A club with a rich history like Manchester United has more legendary former players than most.
That’s why to be truly regarded as a United great, off pitch actions have to back up performances on it.
These United players failed to get it right and instead find their legacies tainted through their own choices…
Paul Ince was a key part of Manchester United’s success in the early 90s.
He played an important role in back to back title wins in ’93 and ’94 and helped us lift the double the same year.
Ince was a popular part of the squad and particularly friendly with Ryan Giggs, before Sir Alex Ferguson decided to cash in and bring through Paul Scholes.
The decision was a gamble at the time yet totally justified with hindsight.
Ince went onto wreck his standing with United fans by joining Liverpool.
His celebration after holding United to a draw sealed the deal, Ince had not behaved like a player who still held the club close to his heart.
Sir Alex Ferguson mocked him too, referring to him as a ‘big time Charlie’, in reference to his ego.
Ince’s footballing achievements at a historic time should override what he did next, but it’s not that easy. As a United player, there’s one thing you don’t do, and that’s join them.
Carlos Tevez did the hard part. He went and won the Champions League for Manchester United.
And then he went and not just ruined his legacy, but trampled all over it.
After winning the Champions League and Premier League double in 2008, Tevez had it all.
But he felt shunted out by United signing Dimitar Berbatov months later and United backed off signing him permanently.
He signed for City and became a thorn in our side throughout his time at the club.
When they won the title in 2012 his celebrations with a RIP Fergie sign were in awful taste and saw any remaining goodwill towards him evaporate.
Time is a healer, and we can look back on his part in a strikeforce with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo and recognise it for being one of the best United has ever seen.
Just don’t call Tevez a United legend, because to be blunt, he waived that right.
Another Argentine, Gabriel Heinze became a cult hero at Old Trafford in the early 2000s, with chants of ‘Ar-gen-tina’ heard around the stadium.
His no nonsense style made him a hit with fans and his performance to help end Arsenal’s unbeaten run in 2004 is fondly remembered.
The left-back should be remembered happily, but he ruined that by trying to force a move to Liverpool.
He didn’t get it, with United blocking the switch, and he told The Guardian years later that he regretted his impulsiveness.
It was too late, his actions had already muddied his achievements and even today he is rarely mentioned.
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