Revisiting Manchester United's Class of 92
In 2013, British filmmakers Ben and Gabe Turner released the documentary, The Class of '92. The film focused on six players that Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson signed in the early 1990s-players that would continue to define the majority of his tenure with the football club. Manchester United's Class of 92 six players-David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and brothers Gary and Phil Neville would pave the way for United's Golden Age of Premier League domination.
An Impressive Legacy
Even now, after all six of those players (as well as Ferguson) have officially retired from professional football, the class of 92 continues to cast a long shadow of influence and legend. At Manchester United, of course, the influence is obvious. Ryan Giggs played with the Red Devils from 1990 to 2014, making him the most capped United player of all time. (His total appearance count was 963, more than 200 greater than Bobby Charlton's tally of 758.)
Two other class of 92 alums, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, are among United's top-five most capped players. Giggs and Scholes, meanwhile, are among United's top 10 goalscorers, with 168 and 155 career goals, respectively.
Regarding titles and achievements, it's also not difficult to see why the class of 92 is so iconic in the soccer world. By the time David Beckham left the Red Devils in 1993-transferring to Real Madrid for a then-club-record fee of £25 million-the class of 92 had accomplished volumes. The 1992 1993 season kicked off an unprecedented period of dominance for Manchester United, including eight Premier League titles before Beckham's era-ending departure.
In 1999, the Red Devils won their first Champions League since the 1960s, capping off a treble-winning season. That treble victory remains the only one in Manchester United history. More than that, the accomplishment is the only seasonal treble ever won by an English football club. If you need one reason why the class of 92 is so iconic in soccer history, look no further than that game-changing 1998 1999 season.
A Second Era at Salford City
Though the glory days that the class of 92 saw at Manchester United came to a close with the retirement of Alex Ferguson in 2013, fans have seen something of a revival of the class in recent years. In 2014, five of the six members of the class of 92 bought stakes in a lower-tier football club, Salford City. Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and each of the Neville brothers now own 10% of the club, with Singapore businessman and investor Peter Lim owning the other 50%. David Beckham is not a part of the club.
When the class of 92 bought into Salford City, the soccer club was a semi-professional/amateur team playing in the Premier League Division North. The 2014 2015 season-the first under the partial ownership and leadership of the class of '92-saw Salford City winning the
league and earning promotion into the NPL Premier Division. Salford City are currently sitting in the top five in the league, with the obvious goal of climbing one more rung up the promotion ladder at the end of this season.
For those hoping to see Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and the Neville brothers as Premier League executives, such an occurrence is probably disappointingly far off. Ahead of the 2014 2015 season, Giggs said that he wanted to turn Salford City-currently a non-league side-into a Football League Championship team in the next 15 years. In other words, don't expect Salford to approach top-flight territory anytime soon. Giggs is the current assistant manager at Manchester United, though, so he still has ties with his roots.
Salford's accomplishments since the class of 92 bought into the soccer club have been impressive, to say the least. However, for fans of the Manchester United veterans, the greatest moment of the whole narrative came in August 2014, when the class of 92 players faced off against the Salford City squad in a friendly. The game ended 5-1 in favor of Salford, but it was cool to see Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and the Neville brothers on the soccer pitch again-if only for just one game.
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