recruited new stars like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo to spark a new era of success.
The rebuilding paid off with victory in the Carling Cup in 2005/06 and a ninth Premier League trophy in 2006/07. In May 2007, Sir Alex swooped for three players - Anderson, Nani and Owen Hargreaves - to bolster an already strong squad. This evolving team claimed more glory in 2007/08, defending the Premier League title and securing Sir Alex's second Champions League triumph with all three of those signings scoring in the penalty shoot-out against Chelsea.
United followed European success by winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December
2008. The Reds then claimed the Carling Cup in March 2009 by beating Tottenham on penalties in the final.
On 16 May 2009, United achieved what had seemed an impossible mission when Sir Alex arrived in 1986, equalling Liverpool's long-standing record of 18 league championships. Beating Liverpool to the 2008/09 crown – Sir Alex's 11th title in 17 seasons – made the feat even sweeter.
Even better was to follow two years later. After being pipped to the championship by a point by Double winners Chelsea, United had to settle for the Carling Cup as the only trophy of 2010. But the Reds