Surely We Can Call Peter Schmeichel World Class!


Sir Alex Ferguson is a hero of mine, I’m a bit biased as we are both proud Glaswegians.

But I think he’s got it wrong when he suggest’s that he’s only managed four world-class players.

In his new book (yes another one) he says that he believes that Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes were those players that he’d class as top notch.

I personally think that’s very harsh, especially on goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel!

Now obviously these assertions are all subjective and Sir Alex will know all his players better than anyone else.

Interestingly enough when you look at those he considers worthy of the tag of being world-class are all attacking, creative talents. Those types of players always get the limelight and plaudits. They are very easy on the eye, memorable and get the goals.

But can a great team evolve without a strong defence or a top quality keeper? I don’t think so.

For me, Manchester United wouldn’t have had the same success under Sir Alex Ferguson throughout the nineties if they didn’t have Schmeichel in between the goalposts.

The tall Danish goalie was a huge presence and he would help rescue many games and points in the favour of his side.

He made the star-jump dive his trademark move. Strikers would crumble during one on one situations with him and he produced superb saves throughout his time at Old Trafford (notably his save against Newcastle United in 1997).

Without his huge penalty save against Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final, United’s hopes of a treble winning season would have been in tatters.

It took Fergie six years to properly replace Peter at United with Edwin van der Sar. 

Ferguson called Peter Schmeichel:

‘Bargain of the century’

Dutchman Van der Sar and current number one David De Gea are/were also terrific keepers of the gloves but they didn’t have the stature of the Great Dane, who was named UEFA goalkeeper of the year on four different occasions.

Obviously Roy Keane could also be considered world-class but I’d imagine his bitter tiff with Ferguson has seen him also left off the list.

The retired gaffer states that at the moment the only truly world-class talent in today’s game is Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

I kind of agree with that. I don’t think they are the only world-class players playing today, I would actually say that they are a level above world-class. They are phenomenal!

But surely we can say players (again goalkeepers) like Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer are world-class.

I feel sorry for the keepers, in footballing history and in the current day, it’s such a tough role in the team and yet they never get the credit that they deserve.

Peter Schmeichel won everything at Man United (Cantona didn’t), won an international title (Cantona, Ronaldo, Scholes and Giggs haven’t) and has to be up there as one of the best goalkeepers of all time.

So for me, I would definitely say that Peter Schmeichel was a world-class footballer!

One Response to “Surely We Can Call Peter Schmeichel World Class!”

  1. Responding merely to your modest title: surely Peter Schmeichel is world class. Methinks that is beyond argument. Sir Alex is human after all

Leave a Reply