Draft Teams Season Simulation Season Recap Poll: Best of the Best

Ultimate Basketball Draft

Imagine you and nine rival managers/sporting directors are putting together soccer teams from scratch. Every current or former player is available to draft, each in the prime of his career.

How would you construct a 16-man squad? Would Pele be the surefire No. 1 player on your draft board? If you had a full list of forwards from which to choose, how would you decide among Pele, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Johan Cruyff and Alfredo di Stefano? Where would you slot Franz Beckenbauer and Franco Baresi? Zico and Michel Platini? How would you balance stars and role players, or pioneers versus today's greats?

These were just some of the questions facing the 10 writers -- Jen Chang, Steve Davis, Raphael Honigstein, Ben Lyttleton, Iain MacIntosh, Gabriele Marcotti, Rob Smyth, Georgina Turner, Grant Wahl and Jonathan Wilson -- who participated in SI.com's Ultimate Soccer Draft.

Below you can see the pick-by-pick results of the draft. You can view a complete analysis of each team by clicking on the writers' pictures or on "TEAMS" above. Disagree with the picks? Weigh in with your thoughts on the draft's hottest debates.

Who drafted the best team? For one answer to that question, SI.com asked Sports Interactive, creators of the best-selling Football Manager simulation, to design a realistic representation of what might occur if these 160 players all played at the same time in this 10-team league. We present the standings, league leaders and player-by-player stats from the balanced, 18-game regular season. (A recap of the season is chronicled here.)

Each former player’s best season and overall career performance was used as the foundation for creating his data ratings for the simulation, with current players assigned their default ratings in the latest version of FM2012. A group of writers convened (Wilson, Marcotti, Lyttleton, Chang and Honigstein) to reach a consensus rating for each of the former players and assign the values for their individual attributes.

Players are geared toward a starting lineup based on the writers' preferences, but playing time and number of starts are handled by the automated computer coach in the simulation, with each writer assigned a well-known current manager as his assistant. Injuries come into play like in real life, as does the possibility that some players will have off years or exceed their usual productivity.

Now, on to the draft ...

ROUND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DRAFT
1Raphael HonigsteinFLionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year; 205 goals and 83 assists 310 games.

Honigstein: Do I need to explain why? The jury might still be out whether he's the best player ever -- but has there ever been a better "best" player when it comes to attitude, unselfishness and work rate?
2Ben LyttletonM/FDiego Maradona

Diego Maradona

1986 World Cup winner; 91 caps and 34 goals for Argentina

Lyttleton: The iconic forward single-handedly (literally) inspired Argentina to the 1986 World Cup, and was successful in both Spain and Italy, winning trophies with Barcelona and Napoli. Controversial and outrageous, but also utterly brilliant, Diego remains THE best player ever, and has to be my first pick. Goals are not going to be a problem in this side. Christmas parties might be.
3Jonathan WilsonM/FJohan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

Three-time Ballon d'Or winner; voted the European Player Of The Century

Wilson: Cruyff remains the most intelligent footballer there has ever been, a player who regarded the game as much as an intellectual as a physical pursuit. My side will be about hard pressing and intermovement, and that requires, to use the imagery of Anatoliy Zelentsov, Valeriy Lobanvskyi's great collaborator, a queen bee to direct the hive.
4Grant WahlFPele


All-time leading scorer; 1281 goals in 1363 games; 3-time WC winner

Wahl: Can someone tell me how the Greatest of All Time slipped to No. 4? He may be a corporate shill now, but Pelé was the most ruthless scorer of all time and a force of nature who won everywhere he played.
5Gabriele MarcottiDFranz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

World Cup winner in 1974; 2-time European Footballer of the Year

Marcotti: I'll let you guys run around getting excited over attacking players. Attacking players are a dime a dozen, true leaders who can defend, win World Cups and Euros (and play a World Cup semi with a broken arm) and do it all with a winning smile are far more rare. Der Kaiser is the bedrock upon which my team is built.
6Iain MacintoshGKLev Yashin

Lev Yashin

78 appearances for the Soviet Union; voted the best GK of 20th century by IFFHS

MacIntosh: I'm singing from the same hymn sheet as Gab, but I'm going even further back. You can't win anything without a good goalie and I've got dibs on the best of all time. Lev Yashin was brave, agile and utterly indomitable. He's the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d'Or and when my defenders glance over their shoulder, they'll know that the Black Spider has got their backs.
7Jen ChangM/FMichel Platini

Michel Platini

Three-time Ballon d'Or winner; 41 goals in 72 games for France; Euro '84 winner

Chang: Forget the image you have today of Platini as UEFA's crusty head honcho railing against the perils of big-spending teams. In his day, Platini was a classic No. 10, a creative artist with sublime skill and the ability to take over any game. Passing, finishing, set-piece genius and a proven capacity to single-handedly carry his teams to titles, Platini had it all, the greatest Frenchman ever. Sorry, Zizou.
8Georgina TurnerDBobby Moore

Bobby Moore

108 caps for England; captain of 1966 World Cup winners; 708 club appearances

Turner: The man who lifted the 1966 World Cup for England is my first pick and my captain. Patriotic? Maybe, but there's no shame in that: Pele reckoned Moore was the best defender he'd ever played against, and Jairzinho would probably agree. Moore's anticipation was brilliant, he could play the ball out and he was a ruddy good leader.
9Steve DavisMZinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane

1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 winner; 3-time FIFA World Player Of The Year

Davis: I'm shocked the magician who made those fabulous France sides so special is still available here. I like Bobby Moore and Lev Yashin as selections, but as they say in the draft business here, "I think they might have been available later." Not so with Zizou. Workers and role players will be available going through the rounds -- but the truly special artists like Zidane, who always seemed to be playing a different game, simply must be grabbed up early.
10Rob SmythFFerenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskas

84 goals in 85 games for Hungary; 4 Pichichis with Real; 616 goals in 620 appearances

Smyth: That most endearing of species: the fat genius. Puskas is a fantasy fusion of No. 9 and No. 10, a complete attacker who created hundreds of goals and scored 616 in 620 games for club and country. And if things get nasty, you know he won't hesitate to bottle someone.
11Rob SmythFGerd Muller

Gerd Muller

398 league goals in 453 games for Bayern Munich; 62 caps, 68 goals for West Germany

Smyth: The greatest goal scorer of them all, with an eerie, supernatural sense of where to run, when to run and especially how to get the ball over the line -- however unorthodox or ugly the method. His holdup play -- using the eyes in the back of his head to see defenders coming and that big backside to hold them off -- and ability to link with midfield runners is strangely underrated.
12Steve DavisFMarco van Basten

Marco van Basten

3-time European Footballer Of The Year; Euro '88 winner; 58 caps for Holland

Davis: When it comes to complete skill sets, Marco van Basten must be up there with Cruyff and Pele. To choose between the elegant Dutchman and Ronaldo (a very different but great player) was difficult. Van Basten couldn't match Ronaldo's athleticism or pace, but the technique, intelligence, instinct, accuracy and versatility made him sheer genius.
13Georgina TurnerMNandor Hidegkuti

Nandor Hidegkuti

1952 Olympic champion; 39 goals in 69 games for Hungary; 265 goals in 381 appearances

Turner: When Hungary came to Wembley in 1953 and gave English soccer a hefty slap around the chops, it was Hidegkuti in the withdrawn forward/attacking midfield role that did most of the damage. Defenders these days probably wouldn't be as flummoxed by him as Harry Johnston was, but Hidegkuti's vision and skill would buy him space from which to orchestrate my attack.
14Jen ChangDFranco Baresi

Franco Baresi

Played in 719 games for AC Milan, 3 European Cups and 6 Serie A titles

Chang: With a plethora of offensive talent still available, I decided to opt instead for one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game, Milan's defensive linchpin Baresi, who has few peers when it comes to his ability to read the game.
15Iain MacintoshDPaolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini

126 caps for Italy; played in 4 World Cups; 647 appearances for AC Milan

MacIntosh: Georgina's decision to snap up Bobby Moore has made my life easier because I needed a captain and I was torn between him and Paolo Maldini. A masterful defender capable of playing anywhere across the back line, I'll plonk the AC Milan legend in the center of my defense where his composure will radiate throughout the team.
16Gabriele MarcottiFAlfredo di Stefano

Alfredo di Stefano

526 league goals in 660 games; 2-time Ballon d'Or winner; 31 caps for Spain

Marcotti: Shocked but grateful that La Saeta Rubia is still on the board -- this one is a no-brainer. One of the (very) few things Pele and Maradona agree on is that Di Stefano was the most complete player ever. That tells you all you need to know.
17Grant WahlMXavi


103 caps for Spain, Euro 2008, 2010 WC winner; 3 Champions League titles

Wahl: History will rank this consummate playmaker even higher than many of his contemporaries do now. Xavi is the perfect hub for my 4-3-3 attack, surgically carving up defenses with his passing. Pelé will love him.
18Jonathan WilsonMZico


52 goals in 72 games for Brazil, 2-time South American Footballer of the Year

Wilson: A creator, a goal scorer, a thinker and the taker of some of the greatest free kicks the world has seen, Zico's the perfect man to drift in form the left side of my mobile front three. And, famed for being first on the training pitch at Flamengo and last off it, he has the work ethic to press like a demon as well.
19Ben LyttletonFRonaldo


Most goals scored in World Cup history; 62 goals for Brazil in 98 games

Lyttleton: The Brazilian one, of course, a striker who in the mid-1990s was untouchable: powerful, fast and hugely prolific in front of goal. If only he had stayed longer than his one season at Barcelona (1996-97, 47 goals in 49 matches), he might have won even more titles. As it is, the Champions League, surprisingly, is the only gap on his CV . A partnership with Maradona in attack would be dynamite to watch and nothing short of terrifying for opposition.
20Raphael HonigsteinFKarl Heinz Rummenigge

Karl Heinz Rummenigge

Twice European Footballer of the Year; 230 league goals in 424 games

Honigstein: Rummenigge was not far off Maradona in the early 80s. At his best, he was a quicker version of Van Basten, effortlessly going past three or for defenders. Very good from free kicks, too. His true genius was never quite appreciated because he played two World Cups while heavily injured. Rummenigge started his career as a wide forward, coming from deep, and that's where he'll initially line up for me.
21Raphael HonigsteinM/FCristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Most expensive player in soccer history; 1st Real player to score 50 goals in a season

Honigstein: Take away the hype, the hair gel, the "modesty" and you'll still get the world's current second-best footballer, without many equals in the modern game. Ronaldo scores for fun, can play anywhere across attack and kill opponents with his pace. A show pony, yes -- but also a thoroughbred.
22Ben LyttletonDRoberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos

584 games for Real Madrid; 4 league titles; 3 Champions League titles

Lyttleton: Given that my SI.com colleague Jonathan Wilson argues that fullback is a team's most important attacking position, I'm surprised no-one has snapped up the Brazilian World Cup winner. Extremely fast, with a dynamite shot (just ask Fabien Barthez) and a dangerous long throw, for a period in the late 1990s-early 2000s, he defied belief. Four league titles with Real Madrid don't tell the whole story: a look at today's fullbacks shows how he redefined the position.
23Jonathan WilsonDLillian Thuram

Lillian Thuram

1998 World Cup winner; Euro 2000 champion; 142 caps for France

Wilson: As Jack Charlton noted after the 1994 World Cup, fullback is tactically the most important position on the field: to add width, I need one who will attack, one who is more balanced and shuffle over at times to become almost an auxiliary center back. Good right backs historically are thinner on the ground than left backs, so I'm delighted to pick up Thuram. A supremely intelligent footballer, he is physically tough and can get up and down the flank to overlap, but more importantly he is the perfect judge of a game, somebody who will make his runs only when necessary and will offer defensive balance to the left back I hope to bring in.
24Grant WahlFRonaldinho


FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004, 2005; 2002 WC Winner; 91 caps for Brazil

Wahl: Keep in mind, I'm drafting 'Dinho at the height of his powers, 2005-06, when he was the best player on the planet and terrified defenses with his whooshing runs in from the flanks.
25Gabriele MarcottiFEusebio


Benfica's all-time leading scorer; 638 goals in 614 games; 64 caps, 41 goals for Portugal

Marcotti: I feel lucky that one of the top 10 players of all time drops down to number 25. Won two European Cups with Benfica, would probably have won the 1966 World Cup if the powers that be had not conspired against Portugal. Devastating mobile, creative striker, one of the best finishers and goalscorers in the history of the game (but was much more than that).
26Iain MacintoshFJohn Charles

John Charles

Voted greatest foreign player ever in Serie A; 3 Serie A titles; 93 goals in 150 games for Juventus

MacIntosh: I'm playing a 4-3-3 and I need a central striker big enough to win the ball, strong enough to hold it up, elegant enough to find space, clever enough to know what to do and a few goals certainly wouldn't go amiss. I need John Charles. If Il Gigante Buono was playing now, you wouldn't be able to put a price on him. He rattled in two goals every three games for Juventus, he was world class up front and at the back, and he was a bloody nice chap as well.
27Jen ChangMGeorge Best

George Best

European Footballer of the Year 1968; 179 goals in 470 games for Man United

Chang: Maybe he didn't have as many peak seasons as other legends of the game (his fondness for the high life had more than a little to do with that) but at his best, an impish genius on the wing whose trickery could tear apart any defense. Probably not the guy you want organizing the Christmas party for the squad though.
28Georgina TurnerMGarrincha


World Cup winner 1958, 1962; FIFA World Player Of The Year 1962

Turner: A player capable of reducing the crowd and his opponents to open-mouthed wonderment -- a showboater, without question, but Garrincha could weave a way through any number of defenders sent to contain him, go down the right touchline or cut inside, and had a beast of a shot in him. According to Pele, Brazil couldn't have won the 1958 and 1962 World Cups without him.
29Steve DavisDCarlos Alberto

Carlos Alberto

1970 World Cup winner; voted to World Team Of The 20th Century; 53 caps for Brazil

Davis: One of the best right backs of all time? A leader who captained that fabulous 1970 Brazilian World Cup winner? Scored "that" goal against Italy along the way? A versatile performer who later played sweeper? Yeah, I'll take that guy.
30Rob SmythDMObdulio Varela

Obdulio Varela

World Cup winner 1950; 45 caps for Uruguay; 6 league titles

Smyth: Soccer's greatest captain. Varela had the will of Keyser Soze, and inspired Uruguay to its outrageous heist at the 1950 World Cup. He was an extraordinary all-purpose defender. There was nothing he couldn't do, and nothing he couldn't inspire his men to do.
31Rob SmythMLothar Matthaus

Lothar Matthaus

Played in 5 World Cups; 150 caps, 23 goals for Germany; 7 Bundesliga titles

Smyth: The personification of German soccer. Matthaus could do everything, from man-marking Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup final to ramming in a series of long-range howitzers at Internazionale. He was also indefatigable, a superb passer, short and long, and totally unyielding. Maradona called him "the best rival I've ever had."
32Steve DavisGKGordon Banks

Gordon Banks

1966 World Cup winner; 73 caps for England; 548 total appearances

Davis: An absurdly tough call between Banks and Peter Schmeichel. The Englishman's fabled save against Pele tipped it. Well, that and because the dude could still play professionally later in his career with just one eye!
33Georgina TurnerDM/DFrank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard

73 caps, 10 goals for the Netherlands, 2-time European Cup winner

Turner: The defensive midfielder's defensive midfielder: aggressive, relentless, skillful, good in the air, happy with the ball at his feet, destroyer and creator. His bulging trophy cabinet chronicles an exceptional career and as several of those medals were won in central defense, I'm bagging extra cover at the back, too.
34Jen ChangMFalcao


Led Roma to first Serie A title since 1941-42 in 1982-83; 34 caps for Brazil

Chang: I need a dominant central midfielder so opt for Internacional and Roma legend Falcao, who can play the holding role or go box-to-box if necessary, while still adding an unusual level of flair and creativity for a defensive midfielder.
35Iain MacintoshMLuis Figo

Luis Figo

2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, 32 goals in 127 games for Portugal

MacIntosh: Merciless on either flank, ludicrously talented and blessed with a strength and center of balance that made him practically impossible to knock off the ball. It was the agility of Figo that I loved the most, the way that he could run full pelt down the wing and then suddenly slam on the anchors, grip the ball on his instep and watch his tormentors helplessly slide into oblivion. I'm also told that he has a habit of entering a room and booming, "Hello. I am Figo."
36Gabriele MarcottiD/DMMarcel Desailly

Marcel Desailly

1998 World Cup winner; 116 caps for France; 2 Champions League titles

Marcotti: The Rock, Le God, call him what you will. Don't know yet whether I'll use him in midfield or central defense, I'll figure that out later. Suffice to say that the man who won multiple European Cups, World Cups and European Championships and who gobbled up Cruyff's supposed Dream Team as if he was Pac-Man in 1994 will scare the bejesus out of anyone: brains, strength, speed, intimidation. All hail the Minister of Defense!
37Grant WahlGKPeter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel

Captained Manchester United to 1999 Treble; 129 caps for Denmark

Wahl: It seems like the automatic choice as Best Goalkeeper Ever is always Lev Yashin, but you could make a good argument for Schmeichel, whose athleticism and positioning were unmatched during his Manchester United days.
38Jonathan WilsonDGiacinto Facchetti

Giacinto Facchetti

4 Serie A titles; 94 caps for Italy; 2 European Cup titles; 629 appearances for Inter

Wilson: With Thuram the more balanced option on the right, there's scope for a more attacking player on the left, and Facchetti is arguably the greatest offensive left back the game as known. He won four Scudetti and two European Cups with Helenio Herrera's Inter -- who posthumously retired his number 3 shirt -- scoring a goal every 7.5 games in what was renowned as one of the great defensive sides and gathered 94 caps.
39Ben LyttletonMDidier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps

Youngest captain to lift Champions League trophy; 103 caps for France

Lyttleton: My team needs a leader, an organizer and, yes, a water-carrier. So why not go for Deschamps, a Champions League winner with Marseille and Juventus, and a World Cup and European Championship winner with France? A vocal captain, a dominant presence -- and just look at his medals.
40Raphael HonigsteinFRomario


Golden Ball winner 1994 World Cup; 55 goals in 70 games for Brazil

Honigstein: It's measure of the man's phenomenal scoring prowess that there's a fierce debate whether he chalked up 1000 goals -- as he says -- or a "mere" 900 over the course of his career. Romario was described as "a genius of the goal area" by Johan Cruyff which sums it up quite nicely. He was, like Gerd Müller, a striker who specialised in small, poked-in goals. But the Brazilian had also explosive reaction times over the first few metres and an unerring instinct. God knows how many more the 1994 World Cup winner would have scored if the passive offside rule had been introduced a few years earlier.
41Raphael HonigsteinM/DPaul Breitner

Paul Breitner

1974 World Cup winner; 5 league titles; 48 caps and 10 goals for Germany

Honigstein: Breitner was a law unto himself, from his Bavarian Afro to his dabblings with Maoism. But he was a top-notch footballer as well. In the 70s, he won the World Cup and every other important trophy as a right-footed left back (he scored the penalty in the final against the Dutch) before becoming a central box-to-box tyro with a keen eye for a goal and a talent for the killer pass. Him and Rummenigge developed such telepathic understanding that the German media dubbed them "Breitnigge." A monster.
42Ben LyttletonDMatthias Sammer

Matthias Sammer

European Footballer of the Year 1996; Euro 1996 winner; 51 caps for Germany

Lyttleton: Sammer captained Germany to Euro 96 success and is one of only three defenders to have won the Ballon d'Or. Comfortable in possession, he will get my team playing from the back and his anticipation is up there with the best.
43Jonathan WilsonFAndriy Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko

45 goals in 102 games for Ukraine; Ballon d'Or winner in 2004

Wilson: I "ummed" and "aahed" for a long time over this one, but for every other position in the field I can think of at least two options. Teams are about balance, and Shevchenko, "the nearest to a universal footballer there has been" as his longtime coach and mentor Valeriy Lobanovskyi described him. With Cruyff dropping deep, there's need of a finisher cutting in from the right, and that is exactly the role Shevchenko played in his glory days at Dynamo Kyiv. He often played on the right at AC Milan as well and, as Europe's most complete striker in two decades, he offers pace, aerial ability, selfless running and an underestimated creativity.
44Grant WahlFThierry Henry

Thierry Henry

France's leading goalscorer of all time with 51 goals in 123 games

Wahl: Probably the best forward in the history of the English Premier League. Tremendous speed and a devastating finisher.
45Gabriele MarcottiDNilton Santos

Nilton Santos

75 caps, 3 goals for Brazil,;World Cup winner in 1958 and 1962

Marcotti: Wilson picks Facchetti, I go for the "other" GREATEST EVER LEFTBACK. It's Frazier v Ali, Chrissy v Martina, Jen v Angelina. Nicknamed "O Enciclopedia" because he was the most complete player of his time (and his time included both Garrincha and that Pele guy), he went to four World Cups, winning two (1958 and 1962) and being left out of the 1950 final (not clever by the manager: Brazil lost that one).
46Iain MacintoshMAndres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta

39 goals in 421 games for Barcelona; 61 caps for Spain; scored winner in 2010 WC final

MacIntosh: Every 4-3-3 needs an impish attacking midfielder and Andres Iniesta is going to be mine. He's impossible to mark out of the game, he has a laser-guided range of passing and, as the Dutch will tell you, he's got a nasty habit of popping up in the box and scoring late goals. It would have been lovely to partner him with Xavi, but I think he'll cope fine with his alternative partner in midfield ...
47Jen ChangFGabriel Batistuta

Gabriel Batistuta

Argentina and Fiorentina's all-time leading scorer; 56 goals in 78 games for his country

Chang: In selecting Argentina's all-time leading goal scorer, I have the perfect forward to lead my line solo. Strong, fast, relentless, durable and with a hammer of a shot, Batigol's able to score all manners of goals from range or in the box. The city of Florence erected a life-size bronze statue of him in 1996 in recognition of his performances for Fiorentina.
48Georgina TurnerFJust Fontaine

Just Fontaine

Hold record for most goals in a single World Cup tournament with total of 13

Turner: Who better to spearhead the front line? Fontaine simply couldn't stop scoring, whether he was playing for club or country; there was no angle too tight, he could leap like a salmon, shoot with both feet and I'm salivating at the thought of playing him in front of Hidegkuti.
49Steve DavisDMClaude Makelele

Claude Makelele

71 caps for France, 4 league titles; 1 Champions League title

Davis: The Frenchman defined his position, a defensive midfield specialist bent on quashing danger through an ideal blend of anticipation, aggression and positional discipline. How did Real Madrid fail to recognize his value? (Or Chelsea, for that matter?) So I choose Makelele to cover what some have called "the Makelele role."
50Rob SmythM/FMichael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup

104 caps, 37 goals for Denmark; 4 La Liga titles; 1 European Cup

Smyth: We often talk about players' players. Laudrup was the geniuses' genius. Laudrup had balletic grace, extraordinary imagination and that rare capacity to play as if he had a bird's-eye view of the pitch.
51Rob SmythM/DJohan Neeskens

Johan Neeskens

48 caps; 17 goals for the Netherlands; 3 European Cup titles

Smyth: A brilliant ballplayer, as any who represented Holland in the 1970s had to be, but Neeskens embodied that team's harder edge. Ask Rivelino, who took a vicious elbow to the face at the 1974 World Cup. He also offers important versatility, and can play at right back or right wing should the formation need tweaking.
52Steve DavisMPatrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

1998 World Cup winner; 107 caps for France; 7 league titles; Euro 2000 winner

Davis: To pair with my holding specialist in a 4-2-3-1, I need someone with great defensive qualities, but whose MO is slightly more box-to-box. Vieira has size, speed, passing and tackling ability and a tremendous fighting spirit.
53Georgina TurnerMRoy Keane

Roy Keane

7 English league titles; 67 caps and 9 goals with the Republic of Ireland

Turner: There's no chance Keane will still be around by the time my next turn comes around, so I'm nabbing him now, and choosing him as much for his barnstorming box-to-box play as for the wonderful disdain with which he regards most modern players.
54Jen ChangGKDino Zoff

Dino Zoff

112 caps for Italy; captained 1982 World Cup winners; Euro 1968 winner

Chang: Gutted to miss out on Neeskens who I wanted to pair with Falcao. Turning to Plan B, you can't win championships without an outstanding goalkeeper and in Dino Zoff I have one of the finest ever. Zoff's positioning and anticipation was superb and he holds the record for the longest stretch without allowing a goal in international tournaments (1142 minutes set between 1972 and 1974) .
55Iain MacintoshMRyan Giggs

Ryan Giggs

12 English league titles; 64 caps for Wales; 2 Champions League titles

MacIntosh: Ignore the messy personal life, Ryan Giggs is one of the finest players in recent European history. A lightning quick winger in his youth, a devastatingly direct attacking force in his prime and an intelligent central midfielder in his Autumnal years, one thing has always remained constant; Giggs is a winner. So that's John Charles flanked by Giggs and Figo? What a front three.
56Gabriele MarcottiGKGigi Buffon

Gigi Buffon

Serie A Goalkeeper Of The Year 8 times; 108 caps for Italy; 2006 World Cup winner

Marcotti: Freakish combination of size and athleticism makes him stand apart from the rest. There isn't much he can't do. Won a World Cup conceding just two goals along the way: one Cristian Zaccardo bizarre corkscrew clearance/self-immolation against the U.S., the other Zinedine Zidane's dubious penalty in the final. Slam the door shut.
57Grant WahlDCafu


Most capped player in Brazil history with 142; World Cup winner 1994, 2002

Wahl: I want my fullbacks to get upfield and still defend well, and few right backs have been able to do those things better than Cafú, Brazil's most-capped player and a two-time World Cup winner.
58Jonathan WilsonMBryan Robson

Bryan Robson

90 caps and 26 goals for England; 2 English league titles; 568 appearances

Wilson: Not the niggardly crab he became, but the awesome force he was in mid-eighties, when he seemed at times single-handedly to carry England or Manchester United. He made tackles, he never stopped running, he could pass short and long, and he scored goals -- headers, long-range drives, late arrivals in the box, the lot. His physical courage was absurd -- it cost him injuries in the end -- but his will was enough to turn games: take United's 3-0 win to overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Barcelona in the Cup-Winners Cup in 1984, or England's 4-1 win away to Yugoslavia in Euro 88 qualifying. At his best, he was a phenomenon. And when my side plays Rob's, I want to see him drink Tubby Puskas under the table.
59Ben LyttletonMBobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton

European Footballer of the Year 1966, 49 goals in 106 games for England

Lyttleton: I can't believe that the man voted Manchester United's -- and England's -- greatest player of the 20th Century has to wait 59 slots to get picked. Scandalous! Charlton won it all, including the World Cup, the European Cup, and two Ballon d'Or titles, and he remains both United and England's all-time leading scorer. In my side, he provides attacking impetus from midfield, where his energy and shooting from distance will trouble the best defenses. I'm hoping, optimistically, that his work ethic and professionalism might also rub off on the front two.
60Raphael HonigsteinMBernd Schuster

Bernd Schuster

1980 European Championship winner, 105 league goals in 445 games

Honigstein: They called him "the blond angel" because his passes were sheer heaven. Schuster was destined to rival Beckenbauer in the title stakes but unfortunately stopped playing for West Germany after the 1980 Euros, where he was in devastating form. At Barcelona, he and Maradona were a dream pairing. Schuster was pure elegance, class, fantasy. The consummate No. 10.
61Raphael HonigsteinDBixente Lizarazu

Bixente Lizarazu

1998 World Cup winner; 97 caps for France; 5 Bundesliga titles; Euro 2000 winner

Honigstein: The little Frenchman won everything there was to win and always stayed a true gentleman in the process. Lizarazu was a model of consistency, almost faultless for decades. He had a great engine, a tremendous attitude and great ability. Easily one of the best left backs in the modern game.
62Ben LyttletonM/DJavier Zanetti

Javier Zanetti

Most capped player in Argentina history with 145, 5 Serie A titles

Lyttleton: Given that Roberto Carlos is bombing down the left flank, I need stability on the right and who better than the Argentine who captained Inter to its historic treble in 2010, and broke Giuseppe Bergomi's all-time appearance record for the Nerazzurri. "Il Capitano" can play on either flank, in defense, midfield or wingback if I choose to switch to three at the back. I love the options Zanetti gives me.
63Jonathan WilsonMDragan Stojkovic

Dragan Stojkovic

1993 Champions League winner; 84 caps and 15 goals for Yugoslavia

Wilson: The ideal midfield three has a destructive runner, a creator and a facilitator who sits and fills space in front of the defensive line. Robson is my destroyer (plus a lot more) and I have three on my shortlist for the facilitator (if all three have gone by the time the draft gets back to me I'll be furious), and Stojkovic is my creator. He was the last of the five individual players named "stars of the Star" at Red Star, which in a country that has produced its share of creative midfielders is some accolade. Quick-witted, incisive, technically brilliant and a finisher, he was also hard as they come, and even after all his injury problems, his stamina at 30 stunned Arsene Wenger when he coached him at Grampus Eight in the mid-nineties. Imagine Cruyff dropping off and him running beyond, think of the one-twos ... it's so beautiful it makes you weep.
64Grant WahlDMEdgar Davids

Edgar Davids

74 caps, 6 goals for the Netherlands; 6 league titles; 1 Champions League title

Wahl: The Pitbull, one of the game's most feared defensive midfielders, will do the dirty work winning balls, covering ground and allowing the rest of the guys to look good.
65Gabriele MarcottiMFrancisco Gento

Francisco Gento

12 La Liga titles, 43 caps and 5 goals for Spain; 6 European Cup titles

Marcotti: No winger in the history of the game has won more than Gento. He gives me pace, trickery, assists and goals from the center-left, with Eusebio doing the same from the center-right and Di Stefano centrally. I have two "value pick" centerforwards in mind who, I'm pretty sure, will still be around later, so no rush there.
66Iain MacintoshMGlen Hoddle

Glen Hoddle

53 caps, 8 goals for England; 377 league games and 88 goals for Tottenham

MacIntosh: So Andres Iniesta needs a midfield partner, does he? How about Glenn Hoddle? Wasted by his nation in the 1980s, he would win only 53 international caps, a pitiful total given his immense talent. Hoddle could land a ball on a can of soda from 50 yards, but his unwillingness to run, harass and press like the other dogs of war in the England squad cost him dearly. In 1987, he left for Monaco and promptly won the French title.
67Jen ChangDGaetano Scirea

Gaetano Scirea

7 Serie A titles; 78 caps for Italy; 377 league games for Juventus; 1 European Cup title

Chang: A true gentleman with tremendous character on and off the pitch, Scirea was of the greatest defenders of all time. Some in Italy considered him even better than fellow legend Baresi. Famously never earned a red card in his career and one of the elite few European players to have won every possible trophy in his career.
68Georgina TurnerMDragan Dzajic

Dragan Dzajic

85 caps, 23 goals for Yugoslavia; 287 league goals in 590 games for Red Star Belgrade

Turner: Any player capable of dumping Moore onto his backside, as Dzajic did in 1968, has to be on my side. Every right back's worst nightmare, Dzajic was lightning fast and tricky, could deliver a killer cross without glancing up and scored umpteen goals a season to boot.
69Steve DavisDFabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro

FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006; 136 caps for Italy

Davis: Who could possibly forget Cannavaro's stunning series of performances during World Cup 2006? Regal and rugged all at once, his timing and leadership along Italy's back line over four weeks were essentially flawless. The man's complete body of work aligns Cannavaro alongside, if only slightly behind, his fellow fabled Italian defenders.
70Rob SmythDAndreas Brehme

Andreas Brehme

1990 World Cup winner; 86 caps and 8 goals for Germany; 3 league titles

Smyth: Many footballers have two left feet; Andreas Brehme had two right feet. In consecutive World Cups he scored penalties with different feet. He wasn't a wingback, he was just a footballer; a brilliant crosser and finisher and a ferocious tackler.
71Rob SmythM/D/FDuncan Edwards

Duncan Edwards

151 appearances, 20 goals for Man United; 18 caps and 5 goals for England

Smyth: Had Edwards not died at 21, there might be no debate over Pele vs. Maradona vs. Messi. Bobby Charlton says that Duncan Edwards was the greatest player of all time. A force of nature and a master of all trades. "Don't ask me how much greater he would have become," said Charlton. "It defies imagination. What's bigger than a colossus?"
72Steve DavisDDaniel Passarella

Daniel Passarella

Captained Argentina to 1978 World Cup; 70 international caps; '86 World Cup winner

Davis: Here's what then-manager Cesar Luis Menotti said of the greatest Argentina defender ever, about the center back who captained La Albiceleste to a World Cup crown on home soil. "I had no doubts about making him captain. His professionalism and ability to influence others were remarkable."
73Georgina TurnerM/DRuud Krol

Ruud Krol

83 caps for the Netherlands; 8 Eredivisie titles; 3 European Cup titles

Turner: Ridiculously consistent, tenacious and utterly unflappable, Krol will start at left back (from where I expect him to ensure Dzajic is never short of sublime passes to race on to) but provides seamless cover across the back four -- he made FIFA's team of the 1978 World Cup as a sweeper.
74Jen ChangDMFernando Redondo

Fernando Redondo

3-time Champions League winner; 29 caps for Argentina; 3 league titles

Chang: Underutilized by Argentina after falling out with coaches, the classy but headstrong Redondo was a perfect defensive midfielder, with balance, power and tremendous ball control. Sir Alex Ferguson once notably asked if Redondo had a magnet attached to his foot, such was the nature of his dominant performance against Man United and a humbled Roy Keane in the Champions League.
75Iain MacintoshDAshley Cole

Ashley Cole

3 league titles, 91 caps for England; 15 league goals in 326 appearances

MacIntosh: He's not a popular man and he'll be forever haunted by his claim that the thought of surviving on just £55,000 ($85,000) a week at Arsenal was almost enough to make him swerve his car off the road. But what he lacks in diplomacy, he more than makes up for on the pitch. There is no more complete fullback in the last 20 years. He's tireless, he's driven, he's relentless and he will open up that left flank like a tin of tuna.
76Gabriele MarcottiDJose Nasazzi

Jose Nasazzi

Captained Uruguay to 1930 World Cup title; 51 international caps for Uruguay

Marcotti: Long before Franco Baresi and Bobby Moore this guy epitomized the term "captain." The greatest ever Uruguayan defender and -- probably -- one of the top five South American defenders ever. Fast, athletic, hard and durable, who captained Uruguay to the 1930 World Cup and two Olympic titles. Played for more than 20 years and made nearly 1000 appearances.
77Grant WahlDAlessandro Nesta

Alessandro Nesta

78 caps for Italy; 2006 World Cup winner; 3 Serie A titles; 2 Champions League titles

Wahl: Blessed with speed, skill and positional smarts, Nesta is one of the great central defenders of the modern game.
78Jonathan WilsonDMToninho Cerezo

Toninho Cerezo

57 caps, 7 goals for Brazil; 27 league goals in 215 appearances in Serie A

Wilson: This was a difficult decision. I had three players in mind for the role just in front of the back four, and there are arguments in favor of all of them. In the end, though, I've gone for the most defensive of the three. Tireless and physically imposing, he was also a wonderful passer of the ball, exactly the blend of defender and distributor to create the ideal balance with Robson and Stokjovic.
79Ben LyttletonFDennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp

256 goals in 698 appearances; 79 caps and 37 goals for Netherlands

Lyttleton: A player so talented that even though his best years were undoubtedly at Arsenal, he still managed two Ballon d'Or podium finishes (1992, 1993) before he moved to London. His spatial awareness was so acute that he perfected lobbing goalkeepers because "there was more space above them than on either side." His vision and love of creating "the perfect assist" would bring out the best in my front two. I just have to decide whether to pick him or Kenny Dalglish as my third striker.
80Raphael HonigsteinDBilly Costacurta

Billy Costacurta

59 caps for Italy; 460 league games for AC Milan; 7 Serie A, 5 Champions League titles

Honigstein: A mainstay of Milan's greatest-ever teams, Costacurta could play almost anywhere in defence and never looked out of place. He won seven Scudettos and five European Cups, playing until he was 41 years old. Billy never looked hurried on the pitch, was a natural passer and could read the game like few defenders. A great pro and by all accounts lovely man, too.
81Raphael HonigsteinDJurgen Kohler

Jurgen Kohler

1990 World Cup winner; 105 caps for Germany; Euro 1996 winner

Honigstein: Fußballgott the god of football, they called him at Dortmund, with a slight sense of irony. Kohler was one of the last great classic center backs, players who breathed down their opponent's necks and hustled, fought and pestered them into submission. The World Cup winner and European Cup winner was a true leader, as well as very useful when it came to corners and free kicks in the opposing half.
82Ben LyttletonM/FKenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish

102 caps, 30 goals for Scotland; 10 league titles; 3 European Cup titles

Lyttleton: One of the best strikers in British soccer history, Dalglish is another player I am surprised is still available. Comfortable playing as or off the main striker, his ability to find space and time his passes to perfection helped Celtic and Liverpool win trophies by the bucketload -- including 11 league titles and three European Cups. As Bob Paisley, Liverpool's legendary coach put it: "Of all the players I have played alongside, managed and coached in more than 40 years at Anfield, Kenny was the most talented."
83Jonathan WilsonDMiodrag Belodedici

Miodrag Belodedici

2-time Champions League winner, 53 caps for Romania; 6 Romanian league titles

Wilson: Come on, you all knew it was coming ... The first player to win the European Cup with different clubs, the Romanian of Serb heritage was one of the great sweepers of the eighties and nineties, a composed defender so graceful he was nicknamed "The Deer." He could pass like a dream, was never flustered, and he could defend as well, reading the game as anybody ever has.
84Grant WahlDJose Santamaria

Jose Santamaria

4-time European Cup winner; capped by both Spain and Uruguay

Wahl: Though he played in the 1950s and '60s, the great Spanish-Uruguayan center back was easily strong enough to hold his own with players from any era. Dominated the back line during Real Madrid's glory days in the late '50s/early '60s.
85Gabriele MarcottiMDidi


World Cup winner 1958, 1962; 68 caps and 20 goals for Brazil

Marcotti: Again, shocked that this guy is still around. The original deep lying playmaker, Didi ran the show for Brazil in 1954, 1958 and 1962. In 1958, he was voted best player of the World Cup (ahead of that Pele chap). Nicknamed "Mr. Football" back in Brazil, he won 74 caps and scored 21 goals (and that was before caps became cheap). Outrageous long and short range passing, creativity, vision and he could dribble a bit too.
86Iain MacintoshDGiuseppe Bergomi

Giuseppe Bergomi

1982 World Cup winner, 81 caps for Italy; 519 league appearances for Inter

MacIntosh: One club Internazionale legend Giuseppe Bergomi may not be the most exciting member of my team, but I can guarantee that he'll never let me down. He's equally at home either in the center or on the right, which is handy as he'll be doing both for me, locking down a flank when we're on the back foot and tucking in to marshal against the counter when we're not. This is one part of the pitch I'm not going to have to worry about.
87Jen ChangM/FPierre Littbarski

Pierre Littbarski

1990 World Cup winner; 73 caps, 18 goals for West Germany

Chang: Obviously I'm taking Littbarski far earlier than warranted -- he's not even going to start for my team -- but hey this is a fantasy simulation after all and as my childhood favorite player, I have a particular bias toward Littbarski. That said, Littbarski was an inventive, pacey winger and attacking midfielder who provided the flair in the powerhouse West Germany sides of the 80s. Littbarski was also a sheer genius of a dribbler, a specialist in that respect, and lined up on the other side of Best, will cause opposing fullbacks nightmares.
88Georgina TurnerDAlan Hansen

Alan Hansen

8 English League titles; 3 European Cup titles; 26 caps for Scotland

Turner: No doubt there are fancier or further flung names left, but I'm going for an all-British central defensive pairing of considerable style. Like Moore, Hansen had a nose for danger and strode masterfully out of defense with the ball before pinging it directly to a teammate. Liverpool's measly goals conceded figures between 1977 and 1991 owe a great deal to the Scotsman, who pocketed eight league titles and three European Cup winner's medals.
89Steve DavisMStanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews

European Footballer of the Year 1956; 54 caps and 11 goals for England

Davis: I'm feeling a wee bit narrow, so I'll take the Magician to stretch things on the right. Through exhaustive YouTube study I've concluded that it's all true about the first footballer to be knighted and the 1956 European Footballer of The Year: he did have a flash bulb-quick first step to go with a marvelous sense of balance.
90Rob SmythDLaurent Blanc

Laurent Blanc

97 caps, 16 goals for France; 1998 World Cup winner; Euro 2000 winner

Smyth: Every defense needs a ballplayer and, with the exception of Franz Beckenbauer, Blanc compares to any in the game's history. Cucumber-cool, silk-smooth, a significant goal threat, and blessed with a temperament that means his heart wouldn't skip a beat even if you dropped a marmot in the bath.
91Rob SmythDDjalma Santos

Djalma Santos

World Cup winner 1958, 1962; 98 caps and 3 goals for Brazil

Smyth: One of only two players to be picked in three World Cup All-Star XIs, a natural born defender who ate left wingers for lunch and famously didn't give Lennart Skoglund a kick in the 1958 final. A fierce tackler, totally consistent and an underrated passer of the ball.
92Steve DavisMSteven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

89 caps, 19 goals for England; 84 league goals in 388 appearances

Davis: Between Zidane, Matthews and van Basten I've got ample offensive thrust. In Gerrard, I have one talented attacker who can also be relied upon to tackle and track back; it can't all be about hell-bent attacking, after all. CV highlights include captaining Liverpool and approaching 100 caps for England. All that, and the Guardian once named Gerrard to its all-time world Best XI. Imagine that! But since we know how British journalists and fans habitually overrate their own players, a selection in the 80s or 90s on this list seems about right, eh?
93Georgina TurnerDWim Suurbier

Wim Suurbier

3-time Champions League winner; 60 caps for Netherlands; 7 Eredivisie titles

Turner: Completing my ultracool back line (resting heart rate of about 50, this lot) is another member of the great Ajax team of the 1970s, and like Krol, he'll push up the flank. Suurbier's pace and incredible stamina could be important when play heads the other way, too, because I'm not expecting Garrincha to track back a great deal.
94Jen ChangDJose Antonio Camacho

Jose Antonio Camacho

81 caps with Spain; 9 La Liga titles; 414 league games for Real Madrid

Chang: For my left back, I wanted someone who was more proficient defensively to offer balance. Look no further than Spain's Jose Antonio Camacho whose stamina and tenacity gave opposing attackers fits. As Mario Kempes told FourFourTwo "He was like a hunting dog, where you went on the pitch he went ... he didn't talk either, he just breathed in a very strange way -- 'Fsst, fsst, fsst, fsst!' a real nightmare."
95Iain MacintoshMGraeme Souness

Graeme Souness

3-time Champions League winner; 8 league titles; 54 caps, 4 goals for Scotland

MacIntosh: Let's see you get past Graeme Souness. The fiery Scotsman has more medals than a North African despot and he's far more dangerous as well. You can try and play the pretty stuff if you like, but listen, and understand. A Souness is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
96Gabriele MarcottiDElias Figueroa

Elias Figueroa

Played in 3 World Cups; 47 caps for Chile; 4-time Brazilian Defender Of The Year

Marcotti: I suspect at least one of you out there would have picked this guy sooner if you weren't confident that with all the Eurocentrism around he'd still be there in the late rounds. Well, I'm not taking that chance. Both Pele and Beckenbauer called "Don Elias" the best defender ever, so I guess Der Kaiser will be delighted to line up alongside him. Figueroa was fast, intelligent, elegant and skillful, Baresi before Baresi if you will. And he gave us one of the alltime great quotes: "The penalty box is my house. Nobody -- and I mean, nobody -- comes into my house without my permission." Oh, might add that in 1982 Figueroa became the first (and only) grandfather to start a World Cup game.
97Grant WahlDAntonio Cabrini

Antonio Cabrini

1982 World Cup winner; 73 caps and 9 goals for Italy; 6 Serie A titles

Wahl: While Cafú handles my right fullback duties, this World Cup winner is the perfect guy to handle left fullback, bombing down the field and sending in crosses.
98Jonathan WilsonDClaudio Gentile

Claudio Gentile

1982 World Cup winner; 6 Serie A titles; 414 league appearances in Serie A

Wilson: Every team needs a bit of mongrel about them and they don't come more much mongrel than Gentile. He won six Serie A titles in a distinguished career with Juventus, but he's best remembered for his man-marking job on Diego Maradona in the 1982 World Cup. That's marking in the sense of kicking, gouging, pulling his shirt and generally making life unpleasant. But Gentile wasn't just tough, he was also a highly disciplined marker who read the game superbly.
99Ben LyttletonDGheorge Popescu

Gheorge Popescu

6-time Romanian Footballer of the Year; 115 caps and 16 goals for Romania

Lyttleton: I'm so relieved to get the Romanian because, like Marcel Desailly, he can play at center back or midfield and gives me some tactical flexibility. I will need someone from midfield to drop back and cover for Roberto Carlos' forays up the left wing and Popescu, a three-time World Cup veteran with playing time in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga, where he captained Barcelona, would be perfect.
100Raphael HonigsteinDDani Alves

Dani Alves

Most expensive defender in history; 51 caps for Brazil; 2 Champions League titles

Honigstein: Alves' fantastic attacking talent gets almost overlooked at Barca, but in any other team, including mine, he'd be an absolute superstar. He's a Brazilian right back who can actually defend, is disciplined and very rarely lets you down. Oh, and he's a winner, too.
101Raphael HonigsteinDGerard Pique

Gerard Pique

3 La Liga titles; 2 Champions League titles; 2010 World Cup winner; 34 caps for Spain

Honigstein: Currently, the world's most dangerous center back, good enough to play center forward in almost any team beside Barcelona, who have done away with that position altogether. Pique moves economically and keeps his focus -- the main, but most difficult task when you're dominating possession to a ridiculous extent.
102Ben LyttletonDRonald Koeman

Ronald Koeman

2 European Cup titles; 78 caps, 14 goals with Netherlands; 8 league titles

Lyttleton: Another natural-born winner to complete my defense, I can see Koeman, a two-time European Cup winner with PSV (1988) and Barcelona (1992, when he scored the winning goal), forging an insticinctive, if not very pacey, partnership with Sammer at the back. Having Popescu also means I already have cover, so I can now load my bench with players who can make the difference elsewhere.
103Jonathan WilsonGKEdwin van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar

Most capped player in Netherlands history with 130; 8 league titles

Wilson: I feel almost guilty waiting so long to pick up Van der Sar, but when the general trade in keepers was low, it made little sense not to leave the keeper pick till late. With my side playing a hard-pressing game (look at them; great engines to a man), there's need for a goalkeeper who's comfortable with the ball at his feet, and there's probably never been a better footballing goalkeeper than Van der Sar. If he rarely makes spectacular saves it's because he rarely needs to because his positioning is so good. He won Champions Leagues with Ajax and Manchester United, and holds the world record for the longest unbeaten streak in any top division. And, if he ever gets uppity, I can remind him that I tucked a volley past him in Brussels in 1999.
104Grant WahlDMJozsef Bozsik

Jozsef Bozsik

101 caps, 11 goals for Hungary; 447 league games and 33 goals for Honvd

Wahl: If I can't get Fernando Redondo, this Magnificent Magyar from Hungary's glory days is an ideal link midfielder in a 4-3-3 who can pass and tackle with the best.
105Gabriele MarcottiMCarlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti

2 European Cup titles; 26 caps for Italy; 3 Serie A titles

Marcotti: Injuries robbed him of winning the World Cup in '82 (and, though some will disagree, '90 as well) but he was about as complete a midfielder as you could wish for. Strong, plenty of stamina, intensity and lots of personality. A tidy passer who could also go box to box and score a fair few goals, he's a neat complement for Didi's deep playmaking and runs.
106Iain MacintoshDJaap Stam

Jaap Stam

4 league titles; 67 caps for Netherlands; 1 Champions League title

MacIntosh: He looks like a Hammer Horror character and he defends like a 10-foot thick wall of stone, who wouldn't want Jaap Stam in their team? He won the treble with Manchester United before being prematurely cast away by Sir Alex Ferguson and, yes, we're going to be very careful with his, erm, intake. Nevertheless, there are few more formidable defenders out there and I'm rather pleased to have caught him so late.
107Jen ChangDOscar Ruggeri

Oscar Ruggeri

1986 World Cup winner; 97 caps for Argentina; 517 league appearances

Chang: Admittedly a center back pairing of Scirea and Baresi could be a little undersized in certain scenarios and so for teams with a one-dimensional route to goal (I'm looking at you MacIntosh), I'll need a little more size. Enter Argentina's Ruggeri, nicknamed "El Cabezon" (The Big-Headed One) for his aerial prowess.
108Georgina TurnerGKSepp Maier

Sepp Maier

1974 World Cup winner; 95 caps for Germany; 4 Bundesliga titles; 3 European Cup titles

Turner: Having left picking my goalkeeper this late, I'm surprised but pretty chuffed to find Maier still available. Die Katze, who went 11 years without missing a game, was capable of unfathomable saves and his clean sheets helped West Germany and Bayern Munich to numerous trophies.
109Steve DavisDPhilipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm

4 Bundesliga titles; 83 caps and 4 goals for Germany; 4 German Cup titles

Davis: In Germany's brilliant, mainstay fullback, I have a left-sided starter who can superbly police the right (as Lahm has of late for Bayern Munich) should I need slightly more defensive cover through the back line. A consummate leader who enjoyed great runs in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, Lahm now captains Germany.
110Rob SmythMGunter Netzer

Gunter Netzer

37 games, 6 goals for Germany; 1974 World Cup winner; 4 league titles

Smyth: The X-factor in perhaps the greatest international side of all, West Germany's 1972 vintage, Netzer adds swagger and devastating passing to the team. He was also utterly, effortlessly cool.
111Rob SmythFOle Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

6 English league titles; 153 league goals in 320 games; 67 caps, 23 goals for Norway

Smyth: The perfect substitute, a man who analyzed games with forensic intelligence and then influenced them with ceaseless movement and a range of finishing -- left foot, right foot head, any angle or distance -- that has never been bettered.
112Steve DavisM/FRuud Gullit

Ruud Gullit

Ballon d'Or winner 1987; Euro 1988 title; 66 caps, 17 goals for Netherlands

Davis: As we all begin building our reserve squads, the prudent selector will identify versatile types who can ably reinforce several positions. So I'll take a guy who personifies "Total Fooball," even if he played just beyond the revolutionary system's heyday. The European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989 was blessed with size, power, balance, grace and vision, and he could excel almost anywhere on the field.
113Georgina TurnerMNils Liedholm

Nils Liedholm

4 Serie A titles; 21 caps, 10 caps for Sweden; 81 league goals in 359 games

Turner: A left-footer with a quite brilliant range of passing (according to the stories, he misplaced the ball so rarely that when he finally did, Milan supporters gave him a standing ovation), Liedholm can play behind the striker(s) or out on the wing. Arguably too good for the bench, the elegant and lively Swede will interchange with Hidegkuti throughout the season.
114Jen ChangDMaicon


66 caps, 6 goals for Brazil; 4 Serie A titles; 1 Champions League title

Chang: With lots of fullback options still out there, I was sorely tempted to choose the endless running of Eric Gerets, but in the end opted for a current fullback in Maicon. True, he was eviscerated by Gareth Bale, but in his prime Maicon was an archetypal modern-day fullback with both offensive and defensive capabilities.
115Iain MacintoshMAbedi Pele

Abedi Pele

3-time African Footballer of the Year; 73 caps, 33 goals for Ghana

MacIntosh: One of the finest African players of all time, Abedi Pele was key to the great Marseille side of the early 90s. With Chris Waddle and Jean Pierre Papin, he excelled for the French side as they won three consecutive titles and a European Cup. An incisive, direct dribbler, he could tie a defense in knots and had a penchant for the spectacular. All right, so I didn't get the original Pele, but if the game is slipping away and I need something special to drag myself back in, this one will do me just fine.
116Gabriele MarcottiM/FRoberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio

FIFA World Player of the Year 1993; 56 caps and 27 goals for Italy

Marcotti: Ballon d'Or, fourth-leading goal scorer in the history of Serie A, the first Buddhist picked, 9 World Cup goals, World Cup finalist, semifinalist and quarterfinalist, only ever beaten on pens. Bring him on and his dribbling and outrageous creativity will change any game.
117Grant WahlMPaul Scholes

Paul Scholes

10 English league titles; 102 league goals in 466 games; 66 caps for England

Wahl: The English player that Xavi most appreciates now gets a chance to play next to Xavi himself. Scholes will fight with Bozsik for a midfield starting spot.
118Jonathan WilsonFGeorge Weah

George Weah

FIFA World Player of the Year 1995; 193 league goals in 411 games

Wilson: Mine's a side based on passing, but it's always useful to have some muscle to bring off the bench so we could go 4-2-3-1 (or 4-4-2 -- you haven't seen the rest of my bench yet) and look to get crosses in or go more direct. Weah wasn't just an immense physical presence, though. Brilliant in the air and at holding the ball up, he was also adept on the ground, as his famous goal for AC Milan against Verona, when he ran from his own box to score attests. And, as with any player coached at an early age by Arsene Wenger, he had a great awareness and sense of space. In 1995 he the won World, European and African Player of the Year awards.
119Ben LyttletonFOliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn

8 Bundesliga titles; 83 caps for Germany; 1 Champions League title

Lyttleton: If you want extremes in life, being a goalkeeper is the right job for you, Kahn once said, and that's why he's perfect as my No. 1. (This is also a tactical pick. I know Honigstein is next up, needs a goalkeeper and loves his country.) Kahn has seen it all: losing the most dramatic Champions League final ever in 1999, and two years later winning the same competition, almost single-handedly, by saving three Valencia penalties in a shootout. He's also the only goalkeeper to ever win the Best Player award at a World Cup, in 2002. Aggressive, fearless and charismatic, he will ensure my defense stays in line. As his teammate Mehmet Scholl once observed: "I am only scared of two things: war and Oliver Kahn."
120Raphael HonigsteinFWayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

4 English league titles; 72 caps, 28 goals for England; 1 Champions League title

Honigstein: He's probably the most enthusiastic superstar who's ever played the game -- he just can't stop running. Rooney can play in any position up front and he has the technique to shine in any team. His hunger is a much underappreciated asset.
121Raphael HonigsteinFRaul


All-time leading scorer for Real Madrid, Champions League; 102 caps, 44 goals for Spain

Honigstein: At his best, Raul was nothing less than a genius, the archetype striker in the whole. No one chipped more goalies for fun. His goal record in the Champions League is unlikely to bettered any time soon and few pros played with such elegance and intelligence. A true great.
122Ben LyttletonMClarence Seedorf

Clarence Seedorf

87 caps with Netherlands; 3 Champions League titles; 5 league titles

Lyttleton: I originally picked Seedorf for my bench, but on reflection I can see him starting in my team. Seedorf can play anywhere in midfield or fullback and even played at center back for Ajax, where he was its youngest-ever player. The first man to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax 1995), Real Madrid (1998) and AC Milan (2003), he used to frustrate coaches with his tactical insights and occasional psychobabble, but found a true home at Milan, whose former sports psychologist, Bruno de Michelis, said of him: "He talks 10 percent like a player, 70 percent like a coach and 20 percent like a general manager. But it's always with a positive intention." More than his backchat, I want his versatility in my team.
123Jonathan WilsonD/DMDave Mackay

Dave Mackay

22 caps for Scotland; 2 league titles; 318 league games, 51 goals for Tottenham

Wilson: A certain amount of versatility is essential from the bench. Mackay started out as a tough-tackling calm distributor at left-half, winning the double with Spurs in 1961, further FA Cups in 1962 and 1967 and the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1963. After two leg-breaks, he ended his playing career as a sweeper at Derby, helping Brian Clough's side win promotion to the First Division in 1969, impressing to the extent he was a joint-winner of Footballer of the Year that season -- the only player from the second flight to be so honored. Utterly determined, very, very hard and tactically intelligent, he could fill in either central defensive position or at the back of midfield.
124Grant WahlMMarc Overmars

Marc Overmars

78 league goals in 398 games, 86 caps for Netherlands

Wahl: I want speed on our flanks, and this terrific Dutch winger fits the bill. Overmars gives me flexibility to play a 4-2-3-1 if I want to change from a 4-3-3.
125Gabriele MarcottiD/DMFernando Hierro

Fernando Hierro

5 La Liga titles; 3 Champions League titles; 89 caps, 29 goals for Spain

Marcotti: He's really three players in one. A tall, strong dominant central defender. A midfield ballwinner with a ridiculously accurate range of passing. And an outstanding goal scorer who notched more than 100 for Real Madrid (how many defenders/holding midfielders can say that?) and who was Spain's alltime leading goal scorer before being surpassed by Raul (and later David Villa).
126Iain MacintoshMGianfranco Zola

Gianfranco Zola

193 league goals in 629 games; 35 caps, 10 goals for Italy; 1 Serie A title

MacIntosh: Of all the overseas players to arrive in England in the 90s, Gianfranco Zola was my favorite. Built like a pixie and apparently granted similarly magical powers, he won hearts and minds for Chelsea, as well as two FA Cups, a League Cup and a European Cup Winners' Cup. He was a Serie A winner with Napoli and a UEFA Cup winner with Parma, but perhaps it was the way he ended his career that impressed most. Despite being offered the moon on a stick by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, he insisted on fulfilling a promise and seeing out his days with Calgliari in his native Sardinia. Class.
127Jen ChangD/MJunior


74 caps, 6 goals for Brazil; 410 games, 35 goals; 4 Brazilian Championship titles

Chang: For my subs, versatility is the premium and so I'm opting for Junior, whose two-footnedness and ability to play left back, left midfielder, central midfielder and defensive midfielder gives me a useful insurance policy off the bench.
128Georgina TurnerMRainer Bonhof

Rainer Bonhof

53 caps, 9 goals for Germany; 4 Bundesliga titles; 2 European Championship titles

Turner: Another highly decorated German, Bonhof covers a lot of bases: he can play anywhere in defense or central midfield, looks comfortable no matter which goal he's facing, and he can throw the ball almost as far as he can kick it.
129Steve DavisDFrank de Boer

Frank de Boer

6 league titles; 112 caps, 13 goals for Netherlands; 1 Champions League

Davis: The fact that he was schooled at Ajax, made his bones at Barcelona and was capped 112 times (most ever for the Netherlands until Edwin van der Sar nicked him at the end) for some fantastic Dutch teams is only half the reason I'm excited this guy remains around. The other half: he can fill in equally well at center back or left back, where he began his career at Ajax.
130Rob SmythDDomingos da Guia

Domingos da Guia

30 caps for Brazil; considered greatest defender in Flamengo history; 5 league titles

Smyth: Italians know a thing about defending, and the greatest Italian manager of all, CC Vittorio Pozzo, said it was "hard to imagine a better defender than Domingos da Guia." He is omnipresent when all-time Brazil XIs are selected.
131Rob SmythMRivaldo


FIFA World Player of the Year 1999; World Cup winner 2002; 2 La Liga titles

Smyth: A man who combined the touch of an angel and the fury of the devil. Watching Rivaldo chase a game has been one of the most thrilling sights of the last 20 years, and produced one of the great moments: his hat-trick against Valencia in 2000-01.
132Steve DavisFJurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

108 caps, 47 goals for Germany; 1990 World Cup winner; Euro 1996 winner

Davis: Cue the accusations of kissing up in 3, 2, 1 ... But I don't care. Klinsmann can play any of my front three positions, and probably elsewhere in a real jam. Nor do I care that "Coach Klinsmann" no longer takes the umlaut. The player did, so that's how I'm writing it up.
133Georgina TurnerFPreben Eljkaer

Preben Eljkaer

69 caps, 38 goals for Denmark; 2 league titles; Denmark Player Of The Year 1984

Turner: Big, powerful and absolutely deadly, the Great Dane is a valuable addition to my squad -- a match for the ugliest central defenders, he offers a beefier challenge than Fontaine, and could play alongside the Frenchman when I'm feeling brave enough to play two up front.
134Jen ChangM/FKevin Keegan

Kevin Keegan

2-time Ballon d'Or winner; 204 league goals in 592 games; 4 league titles

Chang: Sticking with the theme of versatility, I've opted for Kevin Keegan, a pure bundle of energy and pace who could play anywhere across the forward line or as a striker. Despite being a Ballon d'Or winner in 1978, 1979 and runner-up in 1977, Keegan was strangely underrated in his career, but one only has to watch him do to Berti Vogts what Johan Cruyff could not (in the 1977 European Cup final) to see just how good he was.
135Iain MacintoshDRon Yeats

Ron Yeats

550 league appearances; 2 English league titles; 4 caps for Scotland

MacIntosh: The man is a mountain, go into the dressing room and walk around him. That's how Bill Shankly introduced journalists to his new signing Ron Yeats, and they weren't disappointed. Nicknamed "The Colossus," he was more than just a big lump of bloke, he was a leader of men. Shankly made him captain as soon as he arrived at Anfield, a shrewd move indeed. Liverpool was promoted to the top flight that season and it never looked back. Yeats may not have been able to boast a medal collection to rival the Liverpool legends of the 70s and 80s, but he was a crucial foundation block for their success.
136Gabriele MarcottiFJose Altafini

Jose Altafini

216 league goals in 459 appearances; capped by both Brazil and Italy

Marcotti: Known as Mazola in Brazil, Altafini helped the Selecao win the 1958 World Cup. He moved to Milan, helping them win the European Cup and scoring 14 goals along the way: it's still an EC/CL record and may never be broken. He's the 4th all-time goal scorer in the history of Serie A, he later moved to Napoli where he was arguably their most iconic player ever (before some dude named Maradona came along). And he ended up at Juventus in his mid-30s, establishing himself as the ultimate super-sub.
137Grant WahlDNemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidic

4 English league titles; 55 caps, 2 goals for Serbia; 1 Champions League title

Wahl: Today's game is so athletic and physical that you need a center back who's proven himself at the highest levels. Enter the Manchester United man.
138Jonathan WilsonMDejan Savicevic

Dejan Savicevic

3 Serie A titles; 2 Champions League titles; 56 caps, 19 goals for Yugoslavia

Wilson: Savicevic remains perhaps the best technical dribbler football has ever known. For Red Star Belgrade and AC Milan he was mesmerizing, darting through gaps no one else could see, laying a defender on his back with the slightest change of pace. Coming from the bench he give some a few options: he could play left or right in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, or he could play off a frontman, be that Shevchenko or Weah. His link up with Stojkovic in Stojkovic's last season at Red Star was electric.
139Ben LyttletonM/FEric Cantona

Eric Cantona

4 English league titles; 131 league goals in 369 appearances; 45 caps for France

Lyttleton: What to say about one of the most iconic players of the modern-day era? If anyone can turn a match in a moment, produce a moment of pure genius, or even just spice up the dressing-room with some homespun philosophy, it's the charismatic Frenchman. I can just imagine Cantona slowly getting off the subs' bench to warm up and all the players trying that little bit harder. My problem might be to persuade King Eric to sit there in the first place ...
140Raphael HonigsteinGKMichel Preudhomme

Michel Preudhomme

5-time Belgian GK of the Year; 58 caps for Belgium; 3 Belgian league titles

Honigstein: At a time when the world liked goalkeepers to be big and brash, Preud'homme's understated, technical style stood out by a mile. The Belgian keeper was at his peak in the mid to early 80s, when he did his bit to modernize the position. There was nothing showy or ornamental about his game. Preud'homme did all the little things -- positioning, anticipation -- so well that he was rarely forced into last-ditch heroics.
141Raphael HonigsteinDMMarcos Senna

Marcos Senna

Euro 2008 winner; 28 caps for Spain; Don Balon Award 2008 for best Spanish Player

Honigstein: Would Spain have broken its duck and won the Euro 2008 without the experience and steel of Senna at the heart of its team? Probably not. In his prime, Senna was a master at breaking up the play, committing tactical fouls and keeping things simple. As a holding midfielder/hoover specialist, he had few peers.
142Ben LyttletonFSamuel Etoo

Samuel Etoo

4-time African Player of the Year; 4 league titles; 3 Champions League titles

Lyttleton: Eto'o brings you goals and he wins you trophies. Even Real Mallorca won the Copa del Rey when he was there, and that was before three league titles and two Champions Leagues with Barcelona, and the same trophies with Inter Milan. Eto'o is more than just a goal machine, though, he is intelligent and, occasionally, prepared to sacrifice himself for the team (as he did in Inter's European triumph over Barcelona). As it stands, Eto'o is first reserve for Ronaldo in my team. I also like the fact they both played for the same trio of Europe's biggest clubs.
143Jonathan WilsonD/MMorten Olsen

Morten Olsen

2-time Danish Player Of The Year; 102 caps and 4 goals for Denmark

Wilson: Do I bolster midfield, try to add width, or bring in another central defender? Easy: I'll do the lot by picking up Morten Olsen, who started out as a winger, became a holding midfielder and ultimately a libero. And if you can play on the wing and as a central defender, you can play fullback as well. In a playing career spent mainly in Belgium -- he won three Belgian league titles and a Uefa Cup with Anderlecht -- the Dane played in every outfield position. Noted for his range of passing, and his acceleration from deep positions, he was a key part of Denmark's brilliant 1986 World Cup side.
144Grant WahlFDidier Drogba

Didier Drogba

2-time African Player of the Year; 75 caps, 50 goals for Ivory Coast; 3 league titles

Wahl: Who better to bring on if you need a late goal than one of the most punishing finishers of all time?
145Gabriele MarcottiD/MSinisa Mihajlovic

Sinisa Mihajlovic

426 league games, 66 goals, 63 international caps

Marcotti: Yes, I know, I've gone all Jonathan Wilson on y'all. The best free-kick taker I've ever seen (and, young 'uns, I've seen both Maradona AND Platini), Mihajlovic evolved from winger to leftback to central defender without missing a beat. He brings size, strength and a great range of passing. His versatily means he can fill in for Nilton Santos or Gento down the left and for Beckenbauer and Figueroa in central defense. What I also like is that he's an absolute badass and a leader.
146Iain MacintoshMJim Baxter

Jim Baxter

34 caps for Scotland; 3 Scottish League titles; 3 Scottish Cups; 4 Scottish League Cups

MacIntosh: Admired by both Pele and Puskas, Jim Baxter was Scotland's greatest ever footballer. The party-loving Rangers legend was a devastating creative force, blessed with an wonderful eye for a pass and a swaggering confidence that inspired his teammates. Because of injury and extracurricular activities, neither his career or his life lasted as long as they should have done, but his talent was undeniable. He'll be perfect if I lose either Andres Iniesta or Glenn Hoddle to injury.
147Jen ChangM/FFrancesco Totti

Francesco Totti

Roma's all-time leading goal scorer; 2006 World Cup winner; 58 caps for Italy

Chang: I needed a creative replacement in the hole in the event Platini gets injured and with Rivaldo gone I opted for Totti. Granted Totti's temperament can be erratic at times, but on this team with leaders like Scirea and Baresi to keep him in line, he'd be perfect off the bench to change the flow of the game. His vision and one-touch passing can be exquisite and as he proved later in his career, he can also carry the load as a pure striker.
148Georgina TurnerMMartin Peters

Martin Peters

1966 World Cup winner; 67 caps, 20 goals for England; 175 league goals

Turner: The first time I sat down to watch the 1966 World Cup final, I was prepared to be blown away by Alan Ball ... instead I couldn't take my eyes off Peters. He popped up everywhere, bombing forward and tracking back for 120 minutes, making his stamina and creativity (not to mention the fact that he could play any outfield position if required) irresistible.
149Steve DavisGKPat Jennings

Pat Jennings

Over 1000 top level appearances; 119 caps for Northern Ireland; 762 league games

Davis: The Northern Ireland legend has famously said he could have been happy working the timber industry, yet Jennings and his enormous hands practically stumbled upon a decorated career that spanned 22 years and six World Cup qualifying campaigns. Utterly unflappable, he even crossed the bitter divide between Arsenal and Tottenham, claiming an FA Cup for both north London clubs.
150Rob SmythGKBert Trautmann

Bert Trautmann

545 appearances for Man City; 1 FA Cup; FWA Footballer Of The Year 1956

Smyth: Germany's greatest keeper. Lev Yashin once said that here had only ever been two world-class keepers: himself and Trautmann. He was outrageously hard, playing in an FA Cup final with a broken neck and punching both his sergeant and his captor during World War II.
151Rob SmythGKPeter Shilton

Peter Shilton

Most capped player for England with 125; 1 league title; 2 European Cups

Smyth: A complete freak who played at the top level for 25 years and turned himself into one of the alltime great goalkeepers.
152Steve DavisMJohnny Giles

Johnny Giles

2 English league titles; 59 caps, 5 goals with Republic of Ireland; 2 FA Cups

Davis: I understand that weapons-grade determination and the steel to dress down any sloppy or shiftless teammates probably won't mean a thing in simulated matches. Well, dang it, it's my team and I feel better about myself for making Giles part of it! Here's what Brian Clough said of the man who was all at once creative and fierce, "Giles could grab hold of a match, tuck it in his back pocket and carry it around with him. He didn't need to find space, it was as if space found him."
153Georgina TurnerGKJurgen Croy

Jurgen Croy

3-time GDR Footballer of the Year; 86 caps for East Germany; 372 league games

Turner: A reserve goalkeeper capable of matching Maier but accustomed to being in his shadow; my last pick had to be Croy, the brilliant East German goalkeeper of the 1970s who was never able to chase the fame and fortune that his talents should have earned. He was a terrific shot-stopper who bossed the area and played the ball out well -- starting the move that brought Jurgen Sparwasser's winning goal against West Germany in 1974.
154Jen ChangGKIker Casillas

Iker Casillas

2010 World Cup winner; 4 La Liga, 2 Champions League titles; Euro 2008 winner

Chang: Surprised he's still around, but Casillas consistently comes up with huge stops in the biggest games. No less than authority as Gordon Banks has marveled that "Casillas' reflexes are incredible" and his nickname of "Saint" says it all.
155Iain MacintoshGKRinat Dasaev

Rinat Dasaev

6-time Soviet Player of the Year; 91 international caps; 2 league titles

MacIntosh: One of the finest goalkeepers of the 1980s, Rinat Dasayev will be a perfect companion to Lev Yashin when they toddle off for goalkeeper training. After all, they are regarded as the best and the second best Soviet goalkeepers in history. Dasayev was a lithe, long-limbed stopper with first class reactions and such awesome agility that he was, like all great goalies, nicknamed "The Cat." I think it's probably best to leave him on the bench when we play Steve's team though. He's got Marco van Basten and we don't want a repeat of 1988 ...
156Gabriele MarcottiGKWalter Zenga

Walter Zenga

58 caps for Italy; 1 Serie A title; 2 UEFA Cups; 328 league games for Inter

Marcotti: Tempted as I was to select Ubaldo Fillol, I sort of realized I should probably increase the Italian count on my team. (Our boss, Jen Chang, wisely did that, picking four of them). After all, you don't become world champions FOUR times by sheer, dumb coincidence. So I'm going with the brash, loud Zenga, the guy they called "Spider Man." At the 1990 World Cup, he went 517 minutes without conceding a single goal (all the way to the semifinal and Claudio Caniggia's bizarre looping backward header). It's a record that won't be equaled for a long time. Agility, quickness, aggression ... he played goalkeeper the way a linebacker plays football. And he was also funny and full of bluster, which is a good thing since my team is a little too full of very serious single-minded types
157Grant WahlGKBrad Friedel

Brad Friedel

Most consecutive apperances in Premier League history; 82 caps for U.S.

Wahl: Need a backup keeper, and I'm going with an American.
158Jonathan WilsonGKAleksiy Khomich

Aleksiy Khomich

2 Soviet championship titles

Wilson: MacIntosh may claim there were only two great Russian goalkeepers, but there was a third, arguably greater than either: Aleksiy Khomich. Nicknamed "Tiger" for his bravery in rushing at the feet of forwards and his improbable spring, he was so good that he kept Lev Yashin out of the Dinamo Moscow team for years, leading him to consider a career in ice hockey.
159Ben LyttletonGKJean Marie Pfaff

Jean Marie Pfaff

3 Bundesliga titles; 64 caps for Belgium; Belgium Golden Shoe 1978

Lyttleton: My fellow managers are trying to be far too clever, grasping around for obscure goalkeepers from way back (you know who you are, Wilson), when one of the most recognizable ever is still available. A league winner with Beveren and Bayern, Pfaff was also a key figure in Belgium's run to the 1986 World Cup semifinals. I'm sorry that no one else from that team has yet been picked: I would have loved Enzo Scifo, Eric Gerets or Jan Ceulemans, but just look at my squad. So, Pfaff is the final piece in my jigsaw, and an impressive one at that.
160Raphael HonigsteinGKVictor Valdes

Victor Valdes

5 La Liga titles; 3 Champions League titles; 2010 World Cup winner

Honigstein: Valdes shares his fate with Alves: his true quality is rarely appreciated due to the more glamorous players in front of him. He's a cool customer and without a doubt one of the most reliable keepers in the modern game.
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