Neville snubs Rooney and Van Nistelrooy when naming favourite Manchester United strike partnership

Gary Neville has overlooked the likes of Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy when naming Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke as the best Manchester United strike partnership that he had the pleasure of playing with.

The Red Devils have boasted a number of fearsome front men on their books down the years, particularly when the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson was establishing an era of domestic dominance at Old Trafford.

Neville operated at the opposite end of the field to many superstar performers, with the former United defender watching on as goals and trophies were delivered by the bucket load.

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The ex-England international has now made his pick when it comes to the very best he lined up alongside, with the 1999 Treble winners getting the nod ahead of some other illustrious names.

Neville told Sky Sports: “Yorke was an unbelievable player.

“He could do all things; he could score, set up play, run in behind, dribble, bring other players into play - he was the all-round centre-forward.

“It transpired that whatever combination of the four strikers we had on the pitch that season they all could play together, they all had good combinations with each other.

“For the treble season alone, Yorke and Cole were the best. They were sensational, the way they played together. They lit up the whole league, they lit up Europe.

“I always remember a game at Barcelona in the Champions League group stages, I'd never seen anything like it. We conceded three goals - I was playing at centre-back - but we scored three and Yorke and Cole were absolutely brilliant.”

Dwight Yorke Manchester United Champions League 1999
Dwight Yorke Manchester United Champions League 1999

Neville also said of Trinidadian forward Yorke, who found the target 66 times in 147 appearances for United: “When Yorke signed in 1998 it was after the start of the season, and it was a surprise in some ways because I came out of nowhere.

“We knew Yorke was a good player from Aston Villa, but you didn't think he would be the one to come into United. I don't think anybody realised how good a player he was - I never realised how good he was, I knew he was a good player but not to the level he surprised us by when he came into the team.

“Yorke and Cole didn't hit it off from the start, it took 10 to 15 games from memory. Leicester away sticks in my mind, something just happened that day and after that they started socialising together, getting on off the pitch and a respect between each other developed.

“The thing about that partnership is that neither minded who scored, something you wouldn't have seen with partnerships involving Ruud van Nistelrooy and Michael Owen, who had to score to be happy.”

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