The Red Devils – a football league apart

For those who are not in sync with the soccer world, RED DEVILS is the epithet used for one of Europe’s premier football clubs- MANCHESTER UNITED (based in England). To many of the club’s fanatic supporters including yours truly, the name “MANCHESTER UNITED” in it self evokes a sense of frenzied hysteria and awe. And befittingly, the aura and hype surrounding this massive club is just the culmination of its stupendous feats on the playing field.

Though every football club has its time under the Sun, only a handful clubs are able to sustain their presence (for extended sessions) in such limelight. Manchester United falls in the revered latter category. Their seemingly endless array of achievements bears an ample testimony to the above stated fact. Winning the English Premier League, arguably the toughest league in the world of Club Football an unprecedented 9 times is by no means an ordinary achievement. Add to that an endless list of FA (Football Association of England) cups, League cups and UEFA trophies (Union of European Football Association), and what one gets is a mind boggling number of silverwares won by the club.

It’s true that there are football clubs which are professed to be more decorated than ManU, but ManU’s achievements assume colossal proportions when one takes into account that this is the club with the biggest and most widespread fan base in the whole world. The reason behind such ardent devotion is down to the much acclaimed and loved “UNITED WAY” of playing. To win a match is one thing and to win hearts is another. ManU’s attacking, aggressive and free flowing football is the stuff that footballing dreams are made of. Not surprisingly, ManU’s home stadium is better known as the “Theater of Dreams” in Old Trafford, England.

For obvious reasons, some of the game’s best known names have plied their trade for ManU. This rather long and illustrious list includes the likes of Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Charlton and more recently the manager par excellence Sir Alex Ferguson. The admirable fact being the ease with which the baton is passed on from the revered alumni to the young Turks of today. Today ManU is blessed with some of the world’s best talents in the form of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The “Beautiful Game” initiated by their illustrious alumni has been in good hands with the present crop of players. Unlike other big clubs, ManU has a rich pedigree of homegrown talents. The best among such talents being David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers. ManU’s recent successes have had mighty imprints of these homegrown prodigies (with the notable exception of David Beckham, who’s now plying his trade in the United States).

To give the readers an insight into the “United way of playing”, one match stands out from the last season. It was the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, second leg against a formidable Italian side ‘A S Roma’, which had only a week back beaten ManU in their own backyard. The stage couldn’t have got any bigger. THE RESULT: 7-1 in favor of a rampant United side which scored goals at will. A performance of this stature, with their backs to the wall against a top Italian side stamped ManU’s class and authority on the football world. In his trademark candor, the revered ManU manager Sir Alex Ferguson remarked “we like to make things harder for ourselves!”

To conclude, it would be stating the obvious if yours truly tries to coax you guys to join the Manchester United wagon wheel and romance the club like millions do. Trust me, it’s an unsurpassed addiction. So, come on all you wannabe RED DEVILS and be a part of THE THEATER OF DREAMS!

Abhinav Khanka

Delhi, India