Who are the 12 Man Utd players to have won the World Cup?

There are just 12 players to have won the World Cup and played for Manchester United.

I’m sure you’re just as surprised as me!

This span only seven different World Cup’s but with a 56-year gap between the first and last.

Of the 12, only five of them actively played for United when they won the trophy.

Here’s everything you need to know about United’s World Cup winners.

1966 – England

bobby charlton playing for england in 1969 taking a shot
Eric Koch for Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

United had three representatives of England’s famous 1966 winning side.

These were, Sir Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles and John Connelly.

All three players actively played at United in 1966 when they won the World Cup.

1.Sir Bobby Charlton

The late Sir Bobby Charlton was truly special.

Making his United debut at just 18, Charlton epitomised everything which is Manchester United football club.

From his quality on the field, to his class off it.

Amazingly, Charlton only received two yellow cards in his whole career.

He was part of the fabled ‘Busby Babes’ winning the European cup in 1968, just 10 years on from the Munich Air Disaster.

Versatility was another of Charlton’s strongpoints as he could play attacking midfield, off the left and as a striker.

Charlton won the Ballon d’Or in the World Cup winning year of 1966.

He accumulated 233 goals for ‘The Red Devils’ and 49 for England.

Before Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane surpassed his tally, Charlton held the England top goal scorer record for decades.

He later went onto become a board member at United, overseeing the success of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Charlton passed away on the 21st October 2023.

2.Nobby Stiles

The second representative of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side was the Manchester born Nobby Stiles.

Stiles was a United fan as a boy and was lucky enough to be given a trial after impressing for the England schoolboys, at just 15 years of age.

He was a defensive midfielder, breaking up possession frequently.

Cutting an unusual figure, Stiles was short, with several teeth missing, balding at a young age.

This didn’t affect him on the pitch however, as Stiles played for United’s senior team for 11 years.

His emergence came at a difficult time following the Munich Air Disaster, but Stiles won two league titles at United, an FA Cup and a European Cup.

Stiles is renowned for his performance in the 1966 World Cup Semi-Finals against Portugal, where he neutralised the world class threat of Eusebio.

Stiles passed away on the 30th October 2020.

3. John Connelly

The third and final English victor.

John Connelly was a winger, predominantly off the right, who had an eye for goal.

He joined United in 1964 lasting two seasons before being transferred to relegated Blackburn Rovers.

Connelly featured 103 times for United scoring 35 goals.

He played in England’s opening game of their 1966 campaign, in a 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

Connelly didn’t play again in the tournament however, nor did he ever play for England again in any competition.

Connelly passed away on 25th October 2012.

1998 – France

laurent blanc
Football.ua, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

22 years later and United would have two future World Cup winners.

Fabien Barthez and Laurent Blanc.

Neither won this while at United though, with both joining a few years after the tournament.

4. Fabien Barthez

A goalkeeper who can only be described as ahead of his time.

Barthez was the Ederson of his generation, always looking to play out of the back in a high-risk manner.

The Frenchman joined United in 2000, lasting three and a half years before being loaned out to Marseille and subsequently sold to the French side on a free transfer six months later.

Barthez made 139 appearances for United, keeping 50 clean sheets.

He holds the record with Peter Shilton for most clean sheets at World Cup’s with ten.

Barthez won the Yashin award for best goalkeeper at the tournament, after conceding just two goals in seven games.

His time at United will be remembered as chaotic, with the Frenchman’s eccentricity leading to many mistakes.

But his ability, particularly outside of playing for United, won’t be forgotten.

5. Laurent Blanc

One of those players you just wished you could’ve signed five years earlier.

Laurent Blanc was a world class defender, but joined United at the very end of his career, retiring just after leaving Manchester.

Formally playing for teams like Barcelona, Inter, Marseille and Napoli, Blanc wasn’t new to the highest level.

He left Inter in 2001 to sign for United on a free contract.

In his two seasons at the club, he made 75 appearances.

The six-foot four giant had a successful international career making 97 appearances for France, winning the 2000 European Championships and scoring an impressive 16 goals for his national side as a centre back.

Brazil – 2002

Alex Carvalho, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

United only had one winner from this World Cup.

A South American wonderkid called Kleberson.

But he also wasn’t at the club when he won the prestigious trophy.

6. Kleberson

A player who will go down as a huge disappointment.

Kleberson was massively anticipated upon his arrival to the club, having starred in Brazil’s World Cup winning run.

He was so highly admired that Sir Alex Ferguson sold a key player because he knew Kleberson was signing for the club.

Ferguson said: “One of the reasons we sold Seba Veron was because we knew we were getting Kleberson – that shows how highly we regard his talent.”

This expectation quickly withered away, with Kleberson making just 30 appearances before being sold to Benfica.

Spain – 2010

Juan Mata

Two representatives of United were in Spain’s famous World Cup winning squad.

Gerard Pique and Juan Mata.

Once again, neither were at the club in 2010.

7. Gerard Pique

Formally of Barcelona’s academy, Pique was snapped up by United in 2004.

He was sent on loan to Real Zaragoza in 2006 to help with his development.

Pique returned the following season but made just nine Premier League appearances.

He did score two goals in just three Champions League games though.

Pique was then brought back to Catalonia in 2008.

For the following 15 years before his retirement, the Spaniard’s success was unlimitless, winning three Champions League’s and nine Spanish titles to note.

This as well as winning the 2012 European Championships.

8. Juan Mata

One of the most likeable personalities in football.

Juan Mata signed for United in January 2014, as one of David Moyes’ first signings.

Mata joined United with a huge reputation having starred for Chelsea.

The Spaniard’s best position was as a central attacking midfielder, but at United, he was often forced out onto the wing.

This hindered Mata’s time at the club, as he was never in his natural position.

He played 285 games for United, scoring 51 goals and assisting 43.

Like Pique, Mata also won the European Championships with Spain.

2014 – Germany

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Famously, Schweinsteiger became the first German to represent United.

Subsequently, he was the only player in that 2014 World Cup winning squad to play for the club, but when he won it, Schweinsteiger was at Bayern Munich.

An honourable mention must go to Ron-Robert Zieler, the backup goalkeeper to Manuel Neuer in 2014.

He was in United’s reserves in 2005, but never made an official first team appearance.

9. Bastian Schweinsteiger

A loyal servant to Bayern Munich who moved to Manchester in search for a new challenge.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was as good as how difficult his name is to spell.

He joined United under Louis van Gaal’s tenure but was sadly plagued by injuries.

Schweinsteiger lasted only two seasons at the club, making just 35 appearances.

In his final year, Jose Mourinho became the United manager following Van Gaal’s sacking.

The Portuguese coach effectively forced the German international out the door, by banishing him to train with the U16’s.

This according to Schweinsteiger was with no warning.

Remarkably, the German still holds a special place in his heart for United, becoming a big supporter since his departure.

For Germany’s 2014 success, Schweinsteiger was integral.

He played 109 minutes in their Round of 16 victory against Algeria and the full 90 minutes in their Quarter Final win against France.

In the following Semi-Final, he played the whole match in Germany’s 7-1 thrashing over the hosts Brazil, before lasting the full 120 minutes in their 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final.

2018 – France


This World Cup saw Paul Pogba and current United player Raphael Varane, lift the famous trophy.

Pogba was playing for United when he won it but Varane was three years away from joining the ‘Red Devils’.

10.Paul Pogba

A career which could’ve been so much more.

Paul Pogba was brought to United for a world record £89m with huge expectations.

He arrived in Manchester as one of the most talented upcoming players in the world.

He was 23 producing passes and goals that the footballing greats of the game would be proud of.


His time at the club is epitomised as a what if?

The Frenchman never lived up-to the huge expectations.

He had moments of sheer brilliance, but these were neutralised by too many lacklustre performances, which was not expected of the world’s most expensive player.

Pogba made 233 appearances for United, scoring 39 goals and assisting 48.

For France however, the player they saw was completely different.

Paired with the workhorse Ngolo Kante, Pogba was given free license to express himself and that he did.

He was always a standout and was integral to France’s victory in 2018, so much so that he scored a great goal in the final.

11.Raphael Varane

An elite centre half with phenomenal box to box defending.

Raphael Varane joined United having been at Real Madrid for 10 years.

Ferguson had famously tried signing the Frenchman when he was just 18, but Zinedine Zidane persuaded Varane to move to Madrid.

The world class centre back finally joined United in 2021, a decade later.

Since then, Varane has made 95 appearances for the club, with his last coming in United’s 2-1 FA Cup Final victory over Manchester City.

Varane showed his class in the final, bowing out in fine fashion having announced his decision to leave the club just days before.

The experienced defender played 90 minutes in every game of Frances World Cup winning campaign, even captaining the side in their group stage victory over Denmark.

Argentina – 2022

martinez and eriksen playing for man united showing backs of shirt names and numbers
Ardfern, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

France vs Argentina.

A final where either Varane won his second World Cup or Lisandro Martinez won his first.

It was the latter.

12.Lisandro Martinez

A centre back standing at just 5’9 tall in 2024, surely not…

But Lisandro Martinez defies all critics.

His ferocious warrior like mentality, gives him the edge over the opposition, despite his height.

Martinez joined United in 2022, for a deal worth up-to £57m.

There were huge doubts about the Argentine, but he’s proved everybody wrong.

He’s made 59 appearances for United in his two seasons at the club.

For Argentina, Martinez didn’t play every game in the World Cup, but still had a huge part to play featuring in five of the seven matches.