Each traditional top four club’s best XI if only allowed to choose one player per country

  • Alex Batt
Arsenal's Patrick Vieira (2nd L) celebrat

Every football fan loves having the discussion of who would make their all-time XI for the team they support.

Whether they support a big Premier League club, or one of the lower league clubs, nothing beats having a discussion about your all-time XI.

However, how about making that discussion a bit trickier. 

How could you possibly do that? Well, what about naming an all-time XI but only being allowed to choose one player per country.

So for example, if you were doing an Arsenal one, you couldn't have Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. You'd only be allowed to choose ONE of them. Nor would you be able to have Tony Adams, David Seaman and Ashley Cole.

It immediately makes the discussion that much harder, because you have to sacrifice players you'd want and you have to weigh up who is more important.

Taking inspiration from the Arsenal official Twitter account, who actually posed this question to their fans over the weekend, we decided to give it a go.

Yes, we've put together an all-time XI for the traditional top four clubs. Sorry Manchester City and Tottenham, you don't quite make the cut, so it's between Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

So without further ado, here are their XIs whilst using just one player per country. 

Remember, this is just an opinion, of course, feel free to share your own XIs if you disagree.


Team: Jens Lehmann (GER), Lauren (CAM), Kolo Toure (CIV), Tony Adams (ENG), Alexis Sanchez (CHI), Gilberto Silva (BRA), Santi Cazorla (ESP), Dennis Bergkamp (HOL), Freddie Ljungberg (SWE), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB), Thierry Henry (FRA).

Thierry Henry of Arsenal in action

Formation: 3-5-2

Now first of all, we know what you're thinking, that's a ridiculously attacking team with no real wing-backs. 

However, with Lauren, Kolo Toure and Tony Adams as the three centre-backs, and yes, we also know Lauren was traditionally a right-back, they are strong enough to cope. 

Then you've got Gilberto Silva sitting in the heart of the midfield who can help out when needed.

Very attacking, but we still lose out on the likes of Vieira, Pires, Cole, Seaman.


Team: Petr Cech (CZE), Branislav Ivanovic (SRB), Ricardo Carvalho (POR), John Terry (ENG), Cesar Azpilicueta (ESP), Claude Makelele (FRA), Michael Essien (GHA), Michael Ballack (GER), Gianfranco Zola (ITA), Arjen Robben (HOL), Didier Drogba (CIV).

Formation: 4-3-3

Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole or John Terry! How do you choose between them?!

Liverpool v Chelsea - FA Cup Final

Sadly for Lamps and Cole, we feel that Chelsea have been stronger in the centre of the park and at left-back than they have at centre-back.

Essien, Ballack and Makelele is a very strong midfield, and Azpilicueta is a very strong left-back.

Bound to cause debate, but there we go.


Team: Alisson (BRA), Steve Finnan (ROI), Virgil van Dijk (HOL), Sami Hyypia (FIN), Andy Robertson (SCO), Javier Mascherano (ARG), Xabi Alonso (ESP), Steven Gerrard (ENG), Mohamed Salah (EGY), Luis Suarez (URG), Sadio Mane (SEN).

Formation: 4-3-3

Another 4-3-3 formation and another very strong side. 

Liverpool have been blessed with some great Spanish talent, so it's tough choosing between Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina, but Alonso and Gerrard is too good to ignore.

Feyenoord v Liverpool - Rotterdam Tournament

The rest really wrote itself.

Manchester United

Team: Peter Schmeichel (DEN), Antonio Valencia (ECU), Nemanja Vidic (SRB), Jaap Stam (HOL), Patrice Evra (FRA), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR), Ji Sung Park (SKR), Roy Keane (ROI), Ryan Giggs (WAL), Wayne Rooney (ENG), Dwight York (TRI).

Formation: 4-4-2

A traditional 4-4-2 formation for Manchester United.

Again, some very difficult decisions had to be made, none more so than deciding between Rooney and Paul Scholes, and even David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand to be fair.

Blessed with a lot of English talent over the years, and even Ruud van Nistelrooy couldn't make the team due to Stam at the back.

Euro 2004: Croatia v England

So there you have it, there are the traditional top four's best XIs when using just one player per country.

Of course, everyone will have differing opinions, but here's ours.

If they were to have a tournament, who would win? Personally you'd have to say Chelsea's looks overall the strongest, but it would make for one hell of a viewing.

News Now - Sport News