Jaap Stam leaves out Paul Scholes as he names his best team mates XI
Former Manchester United legend and arguably one of the best defenders of his time, Jaap Stam, has picked his best team mates XI. Jaap Stam had a phenomenal career with titles in England, Holland and Italy. In his playing days, he spent time at major clubs like Dutch heavyweights PSV Eindhoven and Ajax, Manchester United, and Italian giants Lazio and AC Milan. He is popularly known as the most expensive defender of his time. When signed in 1998 by Sir Alex Ferguson, he spent three seasons at Old Trafford and won titles in every season along with the famous treble of 1998-99.
Since he played alongside many greats of the game in his era, Jaap Stam unmistakably pointed out that it required a good thought to pick out 11 players. Controversially, Stam has left out Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, AC Milan favourite Kaka, and Peter Schmeichel, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time. However, the centre-back added: “It is difficult to pick someone in every position, because I have played with so many great players; Peter Schmeichel would be a contender for goalkeeper, for example, but I can only choose one. He is not the only one I have left out: Kaka, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes — he is one of the most underestimated players of the past 20 years.”
The current manager of Championship club Reading, his first ever coaching assignment, Jaap Stam revealed his best team mates XI speaking in an interview with The Times. As a dignified Dutchman, Stam said that he wouldn't base his best XI on any other formation than the 4-3-3. "It has to be a 4-3-3 formation: that is the Dutch way," he said.
Here’s a look at Jaap Stam’s best team mates XI:
GK: Edwin van der Sar
Stam explained the tough choice he had to make when choosing the Netherlands international whose goal he defended during the mid-1990s to early 2000s. Edwin van der Sar won accolades at several clubs such as Ajax, Juventus and Manchester United. In his long and successful career, he was voted the Dutch Goalkeeper of the Year for four consecutive years, Best European Goalkeeper in 1995 and 2009, and UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009.
In the 2008-09 Champions League winning season for Manchester United, he set the clean sheet record for not conceding a single goal for 1,311 minutes. Along with making the most appearances for the Netherlands national team, with 130 caps, he is the oldest player to win a Premier League title at 40 years and 205 days old for the Red Devils.