Messi, Maradona, Pele: Ronaldo Nazario picked his all-time XI in 2016

Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo Nazario is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

The Brazilian striker may not be considered the GOAT but he’s certainly in the conversation.

Despite the knee injuries that plagued the latter stages of his career, he still claimed two Ballon d’Ors and represented some of the biggest clubs in European football such as Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Milan.

Without a doubt one of the greatest ever.

When picking an all-time XI of the best players in football history, Ronaldo often makes the cut.

And that was the case when the legendary No.9 was given that task in 2016.

Ronaldo was asked to name his all-time best XI on England’s official YouTube channel and produced an XI that is simply unbeatable. This isn’t just players he’s played alongside but any player in history.

It includes the likes of Diego Maradona, Pele, Lionel Messi but not Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo Nazario’s greatest XI of all time

Check it out:

Ronaldo's greatest XI of all time

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon

Right-back: Cafu

Centre-back: Paolo Maldini

Centre-back: Fabio Cannavaro

Left-back: Roberto Carlos

Right midfield: Diego Maradona

Centre midfield: Zinedine Zidane

Centre midfield: Andrea Pirlo

Left midfield: Lionel Messi

Striker: Pele

Striker: Ronaldo

Wow. What an XI.

Buffon has rather surprisingly got the nod in goal ahead of Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate, Iker Casillas. However, you can’t argue the Italian isn’t one of the greatest goalkeepers in football history.

At right-back, Ronaldo has opted for compatriot Cafu despite playing alongside the likes of Michel Salgado and Javier Zanetti at club level.

A Brazilian is in at left-back as well with Carlos being selected.

Ronaldo hasn’t allowed bias to get in the way of his centre-back picks. He didn’t play alongside Maldini but would have played against him numerous times. He did, however, play with Cannavaro at Real Madrid with the 2006 Ballon d’Or getting selected ahead of the likes of Sergio Ramos, Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer and Alessandro Nesta.

The inclusions of Maradona and Messi don’t need any explanation with the pair of Argentines being considered two of the greatest football has ever seen.

Lionel Messi & Diego Maradona are two of the greatest footballers in history

Meanwhile, having played 140 times alongside Zidane at Real Madrid the fact the majestic Frenchman features shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

However, Andrea Pirlo’s selection is perhaps the biggest shock in this XI. Ronaldo did play with Pirlo on 25 occasions at Inter Milan but he also played with Ronaldinho, Kaka and Luis Figo – not to mention the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Johan Cruyff who he wasn’t lucky enough to play with.

Upfront is an incredible Brazilian duo of himself and Pele. Just imagine the goals they’d be banging in during their prime.

As mentioned he did leave out CR7 but, given this was filmed in 2016, he may well have changed his mind six years on. Maybe he’d even substitute himself out for Cristiano now…

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