13/01/2010 09:00,
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Overseas stars: Keepers

Ten foreign stoppers have learnt the phrase "in't nets" at OT – here are our picks...

Nationality Danish
Miles from M16? Born in Gladsaxe, Copenhagen, 613 miles from Manchester
Signed August 1991, from Brondby for £550,000
Service Eight seasons (1991-1999); 398 games, one goal
Backstory After doing menial jobs in textile and flooring factories, Schmeichel was spotted by Hvidore in 1984. The six-foot-four stopper immediately impressed, gaining a move to Brondby, where he won the Danish league, and soon became his country’s number one. His European and international displays caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was looking for competition for Jim Leighton and Les Sealey, and he inked a deal in summer 1991. There was, it soon emerged, no competition: Schmeichel made the United shirt his own in a way no Old Trafford keeper has before or since.
Impact Mighty. Schmeichel was integral to United’s transformation from nearly-men to the finest team in Europe: 22 shut-outs in the 1992-93 season helped the Reds to their first title in 26 years. He still holds the greatest clean-sheets-to-games ratio in the Premiership: 42% of his starts ended without United conceding. Schmeichel had it all. A brilliant shot-blocker, he could make himself look enormous in one-on-one situations (his XXXL shirts were specially tailored). He had impeccable positioning and always commanded his box – and his defenders. The great Dane also started attacks

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Marking 30 years since our first foreign signing - Nikola Jovanovic - we picked an all-time overseas XI.


Premier League