At Old Trafford this weekend, there was a moment which revived the good times of Wenger, Fergie and the Premier League’s golden era. Then Jose Mourinho butted in and ruined it.
Though many players of the nineties and noughties were at least as iconic as Beckham, and some more talented, ‘Golden Balls’ broke the corporate mould like no other. Here’s how he ceased to be a footballer and became a brand instead.
He was the Premier League's first genuine superstar, a man who helped to build Alex Ferguson's Manchester United empire. Few had the ability to match King Eric on the pitch.
There was a time, before the modern Premier League era, where some of the most iconic managers in English football were heavily invested in left-wing politics. That said, not all of them lived up to their own ideals.
In November 1994, Manchester United were thumped 4-0 by a team that I had neither heard of nor seen play. Their name was FC Barcelona, and they were truly magnificent.
Seventeen years ago today, in the 1999 Champions League semifinals, Manchester United captain and defensive midfielder Roy Keane inspired his team to a historic second-leg comeback win against Juventus. He did it by being everywhere.
With 13 league titles Alex Ferguson is statistically the greatest manager in the history of English football. His Manchester United reign began 29 years ago this week.
Manchester United's Fergie-era success did strange things to opposition fans, contorting otherwise rational minds into wastelands of jealousy and loathing.
In the age of the continental super-coach, is it time for British bosses to adapt to a new world?