The Danish keeper was a mainstay between the sticks for United for 8 years before moving on to Sporting Lisbon. After 2 years in Portugal he returned to England first at Aston Villa then turning out for Man City.
Schmeichel played at Maine Road for just one season and maintained his record of never being on the losing side in a derby, but despite turning out in both the red and blue he let the BBC know that his flag is firmly planted in the Manchester United’s camp:
“I’m a United fan. I’ll die a United fan.
“I played for City but it was a different City – a newly promoted team. It was a lot about working with Kevin Keegan – I was interested in management.
“It was about getting the family back to an area where we were comfortable but I’m a Manchester United fan.”
As United gear up to take on City on Monday, Schmeichel paid homage to the man that brought him to Old Trafford and hailed the impact he has had:
“Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement this year is one of his greatest.
“No words can praise him enough.
“For someone of his age to keep moving with the times and understanding what makes these players tick is incredible.
“He always looks ahead. Not just the next game but four or five years into the future.
“I walked around Carrington (United’s training ground) with him and we watched the kids train. He said, ‘That fella over there will make his debut in 15 or 16 months’.
“That’s how he plans. But he never says that to the players. He just talks about the next game.”