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I think I took five minutes to choose my all time XI. The only
positions it took me longer to think about were one of the central
defender slots and a midfielder slot (because I had various ideas in
my mind). There’s a lot of quality going about just now, but I’ve
stuck in some players who are likely to be in everyone else’s
selections but also a few surprises given that I’m playing a 4-3-3
(the Barcelona way).

Goalkeeper – Oliver Kahn (1) – A true great, and a lot of competition
for one jersey. Spending 14 seasons at Bayern Munich – 12 of them in
the Germany squad – he became a legend world wide and was named
Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999 when Manchester United pipped the
German side in the Champions League final.

Right Back – Cafu (2) – Think about your own club for a minute,
whoever it is you support. How many right backs have you labelled, or
heard of someone being labelled “the white Cafu”? Dozens, maybe even
hundreds. Probably as many times as Cafu has had caps for Brazil,
which by the way is the most any Brazilian male has for the Samba
stars.

Centre Half – Franz Beckenbauer (4) – Another German on the list and a
true professional of the game. One of the first players to excel and
inspire the modern generation of the game, and I always think a
defender should be captain; Franz is the ideal candidate.

Centre Half – Jaap Stam (5) – Every team needs a hard man, and the
Dutch defender is the perfect player to defend alongside a levelheaded
Beckenbauer (who would be respected as Captain no matter how much Stam
disagreed with him).

Left Back – Roberto Carlos (3) – another Brazilian full-back and
another legend of the game because of his pace down the wing. The rest
of this line-up is quite attacking, but it starts with RC who was
always capable of a wonder strike or free kick.

Defensive Midfielder – Zinedine Zidane (6) – Stam is the hard man of
the team, and Zizou is here for his ability pre-2006-headbutt. I will
never forget his incredible goal at Hampden in 2002 (something I have
always attempted to recreate). He was the worlds most expensive player
at one point, and one of the main stars of the famous Galacticos,
rightfully deserving of his place in my team.

Centre Mid – David Beckham (7) – Another one who would try and call
dibs on free kick taking, and another model professional of the game.
I’ve never been too interested in his activities off the field, and
always insisted that if he were to be involved with Team GB football
side he should have been the coach rather than in the side, but his
playing career speaks for itself.

Centre Mid – Ronaldinho (11) – A worker, a leader and now a craftsman,
first creating the perfect midfield balance whilst also creating a lot
of chances for the forwards. The one time St Mirren prospect pipped
other Barcelona legends to this spot to bring a bit of flare and
sparkle – something to make the fans go OOOH!

Right Forward – Diego Maradona (8) – This is Diego the player, the
legend, the masterclass, the Hand; rather than his new managerial
face. He was the most exciting player to grace the planet since our
yet-to-be-revealed-striker-that-is-probably-quite-obvious-now.

Left Forward – Lionel Messi (9) – I think it is pretty obvious about
this front three. As I said before, we’re playing the Barcelona way,
and who else to have but this generation’s Mr Barcelona himself. At
the age of 14 he took the first steps into what has become a
glittering career in less than a decade and probably emulate his two
team mates from this line up (if he hasn’t already).

Striker – Pele (10) – The world of boxing looks up to Mohammed Ali.
The world of football looks up to Pele. A joy to watch in his era,
and if he had been playing today then maybe he would have a career
similar to the headline grabbers of today. He’d be the headline
grabber in my team, the perfect 10 (because I’d make Messi give up the
shirt number).

Manager – Me – Yeah, me. Who wouldn’t want to manage a team like
that?! Plus, I do actually have a 100% managerial record as boss of
an Airdrie fan’s team (one game against Hamilton finished 2-2 but we
won on penalties, plus we beat Albion Rovers 9-1 in a charity match so
haha them).
Douglas Barrie is a freelance journalist having just graduated from Glasgow Caledonian in June with a Journalism degree. Next year he hopes to start up an MLS-themed podcast for a UK audience, called “Major League Scotland“. See http://about.me/douglasbarrie for more info on Douglas, or get him on Twitter at @DouglasBarrie.

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