you can see the full list of the players for each nationality, in a special thread in our VIP Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=88968

UNITED Nations by E.S.

Sir Alex has managed nearly 200 first team United players. Some will have feared him, most respected him and occasionally the odd one may have got a cuddle off him! During this time hes shaped the team into a multi-cultural trophy winning force, which is so different to what he inherited

In the 80's, only 7 different nationalities were seen at United. Players from the UK (83%), Ireland, Australia and Denmark. England was by far the most represented nation (59%) with the next highest being Scotland (13%)

Into the 90's, whilst England players still dominated the squad (56%), 10 new nationalities appeared for United, most notably France, Holland and Norway (12% combined). We even saw the first African and North American players, but there was even more diversity to come.

The real change came after the new millennium arrived as United cast its net far and wide to gather together a United Nations of football. 29 different countries were represented from 2000 to 2010. Most prevalent were still the English (Albeit only 41% of first team players) and the home nations were still in the majority (The UK represented just over half of players). Europe contributed 1 in 4 of players (compared to 1 in 20 in the 80s). South America and Asia were represented for the first time - albeit with some mixed success.

In all, players of 33 different nationalities have pulled on the United shirt for Fergie (if you include new boy Hernandez)...and every single one of them had to learn Glaswegian!!!

What the future holds is unclear - its likely to change given the introduction of the home-grown player rule. And if you can work out who qualifies under which rule you are a better man/woman than me. Weve had threads in the Red News forums discussing who qualifies and I still dont get it. Give me a sheet of player and the squad list and I couldnt for certain give you a 25 man squad that makes best use of the new rules.

- Clubs can register a squad of up to 25 players, which must include at least eight 'home-grown' players, at the end of each transfer window.
- Home-grown players do not have to be English; home-grown players are defined as those who "irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday"
- Clubs can supplement squad with unlimited number of players under the age of 21.

Apparently our twins Rafael and Fabio are not classed as home-grown this season, but will be next. Ive also heard Macheda is the same, but he doesnt have to get into the 25 man squad this season due to his age (Under 21). And John O'Shea qualifies as home-grown for the Premier League but not UEFA. Bizarre.

I am comforted to know that Im not the only one struggling. Fergie himself recently said you have to consider what you are doing and understand what a home-grown player means because you cannot afford to make any mistakes."

We can probably trust Fergie to work it out, he seems quite good at this club management business...I just hope he does so before the team gets submitted at the end of August...

The stats show that United always have a home grown nation core to the team, even if we have become more diverse in where our players come from. We also love a young player or two coming through the ranks. So it would seem pretty much business as usual at Old Trafford. Only time will tell...and well get the first indication on the 1st September when United submit their 25 man squad. Another bit of spice added to what looks like an exciting season ahead.

Top 10 nationalities during Fergie's reign
England - 92 players
Scotland - 13
Northern Ireland - 11
Republic of Ireland - 9
France - 9
Wales - 6
Holland - 5
Brazil - 5
Norway - 5
Denmark 4
16 Nationalities had only one player represented

All regions during Fergie's reign
UK - 63%
Europe - 21%
South America - 5%
Republic of Ireland - 5%
Africa - 2%
North America - 2%
Rest of the world - 1%
Asia - 1%
Central America - 1%

You can see the full details in the Red News VIP forum at http://www.rednews.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=88968. Including the full list of nationalities and which players played for each country. Only 10 to join for a year... www.rednews.co.uk