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Greatest XI


E2K
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This has probably been done before but what the hell.

 

Who would be on your best football team of your lifetime? Not only should it be made up of the best players you've ever SEEN play in their prime (so no Puskas or Di Stefano please, unless you're in your sixties), but it should also be a team that would play well together.

 

I'll get the ball rolling:

 

Peter Scmeichel (Man Utd & Denmark)

 

Ciro Ferrara (Napoli, Juventus & Italy)

Franco Baresi (AC Milan & Italy)

Paul McGrath (Man Utd, Aston Villa & Ireland)

Paolo Maldini (AC Milan & Italy)

 

John Barnes (Liverpool & England)

Diego Maradona (Napoli & Argentina)

Roy Keane (Man Utd & Ireland)

Robert Pires (Arsenal & France)

 

Romario (Barcelona & Brazil)

Marco Van Basten (AC Milan & Holland)

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Heres mine

 

Peter Schmeichel in the goal

 

At the back I'd have Cafu on the right (Brazil, Roma, Milan), Maldini on the left with

Blanc (France, Inter, Barca) and Matthus (Munich and Germany) in the centre

 

In midfield I'd put Figo (Barca, Real and Portugal) on the right, Giggs (Man U and Wales) on the left with Zidane (Juventus, Real and France) and Keano (Forest, Man U and Ireland) in the centre.

 

As for upfront, would you like to play against Eric Cantona (Man U and France) and Marco Van Basten, don't think you would.

 

As for Beckham, I wanted him to be there for pure skill Figo edges him out on the right and Zidane in the middle, maybe if he proves himself next year in Madrid I'll upgrade him.

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Yeah, thought about Beckham myself, but I wouldn't have him in my team on general principle. He's way too overrated, he's good enough at what he does but Pires, whos one of the most skilful players I've ever seen, brings so much more to the table. Baggio was also close to my team, as was Raul and Zidane.
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I would have put Maradona in mine had it not been for one reason, and its not the hand of god. Its the fact like George Best before him he had it all and he threw it away and that is not allowed, if I had that level of talent I'd feel it was my duty to use it and show everyone and hopefully make them feel better for as long as I can, not a few peak years like him. As for overrated, well Barnes did one good thing in an International shirt against Brazil and a few for Liverpool but most of my memories where him at the end of his career dragging the Liverpool midfield down, that hurt his legacy and makes me think he's overrated.
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Andy Goram (Rangers, Hibernian, Oldham, various others & Scotland)

 

Paolo Maldini (Milan & Italy)

Andreas Brehme (Bayern Munich, Internazionale, Kaiserslautern & Germany)

Matthias Sammer (Borussia Dortmund & Germany)

 

Diego Maradona (Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla & Argentina)

Lothar Matthaus (Bayern Munich, Internazionale & Germany)

Rivaldo (Deportivo, Barcelona, Milan, Cruiziero & Brazil)

Zinedine Zidane (Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid & Italy)

 

Romario (PSV, Barcelona, Flamengo, Valencia, Vasco da Gama & Brazil)

Ronaldo (Cruziero, PSV, Barcelona, Internazionale, Real Madrid & Brazil)

Alan Shearer (Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United & England)

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I just remember Barnes destroying defences is the english league at his peak. True, he definitely dipped quite badly at the end of his career, but I didn't see any better left wingers (and that includes Giggs). As for Maradona, he's quite simply the most talented footballer I've ever had the pleasure to watch.
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Thats what I mean you have more great memories of Barnes where as I only have the bad ones, although he could have been an improvement in the midfield on McManaman... But their is one reason I picked Giggs above all on the left, THAT GOAL AGAINST ARSENAL! Sorry the greatness of the memory makes me scream in excitment.
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I'll list two teams as when I thought it was players that you had seen play in their prime, it was meant that you should only include players you've seen when you've actually attended the games and watched them in person rather than just seeing them on the telly. I gather that isn't the idea but I'm quite fascinated by that now so I'll have one overall team and one team based on players who I've seen in person. I'll not bother trying to list all of their clubs like some people have as I won't always know every club for every player, but for my own team that I've seen in person I'll list the club for which they were playing when I saw them.

 

Overall (3-2-1-4, why not?!):

 

Sebastiano Rossi (AC Milan)

 

Michel Salgado (Real Madrid, Spain)

Jurgen Köhler (Germany, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund)

Andreas Brehme (Germany)

 

Ruud Gullit (AC Milan, Holland)

Diego Maradona (Barcelona, Napoli, Argentina)

 

Roberto Baggio (Juventus, Bologna, Internazionale, Italy)

 

Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany, Internazionale, Bayern Munich, Tottenham twice? Eh?)

Marco van Basten (Ajax, AC Milan, Holland)

Romário (PSV, Barcelona, Flamengo, Brazil)

Claudio Caniggia (Roma, Boca Juniors, Argentina, Dundee, some second rate team after Dundee)

 

I might as well add that I actually think of Marco van Basten as the best player of all time, maybe it's to do with eras as I wasn't around at the time of Pelé, Jimmy Johnstone, Best, Bobby Charlton or Law, but although people think of Maradona as the best and he was more successful at international level, van Basten for me was the one guy who consistently made your jaw drop with his finishing and forward play. I was really gutted when he had to cut his career short through injury, I think that was the only thing (apart perhaps from Holland's and his disappointing World Cup 1990 and European Championships of 1992) that stopped him from being recognised in the same way that Maradona and Pelé are. If anyone who wasn't around when he was in his prime wonders who he is or how good he was then I would urge you to find some highlights of this great man in action as quite frankly his abilities mock other top strikers who have been praised more than him. Suggested viewing would include the 1988 European Championships (obviously), AC Milan 4 Steaua Bucharest 0 (European Cup final, was either 1989 or 1990), the first season of the European Cup as the Champions League (the highlight being AC Milan 4 IFK Gothenburg 0, van Basten putting all four goals past Ravelli and completing his hat-trick with an overhead kick from the edge of the box), plus the superb (1993?) Fiorentina 3 AC Milan 7 (Batistuta and the Holy Trinity of Gullit, Rijkaard and van Basten were all on form in that game).

 

Anyway, for a team I've seen in person (a high scoring game would be likely with a dodgy 3-3-4 formation!):

 

Peter Schmeichel (Sporting Lisbon)

 

Michel Salgado (Real Madrid)

Paul Elliot (Celtic)

Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid)

 

Luís Figo (Real Madrid)

Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

Kiki Musampa (Málaga)

 

Diego Tristán (Deportivo)

Frank McAvennie (Celtic)

Raúl (Real Madrid)

Henrik Larsson (Celtic)

 

I'll have to have a ridiculously overcrowded 16 man substitutes bench for this team as there were some cool players who didn't make the starting eleven.

 

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Fernando Hierro (Real Madrid)

Roberto Torre Acuña (Real Zaragoza)

Dino Baggio (Parma)

John Collins (Celtic)

Ian Rush (Liverpool)

João Pinto (Sporting Lisbon)

John Barnes (Liverpool)

Charlie Nicholas (Celtic)

Mirandinha (Newcastle United)

Guti (Real Madrid)

Peter Beardsley (Liverpool)

Claudio Caniggia (Dundee)

Ismael Urzáiz (Athletic Bilbao)

Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid)

Pierre van Hooijdonk (Celtic)

 

I would have included Roy Makaay (Deportivo) in place of Guti but I can't remember if Roy Makaay was playing when I saw Deportivo. He didn't start, but if I remember rightly he came off the bench later in the game. Can't say for certain though, so Guti goes in place of him. People may wonder how Caniggia could get in the overall team and not the one of only players I've seen, but Tristán right now is too good not to feature, Raúl hasn't been that great recently but has always scored when I've seen him and there's no way Henke or the Frankyboy could be left on the bench in my team!

 

For managers I would choose to have either Billy McNeill, Martin O'Neill or Vicente del Bosque (Vinny from the Forest) in charge.

 

Unfortunately there was no room for...

 

Phil Babb (Sporting Lisbon)

 

or even...

 

Savo Milosevic (Real Zaragoza)

 

nor even the almighty legend that is...

 

Vinny Samways (Las Palmas).

 

Incredible!

Edited by MillionLiraMan
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In fairness, I've HEARD that Puskas was a great player, same as Di Stefano, Pele, Cruyff and a lot of other players that I've never actually SEEN play. I wouldn't feel right putting in players whose talents I never actually saw. I agree about Goram though.
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Goram was a fantastic goalkeeper in his Rangers heyday but the fact is he didn't make that save that Schmicheal made against Rapid Vienna in the 97/98 Champions League, the one that even Gordon Banks said was better then his against Brazil in 1970. Plus without the great dane United would never have caught Newcastle or won the 1999 Treble.
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Goram was a fantastic goalkeeper in his Rangers heyday but the fact is he didn't make that save that Schmicheal made against Rapid Vienna in the 97/98 Champions League' date=' the one that even Gordon Banks said was better then his against Brazil in 1970. Plus without the great dane United would never have caught Newcastle or won the 1999 Treble.[/quote']

 

I'd contest that. Goram's save from Pierre van Hooijdonk is the greatest save I've ever seen and I'd think a lot of Celtic fans would even agree with that. It's definitely in the same category as the two great saves you've mentioned. Don't get me wrong, Peter Schmeichel was a fantastic keeper and overall probably had more great seasons than Goram but if you'd asked me in 1992/93 season who I'd want in my team I'd have picked Andy Goram ahead of Schmeichel.

 

People can be very ignorant about Scottish football sometimes, they forget Rangers were the best team in Britain back when Goram was at his peak. And if anyone laughs at that then they obviously didn't watch football back then because they were. They were unbeaten in the Champions League, beating the English champions comfortably along the way and were incredibly close to getting to the final. And that was largely due to the form of Goram. Back then I could watch Rangers and just know they weren't going to lose because they had Goram in nets.

 

some of these choices are ridiculas andy gorum instead of ferenc puskas!!

 

Bibby, you can't even spell Goram's name right. I've never seen Puskas play, he didn't play same position as Andy Goram and Andy Goram was my footballing idol when I was a lad. Also it's my team so zip it bucko.

Edited by The Crippler
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I have to say though I am not ignorant of Scottish football, my family is mostly scottish and either support Celtic or Rangers depending on their religon as is the case most of the time with the older generation in Glasgow, plus you know Goram has to be a good goalkeeper no great goalkeeper or Man U wouldn't have signed him in there search for the Great Danes replacement. And yes for a time, when they had Goram and Laudrup and Hately and McCoist amongst others Rangers where the best time in Britain, until the Bosman rule meant cheap forgieners came in and ruined the up and comers chances and damaged scottish football. Plus Man Utd got better and streched the limits of what a Britsh team in Europe since the days of the great Liverpool team of the 70's and 80's.
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Ok I'm Going 4-4-2 its the best formation

 

Peter Schmeichel

 

Left Back Paolo Maldini

Center Back Marcel Desailly(in his Milan days)

Center Back Franko Baresi

Right back CAFU

Left Wing - Ryan Giggs

Centre Midfield - Roy Keane

Centre Midfield - Diego Maradonna( The best player eh eh ever as jericho would say)

Right Midfield - Zinedine Zidane (had to fit him in somewhere)

Striker - Ronaldo

Striker Marco Van Basten

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OK, Boyo will do a team:

 

GK: David Seaman

 

LCB: Paolo Maldini

CB: Tony Adams

RCB: Lillian Thuram

 

LM: Alvaro Recoba

CM: Patrick Vieira

CM: Zinedine Zidane

RM: David Beckham

 

FL: Thierry Henry

ST: Gabriel Batistuta

FR: Diego Maradona

 

Manager: Arsene Wenger

 

Subs:

Ian Wright

Marco van Basten

Demetrio Albertini

Fernando Hierro

Michel Platini

Pablo Aimar

 

Cheers!

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As a Celtic fan I'd certainly back up Crippler's claims for having Goram in his team, and say that the save from van Hooijdonk is the best save that I've seen as well. Just because something happened in Scottish football doesn't mean that it doesn't count or is less important.

 

I've seen Goram play numerous times against Celtic during his time with Hibernian and Rangers and although a lot of the time we wanted to dismiss some of his saves as jammy or flukes, the sheer number of miraculous saves that he made consistently meant that eventually we had to acknowledge that there was more to it than that. OK, so I didn't pick Goram for my team, but out of all of the keepers I've seen play, I'd still say that he has been the best when I've seen him (albeit in general I would pick Schmeichel and Casillas ahead of him).

 

Any Celtic fan who is honest about the Tommy Burns era at Celtic Park will freely admit that Goram was the main reason as to why Rangers won the titles and Celtic didn't. People talk about Laudrup and McCoist but when we had van Hooijdonk, Cadete and di Canio we were every bit as good going forward as Rangers were and in Old Firm games often created the majority of the chances. However, the fact that Rangers had Goram in nets while we had Gordon Marshall meant that when Rangers had a shot on target it was a goal, but when we had a shot on target Goram would defy the laws of gravity, space and time and save it. Git.

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I've never seen Goram's save from van Hooijdonk but i've always hear rave reviews about it. Best save ever in my opinion is Seaman's against Sheffield United in the FA Cup Semi Final last season. It was truly marvellous, and just think he was 39 and he pulled off a save like that. His speed and the way he changed directions and somehow scooped the ball away was simply magnificant.

 

I'll have a think about my best 11. :)

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I agree that Seaman's was a blinder but he didn't half make some blunders as well... But one last thing, Scottish football is important and its important the English have a strong rival north of the border, I mean when both teams at their peak in the 1960's it drove both teams to perform at their best at international level. Oh and Laudrup was better then Di Canio, Pierre and Cadate, but they were good as well oh and Rangers had Gazza.
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I agree that Seaman's was a blinder but he didn't half make some blunders as well... But one last thing' date=' Scottish football is important and its important the English have a strong rival north of the border, I mean when both teams at their peak in the 1960's it drove both teams to perform at their best at international level. Oh and Laudrup was better then Di Canio, Pierre and Cadate, but they were good as well oh and Rangers had Gazza.[/quote']

 

I'm not saying that they weren't as good as van Hooijdonk, di Canio and Cadete in general, but in the Old Firm games Celtic tended to create as many if not more chances than Rangers, even though they always seemed to beat us or at least avoid defeat. They tended to soak up more pressure at the back before dissecting our paper thin defence, but Goram was still the major factor between the teams for me. Rangers did also have Gascoigne, but while I think he was important it is also more important to point out that they had Jörg Albertz, who was right up there with Roberto Carlos in terms of having the hardest shot in football. Even if Marshall managed to get in the way of one of his shots, it just meant that Marshall and the ball would end up going in the back of the net, or if Marshall was nowhere near it then the ball would burst through the net and injure someone in the crowd.

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