Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has picked an all-star squad of players he has previously worked with before starting at the Bernabeu this summer, with room for two Chelsea players in a starting XI filled with some of the most supremely talented technicians of the modern era.
Ancelotti has enjoyed a storied coaching career full of success across the continent, which includes four Serie A titles, two Champions League crowns and a sole Premier League success with the Blues.
The Italian tactician was asked by The Times to pick a team of 11 starters and five substitutes across his 18-year managerial career, with some surprising results.
John Terry and Frank Lampard were picked out for special praise, although Chelsea striker Didier Drogba had to settle for a place on the bench.
Andriy Shevchenko and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were preferred in attack, with Kaka and Real Madrid assistant Zinedine Zidane supporting just behind.
Ancelotti shared the logic behind his selection process, stating: "I’ve tried to do this a lot of times, but it’s impossible. Just look at the goalkeepers. Apart from Iker Casillas there’s Petr Cech, Edin Van Der Sar and Dida. I pick Gianluigi Buffon, but only because he was my first goalkeeper at Parma.
"At left back we can put Maldini, and Cafu at right back. Then we have Costacurta, Nesta, Cannavaro, Thuram and Stam. But I’m going to put Terry and Thiago Silva. My first midfielder is Pirlo. Then it’s really difficult.
"We can put Zidane on the left, and then Frankie Lampard. And what about the strikers? Definitely Ibrahimovic. There’s also Ronaldinho. But I go for Kaka and Sheva."
The full 16-man squad is as follows: Ancelotti XI: Buffon, Cafu, Terry, Thiago Silva, Maldini, Lampard, Pirlo, Zidane, Shevchenko, Ibrahimovic, Kaká
Substitutes: Cech, Cole, Nesta, Gattuso, Seedorf, Drogba, Inzaghi