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Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Ferguson's half-century - big-name signings

Though Manchester United won the league again in 2003, the team that had claimed seven Premier League titles in nine years struggled for silverware in the early 2000s.

But Ferguson splashed the cash on top players like Rio Ferdinand (left), who signed from Leeds for 30m in 2002, and Wayne Rooney signed from Everton two years later.

Ferguson also invested in a young Portuguese winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, with a view to the future.

Not every gamble paid off - expensive signings like Diego Forlan and Juan Sebastian Veron failed to sparkle.

see also
Rooney likened to Cantona
05 Sep 04 |  Man Utd
Ferguson happy for Veron to go
06 Aug 03 |  Man Utd
Man Utd seal Rio deal
22 Jul 02 |  Man Utd

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