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Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti selects his dream Champions League XI

Martin Joseph
CONTRIBUTOR
31.17K   //    17 May 2015, 12:32 IST
Javier Zanetti Champions League
Javier Zanetti won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010

Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti who won the Champions League with the Italians in 2010 told the Daily Mail who all would make it into his all-time Champions League XI team.

The Argentine who retired in 2014 after winning a Champions League medal, five Serie A titles and a FIFA Club World Cup did not include himself in the team and made some interesting selections.

The former ‘Nerazzurri’ captain who spent 19 years with Inter talks about who makes his dream team and why.  

Goalkeeper

Angelo Peruzzi: “It could have been him or Gianluigi Buffon but I remember how commanding he was. A great goalkeeper but also a great organiser of defenders.


Defenders:

Cafu: “Could attack as well as defend – the complete full back.”

Walter Samuel: “I played many times with him for Inter and Argentina and it is easy to see why they call him 'the wall.' The season we won the Treble under Jose Mourinho he was incredible.”

Roberto Ayala: “Is not talked about enough as one of the great defenders of the generation, you do not win over a 100 caps for Argentina for no reason. A big part of Valencia winning two La Liga titles and breaking Madrid and Barcelona's stronghold.”

Paolo Maldini: “Of course he is one of the all-time great defenders but also a man of great loyalty and integrity. It was a pleasure to face him in so many Milan derbies.”


Midfielders:

Javier Zanetti and Lionel Messi Champions League
Inter Milan led by Javier Zanetti defeated Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the 2009-10 CL semi-final  

Lionel Messi: “When you think Messi has reached a ceiling and he can't get any better, he surprises you. The best in the world and very proud that he is Argentine.”

Patrick Vieira: “A great football player of course, but also a great athlete. He had the physical ability to be able to boss the game from midfield.”

Xavi: “So much of Barcelona's success is because he had the intelligence to control the pace and movement of the game. Still even has a big role to play for them now.”

Ryan Giggs: “Without doubt one of the toughest opponents that I have ever faced and I always have so much respect for great players that stay at one club for their career.”


Strikers:

Roberto Baggio: “I faced some of the best strikers in the world in Serie A but I can't think of one with the natural ability of Baggio.”

Ronaldo Brazil
Zanetti believes that Ronaldo was one of the best in the world

Ronaldo (Brazil): “Along with Messi he is the best player I have shared a dressing room with. Of course he had so much skill and ability, but people do not realise just how powerful he was.”

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Martin Joseph
CONTRIBUTOR
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