Football

Laurent Koscielny.

Laurent Koscielny excludes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from all-time XI

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Laurent Koscielny might be in for some stick after naming his all-time world XI.

The Arsenal defender compiled a team that included Ballon d’Or, World Cup and Champions League winners, but there were two notable absences.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t get a mention. Those who watched Diego Maradona and Pele might be wondering where they are, too. Scroll down the page to watch Koscielny name his team.

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The Frenchman selected three compatriots. Nobody will argue with the inclusions of Thierry Henry or Zinedine Zidane, but Fabian Barthez? Really, Laurent?

Marco Verratti also gets a surprise mentioned. He is one of the most promising players in Europe - Barcelona legend Xavi said he is a “very high-class player” in 2015, but, at 23-years-old, Verratti’s catalogue of achievements pales in comparison to some more worthy names.

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Justifying Verratti's selection, Koscielny said: “He’s a new Xavi. He plays unbelievable because he has the technique and he takes some risks but when he arrives to give the pass he creates a big opportunity for his teammates to score.”

Another Frenchman to appear in Koscielny’s squad is former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabian Barthez, who surprisingly gets the nod ahead of Arsenal’s Petr Cech and France’s Hugo Lloris.

French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez stands in his goa

A former Tottenham man gets a minute

Arsenal fans might be perplexed to see Tottenham hero Chris Waddle get a mention on the left wing. But it wasn’t for his efforts for the Gunners’ rivals that Koscielny included Waddle.

“He was my idol when he played for Marseille and he was not just a player, he was an actor on the pitch with the fans.”

So it would appear some sentimental value has gone into Koscielny’s decisions. He described Zidane as the “king” and praised Henry’s achievements for both France and Arsenal.

Still, his team would probably get ripped to shreds when coming up against Messi and Ronaldo.

Name your world XI in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Real Madrid
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi

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