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Ronaldo picks his all time Dream XI

Anirudh Menon
FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
19.58K   //    14 Sep 2017, 14:51 IST

Ronaldo Nazario is arguably the greatest pure striker the game has ever seen and he sat down to name his Dream Team - the best XI from footballers past and present who he would pick to represent him.

He started off in typical cheeky manner claiming that there's no reason required, no explanation required for the picks he makes before proceeding to rattle out the names that would make his team.

For the goalkeeper, he picked Gianluigi Buffon - an old adversary he faced down many times in the Serie A and the Champions League. In central defence, he stuck to the Italian flavour and went for the redoubtable pairing of Paolo Maldini and Fabio Cannavaro. He faced both these superb defenders in his time in Italy - Cannavaro recently admitted that the mere mention of Ronaldo's names had him and his fellow Napoli defenders quaking in their boots (back when the Brazilian was at the very height of his considerable powers with Internazionale) - and even played with Maldini during his late stint at AC Milan.

In the full-back positions, he went with two people he is completely familiar with and who were, arguably, the best players in their positions in their prime - Cafu and Roberto Carlos. The two were integral parts of the Brazil squad that lifted the 2002 World Cup... a cup that was redemptive in so many ways for the great man.

Giving just as much a damn about defensive-mindedness as he used to in his playing days, he completely ignored any defensive midfielders or strong men to quickly rattle out three names for midfield.

First up was his former Real Madrid teammate and great friend Zinedine Zidane - a man with whom he shares a great amount of mutual respect. Following the Frenchmen were two Argentines, two of the greatest to have played the beautiful game in Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. The two mesmerised entire generations (one, of course, continues to do so) and it's no surprise that he picks them. He then realised he needed another midfielder - and a man who is more midfielder than forward (the last two names are arguably forwards, isn't it?) and after a spot of quick thinking picked the ethereal grace of Andrea Pirlo. Ronaldo played with the maestro in that sole year with the Rossoneri and was undoubtedly impressed with his vision.

Up top, he immediately picked Pele, the greatest of all time according to most, and after some thought and another one of those cheeky smiles asked if he could pick himself. If I was as good as he was, I'd have picked me too.

Before closing the short interview, he acknowledged the fact that he may have missed out on a lot of [quality] players but was confident in the fact that he had picked out the team he thought was best.

Here then is Ronaldo's Dream XI:

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon

Defenders: Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini, Roberto Carlos

Midfielders: Lionel Messi, Andrea Pirlo, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona

Forwards: Pele and Ronaldo himself

Not your standard 4-4-2, let me tell you that.

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Anirudh Menon
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Believes Sport makes the world a better place :)
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