The Class of ‘92

Who would have known that 11 years ago, six young men would change the footballing world forever. The Class of ’92 tells the story of possibly some of the most iconic footballers of their generation.

The Class of ‘92

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December 2nd, 2013

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Manchester United. Love them or hate them, they are the most successful English club of the Premier League era. That era has been blessed with some of the greatest footballing talents, from Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, to Frank Lampard and Tony Adams. However there are six English players who epitomise this period in football, and have won more silverware than any of the other players I’ve just mentioned.

David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville & Phil Neville.

Say hello to the Class of ’92. The recent documentary tracks their progress, from their time as talented youngsters winning the FA Youth Cup, to their rise into global Superstars and that comeback, winning the Champions League on the biggest stage in European football. It’s certainly an intriguing story, and among the foreign stars of the modern day it’s a pleasure to hear about these six young Englishmen who helped Manchester United secure their place in the annals of footballing history.

It may also surprise a few, but these players, who are arguably some of the most decorated in the history of the game, are also down to earth, real human beings. They’re just six blokes who love football. Need the proof? Director Gabe Turner tells this story of meeting Paul Scholes:

“Paul said, ‘Is this a movie then?’ And we said, ‘Yes’. ‘Not television?’ Paul said. ‘No, Paul’. You could see him thinking. He said, ‘Does that mean there’ll be a premiere?’ We were like, ‘Yes, probably there’ll be a premiere’. He said: ‘Would I have to come to that?’ We said: ‘I’m sure we would want you to come to that. Would you like to?’ ‘No,’ he said. ‘Not massively’.”

Scholes and co. aren’t in this for fame or money. On the contrary, it was the players who came to the Turner brothers and asked for the film to be made, so that they could tell their story. The story was shot in the summer, with the premiere being held on the 1st December. Thankfully, the five others managed to drag Paul Scholes up the red carpet.

All six are still extremely involved in football, and are doing some great work. Ryan Giggs is of course still playing Premier League football for Manchester at the age of 40. The midfielder, who has now adapted to a more central role, has on average won a trophy every 27 games. Nicky Butt is currently coaching the Manchester United under-19’s, helped by Paul Scholes. Phil Neville has returned to United to coach the first team. Gary Neville is of course involved with the England set-up, along with his television work for Sky Sports, and David Beckham continues to spread the good word across the pond, having recently purchased his MLS franchise in Miami.

The thing that pleases me most about this story, is not that it’s about Manchester United, not that it’s about these particular players, and not that it showcases their successes. What pleases me about this documentary is, that despite becoming the first true, global footballing superstars, and changing the social scene of the 90’s, at the end of the day these are six genuine, down to Earth blokes. This might sound gushing, but it is a lesson in level headedness that many young footballers could take note of.

Despite high praise from almost everyone in the footballing world, these players remained on the straight and narrow. Andres Iniesta had this to say: “Rooney is one of the best players in the world and I love watching him play. But if you had to pick out only one, then for their history and for all that they have achieved it would have to be Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs. They are two shining examples for any player.”

So, Nicklas Bendtner, take note.

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