone ever! Let's not forget that if it weren't for similar luck earlier on in the season against Liverpool, they wouldn't have won the FA Cup. Not to mention that they only managed to beat Brondby in the group stages in Europe, qualifying from the group only in second place. Sure, they are a very good team, but if anyone thinks that they are the best ever then they need to rejoin reality!
Darren Jalland, England

There is no team in the world currently capable of beating Manchester United. Accept it.
Paul Kiernan, UK

I would like first to congratulate Manchester United fans for the team's great achievement. Even I am not a United fan but I have been following it very closely since 1976. Their performance was steady and strong and they never accept the loss easily during the course of years. In my opinion they are the greatest in Europe.
Abdulaziz Al-Utaib, Saudi Arabia

Escaping from the hype for a moment, let's analyse what actually happened in Barcelona. United where outplayed and outclassed for the entire match and then scrambled two goals to clinch what was, from a neutral perspective, an undeserved victory. It has been a memorable season for United, but they have to go down as one of the most unconvincing sides to ever win the European Cup. Bayern must be kicking themselves because they will surely never play such poor opposition in a major final.
Craig Bloomfield, UK

In the eyes of the adoring press, Man United are the best team ever. For anyone who knows anything about football, this is obviously nonsense. Man United have now equalled Notts Forest in terms of number of European Cup victories. Are Notts Forest the greatest side ever? When English clubs dominated this competition in the late 70s, early 80s, there was NEVER this press hype. Do not forget that Liverpool were in this final 5 times in 9 years and won it 4 times. United cannot be even mentioned in the same breath until they at least equal Liverpool's achievements.
John Donovan, UK

They play the best type of football, entertaining and enterprising. And they never give up! They have won the treble!
David Fuller, UK

Being a Liverpool Fan I can understand the excitement and adrenaline experienced by the United Fans. However, is it still not true that Manchester Fans and teams still bear a certain fear and jealousy to the Liverpool side of the 80s. Their achievements over the last five have certainly been astonishing but they need another five to prove they are the best English side ever never mind Europe. So keep trying!!
Sabbir, England

Was Pele better than Maradona on individual skill? Soccer - it's all about ifs and buts. That's why we all Love it. At present Man Utd are Premier and European champs, and therefore the best in those competitions. But when all the media and Utd followers calm down, let's not forget the achievements of Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern, Milan and our own Liverpool.
Andreas Georgiou, UK

The best team in the world would not win the European Cup by scrambling around in front of goal like a Sunday league team in injury time. It may have been entertaining but it certainly wasn't the best team in the world.
Gillian Harding, UK

It goes without saying the Man U are the best team in England at the moment. However, it is an insult to the Man U Liverpool and Leeds teams of the 60's and 70's to say that this team is better than them. The greatest team in the world EVER would not have needed to wait until the last day of the season to win the UK premiership (unless of course the Premiership now contains a collection of the best team in the world... something which is obviously nonsense). The best team in the world EVER would also not have needed a miracle to win the Euro cup and indeed wait until injury time to do it.
Mike Mcilroy, Great Britain

Greatest media hyped bandwagon supported team ever, definitely. Real football fans are sick to death of the media misreading public opinion yet again and ramming Man Utd down our throats day after day. Give it a rest please.
Richard D. Wise, UK

Heartiest congratulations from Assam in India. In my mind Man Utd is the best club in the world.
Purabi Bora, India

Man U have to be the best team ever. Look what they've achieved. Possibly, with the right goalie they can continue to rule Europe and win the World Club Cup. Ferguson deserves the knighthood.
Matt, UK

They have achieved much but are still a long way from the heights of the Real Madrid of the '50s, Ajax of the '70s or Liverpool of the '80s.
Chris Stanton, England

Congratulations to Man Utd for a tremendous season of success. However, the true mark of their quality will be whether they can keep the trophies rolling in over the next few years. Liverpool won the European Cup three times in five years. If United can produce that kind of form, then we can start talking seriously about them being contenders for best club side ever.
Ian Brown, UK

As a neutral supporter of the game of football, I have been entertained by the premiership/FA Cup and European Championship races, the fact that a British club has won is great, but at the end of the day the entertainment value has been astonishing, Giggs goal in the FA semi, Schmeichal's brilliance. I have enjoyed every minute.... are they the best? Who cares I have just enjoyed watching and that's the point!
Nigel Hysom, UK

Earlier this season I had a recurrence of the feeling I had when United won the European Cup for the first time. Then it was "this team has again what the old Busby Babes team had before the crash". I got the same feeling about mid-season and it stayed right up to the end. A great Manchester United side. Well done Alex and the lads. You are the greatest.
Ray Cookson, Saudi Arabia

Maybe if they win next year, and the year after.
Barnaby, UK

Utd won the treble in a non-convincing way, not like the Liverpool teams in the 80's, a team which dominated Europe, or several seasons.
Geir Misje, Germany

As a Utd supporter I am over the moon that we have won the treble, and we have not had an easy run in either the FA cup or the Champions League. Best side in the world ever? NO, we are not even the best side in Europe in the 90's but we do have the potential to become the best side of the next decade.
Carl Sixsmith, UK

Finally, we can stop looking to Europe for truly great sides. English football is back.
Al Patnaude, USA

I hate to admit it, but the Liverpool sides of the 70s and 80s were a lot slicker than Man U. Remember Dalgluish, Rush etc and compare to Butt, and the erratic Cole.
Steve Bull, UK

No doubt Utd are the best European side, possibly over the last 2-3 years. However the Liverpool sides of the 70s and early 80s were better.
Brian Earp, UK

Wait and see what they do. As a lifelong United supporter I think what they have done is unbelievable, but this is one season in Europe, Real Madrid dominated Eurpoe for many years. Give them some time to see if they are able to keep on winning, not only at home as they have done for the last seven years, but also in Europe, where we have failed five out of the last six years.
Karan Kapoor, UK

I feel it is rather arrogant and chauvanistic to even post such a question. They have won the European Cup and a couple of domestic trophies. The two domestic trophies should really be disregarded in assessing 'the greatest team ever'. They can only claim this when they have consistently beat world teams over the years.
Mark Wilson, UK

Congratulations! Man U. Three minutes is enough to be Euro Champion!!!!!!!!!
Seife Bezabeh, Ethiopia

Man Utd the greatest side ever? Surely it should have been the luckiest side ever? As usual one of the main reasons they are despised comes to the fore. The media adulation. Conveniently all European club football history has been forgotten, Man Utd are the greatest ever (Celtic, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Juventus, anyone?), Ferguson the greatest manager (Bob Paisley, Jock Stein, Fabbio Cappello, no?), and the players are English heroes. What absolute garbage.
They aren't even the greatest English side ever. It's taken Ferguson six years even to get to the final, in what is a much easier competition, and plus this side has only won it once.
Loz Gray, UK

All these people going on about 'lucky' United make me laugh. You don't go 33 matches unbeaten being 'lucky' all the time. As usual we have the jealous collection of Scousers, Gooners and City fans. Look in your trophy cabinets fellas!!
John Gregory, UK

I am really annoyed that people do not think that man u are the best team.... if they weren't then they wouldn't have won the triple.. would they? I think people have to wake up to reality and say that man u are the best team in the world.
Sara jameson, England

Congratulations United you are definitely the best team in England this year and one of the best in Europe. The fantastic resolve shown by the team was highly commendable but to be honest Bayern were the better team on the night and must be feeling like they have had their pocket pinched but cest la vie. United should enjoy their day and a wonderful season. Being a little pedantic re. Richard Levine's point regarding the number of English youngsters being the majority last night I only counted 3 (Neville, Butt and Beckham) in the starting line up. My vote for best club side ever would be Real Madrid (Di Stefano, Puskas vintage).
Jim Binnie, Scotland

Come on! I think everyone's got a bit excited here, they won a few games, they aren't God you know! I'm fed up of EVERYONE thinking United are brilliant, it's just become a fashion to like them. Can you tell I support Man City?
David Scally, UK

Your question is calculated to wind up Scousers and start civil war in England, isn't it !?!
David Morrison, Hong Kong

How can they be considered the best side ever, when you put them up against the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Ajax (when Cruyf & Neeskens were there). To say they are the best side ever is a vast overstatement and lets face it, last night, the better team, on the night lost. By all means congratulations Man U, but keep a degree of sanity and perspective about this somewhat fortuitous victory.
Steve, UK

MAN U are obviously the best team around!!! To be able to win a match from one nil down to two-one is excellent in the last three minutes!! Glory Glory Man United!
Lizzie, Ireland

The Best side ever? You must be kidding. Personally I think they are the luckiest.
Ramadhani K Dau, Tanzania

What seems to have been overlooked is the much harder proposition of winning the old European Cup. You had to play at the highest level for at least 2 seasons in row - MU would not have qualified this year for the EC. Compare MU with Liverpool - there's not much of a comparison. It is a joke to suggest that MU are the best team ever. They may go on to be, but are nowhere near at the moment. MU are the best current team no doubt.
John Swain, UK

Man U were lucky to win yesterday, and they admit it. They are not worthy champions. They were at the end of the day lucky to win the Premier League, too. Though, think they might deserved the FA Cup. All this best ever team is nothing but media hype. Most footy loving people are sick and tired of hearing it!
Øystein Bj_ Lund, Norway

What! Best team ever! You must be joking, more like best commercial team ever. The reason they are so popular is because they are supported by the Murdoch Sky creation. It makes me sick when lower division teams are struggling to pay wages. Chester City are the best team ever 'cos they have been playing most of the season on no pay and still get results. Go see your local team play and see some real football instead of £££££'s running around an advertising ground.
Phil, UK

I think that this question is a joke this is the first time Man Utd have done well in Europe and not been stuffed by the Italians. They need to be more consistent and do this feat year after year like the Liverpool sides of the 70's and 80's and the Real Madrid sides of the 50's.
Chris Thompson, England

The best club side in Europe this year - no doubt. The best club in England this decade - no doubt. The best club side ever? Get a grip!
Punit, UK

I am by the victory. MU deserves to get the trophy and to be the king of clubs.
Gashaw Mengistu, Ethiopia

I would just like to know where the extra 3 minutes came from? Taking nothing away from United though you have to give credit to the players for being mentally alert to be able to have achieved yet another stunning result. They must be totally drained after having to reach such peaks in such a short space of time. They may not be the best side (yet) but they certainly have one of the best and shrewdest managers in Alex Ferguson - a true great.
Alan Reid, UK

The best? Certainly the flukiest after their nail-biting finish last night - good on them!
Nik Stehr, UK

Sorry to be a party poop, but Real Madrid were recognised last year by FIFA as the Best Team in History. And that's official!
Roger Warwick, Spain

The Best?! You must be having a laugh! All comments clearly indicate that United still have to go some to get even close to previous European sides, i.e. Real Madrid, Benfica, AC Milan, Liverpool. These sides proved their worth by dominating the domestic and European competitions year-in and year-out. This is United's first for a very long time in their history, and cannot be considered as anything but a very good treble winning side with lady luck looking over Schmeichel's shoulder!!
Lovedip, UK

They have truly set new standards for soccer clubs all over the world. For English football whether the Arsenal or Leeds supporters or anybody else for that matter like it or not Man U have put England back firmly on the top of world soccer where it belongs. GLORY GLORY MAN U.
Ake Gustafsson, Norway

Man Utd ARE the greatest club side there has been for a long long time. They won the Premiership from stiff opposition in Arsenal & Chelsea, won the FA Cup knocking out Arsenal & Chelsea on the way, and won the Champions League after two excellent performances in Italy. They have not had an easy route to glory and have proved they are the best by beating the best. Yes luck has been involved, you need it when you are successful, and last night was not the best performance we have seen from a United side but they beat a well-drilled and tactically astute Bayern side.
Mark Stone, Great Britain

Well done, United. Red Devil is the champion and some of their player are now the hottest commodities in Europe. But they are far from perfect. They were no better than the Germans in term of tactics and performance last night. They still could not be compared with Juventus in the last few seasons or AC Milan in the early 90's. However, I never saw any team so lucky as United did this season when they faced Chelsea, Arsenal in FA Club and Juventus at Turin. They were very lucky last night as the Germans hit the post and bar last night. We should give Bayern Munich the credit they deserve. They controlled the game last night. Bayern is just as good as United this season. Their performance against Kiev was convincing enough. They're just not as lucky as Man. United. I doubt Man. United will be as lucky as last night when they face Arsenal, Cheasea or Bayern next season.
Felix Lau, Hong Kong

Er, I am missing something here? Should this question even be asked yet? Man Utd won the European Championship this season courtesy of the thickness of the post and the width of the crossbar. They last won the European Cup 30 years ago. Much of this is is media hype. I don't recall this question being asked when Villa won the European Cup. When they have won it two or three times on the trot like Liverpool, Forest, Ajax, Bayern, Real etc then perhaps. But only perhaps and also when referees get brave enough to apply the rules for the award of penalties at Old Trafford. Yes they are a good football team but greatness is measured in other things such as magnanimity and acceptance of other. Greatness does not embrace arrogance and whinging at referees.
Mike Race, England

No way is this Man U side the best side ever. Not even close. Who could make such a claim after witnessing that dodgy performance today for more than three quarters of the game - I shudder at the mere memory of that makeshift midfield. As an example, only two or three (Giggs/Beckham/Schmeical) would have come close to getting in that awesome powerhouse AC Milan side of the early 90s, to say nothing of Real Madrid in the 60s. Man U sure are one of the gustiest sides ever though. No question. All credit to them.
Peter Hughes, New Zealand

Last night's final has to be one of the greatest finals in history! With both teams going at it from the start of the first minute. Man Utd and Bayern were both great teams but Man Utd rightfully edged the victor at the end! Is ManUtd the greatest Club to ever exist? Absolutely! With talent literally oozing of United, there are the greatest team to ever exist!! With this opportunity I would like to wish Peter "madman" Schmeichel a Happy well deserved Retirement.
Penyokong Syaitan, Brunei

Celtic won the 'quadruple' in 1967, all Scotland's domestic trophy's, and then the European Cup for good measure. This was achieved with a gang of lads who cost next to nothing, and came from within a 50 mile radius of Glasgow. Surely this must rank as the greatest of all European footballing achievements?
John Mowbray, UK

If you qualify greatness by the number of cups/titles won, Manchester United still has a long, long way to go. If you qualify greatness by the type of football played, Manchester United still has a long, long way to go. Despite the treble.
Jeroen, Netherlands

Manchester United 1998/1999 the best team ever? In South America they also play football, and if my memory serves me correctly, I believe Santos F.C. from Brazil has conquered the South American cup many times in a row.
Marko Jelicic, Netherlands

It is hard to say whether Man Utd nowadays is the best team in the world, cause you can't compare them with the other teams from past. But one is for sure - they are the best fighters I have ever seen.
Eddy Lotchmel, Latvia

A truly fantastic game-never have have I witnessed such a warped match in a major European final. Both sides were evenly matched in strength, style and (lack of) creativity; maybe the result was predestined to be decided with a bit of help from Lady Luck. BUT: my utter respect and full congratulations to the new Champions of Europe 1999!
Nic, Germany

Although Man Utd play a commendable attacking style of play, and have some excellent players, they do not always dominate other teams, and can be vulnerable in defence. Their record is still also some way behind Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool (and Bayern Munich!), and some of the South American teams of the past. They are good, but not that good. Perhaps we should ask the same question next year, and then the year after that.
Mark Lenczner, Japan

Sheffield United in 1898 were much better - prove me wrong.
Mike, Hong Kong

Congratulation for your outstanding performance .I am proud to be your fan.
Ramesh Gungaram, Mauritius

I don't know whether statistically they are the best ever club side. All I know is that I have never seen such a display of belief and determination. That alone would make me proud, but obviously the win made it.
Rebecca, UK

Manchester United should be crowned as the KINGS OF EUROPE. I love them all, they are exceptionally the best Club ever.
Matt Temar, Vanuatu, South Pacific

I loved the match although I nearly had a heart attack when the timepiece showed 90:00 and MU was behind 0-1...Congratulations MU, you made my day.
Okey Abara, Ukraine

Final Vote


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