World Football : Team of The Decade
Goal keeper > Gianluigi Buffon: One of the most intelligent and technically gifted keepers ever. His brilliant handling coupled with dynamite reflexes and, above all consistency see him beat off competition from Iker Casillas, Edwin Van De Sar and Oliver Kahn.
Right back > Javier Zanetti: Both efficient with the ball as he was without it, Zanetti's ability is further enhanced by the fact that he is played in midfield when required. Longevity in terms of co-ordination and speed sets him aside. His professionalism and character also make him my captain.
Centre back > Fabio Cannavaro: Now back at his Turin home, Cannavaro is still able to cut it at the top. Captaining his side to a world cup glory has immortalised the centre half that proved height was not everything, anticipation and awareness in abundance.
Centre back > Lucio: Came to our attention at the 2002 world cup, and without a sound has built of his reputation, first with Leverkusen, Bayern and now Inter. The no nonsense defender has always had a ruthless ability to break forward. Not on obvious choice, but no doubt a worthy one.
Left back > Roberto Carlos: Like a coiled spring, he blasted his way past the oppositions for a number of years at Real, while proving just as good for his country. His energy and speed see him fend of the more conservative Maldini, in this decade anyway.
Right midfield > David Beckham: A surprise inclusion maybe but Beckham has continued to do what he does best for close to 15 years now. United was perhaps his best spell, where his passing, shooting, crossing and of course, pin-point accurate set pieces made him a legend. Loved in three major footballing cities, and would still be a valuable member of any side.
Centre midfield > Claude Makalele: Understated, as every defensive midfielder should be yet wonderfully proficient. No-nonsense at its best and a terrific reader of the game, the thwarter of many a counter attacking side. Calmness personified. Surprisingly, Marcos Senna comes in at a close second.
Centre midfield > Steven Gerrard: Roy of the Rovers he may well be, and a player for whom it is hard to distinguish his strengths given that he does everything so well. Has gotten Liverpool out of plenty a sticky patch, at his best when playing in the centre, doing everything, everywhere.
Left midfield > Ronaldinho: His star does not shine as brightly as it once did, but a constant danger, and in his Barca heyday, simply unstoppable. His ability to do the unexpected, pluck goals from nothing, make him perhaps the biggest X factor player of the past ten years.
Centre forward > Thierry Henry: Elegant, swift and clinical, the Frenchman carried Arsenal's attack towards double glory before switching to Spain where he has blended into a natural setting of fluidity and pace and attained a whole host of major honours.
Striker > Ruud Van Nistelrooy: A striker's striker. A goal machine, and perhaps the most prolific, for both clubs and country. Even when out of form or favour, Ruud put away everything in the box. A technically gifted player for his size. A complete target man.
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