The greatest team from the last 15 years
Is this team the greatest ever?
This is a team made up of the greatest players from the last 15 years.
Each player has earned their right in the squad and particularly the starting XI - as picked by GMS Academy member Jack Cunningham.
The Spanish shot-stopper won the Champions League at 19, he has since captained his Spanish side to two European Championships and one World Cup. ‘Saint Iker’ has played nearly 500 times for Real Madrid and has pulled off some remarkable saves during his tenure.
A right-footed left back has allowed me to slot Paolo into the right-back position where he will perform just as well. Maldini is the longest serving AC Milan player, with the most appearances. Often cited as one of the best full-backs ever, the Italian easily finds himself into this line-up.
Considered one of the best central defenders of all time. The Italian won numerous awards and trophies during his spells at Lazio and AC Milan. He was in the UEFA Team of the Year an impressive four times and was the best defender in Italy for four years on the trot. He fits nicely into the Italian dominated defence.
He captained his side to the 2006 World Cup and is the only defender to date to win the Ballon d’Or, in the same year. He has represented Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid at club level and won numerous accolades. He is also Italy’s most capped player at a national level and is truly a legendary defender who earns his right on this team.
The most offensive left-back in the history of the game. The Brazilian ‘bullet man’ was known for his incredible speed, shooting ability and free-kick technique. He won the World Cup, 3 Champions Leagues and scored over 100 goals during his playing career. Not bad for a left back.
The Portuguese jewel from the underachieving golden era. He was part of the phenomenally talented Portuguese players who took European football by storm. Figo was exceptional for Barcelona before his controversial move to Real Madrid, where he became part of the Galactico’s. He won titles and trophies toward the end of his career at Inter Milan.
Arguably the best holding midfielder ever. The ‘Makelele role’ has become a notable position in the game and he was the base of every team he played for. Despite his unceremonious exit from Real Madrid, he has been noted as the engine and key component who broke up attack and dictated play. Certainly the most underestimated player on the side but deserves his spot.
Zinedene Zidane (C)
The maestro is often heralded as one of the greatest ever and rightly so. The French magician was pivotal to both Juventus and Real Madrid. His exploits on the International stage were more impressive where he was instrumental in both France’s captures of the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships. Sublime skill and unmatched technique, his Champions League final goal against Bayer Leverkusen will never be forgotten.
The Czech canon was a complete midfielder. A two-footed player with the ability to easily beat his opponent, whilst providing an end product, the attacking midfielder was majestic for both Lazio and Juventus. Another who some may feel is lucky to feature on the list ahead of certain substitutes, but Nedved was definitely a cut above numerous players. He was a phenomenal player and a deserved winner of the Balon d’Or and a spot in the starting XI.
The Argentine is the only player, still playing, to feature on this list. Lionel Messi has already entered football folklore and has broken countless records and won numerous titles with Barcelona. The face of football and arguably the greatest ever, the 26 year old still has many years ahead of him to continue his incredible feats.
‘The Phenomenon’ wowed fans world-wide with his incredible forward play. The striker almost maintained a goal a game ratio for his entire career and collected 2 world cup winners medals. He remains the only player to represent both sides in both the Milan Derby and El Clasico, having successfully played for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan. He is the most complete forward in years with pace, power, strength and technical skill.
All the substitutes could easily fit into the starting line-up and depending on opponent, or form, each player could find themselves equally able to fit into the starting line-up.
Who would you add to the bench or starting line-up?
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