The 00s: Best XI of the Decade

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The 2000s gave way to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City, the Euro entering European currency, and an economic crisis that was the largest since the Great Depression.

However, the 2000s also blessed footballing fans with some of the greatest players the world has ever seen, and moments that will forever be chiselled into marble and withstand the tests of time.

These will be the moments that football lovers of that generation will tell their grandchildren about. "It was the World Cup Final in 2006 and nearing the end when Zinedine Zidane head-butted....."

So if all the greatest players of the 2000s were to assemble together to create one super team, then who would be the players in the starting XI?

Goalkeeper: Oliver Kahn

Arguably the greatest goalkeeper to have ever lived, in this decade Kahn led Germany to a World Cup Final only to lose to the brilliance of a man who will also make this line-up.

He also finished 3rd in the Balon d'Or twice, and led his club Bayern Munich to the coveted Champions League trophy.

His shot stopping ability and understanding of the game makes him head and shoulders above all the other keepers in this generation, and is given the no.1 jersey on this team.

Defender: Gary Neville

One of the few players who can say he is a one-club man, Gary Neville was a show stopping defender for both Manchester United and England.

He had great defensive positioning, an excellent tackling ability, and an eye for getting forward and putting in a quality cross.

Currently he holds the record as England's most capped right back and is one of Manchester United's longest serving players.

Defender: Paolo Maldini

He is the most capped player in Italian football history with 126 caps.

One of the best centre-backs to have ever lived, he led A.C. Milan to a Champions League final in this decade and continued his great service to the club.

He became the epitome of what Milan stands for and his number is retired by the club.

Defender: Fabio Cannavaro

The 2006 Balon d'OR winner led Italy to a World Cup final victory in that same year and became an integral part of the Real Madrid defence as they mainted the Galacticos.

He was known for stopping the greatest attackers in the world, and gained the nickname 'The Berlin Wall' by his fans.

With Cannavaro alongside Maldini, no striker in the world would stand a chance.

Defender: Roberto Carlos

He is considered the most forward thinking outside back in the history of the game.

And that forward thought provided some of the most memorable moments in world football.

He was part of the Brazil side that won the World Cup in 2002, and merited a second place finish in the Balon d'Or running that same year.

Brazilians will never forget the name Roberto Carlos.

Midfield: Luis Figo

He began the decade as the Balon d'Or winner.

He was part of the Galacticos side after his world record transfer from Barcelona. He won every major competition in his time at the club.

He then moved to Inter Milan where he led the club to four straight Serie A titles.

He dazzled fans all across the globe, and ended his career with a fourth place finish at the 2006 World Cup.

Midfield: Kaka

He led A.C. Milan to multiple Serie A titles and a Champions League title in 2007. He turned a 1-0 loss to a 2-1 victory with two assists as Milan defeated Liverpool to win the European Cup.

He had great moments of flair and creativity and was signed for a then world record fee by Real Madrid for €65 million.

Since then he has not been the same player he was, but for his work in the 00's he deserves a spot in this line-up.

Midfield: Zinedine Zidane.

Where to start?

He's an iconic footballing name and Real Madrid and France fans alike view him as a super-hero.

And for what he did on the pitch he pretty much was.

The only blemish on an otherwise legendary career was his extraordinary head-butt in the World Cup final of 2006.

Midfield: Ronaldinho

Before the good life hampered his footballing career he was no doubt the best player in the world.

He led Barcelona to numerous La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy.

His play made Barcelona fans drool, and made opposing defenders look foolish.

Today he is still adored by footballing fans everywhere, and his touch of flair and brilliance merits a spot in this team.

Forward: Thierry Henry

The leader of Arsenal's invincible side in the 2003-2004 season, Henry is one of the greatest strikers to have ever lived.

He led Arsenal to a Champions League final, but they lost to the team he would eventually join in Barcelona.

At Barcelona, he helped the club to become the only team to ever win the sextuple.

He is Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer, and currently plays for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS where he continues to amaze soccer fans everywhere.

Forward: Ronaldo

The man whose brilliance defeated Oliver Kahn in the World Cup final.

The 2002 Balon d'Or winner boasts that he is the greatest goalscorer in World Cup history with 15 goals.

He is the only player to win the Golden Ball and Golden Boot in separate tournaments.

His amazing goal scoring abilities were highlighted with a hat-trick against Manchester United in the Uefa Champions League semi-finals.

He received a standing ovation from both sets of supporters for his outstanding display.

His goalscoring ability would be sorely missed if he were not in this team, and no doubt deserves a spot for his great play.

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