Here's One Fact You Probably Didn't Know About Every Member Of The Manchester United Squad

Which player could have had a career in skiing?


You think you know your team inside out... but damn, they do keep some secrets from the rest of us.

We've rounded up some lovely little tidbits about the boys, some of which you may know – but some of which will most definitely be news to you.

1. David De Gea 

When not protecting the Old Trafford net or grumbling about dodgy fax machines, De Gea can be found rocking out to some of your favourite early 2000's heavy metal groups. 

3. Eric Bailly

The Ivorian centre-back, signed this summer from Spanish side Villarreal won't be feeling too lonely during his first Mancunian winter. He grew up in the town of Bingerville in the Ivory Coast, which has a population of just over 91,000 (slightly more than Burnley) and is also the birthplace of City striker Wilfried Bony. 

Friend Gif

4. Phil Jones

The oft-derided Jones retains a soft spot for basketball and has been known to travel Stateside to catch some live NBA action.

He is a fan of Miami Heat and has clearly been paying too much attention to the sport given how often he's guilty of handballs. 

5. Marcos Rojo

Like most of us, the Argentine loves toast. Unlike most of us, he doesn't know how to use a toaster.

6. Paul Pogba

Now the most expensive footballer in the world, Pogba has two lesser-known brothers who are also professional players. 

The twins, Mathias and Florentin, who are two years older than Paul, play for Partick Thistle and St. Étienne respectively. Both represent the Guinean national team.

7. Memphis Depay

The young Dutchman chooses to have his first name 'Memphis' emblazoned on the back of his shirt due to the absence of his father Dennis Depay through much of his childhood.

Also, we imagine, because it's quite possibly the coolest name in the Premier League. 


8. Juan Mata

Arguably the biggest culture vulture in the Premier League, Mata has been known to spend summers backpacking with friends around Central Europe and the Greek Islands. 

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The mercurial Swede is quite the celebrity in his homeland. So much so that in 2014, the Swedish Postal Service issued stamps in his honour which they dubbed 'Zlamps'.

Any excuse for Zlatan to lick himself.

10. Wayne Rooney

The United captain remains one of the most recognisable figures in the world of football but had it not been for a change of heart at the age of 14, the Scouser may have gained fame in the boxing ring.

Rooney was talented at both sports and after falling out of love with football he was talked round by his then youth coach at Everton, Colin Harvey.

Thinking about it, giving up the boxing may have been Rooney's best bet judging by this video evidence of him mucking about with former teammate Phil Bardsley. 

11. Anthony Martial

The most expensive teenager in world football has often been compared with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. With his gangly frame, explosive speed and pinpoint finishing, it's easy to see why.

But did you know the started out at the same Paris-based youth team, Les Ulis?

Wonder what they're feeding them over there.

12. Chris Smalling

The former Maidstone United man sported quite the afro back in the day.



14. Jesse Lingard

The FA Cup hero has been dreaming for a long time about scoring winning goals such as the one he notched against Crystal Palace at Wembley in May. 

Here he is honing his skills as a young United fan in the mid-90s.

A post shared by Jesse 🔱 (@jesselingard) on

15. Adnan Januzaj

The Belgian winger's birthday is February 5, the same day as international football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Carlos Tevez.

Unfortunately for 21-year-old, he has yet to reach the heights of the aforementioned trio. But there's still time...

16. Michael Carrick

When not racing around the Old Trafford midfield, the 35-year-old can be found at the Formula 1 track.

A massive fan of the sport, Carrick has previously told MUTV that he'd love to give it a try one day. 

I wouldn't swap football for anything... except maybe to be an F1 driver. I'd love to have a go. I love the sport, I'm a massive fan. I've done a few track days and enjoyed that, but there's nothing like going to watch F1. I'm hooked on it.

17. Daley Blind

The Dutchman is a big fan of eating 'crips' according to this hilarious bloopers video from 2015.

18. Ashley Young

Since the departure of Patrice Evra in 2014, Young has become the official dressing-room DJ at Old Trafford. 

"Since I've become the dressing room DJ I've tried to listen to a variety of things to try and please everyone with my choices, but my favourite types are hip-hop, RnB, house and reggae." he has said.


19. Marcus Rashford

United's next great hope grew up in Wythenshawe, also home to Simon Gregson who's been playing Steve McDonald in Coronation Street since 1989.

20. Sergio Romero

United's deputy goalkeeper is nicknamed 'Chiquito' which is Spanish for 'tiny'.

But he's 6 foot 3, we hear you say!

That's right, but the nickname derives from Romero's diminutive figure in comparison to his three basketball-playing brothers Oscar (6ft 4ins), Marcos (6ft 5ins) and Diego (6ft 10ins).

21. Ander Herrera

Following in the footsteps of the more famous Diego Maradona and Thierry Henry incidents, the Spaniard was once embroiled in a handball controversy of his own while representing his country at Under-21 level.

During the 2011 Under-21 European Championship, Herrera appeared to punch the ball into the net during a 1-1 draw with England. The goal stood and England went out in the group stage while Herrera went onto score (legitimately) in the final as Spain beat Switzerland 2-0. 

We thought you were one of the good guys, Ander.

22. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Let's just call him Henry Mickey shall we? The Armenian is a speaker of seven languages, namely Armenian, Russian, English, German, Portuguese, French and Italian.

23. Luke Shaw

The 21-year-old may be a Red now but he was very much a Blue growing up.

Shaw comes from a family of Chelsea supporters and was a fan of the Stamford Bridge side himself. His dad has deflected to United since Luke's move north in 2014.

Something in common with Jose then.

24. Timothy Fosu-Mensah

When the Dutch midfielder burst onto the scene late last season, he was still being dropped to training by his dad.

Totes embarrassing.

25. Antonio Valencia

Valencia has been plying his trade in the north-west of England since signing for Wigan Athletic in 2008.

Unlike most foreign imports to the area, he won't have been put off by the wet weather as he is from the town of Nueva Loja in Ecuador which is located on the edge of the Amazon rainforest.

27. Marouane Fellaini

They man with the most notorious elbows in football has a similarly afroed twin named Mansour and they are inseperable.

Look at them there.The scamps. 

28. Morgan Schneiderlin

Schneiderlin hails from the eastern French region of Alsace which is famous for its wine and beer.

Alsatian beer accounts for 56% of the french production and is home to a number of famous breweries such as Kronenbourg and Heineken.

Also from the region is Arsene Wenger. 

31. Bastian Schweinsteiger

Another who could have pursued a career in an alternative sport, Schweinsteiger was a talented skier in his youth. 

His parents owned a ski shop in their hometown of Oberaudouf but in the end Basti chose football citing the heavy equipment and cold weather which is involved in skiing.

At least he'll be used to slippery slopes, with his United career seemingly heading in that direction...

32. Sam Johnstone

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as far as the 23 year old goalkeeper is concerned.

His dad, Glenn, was also a net minder, playing in goals for Lancaster City, Preston North End and Morecambe. 

33. Paddy McNair

The day the Northern Irishman was born, Take That's 'Back For Good' was enjoying its third week at number one at the top of the charts.

What a tune. 

36. Matteo Darmian

The defender impressed in flashes at the early part of last season before fading away towards the end.

He'll be hoping to add some style to his game this term. Shouldn't be too hard considering he's from the Italian town of Legnano which is also home to luxury Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. 

38. Axel Tuanzebe

New to the squad this campaign, the 17-year-old is so un-famous that he hasn't even got a Wikipedia page yet. How about that?

43. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

The man with the classiest name in football was born in 1997 meaning his parents may have had to sacrifice catching such classics as 'Liar Liar', 'Men In Black', 'Jurassic Park: The Lost World' and last but not least 'Titanic' at the cinema. 


44. Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian is from the town of Duffel which is home to the duffel coat, a staple of the Manchester fashion scene since the Gallagher-inspired days of the mid-90s. 

48. Will Keane

Will and his twin brother Michael (now at Burnley) are one of just six pairs of brothers to have donned United's colours for the first team.

The others being Brian and Jimmy Greenhoff, George and Martrin Buchan, Gary and Phil Neville, Adam and Richard Eckersley and Fabio and Rafael Da Silva.

Tyler Blackett

Blackett qualifies to play for England, Jamaica or Barbados at international level.

James Wilson

Another without a squad number, Wilson shares a full name with James Wilson, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. 

And also a last name with Wilson from 90's sitcom 'Home Improvement'. That was a great show, don't you agree?

(What do you MEAN we couldn't find anything better?!)


Written By

James Fenton

Resident football writer, covering City, United and the rest of what the beautiful game brings to our city. I also moonlight in news, current affairs and emmm... burger reviews.