Since the European Cup rebranded to become the UEFA Champions League for the 1992/93 season, each of the 28 winning squads have had numerous players from countries of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). South America’s football association, the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have also had many of their players be a part of multiple triumphant Champions League sides.
Following Manchester United’s first nine South American signings that were bought between 2000 and 2010, the club then purchased 11 more between 2011 and 2020. Those 11 purchases during the 2010s cost the club approximately £158.3 million in transfer fees, plus millions more in yearly wages. Over the last 10 years, inflation has greatly impacted the price of football transfers. Wealthy clubs began flexing their financial muscles more than ever in order to acquire various top-quality and in-demand players, which in turn has resulted in continuously increasing transfer fees.
Over the years, an array of foreign talents have played for Manchester United, with some having become a part of the club’s folklore. The likes of Eric Cantona, Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Cristiano Ronaldo are prime examples of non-British icons who contributed to United’s success in numerous ways. The club’s board have invested a great deal in foreign recruitment, but there has yet to be a South American player to genuinely captivate the Old Trafford faithful.