Zinedine Zidane revealed the list of his favourite Premier League players of all time, as the Real Madrid manager named a star-laden XI that could strike fear into many hearts. The Frenchman picked many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side in his XI, while notably omitting David Beckham, despite having played with him in Spain.
Zidane revealed his lineup to Shortlist, after the website asked him to name the best players to have graced England’s shores in the Premier League era. Zidane paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson with a 4-4-2 formation, with 6 Manchester United players in the lineup, with Cristiano Ronaldo playing upfront as a striker.
Zidane’s line up has a rather odd look to it, as Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard occupy the wings, with the Frenchman displaying his love for central midfielders, although Roy Keane is another notable omission from the lineup.
Ashley Cole, of Arsenal and Chelsea, is the only non-United player in the defence, with the other three positions being some of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most regular players. Jaap Stam was one of Zidane’s choices and he enunciated, saying “Alex Ferguson didn’t make many mistakes, but selling Stam was one. Manchester United really struggled when he left, and didn’t look the same in defence until [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand formed their partnership.”
Real Madrid links to this XI
While Florentino Perez was infamously dismissive when he let Claude Makelele go, Zidane revealed the feelings of the Madrid squad as he named the Frenchman in his lineup, saying “The Madrid players were disappointed when he was sold to Chelsea. I can’t talk up his importance enough. Sometimes it might look like he does an invisible job, but he allows the attacking players to do their job. The best ever at what he does.”
Zidane also let slip that he’d convinced Real Madrid to make a bid for Steven Gerrard, saying “For a time he was the best midfield player in the world. I told Madrid I wanted to play alongside him, but he was loyal to Liverpool. That was lucky for them, because he was a pleasure to watch and the complete midfield player.”
The current Real Madrid manager finally named Ronaldo as a striker up top, and complimented his current player, saying “He was the best player in the world for the last two seasons he had at Manchester United, and has gone on to a level at Madrid that puts him among the all-time greats. He is so much more than his incredible goal scoring record, and still has many big seasons ahead of him.”
Here is the final lineup that Zidane named: