Michael Carrick has a lot to live up to - Manchester United's last seven captains in the Premier League era

Denzil Pinto 18:52 12/07/2017
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Michael Carrick

So it will be Michael Carrick who will be leading Manchester United out this season after being confirmed the new skipper late on Tuesday night.

In doing so, he replaces Wayne Rooney and becomes the 52nd skipper in the club’s history, following in the footsteps of Bobby Charlton, Steve Bruce, Eric Cantona and Roy Keane.

It’s a huge job especially at one of the most prestigious clubs in the world but with 459 caps and five Premier League titles, FA Cup and Champions League just some of the honours under his belt, there’s every chance he can lead the team to more success under his helm.

Here we look at the seven previous captains of Manchester United of the Premier League era.

Wayne Rooney – 2014 to 2017

Overall caps: 559

Position: Striker


Ten years after making the switch from Everton, Rooney was announced as the new captain, replacing Nemanja Vidic.

But despite his potential, he often struggled for consistency and his cause wasn’t helped by shifting to a midfield role.

But he did have silverware to look back on during his reign, winning the 2016 FA Cup and the FA Community Shield as well as the Europa League and League Cup last season.

Nemanja Vidic – 2011 to 2014

Overall caps: 211

Position: Defender

A natural choice to replace former team-mate Gary Neville.

It wasn’t an easy transition for the Serb following his move in 2006, but he gradually found his game that made him one of the solid defenders in the Premier League.

Led the club to a record-breaking 19th league crown as well as the 20th two seasons later.

Gary Neville – 2005-2011

Overall caps – 602

Position – Defender

United through and through, Neville was given the honour at the age of 30, succeeding former team-mate Roy Keane.

Wasn’t in the match squad for the triumphant 2008 Champions League triumph, following lack of match fitness but got his hands on the Premier League and League Cup (twice) and FIFA Club World Cup.

Roy Keane – 1997 to 2005

Overall caps – 480

Position – Midfielder


His performance against Juventus at Turin in the 1999 Champions League semi-final was a clear example of his sheer determination knowing that he would miss the final against Bayern Munich.

Under his captaincy, the club won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, two Community Shields and the UEFA Champions League.

Eric Cantona – 1996 to 1997

Overall caps: 143

Position: Forward

The Frenchman had been a key player since his arrival and was rewarded for his form by being given the armband following Bruce’s departure.

He did help the club win their 11th league crown but the iconic footballer called it a day soon after.

Steve Bruce – 1992-96 (role shared with Bryan Robson until 1994)

Overall Caps – 414

Position – Defender

Bruce and Robson

It was no easy task to take over from Bryan Robson but Bruce managed the transition extremely well.

A rock at centre-half, he also proved he had the scoring touch with 36 goals, leading the side to a second league and FA cup double in 1996.

Bryan Robson – 1982-94 (role shared with Steve Bruce from 1992)

Overall caps: 461

Position: Midfielder

Bryan Robson

Arriving in Manchester for a then-record of £1.5m in 1981, under previous coach Ron Atkinson, it wasn’t long before he was given the honour to skipper the side in 1982.

Nicknamed Captain Marvel, Robson had incredible stamina with a gift of passing and an eye for the goal (scored 99 times for Manchester United). His efforts certainly impressed Sir Alex Ferguson, who labelled the energetic midfielder as a “hero”.

With a talented squad, the club enjoyed much success under Robson, with three FA Cup triumphs,  European Cup Winners’ Cup, two Premier Leagues and two FA Charity Shields.

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