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A European team for the 'noughties'

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Phil Minshull | 18:34 UK time, Monday, 21 December 2009

As we lurch towards the end of the year and, indeed, the end of the decade, it's time for a retrospective piece which considers the top European stars of the game in the last 10 years.

Here's a quick recap of who won what.

After all the hangovers from all the parties at the start of the Millennium had ebbed away, Italy were Europe's only World Cup winners, but France, Greece and Spain all won what's now become colloquially known as the 'Euro'.

Three teams lifted the Champions League twice in the last decade - Real Madrid, AC Milan and Barcelona while Bayern Munich, Porto, Liverpool and Manchester United all triumphed once.

ronaldo_blog.jpgThe world's most expensive player - Cristiano Ronaldo

The fact that no team was able to either win the trophy on more than two occasions or defend it successfully either - and four different nations also won the major international championships - suggests that there is still a broad spread of talent across Europe's top footballing nations, even if it is concentrated around a dozen clubs.

Six European players have also won the Ballon D'Or which goes to the leading player in European club football - Luis Figo, Michael Owen, Pavel Nedved, Andrey Shevchenko, Fabio Cannavaro and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Figo, Cannavaro and Ronaldo also picked up the Fifa World Player of the Year award along with Zinedine Zidane (twice), who had curiously won the Ballon D'Or back in 1998 but not in 2000 and 2003, the years he was voted the best player in the world.

On this occasion, hoping not to steal any other BBC blogger's material, I have also considered British players and players at British clubs despite the fact that I normally stick reasonably strictly to subject matter on the European mainland.

However, it would be a bit artificial to name a 'Europe XI' without them. This being my blog, I have decided to exert my right as an armchair critic and chose a 4-3-3 formation.

Goalkeeper: Oliver Kahn (Germany). A tough choice but four consecutive Uefa Best European goalkeeper awards (1999-2002) clinched it. His shot-stopping saw him awarded the gloves ahead of other excellent candidates such as Iker Casillas, Edwin van der Sar and Gianluigi Buffon.

Right-back: Lilian Thuram (France). Of course, he won the World Cup with France in 1998 but I'm selecting him for his outstanding performance in Euro 2000 and his constant excellence while at Parma and Juventus, even if he wasn't the type of speedy wing-back that is in vogue at many Spanish and Italian clubs. He could also play in the centre of the defence, which he often did for France.

Centre-back: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy). The Italian captain was 2006 world player of the year and instrumental in the Azzurri winning the World Cup that year. Outstanding at reading the game and the epitome of a firm but fair tackling. Still going strong and he's now his country's most capped player.

Centre-back: Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal): A rock solid central defender who was a cornerstone behind Portugal's improved performances at major championships. Enjoyed his best performances during the mid-2000s at Euro 2004 and when Porto won the Champions League but in recent seasons he has been very effective at Chelsea, despite his current injury problems.

Left-back: Philipp Lahm (Germany). Possibly my most controversial choice for some people but he has never failed on the big occasion and was in the team of the tournament at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. Compact, quick and a superb crosser. Europe's answer to Roberto Carlos.

Right midfield: David Beckham (England). It's not all hype, he can play a bit as well. Good pace and few players can cross with such pinpoint accuracy as Becks. He's also arguably still the best dead-ball specialist in Europe, if not the world.

zidane_blog.jpgWas Zidane's goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final the best of the decade?

Centre midfield: Zinedine Zidane (France). It all ended on a sour note in the 2006 World Cup final but let's remember the good times when he was indisputably the world's best playmaker. His left-foot volley which won Real Madrid the 2002 Champions League is also, in my opinion, possibly the best goal of the last decade.

Left midfield: Luis Figo (Portugal). The Beckham-Zidane-Figo triumvirate was one that played together regularly at Real Madrid for two seasons between 2003 and 2005 and in that time they didn't actually win a thing, but this team is obviously more about individual ability and accomplishments, and Figo was equally comfortable as an advanced right-sided or left-sided midfielder.

Striker: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal). Won everything there was in terms of individual honours at the end of the 2007-08 season, when he was with Manchester United. Real Madrid valued him so highly that they were prepared to pay a world record transfer fee last summer. A dazzling runner and dribbler on his day and there is the sense that after recent injuries and the upheaval of his his move, he is returning to his best form of two years ago.

Striker: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands). The only man to top the scoring charts in both the Netherlands, England and Spain. He has never failed at a club, despite several long-term injuries. Great ball skills, which often get over-looked because of his clinical close-range finishing.

Striker: Thierry Henry (France). It could be argued that Henry has too often failed to show what he was capable of for Les Bleus but his performances for Arsenal and, to a certain extent, Barcelona, have more than compensated for that.

Coach: Marcello Lippi (Italy). Some people might view things differently but this was an obvious choice for me as he was the only European coach to have won the World Cup in the last decade, especially with the problems of a poor performance by Italy at Euro 2004 and the Calciopoli game-rigging scandal that centred around his former club Juventus and was uncovered in May 2006.

Substitutes: Iker Casillas (Spain), Paolo Maldini (Italy) Sergio Ramos (Spain), Xavi Hernandez (Spain), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Wayne Rooney (England), Fernando Torres (Spain).

There are so many other players about whom an argument could me made to be included in this team. However, since we all know that only 11 men can be on the pitch at anyone time, feel free to post comments about who would be in your team this team and who you would leave out of mine.


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  • 1. At 7:37pm on 21 Dec 2009, mtirfan wrote:

    Spot on, Phil! Italy maybe Europe's only world cup winner in the last 10 years, but THREE European teams won the Euro during the same period: France, Greece and Spain :D

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  • 2. At 7:42pm on 21 Dec 2009, GigiBuffon1 wrote:

    How can Buffon not be your goalkeeper? What a load of rubbish. Beckham ahead of Nedved as well? Some seriously bad judgements there.

    Atleast you select Lippi as coach.

    Also as you mention Calciopoli in your paragraph on Lippi, when will you be doing a blog on what really happened in the summer of 2006 (i.e. not the anti-Juventus propaganda which the mass media spoon fed everyone)?

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  • 3. At 7:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, kev wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 7:44pm on 21 Dec 2009, Tim Hawkins wrote:

    um... why does the supposed best XI always have a 4-3-3 formation when no one plays that system. Can anyone name me anyteam that only plays with one central midfield player?!?

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  • 5. At 7:47pm on 21 Dec 2009, Dazz wrote:

    No substitute who can play left back?

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  • 6. At 7:48pm on 21 Dec 2009, Ben wrote:

    Carles Puyol overlooked? personally would have opted for xavi over figo as well.

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  • 7. At 7:51pm on 21 Dec 2009, Echetus wrote:

    "The only man to top the scoring charts in both the Netherlands, England and Spain".

    Surely they count as three nations, not two?

    Other than that, great article.

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  • 8. At 7:51pm on 21 Dec 2009, Giggs' Left Peg wrote:

    Are you having a giraffe Phil?

    Carvalho ahead of Paulo Maldini? Dont get me wrong Carvalho is good but Maldini is just legendary. To not include him is a farce.

    The others i completely agree with.

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  • 9. At 7:52pm on 21 Dec 2009, shamsul islam wrote:

    no gerrard???

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  • 10. At 7:52pm on 21 Dec 2009, billy wrote:

    what about the proper ronaldo, and since when was beckham quick?

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  • 11. At 7:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, FormerArmchairFan - now going regularly to matches wrote:

    Dapsy - whats wrong with Maldini on the bench.

    Would have preferred him in the starting XI rather than Lahm

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  • 12. At 7:54pm on 21 Dec 2009, Dazz wrote:

    Claude Makelele should definitely be in that team!

    Though you cant argue with the selection of Thuram, Kahn, Cannavaro and Zidane. I'd have Drogba as the sub rather than Torres, he has contributed a lot more to Chelsea winning two Premier League titles and reaching the semi-final and final of the Champions League. Things which despite his high rating Torres has failed to achieve with Liverpool.

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  • 13. At 7:55pm on 21 Dec 2009, Jack wrote:

    @Dapsy; Maldini???

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  • 14. At 7:58pm on 21 Dec 2009, deez08 wrote:

    One striker who definitely should be there is the guy who has scored the most goals in the major European leagues IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS: a certain DAVID VILLA of Valencia and Spain!!!

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  • 15. At 7:59pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    Phil, I have a couple of issues with your selections. Firstly could you please explain to me how on earth you believe Sergio Ramos is worthy of inclusion in this squad??? Secondly I dont really see the Phillip Lahm inclusion at all. I wouldnt even say he was the best left back at the moment, never mind of the last decade. Other than that everything else appears to be in good order, and I would only make slight adjustments elsewhere.

    My choices:

    Thuram Cannavaro Puyol Maldini

    C Ronaldo Zidane Gerrard Nedved

    Henry v.Nistelrooy

    Manager: Alex Ferguson

    subs: Casillas, Nesta, Carvalho, Xavi, Beckham, Figo, Raul,

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  • 16. At 8:01pm on 21 Dec 2009, myscarface wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 8:04pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    @ 10: Ronaldo is Brazilian,
    @12 : Drogba is Ivorian

    This is a EUROPEAN team of the noughties.

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  • 18. At 8:06pm on 21 Dec 2009, DBsKnees wrote:

    Can I ask if 'this team is obviously more about individual ability and accomplishments' - then why limit your selections to that of a team formation, 11 players and substitutes? Seems a bit pointless.

    I think you should be consistent in that sense.

    Also - why oh why do the midfield enforcers always get overlooked? As Dapsy mentioned - Makelele, Rino Gattuso, Edgar Davids, Roy Keane even!

    A midfield four of Figo, Beckham, Zidane and Ronaldo - no balance there whatsoever...

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  • 19. At 8:06pm on 21 Dec 2009, MootSights wrote:

    Kahn was the third best goalkeeper of the last ten years, surely - after Casillas and Buffon in no particular order. Buffon would be my no.1 for that World Cup, his loyalty to Juventus even down in Serie B (along with Nedved, Del Piero and Trezeguet) at the peak of his powers and his ability to keep winning them games even though they're now a mediocre bunch of misfits. Casillas is just as excellent, his consistency, reactions and performances during the Euros were (and still are) magnificent.

    Kahn? Very good keeper, but more memorable for losing that World Cup in 2002 than anything else this decade. And that face.

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  • 20. At 8:06pm on 21 Dec 2009, I am not a number wrote:

    @#3. 2000-2009 = 10 years.

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  • 21. At 8:08pm on 21 Dec 2009, Kurt wrote:

    One of the worst teams I've ever seen. You've covered Spanish football since 1977 yet you don't even include the best striker of all time, Ronaldo.

    Carvalho, Lahm and Beckham are joke inclusions, shouldn't even be on the bench let alone in the first XI of the team of the decade.

    Brazilian Ronaldo, Vieira, Nesta, Ferdinand, Buffon, Ashley Cole, Giggs, Zanetti, Scholes, Ronaldinho, Pirlo are glaring omissions. Ferguson has clearly been the best manager of the decade as well.

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  • 22. At 8:08pm on 21 Dec 2009, The_Dark_Blue_King wrote:

    Wow Phil. Very short sighted and Premier League centric team there. No place for Ronaldinho? Gianluca Zambrotta? Javier Zanetti? Heck, even Raul or David Villa should be there over Van Nistelrooy (who I have nothing but absolute respect and admiration for).. Never mind Michel Salgado, Andrea Pirlo, Pippo Inzaghi.. The list is endless...

    Also- what exactly has Torres done to deserve to be here? At club level, nothing. Poor form Phil.

    Finally- Lippi? I would have gone with Jose Mourinho- who has won more major trophies in the past decade than him? Even Capello's achievements are more worthy than Lippi's World Cup win- after all, Phil Scolari won it too.

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  • 23. At 8:10pm on 21 Dec 2009, Geoff wrote:

    Can't really argue too much with your line-up Phil. Although, in my opinion, I would be inclined to start with Nedved in place of Beckham. I think Raul and Ballack might have a shout of getting at least a place on the bench also.

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  • 24. At 8:10pm on 21 Dec 2009, mermoid wrote:

    Rooney and Torres make the bench but there's no room for Messi? Beckham, Carvalho and Lahm in the squad at all? Farcical.

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  • 25. At 8:10pm on 21 Dec 2009, Dazz wrote:

    No Lampard!

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  • 26. At 8:11pm on 21 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    This team would certainly sell a tremendous amount of football shirts, but how could you leave out Pires?

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  • 27. At 8:11pm on 21 Dec 2009, TeRACOTaMOnKEE wrote:

    You forget edger davids, roy kean, partick viera, marc overmars, denis bergkamp, davpr suker, slavan bilic, shevkenco, rebrov, the laudrups and the list goes on (sorry for the spelling)

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  • 28. At 8:12pm on 21 Dec 2009, Michael Dommett wrote:

    Ridiculous that David Beckham would even be in the squad, let alone team. Since when did he have "good pace"?!

    Agree with most of your selections, although Ronaldinho was unstoppable for 4 years after 2002 world cup, surely gets a place on the bench ahead of Torres or Rooney.

    Also agree that makalele should be in this team!

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  • 29. At 8:13pm on 21 Dec 2009, Magic_Arsenal_thefinalcountdown wrote:

    "Excuse me? I think you'll find a decade is ten years, this means MUFC have won the european cup twice in the last decade, 1999 and 2008, up there with barca, madrid, milan etc. Infact i would say our achievements pretty much dwarf most teams in europe- 99-09+ 2 european cups plus runners up, 7 premier league titles, world club cup, 2 FA cups, charity shields etc-are you watching merseyside monkeys x"

    only SAF can bend time, not you m8. the decade starts on the first of jan 2000. i guess you didn't go to school.

    "um... why does the supposed best XI always have a 4-3-3 formation when no one plays that system. Can anyone name me anyteam that only plays with one central midfield player?!?"

    it doesn't always and lots of teams play 4-3-3. arsenal, barca, united and liverpool use it more often than not. jose's chelsea also played it.

    as for team selection, i thought it was pretty good. i'd put zidane left of mid and stick vieira in the middle. 4-3-3 usually has a more defencive player in the middle. makelele could also do a job here :)

    my choice of left back would be ashly cole. at his best for arsenal and this season for chelsea he's looked on another level.

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  • 30. At 8:14pm on 21 Dec 2009, arab87 wrote:

    Your team would get pumped as it has no holding midfielder. I would suggest Keane, Gattuso or Viera for this essential role and have him as captain. Having Beckham in is a complete nonsense - Figo, Nedved, Ronaldo or Iniesta can cover the wings between them as all are far better players than Becks. Having Sergio Ramos on your bench is hilarious - was that a typo or have you just never watched Spanish football? To have him instead of say Puyol is odd to say the least! Maldini was a better left back than Lahm will ever be and Buffon has been easily the best goalie in the world over the last ten years - to not include him is madness. Apart from that it's a superb team! Can't argue about the rest of the selection but I'd have Villa, Raul, Ibrahimovic or Shevchenko on the bench instead of Rooney.

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  • 31. At 8:15pm on 21 Dec 2009, njc874 wrote:

    Kev, I think if you take a moment to count, 2000-2009 inclusive is ten years, that's what one calls a decade. I don't think they'll be much support for extending decades to eleven years just to make Man Utd look better in a fairly meaningless comparison.

    Dapsy, the key word for the blog, 'European', Cote d´Ivoire may sound like a region of France but I'm fairly confident it belongs to the continent of Africa.

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  • 32. At 8:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:

    To those people suggesting Ronaldo (Brazilian) and Drogba (Ivorian) I ask...

    How on earth would they fit into a EUROPEAN Player 11??

    Please read the article carefully before making daft comments.

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  • 33. At 8:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, Harminder Dhak wrote:

    hahahaha someone just wrote 'no gerrard???'

    hello ... HELLO

    Zinedine Zidane

    Do I have to say anymore?

    Very good team choice, apart from the left back choice. Obviously some choices are very tight but overall pretty good. One thing I would say is how did Fernando Torres made the subs bench from the past 10 years of strikers, I will never know.

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  • 34. At 8:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, Steven Humphries wrote:

    To those who ask why the real/brasil Ronaldo + Drogba not included: its a European national team eligible list not a played in Europe club list...

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  • 35. At 8:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, colmkav wrote:

    Beckham? What a joke. I assume it must be by the comment he had pace. His other so called attributes were indeed hype.

    Clearly Neved should be in this team with Ronaldo replacing Beckham and making it a 4-4-2. Or perhaps put Roy Keane in the centre.

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  • 36. At 8:23pm on 21 Dec 2009, colmkav wrote:

    And obviously Wenger has been the best manager of the decade. Surely managers should be judged in relation to their budgets. To win 2 leagues and 3 FA cups and make 1 champions league final while spending a fraction of your competitors is a staggering achievement

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  • 37. At 8:23pm on 21 Dec 2009, NandoWolf wrote:

    A midfield 3 with two wingers and a playmaker?

    Every team needs a ball winner and just because this is a blog, it should still have somebody in there who consistently does the dirty work.




    Van Nistelrooy

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  • 38. At 8:24pm on 21 Dec 2009, merseyscarlet wrote:

    Most people seem to forget that this is the EUROPEAN team of the NOUGHTIES. In simple terms this includes the years 2000-2009 (thats ten years - otherwise known as a decade). MUFC in 1999 doesnt count in that case. And as its a European team the Brazilian Ronaldo cant be included. Straightforward really.

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  • 39. At 8:24pm on 21 Dec 2009, ToledoTrumpton wrote:

    Rooney/Torres on the bench is the only issue I have. Shouldn't really be there. Suspect Raul/Totti should be there instead.

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  • 40. At 8:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, The_Dark_Blue_King wrote:

    #32- Drogba and Ronaldo are French and Spanish citizens respectively. By virtue they should qualify, just as Ronaldinho, Messi and Zanetti would.

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  • 41. At 8:29pm on 21 Dec 2009, Stevat wrote:

    Good knowledge of the gregorian calendar by one poster there, almost all of 1999 is more than ten years ago now.

    Anyway, what of Ryan Giggs (nothing Internationally?), Del Piero, Raul, Vieira, Ballack (at Bayern), Shola Ameobi, can think of plenty more too. Decent all-European team though. Would the all South American team beat it? Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Messi, Kaka, Zanetti etc.

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  • 42. At 8:30pm on 21 Dec 2009, GUNNER4LIFE wrote:

    nice one phil but where's lampard, terry, clichy, evra and more importantly BERGKAMP

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  • 43. At 8:32pm on 21 Dec 2009, Greg Mabbott wrote:

    First of all you have to include Ryan Giggs as he has won more than anyone else in europe with his club. Also for me Raul has to be in the starting line up. Who has scored more champions league goals?

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  • 44. At 8:34pm on 21 Dec 2009, hunterSWestHam wrote:

    Desailly should be in defence. Maldini maybe. Buffon should definitely be the keeper.
    Giggs should be in there.

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  • 45. At 8:38pm on 21 Dec 2009, Greg Mabbott wrote:

    Also Ashley Cole and Roberto Carlos have by far been the best left backs of the decade. Maldini was great but the modern game is all about fast attacking full nacks.

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  • 46. At 8:38pm on 21 Dec 2009, njc874 wrote:

    If we were to consider the England team for the past decade, the shocking fact is that many of the players picking up caps at the start of the decade are still there now, it doesn't say much for the future of the national team given the lack of success of the current generation.

    The following got their first call-up in 2000 or earlier and have been called-up in the past year.

    David James
    Gary Neville
    Rio Ferdinand
    Wes Brown
    David Beckham
    Steven Gerrard
    Gareth Barry
    Frank Lampard
    Emile Heskey

    Add-in Ashley Cole whose first call-up was in 2001 and Michael Owen who hasn't played for the last year you have the main culprits of a decades worth of disappointment.

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  • 47. At 8:41pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    Just because Drogba and Ronaldo could qualify for being European citizens technically, the fact is they played for Brazil and I.C respectively, hence they cant be included. Likewise the Argentinians Messi and Zanetti.

    perhaps some of the biggest load of tripe ive ever heard. Slaven Bilic retired in 2001, and Davor Suker in 2003. They'd have to have done something pretty spectacular in those few years to be included in a 'TEAM OF THE NOUGHTIES'. The laudrups werent even playing this decade!
    Rebrov and shev were never the same in England, and wouldn't get anywhere near this team. Read the title......

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  • 48. At 8:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, scouse_mara wrote:

    This is a EUROPEAN SELECTION, so all of you that think you know the best team of the decade, you don't even know what countries are in europe!!!

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  • 49. At 8:45pm on 21 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    I do not think Messi should miss out! Barcelona are the best all time team in the world, IFFHS.

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  • 50. At 8:55pm on 21 Dec 2009, sean mccullie wrote:

    people are most likely to laugh about this. but henrik larsson in the first half of the decade was nothing short of magnificent getting the most goals in spl history after coming back from a leg break. he won the golden boot at celtic and was named celtics 2nd best player in there history. he helped celtic to a uefa cup final where he scored 2 goals and many to get there before moving on to barcelong where he was adored by fans aswell coming off the bench to get 2 assists for barca to win the champions league and then going to man u and alex ferguson said larsson was one of the best signings he could have made. the fact hes not even on the bench is a shock to me to be honest

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  • 51. At 8:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, mape_ventura wrote:

    Good blog Phil, top teams of the decade are always subjective... and so i'll put my two cents in... i'd have Raul over Torres... Torres has achieved the very recent Euro result, but he was backed by the brilliant Xavi and Iniesta...

    I'd also put Zambrotta in over Ramos. Zambrotta has not only been around for more of the decade, but been consistent.

    Some good footballers miss out, i think most notable are Seedorf, Buffon and Nesta

    Whilst Makelele and Shevchenko suffer in this list by not retiring in their prime. While in fact for the most part they had a fantastic decade. Ditto Viera.

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  • 52. At 8:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, Stephen wrote:

    Well of course, three european teams won the Euro's!!! I didn't expect a South American or African team to win them as they obviously couldn't compete!!!!

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  • 53. At 8:57pm on 21 Dec 2009, Alex wrote:

    I agree with other comments about overlooking Paolo Maldini; Phil is Philip Lahm really a more accomplished player over the last decade? I don't think so! Here is my eleven -

    Buffon, Maldini, Cannavaro, Puyol, Thuram, Giggs, Zidane, Figo, Xavi, van Nistelrooy, Henry.

    Bench - Kahn, Ferdinand, Nesta, Keane, Nedved, Raul, Inzaghi

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  • 54. At 8:58pm on 21 Dec 2009, The_Dark_Blue_King wrote:

    #47- That is a bit unfair, considering Thuram is not French born either.. Point is- it's not really that foolish to suggest them either.. Zanetti is probably more Italian than Mancini!
    But any team with Beckham as your right midfielder and no holding midfielder is very questionable.. More hype than actual effectiveness in my opinion..

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  • 55. At 9:00pm on 21 Dec 2009, Shahid wrote:

    A probable second XI to the one posted...


    Zambrotta Nesta Puyol Cole


    Gerrard Xavi Pires

    Totti Shevchenko

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  • 56. At 9:00pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    @ 37

    Agreed, I would probably remove Xavi from my side. It was a slightly short sighted inclusion to have him in the squad on the back of one exceptional season. In terms of the best ball winner of the decade, Id probably plump for Rino Gattuso.
    The way I saw the team, was a team of players who have lit up the noughties, therefore having two creative central midfielders was because it was not necessarily about picking a team that had great balance or that would win more games, just a team of players who were most memorable in the noughties, and Vieira, Keane, Makelele etc would never be more memorable than Figo, Zidane, Gerrard, xavi etc, but anyway I digress....

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  • 57. At 9:00pm on 21 Dec 2009, gunner-zp - Jack Wilshere is God wrote:

    Carvalho?? Lahm?? Sergio Ramos????

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  • 58. At 9:02pm on 21 Dec 2009, Phil wrote:

    huntersWestHam got there before me. No Maldini is just weird, and Giggs should be in there for sure.

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  • 59. At 9:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, charles wrote:

    The end of real madrids galacticos success coincided with chelseas back to back league titles. Common link?? the most under rated player of the decade, makelele. A player in my opinion naturally as intelligent in a game as his nearest rival, roy keane.

    I've never rated figo, zidane incredible, beckham......... ok...... Giggs surely would be better.

    Surely Carvalho is a bit of a personal choice, maldini was in his more golden years but terry has just been included in the world 11 for the 4th time, and the likes of puyol has been more consistant.

    Lahm is obviously controversial but only ashley cole could realistically be a natural left back, as carlos is brazilian and nobody else was consistantly around for long enough.

    Inzaghi??? Champions leagues top scorer i think, not too sure.

    Lippi has been fired from several jobs, ferguson?? Wenger?? Just try firing them!!

    Lets not be penicity, drogba is ivorian, rules him out, as does pork chops ronaldo.


    Thuram, puyol, cannavaro, lahm,

    Giggs, makelele, zidane, C. Ronaldo

    Shevchenko, inzaghi

    (I live in Ireland, so henry is too hands on)

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  • 60. At 9:04pm on 21 Dec 2009, footyboy wrote:

    Phil, Very interesting and provocative piece. Agree with Tim Hawkins that a 4-4-2 formation would be more robust. A more physical presence in midfield to win the ball, either Viera, Gatuso or let's face it the great Robbie Savage, alongside Zidane - then Ronaldo wide right at the expense of Beckham and Giggs rather than Figo on the left would give a better balance. Khan is good yes but Buffon is the better keeper. Good shout though, in general it's an amazing team.

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  • 61. At 9:07pm on 21 Dec 2009, Rio wrote:


    "People always talk about Ronaldinho, and everything but I didn't see him today - I saw Henrik Larsson. Two times he came on - he changed the game, that is what killed the game - sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto'o and people like that, you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference and that was Henrik Larsson tonight "
    Thierry Henry pays tribute to Larsson's contribution to Barcelona's winningthe European Cup Final game in 2006 against his own brave Arsenal side after they had led the match for much of the match with only ten men on the field.

    I would also say Big Rio, but then again this isn't a list of players with unsuccessful TV careers, although the Andy Hannon gets merked video was quite funny

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  • 62. At 9:08pm on 21 Dec 2009, Tina Marshall wrote:

    What about Dennis Bergkamp??? More skill in his left big toe than Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy...

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  • 63. At 9:10pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    @ 50

    Great shout! Henrik Larsson was such an underrated player. Countless titles for celtic, won the CL final for Barca, and was inspirational for MU when he was briefly there (SAF gave him a premier league medal even though he hadnt played enough games). There are so many options up front though Im not sure there would be room for him. If only he'd left Celtic earlier (No disrespect to Celtic fans )he probably would have been more of an obvious choice.

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  • 64. At 9:11pm on 21 Dec 2009, Footyfan1 wrote:

    Torres is in a totally different league to Drogba :D

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  • 65. At 9:11pm on 21 Dec 2009, M wrote:

    Agree for the most part, very good choices. But all the posturing about Italy being the only European team to win the World Cup this decade is a little OTT, since there's only been two in the last ten years. It reads as though Lippi was the sole triumphant in a sea of a dozen wins by South American teams.

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  • 66. At 9:14pm on 21 Dec 2009, Mark wrote:




    Van Nistelrooy


    honourable mentions to Kahn, Maldini, Xavi, Raul, Totti, Del Piero, Inzaghi, Kluivert, Shevchenko, Makelele, Keane, Pirlo and Ferdinand

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  • 67. At 9:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, jtaylor50 wrote:

    thats cos only european teams play in the euros, oh dear lol.

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  • 68. At 9:17pm on 21 Dec 2009, Gareth Howell wrote:

    Carles Puyol should have been included, and Cristiano Ronaldo hasnt actually done that much in THIS decade. His decade will be the next one. Carvalho and Lahm also very questionable.

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  • 69. At 9:18pm on 21 Dec 2009, Dave Chapman wrote:

    UNBELIEVEABLE! I do think alot of people are overlooking this is the deam of the decade however as a Sports Writer for the BBC I cant believe you fail to mention Kaka anywhere in your blog. Infact only one other person has mentioned him, He was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning squad, He was 2004-05 Champions League midfielder of the tournament, Champions League winner 2006-07, top forward of the 2006–07 Champions League and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2006–07 FIFPro World Player of the Year, 2007 Copa America winner, and won the Ballon d'Or in the same season. On top of the he won the confedorations cup and to top it off cost a then world record €70 million. NOT EVEN A MENTION!

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  • 70. At 9:23pm on 21 Dec 2009, prash2009 wrote:

    in ref to mtirfan - its going to be very unlikely a non european team will win the euro's! I mean Brazil are good but not that good!

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  • 71. At 9:29pm on 21 Dec 2009, prash2009 wrote:

    Wow magic arsenal! your mathematical skills are brilliant - the decade for man utd started in 1999 so that means they won 2 european cups! magic. and there was me thinking the decade started in 2000.

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  • 72. At 9:30pm on 21 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 9:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, haho wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 74. At 9:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, Wolfe71 wrote:

    As others have pointed out, this team has no balance. Holding midfielders are amongst the most important players that any team can possess so why are they so often overlooked when picking All-Star teams?

    My team would be:

    G) Buffon. The best goalkeeper of the last decade by some distance.
    RB) Thuram. Gets my vote ahead of Zambrotta. A defender's defender with perfect timing in his tackling.
    LB) Lahm. As you point out, he's always delivered in the major tournaments and just edges Ashley Cole for the left back berth. (I haven't picked Maldini as I feel he was past his best as a left back by the time the Noughties arrived)
    CD) Cannavaro. Sensational centre back who proves that you don't have to be a giant to be effective
    CD) Nesta. Was nearly as good as Cannavaro and the two formed a great partnership.
    RM) C. Ronaldo. His form of the last 3 or 4 seasons merits inclusion, especially with the goal threat that he brings.
    CM) Makelele. I considered going with Veira but Makelele was more of an out-and-out holding midfielder and will plug any gaps.
    CM) Zidane. The best player Europe has produced in the last 30 years.
    LM) Nedved. Busy and very talented player who gets the nod ahead of Pires and Giggs.
    S) Rooney. The combination of physical strength, technical ability, and sheer will to win means that he deserves inclusion.
    S) Henry. He might have sullied his reputation but for most of the Noughties he was sensational, both for Arsenal and France.

    G) Casillas
    D) A. Cole
    D) Ferdinand
    M) Vieira
    M) Pires
    S) Torres
    S) Arshavin

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  • 75. At 9:38pm on 21 Dec 2009, Albertaforestfan wrote:

    It'd be interested to see who people would put in a world 11 of the decade.......... Surely places for Rob Fried and De Guzman......... Not sure about your left back Phil as I agree with those guys saying Maldini. Wasn't Zidane born in Algeria though?? If so couldn't arguments be made for those guys who now have European Citizenship, ie. Messi, Ronaldinho, Diarra????Ball winning midfielder has to be Xabi Alonso!!!

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  • 76. At 9:38pm on 21 Dec 2009, andrew wrote:

    Great teams need balance. For all the flair players and the 'WOW' factors on show in Europe (past and present), their always needs a dignified water carrier standing beside them- for 'WOW' to be part of a winning team. Keane carried water for Cantona, Deschamps for Zidane, Toure carries water for Xavi and Iniesta and so the lists goes on and will continue to go on. So am going to go for a Bracelona esque 4-5-1 foramation...with you guessed...a goalkeeper, 9 prima-madonnas and a water carrier.




    FYI -- am not a Man U fan!!!!

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  • 77. At 9:39pm on 21 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    Seriously, id simply love to know what David Beckham has actually DONE on a football field this decade to warrant being anywhere near a team of the decade. Failed miserably at Madrid, how many free-kicks did he score there in 4 years? 1 was it? Ronaldo scored more than that in 1 game for United last season. How many CL did he impact with Madrid? 0. And he couldnt even imprint himself onto a joke opponent like Salt Lake City to win a final for his MLS side. What a unique and baffling farce of our age.

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  • 78. At 9:39pm on 21 Dec 2009, david dutton wrote:

    I would not leave Jamie Carragher out if I were you, ( I would not dare). He is a team player, he loves his club and gives it his all.

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  • 79. At 9:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, I am not a number wrote:

    #41. Stevat wrote: "Decent all-European team though. Would the all South American team beat it?"

    Perhaps we need to ask Tim Vickery for his South American team of the decade and then compare the two. Personally I think the South American team would beat the European team.

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  • 80. At 9:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, Bobby Martinezs Blue Army wrote:

    Hey dave chapman, i mean mcfly....mcfly... kaka is brazilian.

    check out the world map, europe is that central northern bit around and to the right of UK.

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  • 81. At 9:45pm on 21 Dec 2009, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    The first name on that list has to be Zidane. Then comes Paolo Maldini. Gigi Buffon is quite possibly the greatest GK ever, whilst Fabio Cannavaro & Alessandro Nesta are strong contenders for that CB partnerhip (with competition from Thuram and Puyol).

    A lot of big names not in there, Phil, yet you can make space for David Beckham? Surprise surprise...

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  • 82. At 9:46pm on 21 Dec 2009, SportsSportsSportsBS wrote:

    A topic like this is always going to be vigourously disputed so do not take any criticism too seriously Mr Minshull.

    Having said that, how Carvalho and Lahm make it in ahead of Maldini is beyond me. Maldini would be included in many peoples world, all-time 11 so how he cannot make it in to a Euro-centric team of the decade (during which he played for more than half the time, winning major honours) seems ridiculous.

    I don't agree with Ruud Van Nistelrooy's inclusion.

    Claude Makelele, despite being inferior in numerous ways to every other player mentioned, has been one of the most important, and successful players of the decade.

    Has anyone pointed out that Javier Zanetti is Argentinian yet?

    I'd probably go for:


    Thuram Cannavaro Puyol Maldini


    Gerrard Xavi Zidane

    Shevchenko Henry

    Subs: Buffon, Stam, A Cole, Ballack, Nedved, C Ronaldo, Torres.

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  • 83. At 9:46pm on 21 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:


    Weve just said this is a EUROPEAN team of the noughties. KAKA is BRAZILIAN!!!

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  • 84. At 9:49pm on 21 Dec 2009, cantona86 wrote:

    A very good team but personally I would pick less flair players. I dont really see enough of the foreign players to include them so my team is more premiership but I think my team of the decade would do ok after a few games together. High Determination

    Shearer and Van Nistelrooy up front. No messing about just put the ball in the net. Would definately have Beckham if those two were up front. Just cross the ball in the box and one of them will score. A couple of big hard box to box midfielders and good wide men. Beckham to cross from deep and Giggs to get to the byline. Given never makes a mistake. All english back four. No communication issues.

    S Given

    J Carragher - S Campbell - J Terry - A Cole

    D Beckham - R Keane - P Viera - R Giggs

    R Van Nistelrooy - A Shearer

    Bench: G Neville, M Laursen, S Gerrard, F Lampard, T Henry, D Bergkamp, R Pires (Don't need a goalie on the bench)

    I hope some people appreciate my team. If you have anything negative to say please dont.

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  • 85. At 9:51pm on 21 Dec 2009, Sandy wrote:

    Not even a mention of Steven Gerrard - England's best player of the decade by a long shot. And neither for David Villa - Based on stats, the best (most prolific) goalscorer of the last six years, and a complete miss of the real Ronaldo as well. Mourinho also should be there as coach ahead of Lippi

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  • 86. At 9:52pm on 21 Dec 2009, bloodletter wrote:

    alan shearer ;)

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  • 87. At 9:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, Cam wrote:

    Why is everyone forgetting that people like ronaldinho, kaka, ronaldo are BRAZILIAN and that this is a strictly EUROPEAN XI not anywhere else!


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  • 88. At 9:57pm on 21 Dec 2009, liverpoor wrote:

    European xi of the decade in terms of trophies, longevities, consistency & contributions to the game
    Thuram Cannvaro Puyol Maldini
    Beckham Seedorf Ballack Zidane
    ------------Van Nistelrooy

    Good shout: Giggs, Nedvad (finished 2008, though Zidane even earlier but he is the king), Henry...
    Gerrard is best midfielder according to Zidane, unfortunately he plays for Liverpool & England
    Ronaldo, Xavi, Villa...etc shined at cusp of decades, so I would consider them for the next one, much like Zidane for this

    (Seedorf is the player of two decades, he makes everyone else looks good on his team and always stay on his feet!)

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  • 89. At 10:01pm on 21 Dec 2009, CSKA_Kensington wrote:

    I know his stock has fallen in the eyes of a lot of people recently, but how does Ballack not even deserve a place on the bench? If this is a team of constant performers over the decade, remember that he's been in two Champions League finals (one with hugely-unfancied Bayer Leverkusen, one with a Chelsea team he carried for parts of that season), was one of the best performers at two World Cups, and made the team of the tournament at two Euros- even '04 when Germany were atrocious. He also pretty much was Bayern Munich for several years.

    The last season or two aside, I'd take Ballack over Xavi (for example) on the strength of his "noughties" performances...

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  • 90. At 10:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    so much rubbish is spouted and belived about beckham. He played 4 years at madrid and in his only la liga winning season, he assisted precisely 0 of Van Nistelrooys 25 league goals. England was even worse. We had a predator like Owen up front for years that Beckham could have delivered to but he simply never, ever did. Can anyone recall even 5 times in 115 caps that beckham actually put a football onto Owens head? I cant. Game that summed up beckhams irrelevance and vacancy for me was Argentina 2005. Owen left waiting for some tangible service from the right all game and then Gerrard replaced the pointless beckham on the right and instantly england were a threat. Gerrard crossed onto Owens head to make it 3-2 and finally we saw what decent service meant. Gerrard is a player worth 1000 david beckhams, he even outclasses him when he plays in beckhams specialist position. Beckham is without question the most ludicrously and ignorantly overhyped sportsman in the history of human recreation bar none.

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  • 91. At 10:06pm on 21 Dec 2009, clangclangclang wrote:

    WRONG! ALL WRONG! Clearly the side should be...


    Roberto Carlos
    Ashley Cole
    Kolo Toure
    Titus Bramble

    Ferenc Puskas
    Stanley Matthews
    Eyal Berkovic

    Mashigo Ukubege (Uganda's all time leading goalscorer but he qualifies for this list because he had a mate who knew someone with a Welsh grandmother ;) )


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  • 92. At 10:09pm on 21 Dec 2009, Geoff wrote:

    "Perhaps we need to ask Tim Vickery for his South American team of the decade and then compare the two. Personally I think the South American team would beat the European team."

    While we're at it, how would an all African team get on?

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  • 93. At 10:10pm on 21 Dec 2009, Rorb wrote:

    This seems to be a "top 10 players that I though of" list.

    Why not just pick 10 strikers

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  • 94. At 10:12pm on 21 Dec 2009, ahopeunseen wrote:

    I find it appalling that maldini, arguably the greatest defender ever let alone the last decade, is on the bench. I think this is one selection that 'each to his own' doesn't cover...

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  • 95. At 10:13pm on 21 Dec 2009, Peter D wrote:

    Realistically one can only measure European players if they have performed in the Champions League, World Cup and European Championships, a the highest levels and against the best. Its a pity players like Giggs are never given a chance in the WC or EC. Phil think your list is pretty spot on each one has a pretty unique ability

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  • 96. At 10:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, AussieDecca wrote:

    What about Schwarzer or Cahill? Hang on, somethings not right here...... What about Eto'o or Ji Sung Park? Something is bugging me here..... whats wrong with this? ....... thats right, THEY AREN'T EUROPEAN!!!!!!! To all you clowns out there, please read the article, TRY and understand the topic and then feel free to add input to the conversation. And for all those people bagging out Carvalho, just remember that he has been one of the best defenders of the decade and deserves at least a mention. You dont get European defender of the year for nothing!

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  • 97. At 10:16pm on 21 Dec 2009, Adam taylor wrote:


    Thuram, Puyol, Cannavaro, Maldini

    Beckham, Makelele, Zidane, Giggs

    Del Piero, Bergkamp

    Subs: Buffon, Carvalho, Nesta, Xavi, Figo, v. Nistlerooy, Henry

    Manager: SAF

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  • 98. At 10:17pm on 21 Dec 2009, Angelo Trofa wrote:

    I love these articles purely for the debates they spark, there are more than 50 players capable of walking straight into a best team of the 2000's. Your decisions have raised many an eyebrow and although I have a completely different side to put forward, all of those players have earned their right to be mentioned. As many have, here is my side proposed.

    GK - Buffon: Winner of the world cup, and easily the best player for both Italy and Juventus in the last 10 years, and possibly produced the greatest saves of the decade against both Germany and France, his save from Zidane's header in the final was simply amazing.

    DF's - Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Maldini and Thuram: For me all of these defenders slip off the tongue with ease, Zambrotta and Cannavaro were the driving forces for the 2006 world cup and both have been indispensable for their sides, Maldini and Thuram are both players who its un-imaginable to ignore.

    MF's - Figo, Zidane, Pirlo and Ronaldo: Pretty much your midfield however with the inclusion of Pirlo ahead of players such as Vieira, Makelele and Xavi.

    ST's - Henry and C. Vieri - Henry has to be included as you mentioned, however despite his little trophies Christian Vieri is possibly the most overlooked striker, he had everything that a striker needed and was simply devastating for club and country, and also very exciting to watch...he is also possibly my favourite player of the decade.

    There are many players who could make the side and bench, however this is the list of players I feel are the most complete however players I feel need to be mentioned are; Shevchenko, Beckham, Giggs, Raul, Puyol, Gerrard, Lampard and Ballack.

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  • 99. At 10:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, 09shearer wrote:

    Lets be honest Allan Shearer is the best striker is english football history. Doesnt he even get a mention

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  • 100. At 10:21pm on 21 Dec 2009, Aidan93 wrote:

    This is a European team, learn to read people.

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  • 101. At 10:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, SteveSp wrote:

    The best forward player in Europe in the last ten years, by miles and miles and MILES was Henrik Larsson. Ask Henry, SAF, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney or the Swedish parliament.

    Ashley Cole is ten times the player Lahm was. David flippin' JAMES is a better keeper than Kahn, and Gigi Buffon a street's length ahead of that.

    I know the purpose of an article like this is to provoke debate, but some of these selections are not debatable, merely babbling from the loony-bin.

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  • 102. At 10:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, liverpoor wrote:

    oops forgot the coach, got to be Guus Hiddink, 2 world cups & Euro over achievement and sorted Chelsea's ego players
    If he chooses to play 4-4-2, Larsson or Totti be in there as second striker

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  • 103. At 10:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    well done adam taylor, beckham "player of the decade" but not Ronaldo. Do you have ANY concept of what creates a genuinely great footballer? Im thinking of listing my top artists of all-time and ive decided Rolf Harris will get in over and above Rembrandt. Rolf is my Beckham. The truly shocking level of ignorance the celebrity farce and cult of david beckham has introuduced into our game is just absolutely astonishing.

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  • 104. At 10:32pm on 21 Dec 2009, Messi is the new Wilshere wrote:

    When i read Beckham i knew you were having a laugh.. Then i read he's the best dead-ball specialist in Europe/World and thought OH MY GOD YOUR REALLY HAVING A LAUGH.

    Best Dead-ball specialist in the world is Juninhio and there's no question about that.

    I'd have so many players ahead of Beckham.. Iniesta, Pires, Fabregas, countless players. Beckham is average at best.

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  • 105. At 10:32pm on 21 Dec 2009, Ronald Hayes wrote:

    Roy Keane is a must.

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  • 106. At 10:38pm on 21 Dec 2009, Colin Smith wrote:

    No Michael Owen (spent the last decade reaching the fourth spot on the all-time England scoring chart and led the EPL in scoring twice; topped Liverpool's scoring charts from 1997-2004; also the only English player to score in 4 major tournaments; simply England's best striker over the last decade; Wayne Rooney is not even close), Henrick Larsson(best striker in Europe over the last decade) or Roy Keane (best midfielder/team leader in Europe over the last decade). Disappointing, Phil.

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  • 107. At 10:50pm on 21 Dec 2009, Jamie wrote:

    first of all i have to question the manager. lippi? fergie is the manager of the decade by a country mile. The last decade has possibly being the best 10 of his career at Manchester United. He won everything at least once at club level. Won the premier league 3 times in a row and the league cup along with the champions league in the past 3 years. And then the other 7 wasnt trophyless.
    Then going onto the team there are a few iffy decisions. Kahn, no way is he the best. Casillas for me over buffon, kahn n cech.
    Swap carvalho and cannavaro straight away with Terry and maldini but that was a close call between them and nesta or ferdinand. The 18 months out for ferdinand swayed my decision.
    Then the left back is all wrong, i like lahm but he isnt that good. Evra in the past 3 years has been the best left back in the world by a mile, its a position that struggles for great players since the turn of the millenium but ashley cole is a great left back but evra has taken the crown from cole as being the best left back in the premier league and roberto carlos' crown of the best left back in the world.
    Then the left mid position is again a position not many succeed in. The one that has and is the only player I can say is an out an out left midfielder is ryan giggs. I dont know how you could over look giggsy after what he has won, achieved and proved over the last decade. At 36 he is still an important part of the most successful team in England and recently won sports personality although it was a life time achievement award in a way. Plus how deadly was the combination of beckham on the right giggs on the left delivering to ruud van nistelrooy to score. Van nistelrooy wasnt a player that scored 30 goals a season from creating them himself, about 75% of his goals at Manchester United came from them two.
    So my team would look like:
    Van Nistlerooy
    Henry (just ahead of messi)

    Subs:Buffon,Ferdinand,A.Cole,Messi,Gerrard,Nedved and Miroslav Klose (just look at his records he is a natural goalscorer)

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  • 108. At 10:52pm on 21 Dec 2009, Sparkle wrote:

    All fine Phil, except you've got the wrong Chelsea player...Terry should be in, in place of Carvalho.

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  • 109. At 10:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, AgentC53 wrote:


    Thuram Cannavaro Stam Maldini

    Ronaldo Gattuso Zidane Giggs

    van Nistelrooy Henry

    A team with balance that would be tough for anyone to beat...

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  • 110. At 10:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, Scott Dawson wrote:

    These things can never be done, to cut it down to just 11 players is near impossible.

    You have missed so many fantastic players, that in their day (which was in the late 90's and 00's) such as Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Raul, Buffon, Roberto Carlos, Rui Costa, Del Piero and even Ronaldinho! The list really is endless.

    I do however disagree with the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo being included they were only good for 3 season or so, especially ronaldo the one trick pony.

    I would narrow it done to: Kahn, Cafu, Maldini, Thuram, Carlos, Figo, Vieira, Zidane, Pires, Henry and Ronaldo. With the likes of Buffon, Kolo Toure, Nesta, Ronaldinho, Raul, Del Piero and Ljungberg warming the bench, but its still missing out fantastic players, who are worthy of a spot.

    Impossible to choose!!

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  • 111. At 10:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, rowlyuledge wrote:

    I think you have to base it around the best teams of the decade ie
    Milan, Man Utd and Real.

    Cannavaro Ferdinand Nesta
    Scholes Viera
    Seedorf Zidane Giggs
    Raul Henry

    Gerrard Giggs Nedved Makalele A Cole Gattuso Beckham and M Owen F Inzaghi (both scored 3 CL hatricks as well as consistantly scoring wherver they have been at club level or internationally)

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  • 112. At 10:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, Steve wrote:

    Sorry to pedantic, but the decade is not over until the end of next year.

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  • 113. At 10:58pm on 21 Dec 2009, Ashley Bird wrote:

    Dennis Bergkamp should be the very first name on the team seet, no questions asked.

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  • 114. At 10:58pm on 21 Dec 2009, U11846789 wrote:

    Isn't it strange.

    Just how many people cannot read or understand the title of this blog.

    "A European team for the 'noughties'"


    In that title there is a key word.

    One which explains why Ronaldo, Ronaldinho et al. are not included.

    Can you guess which word it is?

    Go on, try.


    That's it.

    This is a EUROPEAN best XI.

    And Brazil is not in Europe.

    Got it yet?


    Keep trying.

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  • 115. At 10:59pm on 21 Dec 2009, modricluka14 wrote:

    I have never posted on the bbc site but feel compelled to now.

    so your 4-3-3 team...midfield is zidane, figo and beckham?!? yeah right..where is the holding midfielder?!

    Buffon and Maldini have to play. Phillip Lahm is a complete joke

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  • 116. At 10:59pm on 21 Dec 2009, rob123aber wrote:

    @37... Neville?!?!?!
    You must be joking.
    Next thing you'll be saying it should be Phil.
    He's been consistantly the most average United Player of the decade,
    certainly doesn't deserve a place in a team like this.

    I would agree with most people that Maldini deserves the place over Lahm and it's slightly depressing to think that Beckham is the best right sided midfielder Europe has had to offer since 2000 but I can't think of any better.

    As per usual defensive midfielders have been completely ignored for an all-star list despite being essential to any team as Real Madrid's sale of Makelele proved. I would argue that Keane, Viera or Makelele deserved a place certainly over Beckham.

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  • 117. At 11:02pm on 21 Dec 2009, JackMason wrote:

    Maybe the "real" ronaldo should be there instead of cristiano because he has won more trophies over his career. Maldini should be in instead of carvalho 100000%. Beckham deserves his place, aswell as Zidane and Canavaro. Figo was very good but i honestly believe Michael Ballack deserves it more. Casillas over Kahn 100%. Wayne Rooney will have a spot in 10 years time, aswell as Fernando Torres.

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  • 118. At 11:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, Hes got them aw pure ragin wrote:

    sorry but got to disagree with a couple, no way should lahm and henry be in there. also thuram was a great player but he still shoudlnt be on this list.

    but heres mine anyway.





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  • 119. At 11:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, Jacey26 wrote:

    It shows that its all about personal opinions such as the usual Beckham-hater comes out. No point in commenting on him as we've heard it before, usually on 606, and he, along with others find it impossible to accept he's a GOOD player (well some of us supporters, sportswriters etc think so but never mind).
    Also people think more of those who won things - Shearer for example, great striker but only one trophy.
    Just to say "in my opinion" Casillas or Buffon had to be in goal.
    And to even think of putting the "thug" Carvalho in font of Maldini is a joke. And Ashley Cole! - don't get me started.
    At 10.17 Angelo wrote about 50 players - how right you are. I've already named 2 goalies, then would put in Raul, Figo, Cannavaro, Zidane, Torres, - oh forget it, I can think of 50 too. Still, its interesting to read that so many disagree with this writer.
    Happy Christmas!

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  • 120. At 11:04pm on 21 Dec 2009, Cherwho wrote:

    Pretty much agree, would swap Beckham for Gerrard though.

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  • 121. At 11:04pm on 21 Dec 2009, InArsenalWeTrust wrote:

    i think you need a patrick viera in there. in fact, for hilarities sake, why don't we put patrick viera and roy keane as two central midfielders? that would make it if not the best european team of the last decade then certainly a very interesting one!

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  • 122. At 11:09pm on 21 Dec 2009, Max wrote:

    some people aren't quite grasping the 'europe' bit
    all good
    maybe bergkamp, messi and nesta
    instead of torres, rooney and ramos

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  • 123. At 11:14pm on 21 Dec 2009, Larsson7KingOfKings wrote:

    Glad to see a few posts mentioning Henrik Larsson, the most complete striker of the decade imo. Superb finishing, heading, link up play, dead ball ability, and passing. Not to mention he was one of the most modest players around.

    And i know this is a European team, but i find it so hard to think about the noughties without Ronaldinho in his prime popping into my head.

    However, restricting it to Europeans..

    Zambrotta, Thuram, Cannavarro, Maldini

    Figo, Keane, Zidane, Pires

    Larsson, Henry

    Subs: Casillas, Stam, Puyol, Ballack, Nedved, Bergkamp, Shevchenko

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  • 124. At 11:15pm on 21 Dec 2009, GuruHD wrote:

    5TournamentFlopLegend. You seem to be unimpressed with David Beckham. Well, maybe you should consider this. He has had, as his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello, Sven Goran Erikson and Carlo Ancelotti among others, all top quality managers. Each of these have played him week in week out and spoken glowingly of him. Each of these managers, I would guess, know far more about football than you, therefore maybe, just maybe you are wrong.

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  • 125. At 11:17pm on 21 Dec 2009, John Holden-Peters wrote:

    Cannavaro?? Anyone who watched him during his time at Madrid must have been puzzled that he was once Player of the Year. His absence from the Italian team in the European Championship in 2008 was neither here nor there: it simply didn`t matter.

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  • 126. At 11:18pm on 21 Dec 2009, atnmitch wrote:

    what about Lizarazu at left back? surely less controversial than Lahm

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  • 127. At 11:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, aledems wrote:

    I would disagree with a few selections here! and would definatley disagree with the formation! I would use 4-1-4-1 or a 4-2-3-1.
    GK.Oliver Kahn (GER)
    RB.Lilian Thuram (FRA)
    CB.Fabio Cannavaro (ITA)
    CB.Alessandro Nesta (ITA)
    LB.Philip Lahm (GER)
    DM.Claude Makelele (FRA)
    RW.Luis Figo (POR)
    LW.Ryan Giggs (WAL)
    CM.Zinedine Zidane (FRA)
    CM.Xavi (SPA)
    ST.Thierry Henry (FRA)
    SUBS:Gianluigi Buffon,Paolo Maldini,John Terry,Patrick Vieira,Andrea Pirlo,Cristiano Ronaldo,Dennis Bergkamp

    NESTA- One of the best defenders ever and very underated, he's very consistent and has been in the annual uefa team of the year five times!
    MAKELELE- Arguably the best defensive midefielder i've ever seen. They even call that role the "makelele role"!
    GIGGS- One of the most decorated player in history! A wizard on the wing and always a danger. He's 36 and he's still going! A role model.
    TERRY- Has been a quality defender this decade. The best in the premiership. He is the rock that chelsea are built on!
    PIRLO- One of the best playmakers in the game. Brilliant free kicks and his overall play is outstanding.
    BERGKAMP- My idol. The best technical player i've ever seen. He scored outsanding goals and alongside Henry the best partnership ever!

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  • 128. At 11:20pm on 21 Dec 2009, G_K___ wrote:


    You're having a giraffe, right?

    While Iniesta - who is ten times the player - doesn't even make the bench?

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  • 129. At 11:23pm on 21 Dec 2009, Bru wrote:

    Seriously, the amount of people suggesting players from outside Europe to play in a European XI is hilairious. Also, i was thinking how Gerrard has been missed here? Surely a man who won the Champions league final on his own and the F.A. cup final on his own should feature here. Yes, he's been poor this season, but being poor for 18 games should not cost you a place in the European XI. My XI would be:
    GK - Buffon - Best goalkeeper in the world for the last few years hands down.
    RB - Thuram - Absolutely unbelievable player, still battling on.
    CB - Puyol - There is a reason Barca have been thought off as the best team in europe for years, and its no coincidence he;s been there the whole time.
    CB - Terry - The man nearly died against Arsenal in the Carling Cup final, and was still playing next week!! Never afraid to put his body on the line, an absolute legend.
    LB - This was a tricky one but i would have to say Maldini. Like a fine wine, he got better with age.
    RM - Figo, more flair than a pair of 70s trousers, Figo was nbelievable to watch
    CM - Gerrard - Can win a game on his own, and has been consistently spectacular for many years.
    CM - Zidane - Was there a greater player this decade?
    LM - Giggs - Yes he achieved nothing internationally but he didn't have good enough players around him. He has been a fantastic player since he began, but has really shown his best form this decade.
    CF - Henry - No-one plays the game with more grace
    CF - Raul - Unbelievably good player, with a real eye for goal.

    Manager - Alex Ferguson (best manager in history)

    Subs - Casillas, Nesta, Ferdinand, Makelele, Lampard, Larson, C Ronaldo

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  • 130. At 11:23pm on 21 Dec 2009, samnippy wrote:

    Maxi Rodriguez' goal against Mexico in the 2006 World Cup has to go down, in my opinion, as one of the greatest goals of the decade. Maldini at left back and Roy Keane to replace Beckham.

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  • 131. At 11:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, I say Semedo, you say Semado, let's call the whole thing off wrote:

    Nice selection.

    Here is my team of GOOD, EUROPEAN players from the past DECADE:

    Massimo Taibi

    Claus Lundekvam, Ramon Vega, Titus Bramble, Paul McShane

    Djemba-Djemba, Juan Sebastien Veron, Colin Cameron, Quinton Fortune

    Steffen Iverson, The guy who played for Southampton by pretending to be George Weah’s brother

    Manager: Chris Hutchings

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  • 132. At 11:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, BF wrote:

    What! no Del Piero... eh.

    Actually, the team should be:

    Gianluigi Buffon (the italian version of Andy Goram - how did Goram never win european keeper? Total disgrace looking back).

    Paulo Maldini (italian stallion)
    Carles Puyol (spanish armada)
    Phil Neville (english bulldog)

    John Collins (scottish inventor)
    David Beckham (english deadball magician)
    Zinidine Zidane (french grand wizard)
    Alessandro Del Piero (italian maestro)
    Lubomir Moravcik (slovakian genius)

    Christiano Ronaldo (portugese ponce)
    Henrik Larrson (swedish toast)

    Subs: Stallone, Wark, Hanson, McCoist, Pele, and there's a place in the team for Gordon Ramsay and Terry Butcher if he proves his fitness!

    Phil's team was strange to say the least...

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  • 133. At 11:26pm on 21 Dec 2009, Graham wrote:

    My team would be:






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  • 134. At 11:26pm on 21 Dec 2009, RNB wrote:

    My team would be based around the players that have been at the forefront of European football for the majority of the decade, consistently competing at the highest level ie Champions League, World Cups, Euros. Therefore I'm surprised Phil hasn't included Raul and Maldini. What a great shame that Giggs never got to grace a world cup, however I've included him regardless:





    Subs: Casillas. Puyol. Beckham. Scholes. Cristiano Ronaldo. Nedved. Del Piero.

    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson. One of the very greatest football managers of all time.

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  • 135. At 11:28pm on 21 Dec 2009, ali123r wrote:

    Has anyone considered jamie carragher? a living legend whos played 600 games at the top level and won numerous trophies over a mostly glittering career? also sami hyypia; shouldn't he at least be on the bench? Are we forgetting the mighty dennis Berkhamp or pre-injury petr cech?? all of these are as good if not better than some of the above suggestions. My team:
    Carragher Puyol Hyypia Maldini
    C. Ronaldo Zidane Iniesta Figo
    Villa Berkhamp
    Bench: Casillas, Cannarvaro, Xavi, Gerrard, Makalele, Henry, A. Cole

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  • 136. At 11:30pm on 21 Dec 2009, kahn wrote:

    I agree with most of the selections, especially Oliver Kahn as he was the best goalkeeper of the last decade. Certainly Torres shouldnt feature as he hasn't done much in terms of achievement.

    What about Stefan Effenberg and Thomas Linke? Certainly Effenberg would come before Nedved and Linke ahead of Ramos. And Maldini to me would be in the 1st 11 not in the subs.

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  • 137. At 11:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, Ben wrote:

    haha at 122. Not grasping europeans...yet you put messi.

    Some of you having a go at ppl for forgetting roberto carlos real ronaldo etc etc get some brains and read the title jesus it's ridiculously frustrating reading you guys name people obviously not european (thuram etc count as they played for a european nation).

    On a player point Buffon has to be keeper and hierro could possibly get a shout although past his prime maybe even at bolton in 0405 he was unbelievably good. Classiest player i have ever seen bar none.

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  • 138. At 11:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, Lee wrote:

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  • 139. At 11:31pm on 21 Dec 2009, felixtzu wrote:

    I scrolled down, saw the name Beckham, and instantly realised this wasn't going to be worth reading.

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  • 140. At 11:33pm on 21 Dec 2009, Jimmy McNulty- The voice of reason wrote:

    This is rubbish im sorry. That midfield is just woeful. As for Carvalho...he had about 3 peak years, hardly 10 is it?!


    Thuram, Ferdinand, Cannavaro, Evra.

    Ronaldo, Makelele, Zidane, Figo.

    Klose, Henry.

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  • 141. At 11:36pm on 21 Dec 2009, Lee wrote:

    What about Ryan Giggs, Name a player who has won more trophy's than he has in any sport ?

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  • 142. At 11:39pm on 21 Dec 2009, BF wrote:

    Giggs? Is Wales in europe? where is it again?

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  • 143. At 11:42pm on 21 Dec 2009, weaver wrote:






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  • 144. At 11:42pm on 21 Dec 2009, fordie900 wrote:

    wheres shola ameobi's mention? Surely one of the best players of all time let alone the noughties, this is an outrage and a disgrace and you don't know football phil. NO JUSTICE!!!!

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  • 145. At 11:45pm on 21 Dec 2009, Sneakers wrote:

    I echo the surprise at those who struggle to grasp the whole idea of a European team made up by European players. And to the person who also commented on it and then included Messi in the list...

    I can see Beckham in the team - he was one of the finest crossers of the ball of any decade, never mind just this one, but he is limited elsewhere. How you couldn't include Gerrard, even as a sub, beggars belief. Villa has been sensational, and what about Shevchenko?

    And as for manager, you include Lippi because he won the world cup...Alex Ferguson has won more titles and trophies than any other manager working in Europe today, surely you can't mitigate against him because he's not an international manager?

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  • 146. At 11:49pm on 21 Dec 2009, Shaun wrote:

    Why does the bbc sports personality of the year Ryan Giggs get left out can anyone tell me? the most decorated player in british football, he may not have played world cups or european cups for his country but still, he deserves his place in the team of the noughties and the last decade too.
    Also surely a player like Claude Makelele, Roy Keane or Patrick Vieria is a must!

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  • 147. At 11:50pm on 21 Dec 2009, MazHarv wrote:

    Interesting selection! As regards who ha a European passport, I think the main factor is which country you play for!
    So. my team, with reasons:
    GK: Buffon - Best keeper around for many years!
    RB: Thuram - Solid as they come, can cover the middle as well
    LB: Maldini - Still head and shoulders above others despite his age
    CB: Cannovaro - All-round quality. Also my captain
    CB: Nesta - Compliments Cannovaro, It works, see 2006 World Cup
    RM: Ronaldo - I hate him, but god he is good!
    CM: Gattuso - Makelele and Keane just a bit too far past thier best
    CM: Zidane - Do I really need a reason???
    LM: Nedved - Could change any match at anytime
    CF: Henry - Just so sublime at his peak
    CF: Shearer - Need some strength to work with Henry's guile

    GK: Casillas - Don't stay in Madrid team this long if you're no good
    LB: Cole - Hate him as well. Maldini can cover centre
    RB: Salgado - Impressed every time I saw him
    CM: Viera - Only just missed out on starting XI
    CM: Gerrard - Can cover right, holding role or attacking role
    LM: Giggs - Edges out Figo on consistancy
    CF: Raul - Top-scorer in Champions League! SAF said he was best he'd seen!

    And for giggles, an XI of (maybe) underated players
    GK: Given - Solid for many years without chance to show it on big stage
    RB: Dario Simic - AC Milan stalwart, ever dependeble
    LB: Chivu - Romanian captain, a diamond in the rough
    CB F De Boer - Never given the credit he deserved
    CB: Hyyppia - Always solid for Liverpool, just couldn't help Finland enough!
    RM: R Be Boer - See his brother
    LM: Duff - Okay, ropey at Necastle, but brilliant for Chelsea and Blackburn
    CM: Parker - Stated well, got lost at Chelsea, stood out at Newcastle, still does at West Ham. Would have more caps but for Gerrard/Lampard
    CM: Stankovic: Croat playmaker, versitile and silky skilled
    CF Koller- Big and Slow, but he was very effective, especially when playing for the Czechs
    CF: Phillips - 89 goals in 233 Premier League games, usually playing for teams fighting relegation!

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  • 148. At 11:52pm on 21 Dec 2009, adamoc16 wrote:

    Suprised not to see raul, also keane two great players. Can you imagine keane and zidane in midfield whatta combination! Here's my choice...


    Thuram, Terry, Puyol, Maldini

    Gerrard, Keane, Zidane, Ronaldo

    Raul, Van Nistelrooy

    Manager: Alex Ferguson

    Subs: Casillas, Maldini, Nesta, Xavi, Giggs, Nedved, Inzaghi

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  • 149. At 11:53pm on 21 Dec 2009, MeanMachine wrote:

    OMG, i cant believe nobody has mentioned Peter Schmeichel!

    For me, He is by far the best goalkeeper ever to grace europe, fantastic the levels of consistancy he showed over the years at man utd, its a shame not even one person mentioned him.

    Is he really forgotton or just not worth a mention?

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  • 150. At 00:00am on 22 Dec 2009, Derek Fallon wrote:

    Beckham? A load of rubbish. The guy should not be anywhere near a squad like this. What about Keane? Ten times the player Beckham ever was. Ronaldo should be on the right, Kaka on the left with Zidane and Keane in the middle and Brazilian Ronaldo and Henry up front.

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  • 151. At 00:01am on 22 Dec 2009, Rory Dare wrote:

    Few noticeable problems with the selections inside this interesting blog. I dont understand the fixation with Iker Casillas. He has no attribute that is world class. He cant take a cross, he parries every shot which somehow trickles under the onrushing attackers feet and his distribution is hardly on par with van der sar or pepe reina. I think given should have at least made the bench! Philip Lahm?? is that the same philip lahm that got replaced by an actual left footer in Marcell Jansen? surely ashley cole is a better bet, or evra, or zambrotta. I also think that carvalho's inclusion in the starting lineup is a slightly biased opinion. I believe that one of the greatest defender's of this era has been overlooked, and that is Nesta. I honestly believe that the likes of maldini and costacurta were only able to play on unil the ages they did because they had nesta at the heart of their defense. He is as assured on the ball as Rio but awesome off it!

    Also Hiddink would be the perfect manager for all those sides!

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  • 152. At 00:03am on 22 Dec 2009, Al wrote:


    I cannot think of any best XI African of the past decade that can crush your best XI Europeeans.

    Maybe these guys can at least get a draw.....

    Keeper: Kameni (Cameroon), El Hadary (Egypt)

    Right back: Geremi (Cameroon), Lauren (Cameroon), Eboue (Ivory Coast)

    Left back: Taiwo (Nigeria), Wome (Cameroon),

    Center back: Song (Cameroon), Kolo (ivory Coast), Yobo (Nigeria), Mensah (Ghana)

    Midfielders: Essien (Ghana), Okocha (Nigeria), Appiah (Ghana), Muntari (Ghana), Toure (Ivory Coast), Diara (Mali), Keita (mali), Aboutrika (Egypt), Mikel (Nigeria), El Hadji (Senegal), Sissoko (Mali)

    Strikers: Eto'o (Cameroon), Drogba (ivory Coast), Adebayor (Togo), Kanu (Nigeria), Mido (egypt), Martins (Nigeria), Yakubu (Nigeria), Kanoute (Mali), Beni McCarty (South Africa)

    So my starting line up will be:






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  • 153. At 00:03am on 22 Dec 2009, mmkimuk wrote:

    Why no Rivaldo? What about the Ronaldo who won Brazil the 2002 World Cup?

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  • 154. At 00:04am on 22 Dec 2009, ademar wrote:

    Why when people pick up a dream team they normally choose a team that cannot play in real life. In a 4-3-3 formation you can not play with two wingers. I totally disagree with beckham and Figo in the midfield. I would pick Gerrard, zidane and makelele.

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  • 155. At 00:06am on 22 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    Anyone suggesting Jaap Stam is having a giraffe. His main achievements were last decade, and never really did anything after leaving MU in 2001. SAF himself said that he though Stam had lost his legs and was vulnerable against pace.

    Saw a couple of mentions for Pires earlier. Not a bad shout that. He was definitely a star for Arsenal, but not sure that he would edge out some of the midfielders already mentioned.

    Also think that Del Piero is worthy of a place on the bench. What a footballer, and a great ambassador for the game.

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  • 156. At 00:06am on 22 Dec 2009, aliiswicked wrote:

    If your talking about a team of the noughties then surely TEAM is a key word. You have to have a balanced team to win anything! That includes the bench


    Roberto Carlos




    V. Nistelrooy

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  • 157. At 00:07am on 22 Dec 2009, Keane2BRed wrote:

    This team is an absolute joke I sincerely hope my taxes are not paying for you to pick that team. I actually signed up to express my shock. First and foremost its not a team. There's no midfielder who can defend. No Roy Keane, No Gerrard! RVN the most one dimensional forward in europe. Casillas? Maldini? And the person who mentioned Gary Neville? I have not laughed so much in i don't know how long. I do not like critising without giving my own team but i think half that team is a disgrace. for what it is worth here is my team:


    Thuaram Nesta Vidic Maldini

    Figo Gerrard Keane Zidane

    Raul Torres

    Manager: for winning the chamions league with a portugal team Mourinho

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  • 158. At 00:11am on 22 Dec 2009, Luke wrote:

    Carvalho ? i could think of a lot of centre halves who deserve to be there ahead of him! ...and i cant believe stevat just mentioned shola ameobi as a possible...please tell me that was a joke. Bergkamp would walk into that team

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  • 159. At 00:13am on 22 Dec 2009, ronan12984 wrote:

    Come on get a grip of yourself! Gigi Buffon has been the best goalkeeper in Europe since the great dane Peter Schmeichel, he has an aura about him that only the truly great players have and has the medals in his back pocket to back it up, plus he has been in UEFA's team of the tournament for the last two majors Euro 2008 and World Cup 2006. Sorry but Gigi will go down in the history books by experts as one of the greatest goalkeepers in history not just this past decade.

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  • 160. At 00:17am on 22 Dec 2009, MaloneGod wrote:

    Rooney? on what basis?

    ok, mine is:

    GK - Cassilas - only goalkeeper i enjoy watching and find truly inspirational
    RB - Puyol - needed to include him and he is just as adept at rb as cb, 100% committment
    CB - Cannavaro - World Cup 2006, need I say more?
    CB - Ferdinand - pacy, good on the ball and reads the game well
    LB - A.Cole - best lb in the world, can keep the best at bay, e.g. Ronaldo Euro 2004
    RM - Beckham - not just for his ability, but his desire and determination
    CM - Zidane - I remember watching spanish football for the first time in about 2004 and loved watching Zidane
    LM - Pires - one of my favourite prem players of all time, just a legend
    RF - Messi - closest thing to Maradona (the best ever) to come imo
    ST - van Nistelrooy - arguably greatest poacher ever in the prem
    LF - Henry - he can score every type of goal, all round classy striker

    subs (7):
    GK - Cech - as he was first 2 years of his Chelsea career when it looked like he could become a great
    DEF - Terry - narrowly missed out in starting 11, whole hearted and can score as well
    DEF - Riise - probably the most controversial choice, but a defender who can score you 6-10 screamers a season is a rarity
    MID - C.Ronaldo - only misses out on starting place because imo he is not very effective in the big matches, but ultimate destroyer of the small teams
    MID - Makelele - defensive edge to the team, rock solid and plays it simple, classy
    FWD - Owen - imo best poacher England has seen, won 2001 FA Cup on his own, hattrick v Germany, brace v Argentina just a few highlights
    FWD - Anelka - controversial again, but he scores everywhere he goes

    this'll probably bring me some stick, but hey :)

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  • 161. At 00:20am on 22 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 162. At 00:24am on 22 Dec 2009, dan wrote:

    there is no balance to the team what so ever, you have totally disregarded the unsung hero of a football team- keane, makelele or viera. but the people that are sugesting raul are worse! the most overated player ever

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  • 163. At 00:24am on 22 Dec 2009, jamie Watson wrote:

    Personally, My team of the decade would be:

    Gianluigi Buffon, One of the best there has ever been, let alone this decade IMO top clas

    Rb: Lillian Thuram, Completely Agree with this one

    CB: Allesandro Nesta, Mr Consistent in my eyes, Italian and AC Stalwart

    CB: Fabio Cannavaro, Tough tackler, good leader

    LB: Paolo Maldini, Model Of Professionalism, Class act

    RM: Luis Figo, Can work as an outstanding playmaker from anywhere across the midfield.

    CM: Zinedine Zidane, Can you really argue with this one?

    CM: Patrick Vieira, Just pips Makelele, as he could put a few goals in too, aswell as being an awesome enforcer

    LM: Ryan Giggs, I'm a Liverpool Fan, and have nothing but respect for giggs, always on the back pages of the papers where footballers belong, and a top, top player to boot

    CF: Thierry Henry: Lightning pace, Class Finish, Can play as a lone striker, or a deep lying striker, or a supporting wing forward, scored some of the best goals in Premier League history

    CF: Dennis Bergkamp, Probably one of the most intelligent footballers to play the game, didnt have great pace, but what he lacked in pace he had in awarness and movement, and who can forget THAT turn and finish.

    Manager: Fabio Capello

    Iker Cassilas
    Michel Salgado
    Sami Hyypia(might cause a fuss this one)
    Clarence Seedorf
    Steven Gerrard
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Francesco Totti

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  • 164. At 00:25am on 22 Dec 2009, a09189 wrote:

    "1. At 7:37pm on 21 Dec 2009, mtirfan wrote

    Spot on, Phil! Italy maybe Europe's only world cup winner in the last 10 years, but THREE European teams won the Euro during the same period: France, Greece and Spain :D"

    ov course three european teams av won the euros, thats why its called the european cup only european teams can enter!!!

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  • 165. At 00:30am on 22 Dec 2009, Shelley wrote:

    Ali dia played 15 min prem footy what legend

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  • 166. At 00:32am on 22 Dec 2009, BlueBP wrote:

    People have already pointed this out but in a vain attempt to prevent more idiotic comments. This is EUROPEAN team of the NOUGHTIES. EUROPEAN, EUROPEAN, EUROPEAN as defined by which national team they play for.
    That means no Kaka, no Ronaldo(BZL), no Ronaldinho, no Messi, no Drogba.

    I think you should pick a team in a normal formation that could play together. So 4-4-2 for me.
    Thuram--Cannavaro--Carvalho--Ashley Cole
    -----Van Nistelroy--Henry

    That team would take some beating.

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  • 167. At 00:32am on 22 Dec 2009, Filipe wrote:

    My team

    LB:Roberto Carlos
    LW:C. Ronaldo

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  • 168. At 00:33am on 22 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    GuruHD you miss the point on so many levels. This is a team of the decade for ALL of Europe. If you cant understand-as i ASSURE you Alec ferguson does- that players such as Luis Figo and Ronaldo and beyond the STRATOSPHERE of a one-trick limited little boy trier like beckham then you simply dont understand our art. Ferguson, who had beckham nowhere near his elite list of players hes had under him in his time merely at Old Trafford, was once dreaming that he might be able to cash in on beckhams celebrity and get himself Figo,fact. And this is beckhams "father figure" within the game. Anyone who puts beckham anywhere near the great players of europe of this era or any other just has no feel for our game other than what constitutes a famous "celebrity" within it. I saw Figo play at Barcelona and he was on a level beyond the comprehension of beckham and what ive witnessed from beckham in the last 10 years at any level. Figos divine heavyweight displays for Portugal in major tournamnets against big nations further atest to his depth of class. WHAT has beckham ever, EVER shown on a similar stage?

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  • 169. At 00:33am on 22 Dec 2009, adamoc16 wrote:

    #dan 162

    how can you say raul is over rated? his goalscoring record is outstanding in europe, domestically and internationally. has been consistently good over the decade.

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  • 170. At 00:40am on 22 Dec 2009, aaron traynor wrote:

    it is outrageous how no one can mention that the best right back and left back of all time was cafu and roberto carlos..






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  • 171. At 00:41am on 22 Dec 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Makelele! Makelele! Makelele!
    A hundred, thousand , million times Makelele!!!!
    AS soon as you went 4-3-3 you were fundamentally flawed...a travesty Phil...

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  • 172. At 00:41am on 22 Dec 2009, ross wrote:


    Ronaldo hasnt done anything this decade? aside from winning three premier leagues, scoring 40+ goals in a season (from midfield), winning world and european footballer of the year and the champions league, your right he hasnt really done all that much.

    I love beckham but to include him on footballing merit is a joke. team should be




    V Nistelroy

    Subs: Gerrard, Scholes, Keane, Casillas, Raul, Puyol, Henry

    Special mention: Ibrahimovic, Nedved, Rooney, Iniesta, Evra, Del Piero, Torres, Desaily, Thuram, Larsson, Figo, Ballack, Lampard, Rui Costa

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  • 173. At 00:42am on 22 Dec 2009, simon wrote:

    I think it's a good piece, but was always going to arouse much disgreement, unfortunately. The main thing that shocks me is all these posts that suggest non-European players!! Messi?? Zanetti?? HELLO! someone even mentioned Essien... oh my god!
    141 - Its "trophies" and I imagine there are 100s. vitor Baia in european football for a start.

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  • 174. At 00:48am on 22 Dec 2009, Greg Mabbott wrote:

    ok lets sette this. i am going to offer the most balanced team of people when you take into consideration they will all be playing at the top of their game from the noughties. not about longetivity, purely ability on their day and a team I think would work well together as a unit.

    Gainluigi Buffon

    Ashley Cole, Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand, Lilian Thuram.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo.

    Raul, Thierry Henry

    Subs; Casillas, Maldini, Nesta, Makelele, Giggs, Bergkamp, Torres,

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  • 175. At 00:50am on 22 Dec 2009, Miiiiiiiiii wrote:

    ----------- BUFFON------


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  • 176. At 00:50am on 22 Dec 2009, Greg Mabbott wrote:

    in fact maybe gerrard in for keane, i stand corrected.

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  • 177. At 00:51am on 22 Dec 2009, brian girvan wrote:

    Not a bad team. But what is beckham doing in there. He is surley the most overrated player ever.

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  • 178. At 00:52am on 22 Dec 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    I don't have some of the issues with this team that many others seem to.

    The fact is that a decade gives you a lot of players. I can understand the selection, including Lahm. I wouldn't have picked him, but I can see why someone else would. I can't see how anyone can argue the Beckham position no matter what their club allegiance. Time after time, no one else in the world puts a ball on heads better than Beckham - and with Ronaldo in this team I think Phil put a bit more thought into that selection than others may have thought. Heading is a major strength of his, in fact I'd say he is currently the best header of a ball in the game.

    You could argue black and white, all day long, over every position - but I don't think there would be too many players that a case couldn't be argued for.

    I only have one issue with it.

    The manager.

    I cannot see any, not a single one, not in any universe, life or form of virtual reality, second life, half life, reincarnated life or plain old ordinary life where Sir Alex Ferguson would not be the manager of this team - every time.

    Lippi might have won a world cup, but manager of the decade?

    Ferguson was the best in the world for the past 20 years, never mind decade, and everyone knows it, United fans, Liverpool fans, Chelsea fans, everyone. They just don't always say it. Sack Lippi now Phil, you know that was a bad appointment!

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  • 179. At 00:57am on 22 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    Time after time, no one else in the world puts a ball on heads better than Beckham
    Tiresome garbage. Again, in beckhams one "successful" season in Madrid, Van Nistelrooy scored 25 league goals, beckham assisted 0. In 15 years and 115 chances, list me the times beckham ever provided "a ball on the head" of our strikers such as Owen. Can you even give me one example a YEAR? "no one else in the world". This level of ignorance and submission to the cult of celebrity just astounds and bemuses.

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  • 180. At 00:57am on 22 Dec 2009, gscott wrote:

    do you SERIOUSLY not remember lahm being run all over the shop by an unnder strength turkish side...not to mention everyone else in the tournament. in fact im pretty sure bbc coverage at the time verged on mockery of the german left back.

    bad selection. hes useless, i would go further and say gareth bale is uropes answer to roberto carlos!

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  • 181. At 01:06am on 22 Dec 2009, andy389 wrote:

    Generally a good team, but some queries. Surely it has to be based on international standard, so how can Torres make the bench whilst Raul and Villa are excluded. I've also come to the conclusion that no English players should be included, Beckham is a long ball/cross man, and no more, and Rooney hasn't done enough on the world stage, and on the big occassion.

    Ramos Cannavaro Maldini Lahm Puyol
    Xavi Pirlo Vieira
    Zidane Figo
    Ronaldo Henry Klose


    What I have established from doing this is that there has been a definite lack of full backs over the decade, attacking ones anyway. Cafu and Carlos have been miles ahead of the rest.

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  • 182. At 01:08am on 22 Dec 2009, Roverthehillandfaraway wrote:

    The trouble with this thing is there have been so many good players, genuinely good players that you could make a case for inclusion for so many. I doubt that anyone is right/wrong (apart form those including S Americans :)

    Raul, Del Piero are two players I've always liked but also got to include one of my favourite players of all time, Mehmet scholl. I know he doesn't get much UK press but he was amazing to watch - although suffered from having his career split across 2 decades.

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  • 183. At 01:08am on 22 Dec 2009, showUsYerHands wrote:

    Ok, I know picking a team of the noughties will cause a load of contention and is not an easy thing to do, but...this selection is quite poor.

    To not have Ronaldo (Brazilian) and Maldini in such a list is unforgiveable. Each is a candidate for best forward and defender, respectively, in the history of the sport, let alone the last ten years. Oh, and Cafu?

    Here is a more cultured selection:


    Maldini - Leftback
    Cannavaro - Centreback
    Nesta - Centreback
    Cafu - Rightback

    Xavi - Central midfield
    Zidane - Central midfield right
    Riquelme - Central midfield left

    Messi - Attacking midfield right (achievements are recent but is too good to leave out)
    Figo - Attacking midfield left

    Ronaldo - Striker

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  • 184. At 01:09am on 22 Dec 2009, dan wrote:

    #169 adam

    of course raul gets goals, hes had zidane, figo, kaka, ronaldo, carlos, beckham, redondo, ronaldo, seedorf, robben, robinho, reyes, mijatovic, van nistelroy, alonso, van der vart, laudrup and many other great players put it on a plate for him to tap it into the back of the net.

    in a different team he's average

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  • 185. At 01:09am on 22 Dec 2009, paul wrote:

    Usually good articles, but to omit Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Maldini, Giggs slightly strange. Kahn good choice, Lahm seems to be the German Phil Neville, Figo prob sneaks Nedved.. Beckham ahead of Ronaldinho almost makes me switch to Setanta..

    Pretty terrible team, sparks debate tho.

    Well played.

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  • 186. At 01:10am on 22 Dec 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:


    Tiresome garbage. ---- drivel, drivel, uneducated drivel ---- This level of ignorance and submission to the cult of celebrity just astounds and bemuses.


    Dear Mr 5TFL (and I can think of an excellent use of those letters), next time you decide to launch into your unintelligent tirades of abuse against people entitled to their opinion, kindly choose another user.

    You sir, and your user name, are the perfect demonstration of why morons should be locked away for the good of society. I thank you. Guffaw.

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  • 187. At 01:11am on 22 Dec 2009, andy389 wrote:

    that didn't do what I expected, it was meant to be

    Ramos - Cannavaro - Maldini - Lahm
    Xavi - Pirlo
    Ronaldo - Zidane - Henry

    Subs: Kahn, Puyol, Lizarazu, Vieira, Ballack, Figo, Klose

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  • 188. At 01:24am on 22 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    WhitleyBayWonTheVase, unfortunately for you Sir, i used facts, not drivel to expose this fraud of our game. Drivel is labelling beckham a "great player" or a "world class" one, those that do so simply have no understanding of our sport, its history and what constitutes its finest exponents. I actually find it nothing short of absurd that i even have state the case of a player of Figos depth and class seeing the sort of weight he brought to the big games against big opponents for his small nation. Compare this to beckhams little-boy-lost, rabbit-in-headlights aura every time he had to face anyone of any class whatsoever. Great players who have proved themselves such and have a scrapbook of great performances against the biggest nations in the biggest events dont get giddy with excitement as i saw Beckham get when he found out he was going to be fielded v Andorra. If there was ever a more apt epitat than that for David Beckham, who always found his level v the Andorras and Trinidad and Tobagos of this world but never the Frances or the Portugals then ive yet to see it. And beckham v Andorra in his 111th go at it still couldnt quite find the net for the first time ever at english footballs home despite being handed another set of edge of box free-kicks. Alas, the LEGEND that is beckham couldnt quite beat a sunday league level goalkeeper like that of Andorra to register his maiden wembley strike since 1996 and his first free-kick goal for 4 years from his "devastating" ability. What a superstar.

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  • 189. At 01:27am on 22 Dec 2009, Plummy wrote:

    Theres two ways of looking at this, collectively or indivudually, personally i think its about the balance of the team, so this would be my team...

    Manager: Alex Ferguson

    GK: Brad Friedel - Wonderful keeper, and for a big lad, great agility and flexibilty, he can pluck balls from the air and make spectacular saves, always been with a small club (although he never played for Liverpool) and always excelled.

    RB: Paolo Maldini - An iconic defender, a very attacking minded player, who got better with age, had great technical ability and a solid defensive player too, dont think ive seen better. Brilliant asset to both AC and Italy.

    CB: Fabio Cannavaro - A very solid, workman like defender, and although small, had great heading abilities, was also very good with his feet and very good at reading the game and cutting out passes.

    CB: John Terry - A very english defender, played, like Gerrard with passion and guts and a strong determination, never shy away from challenges and always put his head in where it may hurt, Classy and strong, very good defender.

    LB: Ashley Cole - Another attacking full back, but can defend very well too, has had many years as the top LB in the country and probably Europe, quick and intelligent and had lots of success with two top clubs.

    RM: Cristiano Ronaldo - A wonderful talent, awesome skills, plays with a great deal of confidence and terrifys defenders with his speed and agility and his array of tricks.

    CM: Steven Gerrard - Probably the best player i have ever seen, he has an engine, power, speed, strength, wonderful vision, very intelligent and plays with heart and passion, can create and defend just as well, and another main attribute, versitility.

    CM: Roy Keane - The best player to compliment Gerrard personally, a very determined and rugged player with great passing attributes too, would break up play and set the forwards on there way and just sit and use his presence to frighten opponents.

    LM: Ryan Giggs - Accomplished, intelligent, quick and technical player, has great awareness and footwork and will defend as well as attack. Is very good from dead ball areas too.

    CF: Dennis Bergkamp - What a player, very very intelligent, what he lacked in speed he made up for in his brain, had great technical ability, probably the best touch in his generation, had wonderful awareness and movement, would create alot of space for midfield and attackers.

    CF: Thierry Henry - Another player who was intelligent, and played with his brain, had great balance and speed and a deft touch, can create and score just like that and had two great feet, the movement of Gerrard, Bergkamp, Giggs, Ronaldo and Henry would be too much for any defenders.

    Subs from: Zidane, Kahn, Hyypia, Finnan, Van Nistelrooy, Owen, Rooney, Raul, Totti, Figo, Thuram... the list goes on...

    what do you think??

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  • 190. At 01:31am on 22 Dec 2009, Michael Owen - No7 - SAVE 606 wrote:

    I think maybe the point of the blog here was missed.
    I don't think Mr Minshull at any stage stated his team would be 'world beaters'. It is not a team based on balance and footballing stability, but on achievment and recognition.
    As for the Beckham doubters, I'm assuming none of you recall his free kick that gained England admission to Germany 2006.
    Sir Alex Ferguson may not have placed him among the "elite" of his players but Beckham has been pure class for many years, and few show the professionalism he does nowadays, both on and off the pitch.
    I'm pretty much in agreement with the team in terms of the players, although there's a few iffy bits, like the exclusion of Fernando Hierro, Paolo Maldini and Ryan Giggs.
    For the 3 strikers, Van Nistelrooy is worthy of a place for sure, but I think Shevchenko over the decade has been worthy of a place in the squad at least.
    As you said, Phil, there is SO MANY players that could have a reason to be included, but won't make the cut for some us, never-the-less, here is my team of the decade:
    (GK) Gianluigi Buffon
    (RB) Lilian Thuram
    (CB) Fernando Hierro
    (CB) Fabio Cannavaro
    (LB) Ashley Cole - controversial but the guy is pure class, he has the essential qualities of a modern day full back and is showing brilliant form.
    (CDM) Claude Makelele
    (RM) Cristiano Ronaldo
    (CM) Zinedine Zidane
    (LM) Ryan Giggs
    (ST) Michael Owen
    (ST) Thierry Henry.
    Substitutes: GK - Oliver Kahn. DEF - Carlos Puyol and Marcel Desailly. MID - Andres Iniesta and Roy Keane. ST - Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Andriy Shevchenko.

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  • 191. At 01:32am on 22 Dec 2009, BlessedReds wrote:

    Tiresome garbage. Again, in beckhams one "successful" season in Madrid, Van Nistelrooy scored 25 league goals, beckham assisted 0. In 15 years and 115 chances, list me the times beckham ever provided "a ball on the head" of our strikers such as Owen. Can you even give me one example a YEAR? "no one else in the world". This level of ignorance and submission to the cult of celebrity just astounds and bemuses
    5TournamentFloplegend, I gather you don't watch much football and only bothered to trump up that useless bit of vitriol because you are the type of person that vehemently dislikes Beckham because he's incredibly famous or maybe because he married an 'orrible old spice girl.
    He did spend the first part of the decade at Manchester United lest you forget and he was the best midfielder in the world during those years. He then went to Madrid where he performed only moderately well but could still conjure up pinpoint accuracy on his crosses. He's also shown pride in the England shirt which is extremely commendable.

    So you've come across as both ignorant and rude which beggars the question; why contribute at all?

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  • 192. At 01:40am on 22 Dec 2009, 5TournamentFloplegend wrote:

    he was the best midfielder in the world during those years
    leave my sport, its that simple.

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  • 193. At 01:45am on 22 Dec 2009, BlessedReds wrote:

    leave my sport, its that simple.
    But I don't follow darts...

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  • 194. At 01:47am on 22 Dec 2009, Daniel wrote:

    how can john terry be left out of this list! easily ahead of both centre backs....and ramos on the bench! europes best defender 3 times (more than anyone....ever) and in FIFA's team of the year 5 years in a row (the only player to appear every year since its been introduced). And also Maldini ahead of Lahm (probably the best left back ever) and Gerrard over Beckham.

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  • 195. At 01:53am on 22 Dec 2009, Thomas Bowen wrote:

    All United / ex-United team of the 0's.


    Bench; Larson, Cole, Solskjaer, Ince, P. Neville

    Would demolish any team you put in front of them.

    European XI of the 90's.


    Subs; Buffon, Maldini, Viera, Zidanne, Larson.

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  • 196. At 01:54am on 22 Dec 2009, tomlew7 wrote:

    Regardless of the fact fat Ronaldo isn't European, in the last decade or at least for the last six years his performances have been lacklustre and been severely restricted through injuries and his abundance of weight. Before the turn of the century maybe but since then I don't think he would be worthy of a spot even on the bench.

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  • 197. At 02:05am on 22 Dec 2009, dan wrote:

    the problem is everyone has their own opinion- the chosen players are from the big teams. fair enough but i cant agree with the team because i havent seen all of them play on a regular basis. people pick the best based mainly on what other people say. i wont say pele is the best ever because ive only seen highlights. i know what he won but i enjoyed watching maradonna more. though le tissier is my all time favourite player to watch.

    ive seen all of the defenders on the list made to look stupid by creativity, the chosen midfielders at madrid were all fur coat and no knickers, but the strikers always produced the goods- with a great team around them though.

    as for the manager, the most succssful ones are the ones with money. put ferguson or lippi at notts county and they will still be rubbish. wenger, mourinho and even moyes worked wonders with a good team rather than a good budget.

    my team:

    martyn, carragher, okocha, keane, drogba

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  • 198. At 02:05am on 22 Dec 2009, Sportsfan87 wrote:

    Some of you really are stupid,

    Where is Messi? What about Ronaldo? why haven't you included Ronaldinho?

    UM heres something for you all, THEY ARE NOT EUROPEAN, and the title even says EUROPEAN team of the Noughties, not a world team.

    Some people need to go back to school clearly they cannot read, we really are in trouble if our country is this Illiterate.

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  • 199. At 02:07am on 22 Dec 2009, lorus59 wrote:

    "I would not leave Jamie Carragher out if I were you, ( I would not dare). He is a team player, he loves his club and gives it his all."

    Yes, if he was put on the bench of this team he would take his ball and go back to Liverpool the "only" team he loves.

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  • 200. At 02:09am on 22 Dec 2009, ConorS wrote:

    I think it's pretty laughable that even at the 183rd post people are still putting in non-European players, especially when they deride others for not doing so. And no doubt people will continue to do so after this.

    GK) Iker Casillas - Without the best keeper of the decade in my eyes. Just look at the wonders he performed with the Real Madrid team that lacked a defence for so many years

    RB) Gianluca Zambrotta - I'm not a massive fan but I recognise his class. The noughties haven't exactly been a showcase for Right backs (I mean Gary Neville is getting quite a few mentions!), but that said not many decades have

    CB) Fabio Cannavaro - World class centre back, epitomized the Italian world cup winning team. Great mentality and someone you can rely upon.

    CB) Rio Ferdinand - Some may discount him for his recent form but Rio really is a top defender, possessing pace, strength and timing. Furthermore he is confident on the ball, allowing the team to play flowing football. Far better than John Terry in my opinion.

    LB) Pablo Maldini - Again full back is a difficult spot. Maldini had to make the team, if only for his service to football and considering he could play left back, I thought I'd slot him in here. Captain of the team as well.

    RM) Christiano Ronaldo - Another level, will almost certainly looked back upon in 40-50 years time as we do of the likes of Pele and Best.

    CM) Zinedine Zidane - First name on the teamsheet. While Ronaldo will probably be looked on as one of the greatest of all time, Zidane definitely will be. Arguably the most talented footballer of his generation

    CM) Steven Gerrard - In my opinion Gerrard is the best all-round footballer in the world at the moment. That's not to say he's the best, just stick him in at any position on the pitch and he will be world class. He played some time at right back in the Champions League Final and performed remarkably. While guys like Messi and Ronaldo are talented, could you see them do anything like that?

    LM) Ryan Giggs - In a similar vein to Maldini, the all-round service Giggs has given to the game merits his place. A stalwart of one of the most successful teams of the decade, at the age of 36, he has adapted his game and still is producing.

    CF) Dennis Bergkamp - Arguably the most gifted player to grace our shores from overseas. The things Bergkamp could do with the ball defy believe. His vision was incredible and any stiker would have loved to play alongside him.

    CF) Fernando Torres - Maybe hasn't proved himself as much as the likes of Henry, Shevchenko, or Van Nistelrooy, but I really believe on sheer talent alone, he deserves his place. He scores for fun and would work well with Bergkamp I think.

    Manager: Sir Alex Fergerson

    Subs: Shay Given, Lilian Thuram, Carles Puyol, Pavel Nedved, Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, Henrik Larrson

    If he played a better club for most of his career, Given would be thought of as one of the best keepers of his generation. For me it was a toss up between him and Buffon. The defense and Nedved is self-explanatory as they are just players who exude(d) class. Viera was difficult to leave out, especially as his defensive awareness would have complemented Zidane but Gerrard is just too good. Henry also just missed out but maybe that's because I'm still bitter over the handball! I hadn't even thought of Larsson until someone mentioned him above. Maybe he doesn't quite deserve to make it, but in a similar way to Given, if he has left Celtic earlier we may be talking about him in a different light.

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  • 201. At 02:14am on 22 Dec 2009, Philsy1983 wrote:

    Don't see how Steven Gerrard can be left out but anyway.

    GK. Buffon
    RB. C Puyol
    LB. R Carlos
    CD. R Ferdinand
    CD. F Canavaro (Juve not Real Form)
    CM. S Gerrard
    CM. Z Zidane
    LM. L Figo
    RM. C Ronaldo
    FW. Raul
    FW. T Henrey

    Bench O Khan, Van Nistlerooy, J Terry, Del Piero, C Makalele

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  • 202. At 02:16am on 22 Dec 2009, thomas synnott wrote:

    after reading the majority of the comments, i skipped anything with a south american mention...ridiculous....,


    Thuram Terry Cannavaro Maldini

    Keane (C)

    Gerrard Figo


    The back 4 - Thuram, Maldini, Cannavaro are shoe ins really. Its a real tough one for the final position, Puyol, Terry, Nesta were clear choices, but for me Terry has that little bit above the other two when it comes to leadership, tough on Puyol, but way more prone to mistakes than the other two.

    Midfield - Could debate about it for ever. Ronaldo makes it as hes around since 2003 and despite his ridiculous media attention and tantrums, I believe we're watching the next Pele-Maradona-Zidane in football with him. Keane, Makelele watched Keane growing up and then continued learning until Keane retired. Keane would command the midfield in front of him here - think Zidane would even listen to him.
    Gerrard, hes done more single handedly for any other team this decade.
    Figo was definately the benchmark left wing for the first half of the decade and working with Zidane, was breath-taking to behold at Real.

    Get Ronaldo, Zidane, Gerrand and Figo to all interchange with Raul, greatest poacher of all time and with the midfield Total Football 1974 style supporting him. It was between himself Ruud and Thiery for me, Raul wins handsdown.

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  • 203. At 02:28am on 22 Dec 2009, harpo88 wrote:

    Obviously this is a hard task, a lot of good players over the past few years and all a very subjective operation.
    But when I think about who I didn't want England or English teams in the Champions League to play, I would no way list Carvalho or Ramos, in fact I think they're prone to the odd mistake, and Torres is very good but not been around for long enough yet.
    Maldini's been awesome, and I rate Zambrotta and Lahm too, but my vote for left back is Lizarazu. He always seemed to make an impact even in his last couple of years.
    Also this talk of a 'holding' midfielder, do me a favour, who wants a midfielder who stays still? It should be about knowing when to get forward and when to stop back, and for me Roy Keane was just awesome at this (Vieira, much as I dislike him, was very good too), though when I think of his best performance it was probably the semi final in 99, not this decade...Davids was another excellent centre mid, and Gattuso has also impressed me whenever I've seen him.
    I think Seedorf's a good shout too, just because he's been very good (maybe not great) for aaages.

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  • 204. At 02:37am on 22 Dec 2009, BlessedReds wrote:

    @thomas synnott


    Thuram Terry Cannavaro Maldini

    Keane (C)

    Gerrard Figo


    That's the best and most reasonable 11 posted on here thus far. I would hesitate to include Thuram maybe but every other position is solid. Like the added touch of Keane as captain, never seen a better leader on the pitch.

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  • 205. At 02:42am on 22 Dec 2009, wingsmealmike wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 206. At 02:45am on 22 Dec 2009, OJ Johnson wrote:

    a lot of people are crying out about the omissions of the Ronaldo and Ronalidino but remember this is a European XI so obviously they wouldnt be in it. However there are some flaws with the selection...
    even as a liverpool fan Torres should not be in it as great as a player he is over the last decade he should not be in this team... maybe Villa and as much as it pains me to say Drogba. and with having a 4-3-3 is not he best frmation as you over look loads of amazing players. Makalele should be in this team the easily the best holding midfielder over the past 10 years and a priceless addition to any squad!

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  • 207. At 02:47am on 22 Dec 2009, Bayarski wrote:

    Beckham in the European team of the decade is a nonsense. Outside England and except maybe Japanese female population football fans do not consider Beckham as the best dead ball specialist. Beckham was a not a bad player in his prime time, but by no means was a Galactico at all. The right winger should be Ronaldo while the left one Giggsy.

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  • 208. At 03:00am on 22 Dec 2009, Philip Borum wrote:

    I am basing my European eleven on the most influential players not necessarily the most skillful of the 00's
    2.Zambrotta 4.Puyol 5.Terry 3.Ashely Cole

    7.C Ronaldo 8.Gerrard(C) 10.Zidane 11.Giggs

    9.Raul 11.Henry

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  • 209. At 03:07am on 22 Dec 2009, Keano_3 wrote:




    C. Ronaldo

    Van Nistelrooy

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  • 210. At 03:11am on 22 Dec 2009, Teddybhoy wrote:

    It's a good selection, but I would have Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho as manager, their success this decade has been immense. I would also have Henrik Larsson at least on the bench, that man could play against any team and give them a shock.

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  • 211. At 03:16am on 22 Dec 2009, artshade wrote:

    Would it be too hard to proofread your work before posting it on-line?

    Too much of your selection (and others) are based on players careers - eg. Kahn, Maldini were great in 90s, not so much in naughties (its been a decade - can no-one come up with a better term?).

    Most importantly - where is James McFadden? Undoubtadly the best Scottish player IN THE WORLD.

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  • 212. At 03:17am on 22 Dec 2009, stu34225 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 213. At 03:18am on 22 Dec 2009, artshade wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 214. At 03:34am on 22 Dec 2009, piewayman wrote:

    Get rid of carvalho and replace with terry

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  • 215. At 03:37am on 22 Dec 2009, stu34225 wrote:

    Taylor, Baird, Capaldi, Hughes, Craigan, Davis, Gillespie, Johnson, Healy (Sproule 88), Quinn (Feeney 79), Elliott (Duff 90)

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  • 216. At 03:51am on 22 Dec 2009, jake wrote:

    I have to admit I haven't seen Buffon, Casillas, etc play too often as I pretty much only watch the Premiership but Shay Given is unbelievable.
    For example, when Newcastle lost to Liverpool last season by four goals it could've easily been 10 but for some superb saves, especially in the first 30 minutes.
    And he has been doing this for Newcastle for nearly the whole decade, keeping out Premiership standard keepers such as Steve Harper (fantastic this season), Shaka Hislop and Pavel Srnicek at this start of his Newcastle career before moving to Man City at the end of it.
    And moving to Man City as one of their first signings shows just how good he is because with all their money they went straight to him.

    Also, I can't believe all these people putting players like Kaka, Messi, Ronaldinho, Toure, etc in their teams.
    It's amazing really.

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  • 217. At 04:12am on 22 Dec 2009, Stephan Bulmer wrote:

    Just some facts that I have based my team on: Nominations for team of the tournament and goals scored at tournaments. Includes all the Euros (2000, 2004, 2008) and 2 world cups (2002, 2006).

    Team of Tournament Nominations:
    4: M. Ballack (GER)!!!
    3: Z. Zidane (FRA), L. Figo (POR)
    2: P. Viera (FRA), F. Totti (ITA), R. Carvalho (POR), M. Klose (GER), R. Zambrotta (ITA), Maniche (POR)!!, G. Buffon (ITA), P. Lahm (GER) and yes no joke S. Campbell (ENG)!!

    Goals scored:
    12: M. Klose (GER/10 in WCs)!!!
    9: T. Henry (FRA)
    8: Z. Zidane (FRA), H. Larrson (SWE)!!
    7: N. Gomes (POR/scored in 4)!!!, R. van Nistelrooy (NED), D. Villa (ESP)
    6: M. Ballack (GER), L. Podolski (GER)
    5. P. Kluivert (NED/all 2000), Milosevic (SRB/all 2000), Raul (ESP), M. Barros (CZE/all 2004), F. Torres
    4. C. Vieri (ITA/all 2002), W. Rooney (ENG), C. Ronaldo (POR), Maniche (POR)

    hence my team is due to nominations and goals for strikers and att. mid:

    GK: G. Buffon (ITA) - 2 / 0 goals

    RB: R. Zambrotta (ITA) - 2 / 1
    CB: R. Carvalho (POR) - 2 / 4
    CB: S. Campbell (ENG) - 2 / 0
    LB: P. Lahm (GER) - 2 / 2

    CM: M. Ballack - 4 / 6
    CM: P. Viera - 2 / 0
    RM: Z. Zidane (FRA) - 3 / 8
    LM: L. Figo (POR) - 3 / 1

    S: M. Klose (GER) - 2 / 12
    S: T. Henry (FRA) - 1 / 9


    GK: O. Kahn (GER) - 1 / 0

    RB: L. Thuram (FRA) - 1 / 0
    CB: F. Cannavaro (ITA) - 1 / -
    CB: C. Puyol (ESP) - 1 / 0
    LB: P. Maldini (ITA) - 1 / 0 [ahead of A. Cole due to 2 CL wins]

    CM: G. Gattuso (ITA) - 1 / 0 [ahead of others due to 2 CL wins]
    CM: Maniche (POR) - 2 / 4
    RM: C. Ronaldo - 1 / 4
    LM: F. Totti (ITA) - 2 / 3

    S: H. Larrson - 1 / 8
    S: R. van Nistelrooy - 1 / 7 [ahead of D. Villa due to club performance]

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  • 218. At 04:23am on 22 Dec 2009, Simon wrote:

    Clearly the EUROPEAN team of the decade (2000 - 2010) is as follows:

    GK: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi(clearly he's from Chipping Norton, not Japan)

    DL: Lionel Scaloni

    DC: Terry (Paul, Not John)

    DC: Jean Allain Boumsong

    DR: Jan Kromkamp

    ML: Lionel Messi

    MC: Momo Kakadinho (the lovechild of Kaka and Ronaldinho, with a little bit of Momo Sissoko thrown in)

    MC: Terry Wogan (Been brilliant for the BBC Radio 2 select XI of the past decade, clearly european too, he hosts eurovision!)

    MR: Lionel Messi (yes, he's in twice, but he's half decent aint he?)

    ST: Peguy Luyindula (Congo is a island in europe isn't it? or is that the Isle of Wight?)

    ST: Peggay Arphexad (Technically a keeper, but who can doubt his dedication?)

    Manager: Gary Glitter, he has a gang, why can't he control 11 prima donnas?

    Anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid, like an idiot and/or a racist.

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  • 219. At 04:26am on 22 Dec 2009, cakedeath wrote:

    Carvalho- no way Jose!

    I can't see how anyone can argue with this team.


    GK Buffon

    LB Evra- A. Cole a close second, Evra is much better going forward so picked him.

    LCB Cannavaro

    RCB Ferdinand- most complete defender, quick, skillfull

    RB Thuram

    DM Vieira- most complete defensive midfielder.

    LM Giggs- pure class.

    CM Zidane- 'The Scientist'. In every singles person's team, surely!

    RM Figo- World-class winger.

    FW C. Ronaldo- scores too many goals to be left out.

    FW Henry

    A big strong team that would dominate any league in Europe.

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  • 220. At 04:28am on 22 Dec 2009, Esteffect wrote:

    The problem with a lot of suggestions in the comments, ignoring the ones suggesting South American players (it's clearly based on national team represented, not dual nationalities, excluding the likes of Ronaldo), is that a lot of players whom retired and were briefly successful this decade had their heyday in the 1990's.

    Bergkamp and Vieri are probably two chief examples of this. Yes, Bergkamp was a great player on occasion this decade, but his best years were last decade and ultimately he was either retired or a peripheral player (for Arsenal) for most of the ten years in question. Vieri, likewise, was most potent in the 1990's.

    Maldini and Giggs are awkward ones in that they achieved success in both this decade and the last one.

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  • 221. At 04:31am on 22 Dec 2009, einar ekong wrote:

    Shevchenko(milan),Bergkamp(arsenal),Kaka(milan),Ronaldinho(barca),Messi(barca),Gerrard(liverpool),Ibrahimovic(inter/juve),Ronaldo(Rmadrid),ROBERTO CARLOS(Rmadrid)?!?!?!

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  • 222. At 04:32am on 22 Dec 2009, Brian wrote:

    Good blog for a start and some interesting choices too.

    We had a discussion about this at work a few weeks ago and a number of players you have bought up got mentioned.

    For the record my choice of player were as follows:

    GK - Van der Sar - was good at Ajax, unlucky not to settle at Juventus, good for Fulham and has been inspirational at United and a real example to young Goalkeepers in the game.

    RB - Puyol - has been great for Barcelona all decade and has been a great leader for them in the last few seasons.

    CB - Nesta - A solid defender who has been in the shadow of Cannavaro most of his career but in my eyes is a better defender.

    CB - Ferdinand - in my view he is the best defender in the world when he is on top of his game and gets too much stick.

    LB - Lahm - speedy wingback who has got a good shot on him and can play with either foot.

    RM - Ronaldo - Won it all with United and has taken to La Liga like a duck to water.

    CM - Nedved - a playmaker of the highest quality who could change a game with one pass.

    CM - Zidane - a genius.

    LM - Guti - Some massive names have come and gone at Real Madrid but Guti has been a mainstay and has had a great career winning virtually everything with Real.

    CF - Owen - at the turn of the century I honestly dont think there was a better striker in the world and his goal to game ratio is of the highest standard still despite his injury problems.

    CF - Van Nistelrooy - the complete striker.





    Ashley Cole





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  • 223. At 04:32am on 22 Dec 2009, KaizerChiefs wrote:

    Good thought provoking blog Phil.
    I would play four defenders, a four man midfield and one player supporting a lone striker.

    My team:
    GK: Shay Given

    Lilian Thuram (LB)
    Carles Puyol (CB)
    Paolo Maldini (CB)
    Alessandro Nesta (RB)

    C. Ronaldo (LM)
    Roy Keane (Defensive MF)
    Andres Iniesta (Attacking MF)
    Lionel Messi (Right MF)

    Zinedine Zidane (Striker Support)

    David Villa (St)

    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

    Subs: Buffon, Cannavaro, Giggs, Lampard, Rooney.

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  • 224. At 04:35am on 22 Dec 2009, Simon wrote:

    " 170. At 00:40am on 22 Dec 2009, aaron traynor wrote:

    it is outrageous how no one can mention that the best right back and left back of all time was cafu and roberto carlos..






    You absolute spanner. No-one mentioned them because they're BRAZILIAN, which is not in Europe you nugget, Rivaldo and Ronaldo(The fat one) are also from Brazil, AKA Not European. LEARN TO GEOGRAPHY PLEASE, KKTHXBYE.

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  • 225. At 04:37am on 22 Dec 2009, einar ekong wrote:


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  • 226. At 04:39am on 22 Dec 2009, Simon wrote:

    Stupid people make me Hulk™ out.

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  • 227. At 04:42am on 22 Dec 2009, LCFC26 wrote:

    Lahm and Carvalho must be joke inclusions, and leaving Viera out is criminal. My XI would be:





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  • 228. At 04:43am on 22 Dec 2009, Simon wrote:

    Also, on a European side note, Vidic is ruled out because he's Serbian, which isn't a European member country, therefore by association, Vidic isn't European.

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  • 229. At 05:10am on 22 Dec 2009, Ahmed Debabi wrote:

    The selected formation of the A1 Team is awesome.However, a player of great stature was not mentioned and deserves to be the goalkeeper number of the selection. This super goal keeperm is the Danish International,Peter Schmachel.

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  • 230. At 05:25am on 22 Dec 2009, voiceofreason1 wrote:

    How can you justify leaving Gerrard out? Certainly as a sub..Not having his best season, but few players can change a game like he can (and so often has).

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  • 231. At 05:25am on 22 Dec 2009, gb1234 wrote:

    If I may:
    #1 : Gary Breen
    #2 : Gary Breen
    #3 : Gary Breen
    #4 : Gary Breen
    #5 : Gary Breen
    #6 : Gary Breen
    #7 : Gary Breen
    #8 : Gary Breen
    #9 : Gary Breen
    #10 : Gary Breen
    #11 : Gary Breen

    ...after all "We all dream of a team of Gary Breens, ..."

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  • 232. At 05:27am on 22 Dec 2009, Kevin Son wrote:

    a lot of people are forgetting that this is a team for the past decade...
    kahn did absolutely nothing good after 2002, so how can he be on the list if he hasnt played for the last 7 years of the decade? nonsense

    a lot of people have been complaining y maldini isn't starting. although he won two champions leagues this decade and a serie A, his best years were not in this decade. it was during the nineties that maldini was at his best, and it would not be fair to have him.

    i'd say the same for figo, his best years were the late 90s and the early noughties. i see it ilogical and unfair to have him because, although he was still good, was not the same during the latter part of this decade. the same applies to zidane.

    i would not have beckham either, although he was part of a great midfield at manchester united, him as an individual, in my opinion, was not one of the best players of this decade.

    i've just gone for an open select XI for the decade and not a european one
    formation : 4-4-2
    keeper : buffon
    left back : lahm
    right back : javier zanetti
    centre back : thuram
    centre back : cannavaro
    Right wing : lionel messi
    Left wing : cristiano ronaldo
    centre midfield: patrick vieira
    centre midfield: kaka
    striker : thierry henry
    striker : andriy shevchenko

    subs: casillas, carvalho, nesta, pirlo, xavi, ronaldinho, eto'o

    if anyone wants any explanations to my decisions, i'd happily respond

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  • 233. At 05:27am on 22 Dec 2009, et33448 wrote:

    football is a team sport and when you are picking a team on individual brilliance i don't think you should consider the number of trophies someone has won because that is only indicative of how good a team a person played in. on that count torres should be in the first team because he is the best striker to have graced the game in the last decade.

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  • 234. At 05:28am on 22 Dec 2009, voiceofreason1 wrote:

    How do justify leaving out Gerrard? Not having his best season, to be sure, but few can change a game like he can (and has done so many times).

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  • 235. At 05:33am on 22 Dec 2009, JimmyIOCS wrote:

    GK: Gianluigi Buffon
    LB: Paolo Maldini
    CB: Fabio Cannavaro
    CB: Alessandro Nesta
    RB: Lilian Thuram
    LM: Zinedine Zidane
    CM: Claude Makelele
    CM: Steven Gerrard
    RM: David Beckham
    ST: Thierry Henry
    ST: Ruud van Nistelrooy

    Oliver Kahn
    Gianluca Zambrotta
    Ryan Giggs
    Roy Keane
    Luis Figo
    Dennis Bergkamp


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  • 236. At 05:40am on 22 Dec 2009, songokugolf wrote:

    all craziness.... the best "european" team of the noughties...

    gk - van der saar

    rb - gary neville - consistent and a leader

    cb - rio ferdinand - nothing to say, the best centre back in the world for the last few years

    cb - terry - natural leader

    lb - ashley cole - maldini close, but past his prime in the noughties.. cole beats him for pace and skill

    rm - david beckham - the greatest dead ball specialist there has ever been, no question. fouls near the box, almost inevitable end up in a goal.

    cm - gerrard

    cm - zidane - the best

    lm - giggs... noone compares

    sk - rooney... one of the best in the world, and still young

    sk - owen... strike rate unmatched

    coach - alex ferguson - simply the best around

    subs.. xavi, keane, viera, van nistelrooy, henry

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  • 237. At 05:41am on 22 Dec 2009, david wrote:

    Eh Roy Keane? Hello! Thierry Henry? I thought he plays volleyball.

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  • 238. At 05:43am on 22 Dec 2009, Shanklyroad wrote:

    This is the team of the decade...


    Finnan Carragher Hyypia Traore

    Luis Garcia Gerrard Alonso Riise



    Subs: Hamann, Smicer, Cisse

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  • 239. At 06:13am on 22 Dec 2009, fcfc wrote:




    Van Nistelrooy (his scoring record is unmatched for consistency)

    manager has to be Ferguson

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  • 240. At 06:17am on 22 Dec 2009, Kris wrote:

    To all you guys and girls that said they wanted the likes of 'Ronaldinho' and 'Ronaldo' and 'Kaka' etc etc this is a E U R O P E A N team for the 'noughties' .. last time i checked there not european .. anyways back to the topic, i would agree with most of the choices there except the likes of Lahm and Ramos .. Maldini was a legend and should be included in there and Oliver Kahn.. meh, id personally prefer Buffon but Kahn was still a world class keeper at the time.

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  • 241. At 06:43am on 22 Dec 2009, tarquin wrote:

    " Italy were Europe's only World Cup winners, but France, Greece and Spain all won what's now become colloquially known as the 'Euro'."

    There are only two world cups in the decade, Phil - getting one is positively excellent

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  • 242. At 06:54am on 22 Dec 2009, Chester from Namibia wrote:

    I just hardly beleave that the Big L. Messi is not part of your first XI sir, and what about Nemanja Vidic of MUFC ?

    Just if i was the coach:-

    GK - V. Valdez

    D - N. Vidic, S. Ramos, P. Mardini, P. Evra

    M - C. Ronaldo, S. Gerrard, Zizou, L. Messi

    S - W. Rooney, D. Villa

    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

    Subs: van der Sar, J. Terry, Iniesta, Xavi, Giggs, Ribery, Robinho, Fabregas

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  • 243. At 07:07am on 22 Dec 2009, david schofield wrote:

    Not a bad selection, however, I can't believe there is no space for Dennis Bergkamp, who I feel is one of the most infulential players in the last 10 years to have graced the UK and European football markets - certainly he is ahead of Henry (in my opinion)?

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  • 244. At 07:14am on 22 Dec 2009, Andy McCaffrey wrote:

    This is so far down the blog that no-one will even read it, however...

    Your inclusion of Lahm, Carvalho and Beckham; (especially Beckham) is laughable.

    No mention of Giggs is a disgrace.

    Worst of all, for HENRIK LARSSON not to be included by you, or any of the other clowns who have commented on this article, just goes to show how short sighted English people are when it comes to football.

    Henrik has proved it on every level - domestic, European and International. A model professional who has 106 Swedish caps, won the European Golden Boot, scored 2 goals in a Uefa Cup Final, survived 2 career threatening injuries, as well as single-handedly taking a fantastic Arsenal side to bits in the 2006 Champions League Final.

    Thierry Henry - "People always talk about Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Giuly and everything, but I didn't see them today, I saw Henrik Larsson. He came on, he changed the game, that is what killed the game. Sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto'o and people like that; you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference, and that was Henrik Larsson tonight."

    End. Of. Story.

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  • 245. At 07:34am on 22 Dec 2009, Richard wrote:

    Messi Lineker

    Ronaldinho Xavi Zidane Ronaldo

    Cole Maldini Nesta Zanetti


    Subs: Buffon, Carlos, Cannavaro, Ramos, Gerrard, Berkamp, Gattuso

    Manager: Wenger

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  • 246. At 07:44am on 22 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    A European 'Team of the Decade' would probably play 4.2.4 as no one could hardly live with them.
    They certainly wouldnt need a defence, and they would be all out attack!
    many goals i guess!!

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  • 247. At 07:49am on 22 Dec 2009, John1948 wrote:

    I wonder who would be in the 'most over hyped' team of the decade? To get in they will probably be worshipped by their club's supporters, be seen as the next messiah for the national team by jouralists and football pundits, yet have seriously under performed when picked for their country. They may still be very good, but are they that good?

    I'll start the ball rolling - Henry, Lampard/Gerrard, Ronaldo, Rooney.

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  • 248. At 08:09am on 22 Dec 2009, momo wrote:

    why this look difficult. maybe we need to consider one vs one debate to decide which player better in that position.

    to me past 10 years goalkeepers only between casillas and buffon.
    defender thuram puyol cannavaro nesta maldini is serious contender. vidic and terry are only recent footballer.
    in midfield, giggs cant be left out. he past 20years achievement.not to include 90's veira and keane my vote goes to viera. zidane is a must! pires is pacy and abundance of one two pass that break defend line and man marking.
    for striker, bergkamp easily beat rvn,owen, or other goal poacher.
    raul worth to include. he is proven European goal scorer.

    zambrotta on the bench because he can play either side, only comparable to cafu n roberto carlos style. so



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  • 249. At 08:23am on 22 Dec 2009, Rafiqul Islam wrote:

    My would would be:


    Thuram, Canavaro, Nesta, Maldini

    Nedved, Zidane, Viera, Ronaldo

    Thierry Henry, Ruud Van Nistelrooy

    Reserve: Carvalho, Keane, Gerard, Figo

    Now thats a team with steel and guile and will sweep every thing.

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  • 250. At 08:28am on 22 Dec 2009, sean mccullie wrote:

    my team of the decade !!

    Oliver Kahn ( so consistent for years for bayern munich and germany before retireing )

    rb - javier zanetti,
    lb Roberto carlos (im really surprised that ive not seen one mention for this player !)
    cb - fabio cannavaro
    cb - john terry

    cm - patrick viera
    cm - zinedine zidane ( one of the best players EVER !)

    lw - ryan giggs
    rw - luis figo
    cam - ronaldinho ( the things he done with a football to be fair was nothing short of magical and just as good or better than what ronaldo or messi does just now i dont understand how he could have even been left out )

    St- ronaldo - despite loss of form and the weight he put on he was amazing and an amazin goal scorer best striker for a long time.

    subs - buffon, maldini, neville, keane, pires, henry, larsson

    but also want to point out that the fact that no one considers scholes to be worthy of it is quite an injustice for his amazing career.

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  • 251. At 08:32am on 22 Dec 2009, stanchartsteven wrote:

    Best Europeans:


    Panucci Cannavaro Thuram Maldini

    Ronaldo Zidane Keane Figo

    Larsson Henry

    Best to play in Europe:


    Cafu Thuram Maldini Carlos

    Ronaldo Zidane Keane Figo

    Larsson Ronaldo

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  • 252. At 08:39am on 22 Dec 2009, Tigist G Gebresilassie wrote:

    You put Lahm in the best XI and keep Paulo Maldini on the bench? That is laughable. Also Where is Ryan Giggs? Not even on the bench? You must be joking.

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  • 253. At 08:44am on 22 Dec 2009, jedipuke wrote:

    Why no place for 3 time FIFA world player of the year and 2 time Balon d'or winner Ronaldo?
    One of only two 3 time winners of the FIFA world player award, his contribution to European football cannot be ignored surely?
    He has played and scored prolifically at the highest level with some of the worlds best clubs.
    Finishing top scorer in the Eredivisie with PSV, which was his first season in top flight european football.
    Leading Barcelona and then Inter to successive european titles, finishing top scorer in La Liga with Barca.
    Winning La Liga with Real Madrid and also winning the Pichichi.
    I could go on!

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  • 254. At 08:45am on 22 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:

    There are some ridiculous suggestions on this feature! Cafu?! Brazilian! Brazilian Ronaldo?! Brazilian...obviously! Ronaldinho?! Brazilian! Messi?! Argentinian! The Laudrup's???!! This is a noughties team, not a nineties team! And Henrik Larsson? He plied his trade in a joke league, how could he be suggested in front of the likes of David Villa, Michael Owen or Pippo Inzaghi, players that have consistently performed on the big stage?

    Not sure about a couple of the choices, particuarly in defence, Lahm and Ramos could easily be replaced by Arsenal's Invincibles of the 2003/4 season, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell. As a Newcastle fan watching arsenal that season was unbelievable, and I'd be surprised if I ever see that again.

    But all in all, a fantastic team...good shout Phil.

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  • 255. At 08:45am on 22 Dec 2009, endland_lad wrote:

    "His left-foot volley which won Real Madrid the 2002 Champions League is also, in my opinion, possibly the best goal of the last decade"

    that's what we want to see, true opinionated, not sitting on the face journalism - great stuff

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  • 256. At 08:49am on 22 Dec 2009, b223dy wrote:

    Phil, i will not say much about your XI (except that Nedved/ comes way ahead of Beckham whom you have criticised badly for England in recent times and Lahm/Carvalho ahead of Maldini or Nesta!!!) but i think your substitutes is a bit flawed. I dont see how Torres & Rooney come ahead of David Villa, is it because he plays for a lesser club? He scores more goals than both players and in international footall his record far outclasses Rooney and his teammate Torres, and for 1 thing i do respect him as an example model player who has not been tempted buy the money in the game to leave his childhood club like a Steven Gerrard

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  • 257. At 08:51am on 22 Dec 2009, momo wrote:

    lb Roberto carlos (im really surprised that ive not seen one mention for this player !)
    this is european team

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  • 258. At 08:52am on 22 Dec 2009, parmay wrote:

    What about Titus Bramble surely the most entertaining defender of the last 10 years, well he's given me a few laughs anyway!

    Seriously though folks, Sir Alex must be the best manager not only of the last 10 years, but the last 20 and perhaps of all time.... except of course David Platt who did such a wonderful job at Notts Forest!

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  • 259. At 08:53am on 22 Dec 2009, ArsenalAdam wrote:

    Drogba and Ronaldo are not European and this is a European team. Has Gerrard ever played well for England? He plays well against poor teams, just like Lampard does.

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  • 260. At 08:58am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    What I find most amusing about this is the people that have come and said 'don't forget this is a european 11' and have then included the likes of Messi and Drogba in their team!

    Not sure the country is as illiterate as someone has made out but I do worry about some peoples basic knowledge of geography.

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  • 261. At 08:59am on 22 Dec 2009, jozy22 wrote:

    Well phil you certainly achieved your purpose here and got people talking about it. Maybe you needed to be clearer on the whole European team? If you mean european born then the only players I would like to see in there are Gerrard and Ferguson(manager) but obviously just my opinion. If you mean European players then you would do well to limit to 11 players and subs. Messi must be an addition if so as would quite a few south americans. Well done on the debate again. Interesting answers people.

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  • 262. At 08:59am on 22 Dec 2009, theweeman17 wrote:

    I would have Henrik Larsson in this team. No doubt.

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  • 263. At 09:03am on 22 Dec 2009, Gareth wrote:

    Rooney?? Are you mad? Raul in the last 10 years......done nothing?!

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  • 264. At 09:05am on 22 Dec 2009, red lion wrote:

    "The only man to top the scoring charts in both the Netherlands, England and Spain"

    Ordinarily both refers to two nouns, but given the exceptional talents of Ruud I will overlook the grammatical slip. Good blog otherwise. It shows the poverty of talent in England that the only man who makes the first team is an ageing Becks, while Rooney is only a sub. Poor old England!

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  • 265. At 09:06am on 22 Dec 2009, b223dy wrote:

    107. At 10:50pm on 21 Dec 2009, Jamie wrote:

    first of all i have to question the manager. lippi? fergie is the manager of the decade by a country mile. The last decade has possibly being the best 10 of his career at Manchester United. He won everything at least once at club level.


    Fergie failed in the Scotland Job, and the length of time as manger of ManU does not show for versatility. Lippi on the other hand also won League titles, italian Cups, CL and the biggest 1 the World Cup. He is Europes top manager in the noughties a well deserved honor which he took over from Beckenbaur from the 90's

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  • 266. At 09:07am on 22 Dec 2009, mickydint wrote:

    This is going to kill me as a Liverpool fan but I think maybe Scholes merits a place on the bench at least. I would place him there at the expense of Mr Rooney who looks like he's peaked just a little short of Scholesys best.

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  • 267. At 09:08am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #253 Why no place for 3 time FIFA world player of the year and 2 time Balon d'or winner Ronaldo?
    One of only two 3 time winners of the FIFA world player award, his contribution to European football cannot be ignored surely?
    He has played and scored prolifically at the highest level with some of the worlds best clubs.
    Finishing top scorer in the Eredivisie with PSV, which was his first season in top flight european football.
    Leading Barcelona and then Inter to successive european titles, finishing top scorer in La Liga with Barca.
    Winning La Liga with Real Madrid and also winning the Pichichi.
    I could go on!


    And the longer you did the more and more stupid you would look.

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  • 268. At 09:10am on 22 Dec 2009, Gerrardswhiskers-bring back 606 wrote:

    Carvalho in the centre? What about Sami Hyppia? Isn't he one of the only European players to be nominated for European player of the year? He was immense in both our CL campaigns leading to the victory and then the final we didn't win 2 years later. Liverpool are still trying to recover from when he lost a yard of pace and we now have 2 players-Skrtel and Agger trying to make up for his departure.

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  • 269. At 09:14am on 22 Dec 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Would definitely start with Maldini, cant believe you left him out. Zidane and Roy Keane in centre Midfield Torres and Van Nistelroy upfront. Ronaldo wouldn't make my team he is too individual for those players... Messi would if he can play on one wing because Giggsy would be on the other........Might even have Dennis Irwin as a sub...Pep Guardiola as Manager.

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  • 270. At 09:22am on 22 Dec 2009, collie21 wrote:

    OF course Messi aint european

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  • 271. At 09:23am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #269 Irwin left Man Utd in 2002 and although continued playing can't really be considered in this list.

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  • 272. At 09:23am on 22 Dec 2009, Deddles wrote:

    As a huge Liverpool fan, I can't belive there is no place for Lucas Leiva!!!

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  • 273. At 09:25am on 22 Dec 2009, Graham Matley wrote:

    What about Peter Schmeichel. Surely the best goalkeeper in the last decade.

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  • 274. At 09:28am on 22 Dec 2009, brada_wba wrote:

    No Ronaldinho???

    The best player since Maradona. A genius and innovator. Names you post as your '11' in awe of him as fellow proffesionals.

    For 2-3 seasons at Barcelona (the ebst tem in the world at that point) he was absolutle streets ahead of others.

    Frank Lampard also - name me another player who scores 25 goals per season every season from midfield. Zidane didnt even do that for Real.

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  • 275. At 09:32am on 22 Dec 2009, critic77 wrote:

    I'm an Arsenal fan and can't believe there is no place for Roy Keane?

    Who else would be able to put all those big ego's in place when it's needed?

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  • 276. At 09:32am on 22 Dec 2009, Get with it wrote:

    That's a pretty dreadful excuse for a team. It's way too "early noughties heavy". The team should be:

    GK: Brad Jones
    RB: Winston Bogarde
    LB: Ramon Vega
    CB: Claus Lundekvam
    CB: Mbulelo Mabizela
    RM: Nigel Quashie
    LM: Tomas Brolin
    CM: Don Hutchison
    CM: Eric Djemba Djemba
    CF: Steve Marlet
    CF: Ade Akinbiyi

    Now that's the team of the decade

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  • 277. At 09:36am on 22 Dec 2009, Tom wrote:

    My team


    Thuram Maldini Terry Evra

    Ronaldo Zidane Gerrard


    Henry Van Nistelrooy


    Ashley Cole

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  • 278. At 09:37am on 22 Dec 2009, Imz wrote:

    Come on Phil... Not even in the subs bench... Stevie G

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  • 279. At 09:39am on 22 Dec 2009, Mike wrote:

    Classiest Europeans of the naughties-

    van der Sar
    Puyol Maldini
    Cannavaro Ferdinand

    Roy Keane Zidane
    Luis Figo Giggs
    C.Ronaldo Henry

    Subs- Buffon, Thuram, Nesta, Vieira, Gerrard, Beckham, van Nistelrooy, Rooney

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  • 280. At 09:47am on 22 Dec 2009, beautifulbarrettboy wrote:

    Interesting selection phil. No one can be wrong as its just opinion. Heres mine
    GK:CASILLAS( just ahead of buffON)

    Due to the dearth of great european full-backs in the last decade, il go for 3 centre-backs
    CB:CARVALHO(Just beats Nesta due to the injuries of the last 3 years)



    subs:Buffon,maldini,stam,giggs,gerrard,David villa

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  • 281. At 09:51am on 22 Dec 2009, mjerryford wrote:

    My team

    LB:Roberto Carlos
    LW:C. Ronaldo
    ST:"Fat" Ronaldo

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  • 282. At 09:56am on 22 Dec 2009, Nevs_A_Red wrote:

    What a shocking team - Carvalho ahead of Nesta? Khan ahead of Buffon? No Roy Keane. No Ryan Giggs. Khan faded after 2002, so a team of the decade cant really include him. Figo wasnt at his very best for much of this decade either - compared to say Ronaldinho/Kaka et al. Thuram in for one good trounament literally scraping in at the start of the last decade. And worst fo all sergio ramos on the bench?!! Come on Phil, Id expect better.

    My team has gone 3-5-2 (no wing backs) due to the fact there have been better CB's than Full backs - I know it isnt very good tactically, but who cares - its a fantasy XI:
    GK - Buffon
    CB - Nesta
    CB - Cannavaro
    CB - Maldini
    RW - Ronaldo
    LW - Giggs
    DM - Keane
    AM - Zidane
    AM - Ronaldinho
    CF - Henry
    CF - Van Nistelrooy

    Coach - Fergie - its obvious really.

    Players worth a mention:
    Del Piero
    ....that'll do for now.

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  • 283. At 09:57am on 22 Dec 2009, Sparkle wrote:

    What about Ryan Giggs, Name a player who has won more trophy's than he has in any sport ?
    Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Stephen you want me to continue?

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  • 284. At 09:57am on 22 Dec 2009, Toby wrote:

    Having Beckham in is a little bit silly. No Messi too?

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  • 285. At 10:01am on 22 Dec 2009, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    my team of the decade would be :


    sagna adams vermaelen cole

    pires vieira fabrehas ljungberg

    henry arshavin

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  • 286. At 10:01am on 22 Dec 2009, ChrisBrack wrote:

    Phil is that some kind of joke? You've picked a formation so that you can include the players you want and then put David Beckham in the team ahead of the likes of Messi, Gerrard the real Ronaldo or Raul the last two of whom could have been in there if you had put Ronaldo (the new one) on the wing.
    No doubt David Beckham was/is a very good player, but the team of the decade? That is ridiculous. Try again and do it properly this time. Perhaps even try to pick a team with balance that way you give deep lying midfielders who make a team, but have less glamourous roles a chance to be in your team.

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  • 287. At 10:03am on 22 Dec 2009, Chas wrote:

    Roy Keane was by far the best midfielder and Fergie has said so. Also Denis Irwin should be in tehre as best left back. I'm not a United fan but I am Irish. Still both these players are head and shoulders above your picks. Beckham is a very average midfielder and Fergie got shot of him.

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  • 288. At 10:03am on 22 Dec 2009, Ivan Baldaccioni wrote:

    This Europe 11 needs a little refining in my eyes. 4-4-2 would best complement.

    To think some people are considering Panucci, Rooney, Larsson (!!!)


    Thuram Cannavaro Campbell Zambrotta

    C.Ronaldo Zidane Nedved Figo

    Henry Schevchenko

    Subs: Casillas, Carvalho, Lahm, Vieira, Pirlo, Scholes (Yes yes, but apart from Ryan Giggs, don't think there has been a more important player for Utd) Torres, Van Nistelrooy


    I would argue that Buffon trumps them all? Champions league final (whether you lose or not, still a great achievement!) 4 Serie A titles, although two were taken away and Euro final in 2000 and World Cup in 2006 (his heroics in the final against an inspired Zidane are very hard to forget, especially for an Italian!!).....


    Thuram and Cannavaro excellent choices! Maldini to be even considered is bizarre. A true legend of the game, but apart from a few solid performance's, due to his age he never achieved the level of performances that made him legendary in the 90's. Phillipe Lahm a great choice and in my eyes very underrated by some, but Gianluca Zambrotta should also have been considered. One of the few players of the decade that could easily cover both left and right wings, and for the similar reasons as Buffon, should have definately been entered. Carvalho in this top 11 doesn't intrigue me at all, as maybe Sol Campbell was far more solid in my opinion.


    Zidane and Figo understandable inclusions. But what about Nedved or Davids? One could also put a case for Vieira, Makalele, Gattuso, Pirlo to name but a few. Certianly not David Beckham! I disagree to such an extent that I would push Cristiano Roanaldo to the right, Zidane and Nedved in middle and Figo to the left.


    Would much rather have Schevchenko in the team then van Nistelrooy. AC's second highest goal scorer of all time, a Champions League first and second place medal too. His time in England and since have coincided with his sharp decline, but to neglect him is unthinkable. Henry too a great inclusion.

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  • 289. At 10:03am on 22 Dec 2009, St3v13G wrote:

    I agree in the most part with MazHarv, although there are a few changes i would make...

    GK: Kahn - he just picks himself, he was a natural leader and superb keeper.
    RB: Thuram - solid and dependable, one of the defensive greats.
    LB: Maldini - an absolute legend of football, to exclude would be sacrilege.
    CB: Cannavaro - the only defender to win FIFA World Player of the year.
    CB: Puyol - a lifelong Barca player, he's as committed as they come, superb.
    RM: Beckham - in recent years people seem to have forgotten, but Becks is one of the best players England has produced, & edges Ronaldo on longevity.
    LM: Nedved - Nedved could change a game at any moment, a great player.
    CM: Zidane - an absolute legend in football, one of the best to ever play.
    CM: Gerrard - Gerrard is a legend in the making, he has completely carried Liverpool for most of the decade. he is well worthy of a place.
    ST: R Van Nistelrooy - You can't leave him out, he's one of the most prolific European strikers of the decade - his record at Man Utd 150 in 219.
    ST: Thierry Henry - equally great, if not greater. The Henry of Arsenal was completely unplayable. A truly great player.

    MANAGER: Sir Alex Ferguson - it just has to be. Ferguson is one of the best managers ever, and certainly one of the most successful of the 'noughties' - he completely deserves his place.

    SUBS: (an attacking bench, but i think the defense has it covered!)
    *Casillas - for me, better than Buffon, he's been Real's first choice keeper for the entire decade, since he was 18 - and that says something.
    *Makelele - the best holding midfield player of the decade, he made the position completely his own, and if you were asked to play the Makelele role you would know exactly what to do. Enough said!
    *Scholes - at his best, he was absolutely amazing. What a player.
    *Giggs - a true stalwart, a legend at Man Utd and completely worthy of a place in the side, no question.
    *Raul - top scorer for Real Madrid and Spain, as well as being the all time leading scorer in the UEFA Champions League.
    *Bergkamp - some of the goals he scored were just magical. What a great player. Alongside Henry, Arsenal were superb.
    *Larsson - Henrik Larsson thoroughly deserves his place on the bench, 325 goals in 525 games across his whole career, and an astonishing 187 in 261 for Celtic and Barcelona.

    Special mention has to go to Buffon, Nesta, Salgado, Neville, Keane, Vieira, Ballack, Pires, Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Shevchenko and Arsene Wenger.

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  • 290. At 10:05am on 22 Dec 2009, yorkiebarkid wrote:

    There has to be a place for Massimo Taibi in there somewhere. Outstanding keeper, never saw him make a single mistake.

    On a serious note I think there should be room for Maldini, Bergkamp, Keane, Raul but there's only 11 places so obviously some big players are going to miss out. All completely unique players

    #244 - Are you Henrik's dad?

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  • 291. At 10:05am on 22 Dec 2009, Gary wrote:

    Dennis Bergkamp is probably the greatest player i've ever seen or will see

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  • 292. At 10:05am on 22 Dec 2009, Cyril wrote:

    Not bad, although i'm pretty baffled how Dean Windass, Ian Ashbee and Justin Whittle have failed to make the grade.

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  • 293. At 10:07am on 22 Dec 2009, will wrote:

    Thuram Cannavaro Nesta A.Cole (as much as i hate him he isnt half bad!)
    Beckham Gerrard Zidane Nedved

    Boss: Sir Alex (i would have loved to have said wenger but i'll be honest)

    Subs: Casillas

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  • 294. At 10:07am on 22 Dec 2009, Alan Rose wrote:

    What about Peter Schmeicel in goal?

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  • 295. At 10:08am on 22 Dec 2009, Banksy wrote:

    For what it's worth, I think that Buffon should be the number one 'keeper. He has, not only, been world class at international level, but also loyal to Juve when they were demoted. He stuck by them and is again in the CL.

    Maldini and Puyol would be in my back four, replacing Carvalho and Lahm.

    In midfield would be Giggs and Makalele for Beckham and Figo. With C.Ronaldo on the right.

    And Raul and Henry up top.

    Bench would include: Khan, Nesta, Zambrotta, Xavi, Figo, Del Piero, Shevchenko.

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  • 296. At 10:10am on 22 Dec 2009, Nick Wall wrote:

    An article rendered meaningless by the exclusion of Gerrard & Maldini. Football is all about opinions but to not even acknowledge them, let alone leaving them out of the team? Farcical

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  • 297. At 10:11am on 22 Dec 2009, Alan Rose wrote:

    Bobby Zamora!

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  • 298. At 10:11am on 22 Dec 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    Nevs_a_red - much better selection mate. Nice to see Ryan and Keane (although a decision over Makalele is tight Keane's captaincy wins out) in there - some would have you believe 5 premierships and Champions League in a decade isn't worthy of an accolade so Giggs should definitely be in there. Funnily enough I wouldn't put Ruud in there as for all his exploits his efforts only gave us one title. I would have stuck Evra in there in the subs bench as well.

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  • 299. At 10:11am on 22 Dec 2009, Ian wrote:

    Phil you seem to of overlooked Steven Gerrard??

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  • 300. At 10:13am on 22 Dec 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    Zidane would have been in over Ronaldinho as well for his exploits in the early part of the decade. And Evra is better and has achieved more than Lahm.

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  • 301. At 10:15am on 22 Dec 2009, kaptkapo wrote:

    I think a lot of people are missing the fact that we are talking about the best EUROPEN players! When we say decade, I'm guessing that means from the year 2000-2010? If so, this would be mine -
    GK - Oliver Kahn
    RB - Lilian Thuram
    CB - Fabio Cannavaro
    CB - Rio Ferdinand
    LB - Ashley Cole
    RW - David Beckham
    CM - Zinedine Zidane
    CM - Steven Gerrard
    LW - Cristiano Ronaldo
    CF - Ruud van Nistelrooij
    CF - Thierry Henry

    Subs -

    GK - Edwin van der Sar
    CB - Alessandro Nesta
    CB/RB - Jaap Stam
    LW - Ryan Giggs
    CM - Clarence Seedorf
    CF - Alessandro Del Piero
    CF - Dennis Bergkamp

    Gaffer - Jose Mourinho (Probably the only one who could handle all of these personalities)

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  • 302. At 10:15am on 22 Dec 2009, Il Principino wrote:

    Rooney? Rooney?! Ahead of Gerrard, Lampard, Kaka, Vieira, Keane and Giggs? Have you ever watched football?

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  • 303. At 10:15am on 22 Dec 2009, billbixby480 wrote:

    258. At 08:52am on 22 Dec 2009, parmay wrote:

    What about Titus Bramble surely the most entertaining defender of the last 10 years, well he's given me a few laughs anyway!

    I agree! Excellent suggestion, but it just doesn't go far enough. If we're going for pure entertainment value in defence, surely Titus should be joined by a defender of genuine "pedigree" in European competition. Poor old Titus must have rather limited experience of European competition (unless I'm mistaken), but I can think of another very entertaining defender with considerable Champions League experience. He has the distinction of being what some of us like to think of as Arsene Wenger's ironic joke defender (You know, the 'I'm so great a manager that I can win with a total liability in defence' line of thought. It's the same reason why SAF has Wes Brown). This defender has played many a striker on side and caused a few decent goalkeepers a heart attack or two. So how about slotting in PASCAL CYGAN alongside Titus Bramble? I'm sure that central defence partnership would provide excellent entertainment and could counterbalance the fire power of van Nistelrooy, Henry and Ronaldo up front to ensure a good game!

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  • 304. At 10:17am on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    no fabregas? I know he hasn't won anything yet but maybe a place on the bench? also i think xavi should have got an honourable mention...cos he has won alot!

    gerrard would have made my team, not sure if beckham would have as i sort of think of his peak as the treble season in the 90's.

    can't really argue though as urs is pretty good side!

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  • 305. At 10:20am on 22 Dec 2009, QuinsFan1987 wrote:

    I have to say this is a fairly impossible task. There are just so
    many players! I think picking a world cup style 23 man squad would be easier:


    Ashley Cole


    van Nistelrooy

    when I first saw comments calling for Bergkamp I scoffed, I've always hated Arsenal. But then I thought back, and it was always his name that terrified me on a team sheet to play United, and I always celebrated a bit whenever he was substituted. I wish he'd played for a team I supported. What a player!

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  • 306. At 10:21am on 22 Dec 2009, BlueBulls wrote:

    "The Beckham-Zidane-Figo triumvirate was one that played together regularly at Real Madrid for two seasons between 2003 and 2005 and in that time they didn't actually win a thing" - EXACTLY

    How can you have a team of the decade without a defensive midfielder, Roy Keane should make this team miles before Beckham.

    Crazy team, rubbish

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  • 307. At 10:21am on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    Roy Keane was by far the best midfielder and Fergie has said so. Also Denis Irwin should be in tehre as best left back. I'm not a United fan but I am Irish. Still both these players are head and shoulders above your picks. Beckham is a very average midfielder and Fergie got shot of him.


    Denis Irwin played a total of 48 games in the 2000's yet makes ur team of the decade...bias much?

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  • 308. At 10:21am on 22 Dec 2009, Ricci667 wrote:

    Why is everyone talking about Brazilian Ronaldo and Messi? It's a EUROPEAN choice - last time I checked Ronaldo plays for Brazil. Nice article - I'd have Nesta at the back and 2 central midfielders. Xavi and Zidane.

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  • 309. At 10:23am on 22 Dec 2009, guyastral wrote:

    Great Blog and spot on, it'd be interested to do the same exercise for the best American team on the same decade. are you listening Mr Vickery?

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  • 310. At 10:23am on 22 Dec 2009, Ozilinho wrote:

    I'd go for..


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  • 311. At 10:27am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    Sod it, he played in Bergkamp's testamonial and that was in the noughties, I'll have Van Basten up front with Henry in my team.

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  • 312. At 10:30am on 22 Dec 2009, spickroyal wrote:

    I know a couple of people have picked up on it by adding him to your own teams but surely Raul has to be in there?!?

    4 La Liga titles, 3 Spanish Cups, 2 Champions Leagues (if you include 99/00), twice Spanish Player of the Year.

    Over 140 league goals and 55 Champions League goals in the decade. A proper goalscoring legend.

    Whilst the team honours may have dried up in the last couple of years or so, he has still performed consistantly on an individual basis.

    Easily one of, if not THE, best strikers in Europe over the last decade - in fact, over teh last 15 years which is further testement to his talents.

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  • 313. At 10:30am on 22 Dec 2009, Terry Toil wrote:

    Anybody who has Gerrard in their team is deluded.

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  • 314. At 10:33am on 22 Dec 2009, Rev_Douglas wrote:

    Your all rong (sic)

    1 Nelson Mandela
    2 Phil Neville
    3 Cheryl Cole
    4 Dunga
    5 Kang the alien from the Simpsons
    6 Steve Irwin
    7 Stewie Griffin
    8 Shinsuke Nakamura
    9 Mick Harford
    10 Jonny Wilkinson
    11 Boutros Boutros-Ghali

    Seriously, the number of times that point has been missed on these responses is scary.

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  • 315. At 10:37am on 22 Dec 2009, Mickael wrote:

    Best team in europe by miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Thuram,Maldini,,Puyol,A Cole



    These guyws would give any team a run for their money!!

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  • 316. At 10:40am on 22 Dec 2009, KARL CASEY wrote:

    Giggs has got to feature instead of Figo and what about a defensive midfielder? Get rid of Ronaldo (one incredible season and that's it) and replace him with Roy Keane. Keane and Zidane, now there's the midfield pairing of the decade

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  • 317. At 10:41am on 22 Dec 2009, Santonthenewmaldini wrote:

    How could Maldini be left out??? Beckham, Gerrard and Lampard should be nowhere near it, that is just because you are from England. Nedved, Seedorf, Figo, Zidane are miles ahead of them and why do people keep mentioning Puyol he is a disasterous defender not reliable at all. If you really need to put an english player in the team it would have to be Scholes!!!

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  • 318. At 10:42am on 22 Dec 2009, masonhawks wrote:


    Thuram Cannavaro Nesta Maldini

    Keane Vieira

    Gerrard Giggs



    I used to win everything with this team on C M.

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  • 319. At 10:44am on 22 Dec 2009, SteveSp wrote:

    "And Henrik Larsson? He plied his trade in a joke league..."
    Yes, but only for three months at the end of his career, on loan.

    35 goals in Europe for Celtic, including against every English team we habitually laughed at then eliminated. More than Rush, Owen, Scholes, Giggs, et al. 37 International goals playing for a distinctly average Swedish side.

    A god at Barcelona - Ronaldinho's 'hero', according to the man himself.

    The best striker in Europe since van Basten, no error.

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  • 320. At 10:45am on 22 Dec 2009, Geekes wrote:

    There isn't a shadow of a doubt Clarence Seedorf more than deserves his spot in this team. His accomplishments are unrivalled, but arguably he might deserve a place even more in the pre2000-squad....
    I'd most definately replace Becks by Seedorf.

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  • 321. At 10:47am on 22 Dec 2009, James wrote:

    Agood side is all about the right balance not the best players with the wrong balance

    GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Nuff said)
    LB: Ashley Cole (best attacking defener)
    CB: Marsellie Desailly (Best natural defener)
    CB: Cannavaro (captain)
    RB: Lilian Thuram (best in position)
    LM: Zinedine Zidane (best creative midfiel player)
    CM: Claude Makelele (best holding defender an reader)
    CM: Frank Lampard (Consistantly goal scoring midfield)
    RM: Dennis Berkamp (naturally gifted link to forward line)
    ST: Thierry Henry (can play central or on the wing )
    ST: Andre Shevchenko (best natural goal scorer)

    SUBS P.Cech, p, Maldini M .Essien,

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  • 322. At 10:50am on 22 Dec 2009, Sunshine Spurs wrote:

    Oh my, some people really are having trouble understanding the concept of Europe... Ronaldo, Drogba, Ronaldinho

    I feel for you Phil.

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  • 323. At 10:53am on 22 Dec 2009, makar - thread killer wrote:

    beckham? BECKHAM!?

    I saw that and have chosen to ignore the rest

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  • 324. At 10:53am on 22 Dec 2009, matt quilliam wrote:

    This was always going to cause major debate, why do some people arrogantly think the team they pick for the decade should be the be all and end all. It really irks me, Phil has given his favorite team of the noughties, people arguing who he 'should and shouldnt have' clearly aren't getting the point. Football is opinions thats his opinion fair play, he probably isnt going to change his mind because some numpty tells him to!

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  • 325. At 10:55am on 22 Dec 2009, jamie wrote:

    hi folks this would be my honest opinion that sir Alex Ferguson without a shadow of doubt has rightly deserved to be named manager of the decade!!
    Also heres my team selection!


    roberto carlos (LB)
    Carles Puyol (CB)
    Paolo Maldini (CB)
    Alessandro Nesta (RB)

    5 Zidane
    6 Kaka
    7 C Ronaldo
    8 Ronaldinho

    9 Henry
    10 "fat" ronaldo

    Dont need subs with that team!

    and i no iv added i few non european players but sure they deserve til be in my team of the decade


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  • 326. At 10:58am on 22 Dec 2009, Andy Graham wrote:

    Manager: Alex Ferguson

    GK: O.Kahn

    DEF: L.Thuram / F.Cannavaro / J.Terry / P.Maldini

    MID: C.Ronaldo / P.Vieira / Z.Zidane

    ATT: Raul / A.Del piero / A Shearer

    A.Shevchenko (AC Milan days)

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  • 327. At 11:00am on 22 Dec 2009, MDH82 wrote:

    I've really enjoyed the stimulating intellectual debate on this.

    My EUROPEAN team of the decade (1933 - 2012) is in a 5-3-5 formation, although I have gone for two goalkeepers to give myself a better chance

    1. Viv Richards
    1.b. D Seaman

    2. Diego Maradona
    3. Steve Finnan
    4. Nan (I'll admit this is a controversial selection but I'll give you the stats, Family Back Garden player of the year 24 seasons running, in the 1976-7 season alone she scored 6,597 goals, great in the air and also makes a mean roast which would keep the team morale high)
    5. J-Lo
    6. Cnl Gaddafi
    7. D Beckham

    10. Jonny Wilkinson (I'd play him in "the hole" behind the front 3, to get the drop goals)

    11. Faustino Asprilla
    12. Aslan (c)
    13. Prince Harry
    14. D Beckham

    Subs: 7. D Beckham, 23. D Beckham

    Manager: David Beckham
    Assistant Manager: Romeo Beckham
    Physio: Bungle from Rainbow

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  • 328. At 11:01am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    May I be the first to mention a certain Gianfranco Zola

    That fella could play ball.

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  • 329. At 11:02am on 22 Dec 2009, Vyasa Shastry wrote:

    I agree that such an exercise provides fodder for endless debate, but I think you've given a raw deal to many very good players whom you've overlooked, in my humble opinion. The criteria that I would choose to select the best of the decade would be based on excellence on the pitch- based on grabbing a last 4 berth in the premier competitions for club and/or country and a look at their staying power- whether they still had the bite when they were past their prime. Based on these criteria, I would say this is my pick for the decade:
    I also have a problem with your formation. I feel are too soft in the middle. It is not something that would work on a day to day basis, but then, it is a fantasy team after all. I still feel that we should pick a team that mirrors the tactical system that has been vastly successful in this decade- the 4-5-1 disguised as the 4-3-3. The emergence of high work rate, emphasis on cutting out space and scoring midfielders has made the 4-4-2 system, wingers and a true playmaker a luxury to have. So, I would go for a 4-5-1 based on this approach to win home and away against any given team, any given day.

    1)GK: Buffon: Amazingly consistent for club and country. I would pick him over Kahn for fewer mistakes over the years.
    2)RB: Thuram: Agree with you.
    3)LB: Maldini: The man who probably knows every blade of grass at the San Siro. I was amazed to see how he could hold his own against European opposition at 39!
    4)CB: Cannavaro: Agree with you.
    5)CB: Nesta: The Azzuri have never seen the best of him at the big stage due to injury. But in terms of what a defender should have, I don't think anyone comes close to him in the last 10 years- pace, anticipation, bravery, timing.
    6)DCM: Makelele- No one in your team has the person who is a ball winner. Chelsea and Real Madrid were very successful in the mid and early parts of the decade. France too. What is a common thread through them? Makelele.
    7)CM: Ballack- forever the bridesmaid. Has lost every title in the world to everyone else. Has been in the team of the tournament of all big events. Adds steel to the midfield.
    8)CM: Zidane: I agree with you.
    9)LW: Ronaldo. I agree with you.
    10)RW: Figo. I agree with you.
    11)CF: Ruud Van Nistelrooij. I agree with you.

    Subs bench:
    Criteria: Same as before. Has to tactically cover all positions on the pitch.
    S1)Casillas- better than Kahn and this decade has belonged to him.
    S2)Puyol- Can play at the right and centre. Rock at Barcelona.
    S3)Zambrotta- Adept at playing the fullback and wing positions.
    S4)Vieira- Oh captain, my captain.
    S5)Nedved- Can play on the wing and make the play as well.
    S6)Henry- Underachieved with France. But has medals to show for it.
    S7) Raul- He's done more than Rooney, Torres, Inzaghi, Shevchenko, Trezeguet.

    Honourable misses: All the above forwards. Totti, Becks, Giggs, Xavi. The English brigade- Gerrard/ Lamps/ Terry/ Rio. Phil, I thought you might have pencilled at least on of 'em in. How did you miss them? Was it deliberate?


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  • 330. At 11:05am on 22 Dec 2009, Conor wrote:

    how many times do people have to say that its a EUROPEAN team so Ronaldo, R Carlos, Messi etc CAN'T be included!!!!

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  • 331. At 11:09am on 22 Dec 2009, Kopin_It wrote:

    I know he hasn't played in the last decade, so as such can't be in the team. But I still think Eric Cantona was a fantastic player.

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  • 332. At 11:18am on 22 Dec 2009, bringbacktheworld wrote:

    Henrik Larsson? Don't make me laugh.

    Alex Del Piero - consistantly brilliant throughout the 00s.

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  • 333. At 11:20am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #331 Cantona was an absolute genius and I still think the best ever Premiership player.

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  • 334. At 11:21am on 22 Dec 2009, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    Id have to put Gerrard in there, almost single handedly won most of Liverpools trophies in the noughties, or if not him then Ballack but we would have to shift to 442 because Zidane is possibly the best player of all time, I'd definitely put him in with Maradona, Pele, Cruyff et al. Possibly Gattusso would be a good addition, who in my view is the best midfield destroyer we have seen this decade, in a time where that type of player has become essential to pretty much every formation.

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  • 335. At 11:21am on 22 Dec 2009, Ed Bracken wrote:

    What a truly preposterous line-up - who on earth in world football plays a midfield 3 all of whom are play-makers? Playing against them would be so easy as you'd just walk through them. World XI's always make this same very basic mistake - the best football teams have the best balance, no one (apart from Ossie Ardiles) plays formations like this. Laughable.

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  • 336. At 11:33am on 22 Dec 2009, Digga wrote:

    I'm going with a 4-4-2 as no-one seems to go for this choice of formation, my shout is;
    1. Van Der Sar
    2.Christian Panucci 3.Alessandro Nesta 4.Fabio Cannavaro 5.Paolo Maldini
    6.Patrick Vieira
    7.Xavi Hernandez 8. Zinedine Zidane
    9.Kaka 10. RyanGiggs 11. Thierry Henry

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  • 337. At 11:36am on 22 Dec 2009, cheeky_nffc wrote:

    i can only assume that the people who hand out accolades to oliver khan have never actually sat and watch him play. he was blessed with tremendous good fortune but looked like an accident waiting to happen at all times. buffon remains a collossus.

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  • 338. At 11:37am on 22 Dec 2009, macmurphy wrote:

    Come on thicko's. It's a EUROPEAN XI!!!!!! Therefore no South American or African players. Some people's stupidity is really starting to get me down.

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  • 339. At 11:38am on 22 Dec 2009, robisonscholes wrote:

    COLMKAV - Arsene Wenger best manager of the decade? Laughable! History remember's nothing about Budgets only about achievents. Choosing to build a new stadium in lieu of investing in player's is a choice made by Arsenal football Club (with Wenger at the helm). I will admit that at finding young talent cheaply and promoting the kind of football that only Stevie Wonder could not enjoy yes Wenger is tops. But perhaps report back here in 2020 if Wenger, Fabregas, Walcott and co have half the number of titles as Sir alex has or Scholess, Giggs or gary neville. The transition period Arsenal are in now is roughly like 94-95-96 period at except perhaps Arsenal now have even more Talented players. But untill Wenger makes these players into the players that Ferguson did and harbours a team that will challenge every year then there is no question who is the better manager

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  • 340. At 11:38am on 22 Dec 2009, Pachos wrote:

    I met a former football scout who spent a fair bit of of time in Spain. He has since retired and still follows football and sport with great insight.
    Over a few jars we were discussing which player out of modern football would be in the all time greatest lists and would compete in any of the best 'fantasy' sides of 'yesteryear' alongside the likes of Pele, Moore, DeStefano, etc. After very short consideration and caveating that quality & skilled footballers also have to be exemplar sportsmen, he named one name...

    that name was Henrik Larsson.

    I was surprised by his response and he said that my judgement/thoughts (I was expecting Ronaldo etc) were clouded by the way the media works in England. He went on to tell me how highly Larsson was rated in Barcelona and the influence he had on the younger players coming through. He also added that he had the grace to stick with Celtic (who helped to make him who he was and looked after him over the bad injuries) because he was a true gentlemen and sportsman, but his world reputation would have rocketed at Barcelona or Man U had he gone there earlier. After talking it over with some Celtic fans and getting to see lots of footage of Larsson before he left for Barca and then utd after his prime... the balance, the power, the sight, the skill, the! I was converted!

    I'm convinced he is better than any of the other forwards in the above line-up.

    To now get to my point...

    I believe Phil Minshull has missed Larsson out and should actually post his thoughts on omission. I suspect that its a fairly unqualified Media bias.

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  • 341. At 11:40am on 22 Dec 2009, aflfan wrote:

    van Nistelrooij

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  • 342. At 11:42am on 22 Dec 2009, Kopin_It wrote:

    69. At 9:18pm on 21 Dec 2009, Dave Chapman wrote:

    UNBELIEVEABLE! I do think alot of people are overlooking this is the deam of the decade however as a Sports Writer for the BBC I cant believe you fail to mention Kaka anywhere in your blog. Infact only one other person has mentioned him, He was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning squad, He was 2004-05 Champions League midfielder of the tournament, Champions League winner 2006-07, top forward of the 2006–07 Champions League and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2006–07 FIFPro World Player of the Year, 2007 Copa America winner, and won the Ballon d'Or in the same season. On top of the he won the confedorations cup and to top it off cost a then world record €70 million. NOT EVEN A MENTION!

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact this blog is about european players. EUROPEAN!!!!!

    Kaka is Brazillian.

    It's not a difficult concept people.

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  • 343. At 11:44am on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:

    Not sure why Carvalho is there. For me it would be:


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  • 344. At 11:44am on 22 Dec 2009, Cojodo30 wrote:


    Maldini has to be in this team ahead of Lahm at left back. Lahm is very good going forward but for the same reasons you have given for including Thuram, Maldini should be included.

    Carvalho has been a terrific defender over the last 10 years but I think it is hard to argue that he has been better than Puyol and Puyol has won more so I think Puyol should be in ahead of him.

    Also, the inclusion of Beckham is wrong in my opinion. I think Beckham has been a terrific player and may be worthy of a place on the bench but if you asked people in any other country to pick this team Beckham would never be in it ahead of Xavi. Xavi has won the European Championships with Spain and the Champions league with Barcelona during this decade. Xavi should be in central midfield and Ronaldo should be right midfield as this is where he has played 90% of the time in the last decade. I appreciate that if you were picking team to have the appropriate balance etc. you would probably have to play a more defensive minded midfielder with Zidane but I do not think this is the way to approach picking a team of the decade which should be based on individual excellence and achievement.

    I agree with your other selections with the exception of Ramos. I do however think it is harsh on Iniesta and Gerard not to be in the squad. Both have been better players than Beckham during the last 10 years in my opinion.

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  • 345. At 11:45am on 22 Dec 2009, sjp4 wrote:

    How you can include Rooney over Owen, i'm not entirely sure.

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  • 346. At 11:49am on 22 Dec 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    one name missing from all this is michael laudrup...

    In the 30 odd years i can remember watching spanish football.. he has been the best player i've seen in that league ( ahead of zidane, maradona, messi-so far, etc)

    Surely you must find a place for m laudrup in that team !

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  • 347. At 11:49am on 22 Dec 2009, shevabk2milan wrote:

    OK so i get there are only 11 places.

    But why is there no mention of Shevchenko?

    2nd highest scorer for Ac Milan - ever. One of the highest scoring records in Europe, he beats Henry for club and highest scoring records for his country and hes barely been mentioned. Very odd!

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  • 348. At 11:49am on 22 Dec 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    Centre mid : Fernando redondo

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  • 349. At 11:50am on 22 Dec 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    Redondo being argentine might make him ineligible though !

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  • 350. At 11:51am on 22 Dec 2009, Reinasbaldhead wrote:

    Does anyone else think magic arsenal is a complete idiot...DOH, he thinks the decade starts in 1999, obviously the little boy cant count and probably didnt go to school.
    Also if one more numpty mentions a NON European i.e someone who has played for a EUROPEAN Country you may as well go and follow another sport as you clearly havent got a clue

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  • 351. At 11:52am on 22 Dec 2009, Alasdair Robertson wrote:

    Savo Milosevic and Bosko Balaban? No...not even maybe? :-)

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  • 352. At 11:54am on 22 Dec 2009, Reinasbaldhead wrote:

    Also peeople this is McNulty's opinion, EVERYONE will have a different team, so dont be so hard on the Journo

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  • 353. At 11:55am on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    What about Peter Crouch? He always gets goals and has a lovely touch for a big man.

    I'll get me coat.

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  • 354. At 11:55am on 22 Dec 2009, Mark Anderson wrote:

    302. At 10:15am on 22 Dec 2009, Il Principino wrote:
    Rooney? Rooney?! Ahead of Gerrard, Lampard, Kaka, Vieira, Keane and Giggs? Have you ever watched football?

    How can someone 'who is asking have you ever watched football?' have a go at Rooney? Rooney?! who to my recollection is a forward/striker compare him with a list of midfielders, one of which isn't even european so I ask you have you ever watched football??

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  • 355. At 11:55am on 22 Dec 2009, Alexei and Oleg wrote:

    My euro team of the decade....unbeatable

    GK Khan
    RB Thuram
    LB Maldini
    CD Cannavaro
    CD Ferdinand
    LM Zidane
    CM Makelele
    CM Gerrard
    RM Figo
    ST Henry
    ST Ronaldo

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  • 356. At 11:55am on 22 Dec 2009, freddyaduwhereareyou wrote:

    "At 10:56pm on 21 Dec 2009, Steve wrote:
    Sorry to pedantic, but the decade is not over until the end of next year."

    Sorry to be pedantic Steve but you're wrong!
    The end of next year will be the 2010's........the end of this decade will be 31st Dec 2009 and the new decade starts 1st Jan 2010! When did the millenium start? 1st Jan 2000 or 31st Dec 2000? When did the 1990's start? 1st Jan 1990 or 31st Dec 1990??!!
    At least think about what you're going to write before you start trying to be clever
    As for the blog, can't really argue with the quality of the players but, as a few other posters have mentioned, there seems to be an imbalance within the team (lack of ball winner etc). For me, Patrick Viera should be worth a mention - he used to dominate the midfield in his prime and I would personally include him over Beckham

    I can see it's sparked a bit of debate though so good work!

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  • 357. At 11:56am on 22 Dec 2009, Marco wrote:

    While not necessarily agreeing with the team selection I do find it rather funny how people are arguing a case for non-europeans!! It would help if people actually read the article before arguing their case so strongly!!

    Good article which has clearly raised a lot of debate!

    Maldini over Lahm all day long in my opinion....possibly the greatest defender of all time....certainly in my life time anyway. Perhaps he hasn't been included as he was at his best in the 90's, but still a Champions League winner in this decade surely gets him ahead of the inconsistent Lahm at left back and even Carvalho in central defence!

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  • 358. At 11:59am on 22 Dec 2009, Alexei and Oleg wrote:

    Britsh Based Team of the Decade

    Van Nistelrooy

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  • 359. At 11:59am on 22 Dec 2009, DCrump14 wrote:

    A fairly good blog and team. Its a shame most of the people who have commented on it arent very bright and still insist on butting brazillian ronaldo and messi in their team... even though its a EUROPEAN team. Hence all the players being EUROPEAN not non EUROPEAN.
    anyway.. my attempt.. using a 4-4-2 formation would be:

    Thuram Terry Cannavaro Maldini
    Figo Zidane Xavi Ronaldo
    Henry Shevchenko

    Subs: Kahn, Carvalho, Lahm, Nedved, Makelele, Lampard, Villa

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  • 360. At 12:00pm on 22 Dec 2009, 00Mike26 wrote:

    Come on Phil you're meant to be a professional yet you've picked a 'team' the way a seven year old (or Kevin Keegan)would. There's no formation or plan here just "go on you're good, kick it in the goal".
    Here's a team that would beat yours, you've had the first 18 picks, I'll go from what's left over.
    GK- Gianluigi Buffon (comfortably better than either of your two choices)
    RB- Gianluca Zambrotta (Thuram's a great choice, although he peaked in '98, then you picked Ramos!)
    LB- Ashley Cole (the only left back ever to put Ronaldo in his pocket and keep him there, although actually, I like your choice of Lahm and feel he's underrated)
    CB- Carlos Puyol
    CB- Rio Ferdinand
    DM- Claude Makalele (how you could leave this guy out is unbelievable, you haven't even picked anyone who plays in his position, possibly the vital one on the pitch at the top level)
    CM- Steven Gerrard (Probably the all-round player of the decade, and I'm an Everton supporter, you can take any other player out of any other team and they'll get by, not true of Gerrard and Liverpool)
    CM- Andres Iniesta/Clarence Seedorf (too hard to decide, with the other one on the bench, you didn't pick either of them)
    RF- Arjen Robben
    LF- Franck Ribery (here's where your team has the edge, but then I did give you the first 18 picks and you mostly picked forwards)
    CF- David Villa (Goal Machine)
    Subs: Edwin Van Der Sar, Alessandro Nesta (better than Cannavaro), Miguel, Gennaro Gattuso, Iniesta/Seedorf, Raul Gonzalez Blanco (all time Champions League top scorer), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (personally I think he's been overrated but he's got medals and I need a big man)

    That's an actual football team, with a holding midfielder and shape and balance with options to play in different ways. I'd have loved any of Figo, Ronaldo, Henry etc. but you picked 18 and left me with better players in the foundations of the team.

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  • 361. At 12:00pm on 22 Dec 2009, macmurphy wrote:

    #346. Think about the article pekkerster. It's a team of the noughties!!
    Laudrup played in the 90's. Strewth!

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  • 362. At 12:01pm on 22 Dec 2009, NJoshi94 wrote:

    What about Giggs???!??
    Clearly the best midfielder over the last 2 decades. Also the most decorated British player!
    Heres my team....
    Van der Sar;
    Thuram, Cannavaro, Puyol, Maldini;
    Nedved, Xavi, Makelele, Zidane, Giggs;
    SUBS : Buffon, Nesta, Scholes, Figo, Raul, Shevchenko, Van Nistelrooy.

    Other players that deserve a mention include Casillas, Desailly, Seedorf, Bergkamp.

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  • 363. At 12:02pm on 22 Dec 2009, James wrote:

    Firstly, like the article, although i'd not agree on the side, but that's always going to be the case, everyone has a different opinion, as for the ones who want to put players like Drogba, Brazilian Ronaldo etc. What continent is their country from?

    It's a European XI!!!!!!

    Lots of players could of been selected, do you base it on individual achievement, talent, international Honours????? Giggs great player and achieved everything at club level, Villa, brilliant, honours wise has won Euro's and a league title, no champs league etc. Three of us have combined to select a squad and then debated over the starting line up. So this is my chosen line up from the squad.

    My Team 4-2-3-1 formation

    Goalkeeper - Casillas
    Full Backs - Thuram & Maldini
    Centre Backs - Puyol & Cannavaro
    Midfield Two - Pirlo & Xavi
    Attacking Midfield Three - Figo, Zidane & Giggs
    Frot Man - Raul

    Subs - Buffon, Zambrotta, Stam, Vieria, Gerrard, Bergkamp & Anelka

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  • 364. At 12:03pm on 22 Dec 2009, RyanT wrote:

    122. At 11:09pm on 21 Dec 2009, Max wrote:
    some people aren't quite grasping the 'europe' bit
    all good
    maybe bergkamp, messi and nesta
    instead of torres, rooney and ramos

    this comment is truly hilarious, to have a go at people including non european players then doing it yourself takes some beating. Think first before writing ridiculous comments. Back to the team and i personally wouldnt include carvalho, lahm, beckham, rooney, torres or ramos. They would be replaced with: nesta, cole, vieira, raul, kluivert and zambrotta. Raul would also be one of the first starters immediately in my opinion as over this period no one has come close.

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  • 365. At 12:03pm on 22 Dec 2009, NJoshi94 wrote:

    Oh...and Manager of the Decade should be - Sir Alex Ferguson

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  • 366. At 12:04pm on 22 Dec 2009, Dan wrote:

    Can't believe people who either seem to be forgetting or are too stupid to know that players like Messi and Drogba are not European. Why can't people read something properly before commenting - especially before criticising?

    There are always going to be arguments for leaving certain players out but even I struggle with Lahm instead of Maldini at left back. What's this based on? Maldini has excelled with Milan and Italy over the last decade. Also, I'm Beckham's biggest fan but i'm not sure i'd have him in the European 11 for the past 10 years. Surely Iniesta has earned the right to be in this team with his performances for Barca and Spain in the last 5 or so years?

    Finally, if we're picking a subs bench and therefore thinking about the practicality of a full blown match, I would suggest choosing a manager with more club experience and success. Lippi may well have won the World cup but his years with Juventus from '01-'04 weren't exactly fruitful. Mourinho won the Champs league with a great Porto side and then formed Chelsea into a title winning machine. Sir Alex Ferguson has also nurtured some of the World's best talent (Giggs, Scholes, Rooney and Ronaldo), brought a 2nd Champs league, more league titles and FA cups back to Old Trafford. Both more applicable than Lippi for bringing different nationalities together in my opinion. Not a man who's never worked outside Italy.

    Can't disagree with Kahn, Thuram, Cannavaro, Carvalho, Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane, Henry or Van the man. All top, top players.

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  • 367. At 12:09pm on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    just a few others that i have thought of while i have been pretending to do so work

    pirlo, edgar davids, seedorf (not a great player really imo but i thought he might be worth a mention cos of the amount of silverware he has won...somehow)

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  • 368. At 12:10pm on 22 Dec 2009, Alasdair Robertson wrote:

    Here goes:
    3-4-3 (more fun that way!)

    8:C. Ronaldo
    10:H. Larsson

    Manager: Arsene Wenger (Sexy football please!) (Closely folowed by Guadiola)

    12:Iker Cassilas
    14:Philip Lahm
    18:Del Piero

    Maybe not the best, but definitely the most fun team. Absolute heros from 1-18!

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  • 369. At 12:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, Auqakuh wrote:

    For the record, the decade (probably) started in 2000 (although you could argue for 2001). The millenium, on the other hand, definitely started in 2001. There was no 0AD, so 1 + 1000 + 1000 = 2001.

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  • 370. At 12:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:

    Chnaging the selection a bit; what about people's worst players in top flight football?

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  • 371. At 12:12pm on 22 Dec 2009, Felix wrote:

    My XI Buffon
    Thuram Cannavaro Nesta Maldini
    Figo Giggs
    Henry Raul

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  • 372. At 12:14pm on 22 Dec 2009, sportszombie wrote:

    sorry Phil a lot of poor choices on your list.

    Goalkeeper: Casillas (best keeper of the decade by far)

    Left Back: Lahm

    Centre Back: Rio Ferdinand( I hate Man U but this guy has been brilliant)

    Centre Back: Cannavaro (frankly has done zilch since WC 2006 but was
    great once)

    Right Back: Thuram

    Left Midfield: Figo

    Central Midfield: Zidane

    Central Midfield: Xavi

    Right Wing: Christiano Ronaldo (best European player since 2006 WC)

    Striker: Henry (best club european player in 1st half of decade despite
    never winning the CL, never had the luxury of 6-7 world class
    players on the same team)

    Striker: Raul

    Honorable Mention: Buffon, Nedved, Maldini, Puyol, Ramos, Viera, Giggs,RVN, Ljuenberg, Larsson etc

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  • 373. At 12:21pm on 22 Dec 2009, chris wrote:

    #112. Steve, does someone need to go back for additional help with their maths? A decade is 10 years. 2000-2009, I'll wait while you count on your see. Easy isn't it.

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  • 374. At 12:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, Rik_Waller1986 wrote:

    Three teams lifted the Champions League twice in the last decade - Real Madrid, AC Milan and Barcelona while Bayern Munich, Porto, Liverpool and Manchester United all triumphed once.

    Manchester United won it once did they?? i don't think they did in the last 10 years i think you'll find they have won it twice 1999 and 2007.

    Also how can you not include Peter Schmiechel?? what a legend and David Seaman and Paul Scholes just to meantion a few.

    To be honest phil i think you got your selection wrong on this occasion.

    My Selection:




    Del Piero

    Subs: Seaman, Puyol, Desailly, Scholes, Vieria, Larsson, Van Nistelrooy

    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

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  • 375. At 12:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, ForestForever wrote:

    It really does amaze me how many people either cannot or simply choose not to read before they post.

    I think it's quite clear that it's a EUROPEAN team of the decade since there are absolutely no players from outside this continent included and if it was a general 'team of the noughties' then quite obviously Messi and the Ronaldinho would be included.

    These kind of things are always open to interpretation and no one is going to completely agree with anyone else's choices.

    My team wouldn't be too different to Phil's, but I would certainly include Raul and Ryan Giggs at least in the squad ahead of Torres and Beckham.

    I'd also select a 4-4-2 as it's the most 'common' formation and is a traditional one which is easier to select players for.

    I also think that in order to select the right players, they need to have been playing at the top of their game for a sustained period covering most of this decade.

    My choice would be:

    GK: Kahn
    RB: Thuram
    CB: Cannavaro
    CB: Puyol
    LB: Cole
    RM: Ronaldo
    CM: Vieira
    CM: Zidane
    LM: Figo
    ST: Henry
    ST: Raul

    Manager: Jose Mourinho - purely for his emergence and dominance in the middle of the decade. I chose him over Wenger and Ferguson as they both did much of their work in the 90s.

    Subs: Casillas, Maldini, Giggs, Gerrard, Van Nistelrooy, Bergkamp, Xavi

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  • 376. At 12:28pm on 22 Dec 2009, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    A lot of people are asking for the inclusion of Ronaldinho etc but just because these players played in europe doesn't make them european!
    It is the best european team not the best team that played in europe!

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  • 377. At 12:29pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sinhealer wrote:

    Having read most of the teams here I can say this...

    Any team named here with players from South America etc need to learn how to read,your team would be banned as it is a European 11 not a world 11.

    Next of any team that does not include Henrik Larsson at least as a sub beggers belief.

    Also a bit strange not to see Shay Given given more mention's,If he does decide to leave Man City I am sure the big team's will all be looking at him,would be my choice in goal a player you can always depend on.

    Phil as for your team I really would not want to play in that defence as they would not be getting any help from the midfielder's,as someone else said that team would sell a lot of football tops but could not see them winning anything.

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  • 378. At 12:31pm on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    370. At 12:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:
    Chnaging the selection a bit; what about people's worst players in top flight football?


    i'll go for one straight away, i think this bloke played for us (leicester) in the premiership - Junior Lewis, one of the worst players i have ever seen.

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  • 379. At 12:32pm on 22 Dec 2009, essex_eagle wrote:

    surely Owen on the bench. Might not be so effective now but in his earlier seasons his average of nearly 1 goal every 2 games is hard to match plus lightening fast as well (again in earlier seasons).

    Strange no mention of Rooney?

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  • 380. At 12:32pm on 22 Dec 2009, Nevs_A_Red wrote:

    I love all the petty nit picking about the formation - it's a FANTASY XI, not real - it doesnt really matter if they have 6 strikers and no midfield, however, from what I can see, most people seem to have gone with at least a recognised formation, so let it be for christ sake.

    A few more have come up for honourable mention:
    Scholes - cant believe I forgot!
    Schevchenko - say no more.
    Xavi - in my opinion, a far more important player than Messi to Barca.
    Bergkamp - agreed, massive, massive talent.

    I also fell into the trap in my post #282 of naming Ronaldinho, and kaka on the bench. Will now amend my team:

    GK - Buffon - has been the best keeper in the world since Schmeichel left united in 99.
    CB - Cannavaro
    CB - Nesta
    CB - Maldini - sticking with my original defence and formation.

    RW - Ronaldo - no other player like him, never has been and probably never will be
    LW - Giggs, best Premiership player of all time, has ability, longevity and trophies to match
    DM - Keane
    AM - Zidane
    AM - Scholes - could have selected Xavi at DM, but went with the player that in the past has been called the best midfielder in the world by managers all over the world.
    CF - Henry - fantastic player...unfortunately
    CF - Van Nistelrooy - what a goal scorer, second to none on that front. Just pipping Raul here, and also someone who has come to light - Shearer as a goal scorer, was right at the very top.

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  • 381. At 12:34pm on 22 Dec 2009, Fourth is the New First wrote:

    Pretty straight-forward choices:

    GK: Buffon

    CB: Cannavaro
    CB: Nesta
    RB: Thuram
    LB: Maldini

    DM: Makelele
    CM: Xavi
    CM: Zidane

    RW: Cristiano Ronaldo
    LW: Giggs

    ST: Henry

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  • 382. At 12:34pm on 22 Dec 2009, dysart wrote:

    Its quite obvious that this team was selected to instigate responses from your audience - which you succeeded in doing. I even registered just so i could comment on this. So congratulations on succeeding - your bosses should promote you!

    To be honest i think this team is nonsense. Liverpool could beat this team! 6 attacking players in midfield. Do you have the courage to reply to me as to why you didn't select any defensive midfielder? Roy Keane for instance?
    Carvalho center back - brilliant :-) Sarcasm doesn't work well here!

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  • 383. At 12:36pm on 22 Dec 2009, freddyaduwhereareyou wrote:

    "At 12:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, Auqakuh wrote:
    For the record, the decade (probably) started in 2000 (although you could argue for 2001). The millenium, on the other hand, definitely started in 2001. There was no 0AD, so 1 + 1000 + 1000 = 2001."

    I really don't want to get into a rather tedious arguement - the point I was trying to make was that the end of next year isn't the start of a new decade, and basing this selection on performances from 2000 to 2009 is basing it on a full decade!

    However, should you have too much free time, it might be worth checking out the below link before using the word 'definately'

    Also, no Frank Sinclair in the list?! Surely just an oversight.......

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  • 384. At 12:36pm on 22 Dec 2009, Crazyteknohed wrote:

    GK: Gianluigi Buffon
    LB: Paolo Maldini
    CB: Fabio Cannavaro
    CB: Alessandro Nesta
    RB: Lilian Thuram
    LM: Zinedine Zidane
    CM: Claude Makelele
    CM: Ronaldinho
    RM: Beckham
    ST: Thierry Henry
    ST: Shevchenko

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  • 385. At 12:36pm on 22 Dec 2009, Rik_Waller1986 wrote:

    Sorry i thought because were still in 2009 it was 1999 - 2009 10 years, didn't realise it was 2000 - 2010 so if its 2000 - 2010 YES united have won just ONCE!! . I know the team is from 2000 - 2010

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  • 386. At 12:37pm on 22 Dec 2009, kavdogg wrote:

    Good man Phil and Mtirfan, who both give recognition to the THREE European teams who won the European Championship....anyone else see were I'm going here!!!!

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  • 387. At 12:38pm on 22 Dec 2009, ThinkTank wrote:

    The ignorance of the emphasis on the European element is completely ridonkulous - Essien's inclusion in a couple of teams...oh dear. Some of these posts are fantastic; in particular this from post #369:

    "For the record, the decade (probably) started in 2000 (although you could argue for 2001). The millenium, on the other hand, definitely started in 2001. There was no 0AD, so 1 + 1000 + 1000 = 2001."

    ...which is like saying the day doesn't start until 01:00. So December 2000 was back in the previous millenium was it??? Right...

    Back on topic, it would be interesting to predict the same debate for 2019. Who would be the team (European or otherwise) of the next decade (the teenies!?). I'd predict Kun Aguero, Marcelo alongside what could potentially be the world's greatest ever player in C.Ronaldo. Any thoughts?

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  • 388. At 12:42pm on 22 Dec 2009, Reinasbaldhead wrote:

    OMG, another numpty....and the prize goes to Rik_Waller1986, do people call you 'Special' at school little fellow???

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  • 389. At 12:43pm on 22 Dec 2009, macmurphy wrote:

    #374. Have a word with yourself Rik. Schmiechel had his best years (most trophies/goal keeping awards) during his Man U years - 1991 to 1999. Now, by my reckoning this period is known as the Nineties. Not the Noughties. Strapback!!!!!!

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  • 390. At 12:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, gaz wrote:


    Thuram Cannavaro Ferdinand Nesta


    C Ronaldo Zidane Nedved

    Henry Shevhenko

    Subs: Kahn, Bergkamp, Giggs, Messi, Makelele, Carvahlo, Puyol

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  • 391. At 12:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, jonnybmufc wrote:

    Can I just say that half of the people on here are very silly? It's a European team and half the people's comments that I have read are suggesting South American etc players e.g. Ronaldo & Messi...silly gooses.
    To voice my own opinion, I think it's a joke that Ricardo Carvalho is in the team, I mean come on lol I have seen a lot of suggestions for Maldini and I am inclined to agree with them.
    Finally, there is only one manager worthy of coaching this team and it ain't Lippi. What was going through your mind when you omitted SAF? Winner of countless PL titles, FA Cups, Champs League and so on...I hope you see the error of your ways

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  • 392. At 12:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, tomlew7 wrote:

    The selection of Lahm at left back is just embarrassing with the likes of Maldini, Evra and Ashley Cole far superior in not only skill but also experience and achievements it's just ridiculous to suggest Lahm at left back.

    GK - Buffon
    LB - A. Cole
    RB - Thuram
    CB - Ferdinand
    CB - Nesta
    RM - C. Ronaldo
    LM - Giggs
    CM - Makelele
    CM - Zidane
    CF - Ruud
    CF - Henry

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  • 393. At 12:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, jonnybmufc wrote:

    P.S. much kudos to the guy who included Raul in his team, has there ever been a more prolific striker?

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  • 394. At 12:48pm on 22 Dec 2009, 1chrisoc wrote:

    I'm amazed that nobody has mentioned Fillippo Inzaghi, a truly clinical finisher (just ask any Liverpool fan!). Often written off by critics for his tendency to be found in the offside position, 'Superpippo' has scored more goals in eufa club competitions than anybody else. The quintessential 'fox in the box'.

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  • 395. At 12:49pm on 22 Dec 2009, olsiberisha wrote:

    Without a doubt, the best team in the last decade.

    Buffon (GK)

    Thuram (RB)
    Cannavaro (CB)
    Terry (CB)
    A.Cole (LB)

    Makelele (DM)
    Gerrard (CM)
    Zidane (AM)

    C.Ronaldo (SS)
    Ronaldinho (SS)
    Henry (ST)

    Subs: Cech, Nesta, Carvalho, Kaka, Xavi, Essien, Shevchenko, V.Nistelrooy
    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

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  • 396. At 12:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sirmattsway wrote:

    People are talking about a holding midfielder or bit of muscle in the middle and so mention the likes of Makalele, Vierra and Guttuso yet don't mention Roy Keane. Surely Keane is better than the lot at chasing the ball, being hard/tough and leadership?

    He could lead any team to be better as captain. He wasn't half bad at being box to box either and getting amongst the goals. Vierra rates him (as well as Scholes) very highly from the interviews I have seen of him recently, looking back. And before anyone mentions how dirty Keane could be, they all were just as Mascherano is today. Vierra talked about how if you kicked Roy Keane then he wouldn't say anything but then later on if he kicked you or mistimed a tackled he would also expect you to not say anything. Regarding Scholes he simple said you could never get close to him to kick him.

    Gutusso may have won the World cup with Italy but he's not a patch on Keane. Oh and ROFL at the guy who said the reason/or link of Real Madrids galaticos winning things and then Chelsea winning things is down to Makelele. ROFL, he was a good player but I think a few hundred million might have 'slightly' more to do with it!!!! Blackburn didn't have Makalele and City don't now but they are doing better all of a sudden and in next few seasons will be coming thick and fast no doubt. Money is king in sport weather you earn it or get it from a new rich owner or even the Spanish government.

    Phil's team is a very good team but IMO to much has been based on international Euro or World cup teams. A European cup with club is just as good as a Euro/World cup with international. I mean at the world cup we will see Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Fabregas, Ronaldo, Messi, Pato, Aguero, et all but we see those in the European Champions league too. And for every Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England, France, Uarguay, you have a Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan etc.

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  • 397. At 12:53pm on 22 Dec 2009, aosmithers wrote:

    Firstly, how some people think that pires is worthy of selection in the team, i cannot understand although everyone is entitled to their own opinion so fair enough.

    Secondly, post number 36?? Managing is not like being an accountant, there's so much more than spending the least while you do it, which is what you're basing your selection of Wenger on. There is no doubt that he is a good manager but not the best. Look at man city atm. That is not an easy job but they have loads of money but its not about just throwing all the money at it which mark hughes found out. Things like squad harmony and building the right team are huge parts of managing a successful team not just doing it for the cheapest.

    On the selection by Phil pretty good by in large with the odd exceptions which have been mentioned by others (DL and formation). But thanks for a good article.

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  • 398. At 12:54pm on 22 Dec 2009, Muffin McLovin wrote:

    Wow! I'm actually staggered at how bad this team is! No Keane, Gerrard, Makelele? Why would you have Cannavaro and Carvalho as your centre backs? They wouldn't even make my top 10 defenders of the past decade?! Winning the WPOTY doesn't necessarily make the player a shoe-in for a "Special XI" team. Fabio Cannavaro is a great example of this. My team would be this, a simple 4-4-2:




    And this is coming from a Man United fan, note the all Arsenal combination up front. Even I loved watching them two in their pomp.

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  • 399. At 12:54pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kopin_It wrote:

    @374 "Manchester United won it once did they?? i don't think they did in the last 10 years i think you'll find they have won it twice 1999 and 2007."

    He said in the last decade. i.e 2000-2009.

    Try and count it on your fingers.

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  • 400. At 12:54pm on 22 Dec 2009, jmb2010 wrote:

    I think you will find the comment below is rubbish

    "1. At 7:37pm on 21 Dec 2009, mtirfan wrote:

    Spot on, Phil! Italy maybe Europe's only world cup winner in the last 10 years, but THREE European teams won the Euro during the same period: France, Greece and Spain :D"

    What phil actually said was
    "After all the hangovers from all the parties at the start of the Millennium had ebbed away, Italy were Europe's only World Cup winners, but France, Greece and Spain all won what's now become colloquially known as the 'Euro'."

    So perhaps "mtirfan" should not be so hasty in there criticism.

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  • 401. At 12:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, StMoney wrote:

    Come on the 'Noughties' discovered the defensive midfielder!
    I would replace Van nistelrooy and put in either;
    Edgar Davids
    Roy Keane
    But most likely Claude Makelele.

    Sir Alex as Manager though, for creating a monster of a success from nothing at Man Utd.

    Owen, Bergkamp & Gerrard on the bench

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  • 402. At 12:57pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sportsfan87 wrote:

    Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

    GK: Iker Casillas

    RB: Thuram
    CB: Nesta
    CB: Cannavaro
    LB: Maldini

    RM: C Ronaldo
    CM: Zidane
    CM: R Keane
    LM: Giggs (consistant brilliance)

    ST: Henry
    ST Van Nistelrooy

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  • 403. At 12:57pm on 22 Dec 2009, Bobby Martinezs Blue Army wrote:

    with so many moronic comments on here its hard to tell whos serious and whats said in jest. but someone said Michael Laudrup he retired in 1998!! and to people who said Gerrard and Lampard....helllooo. Lampard or Zidane. Gerard or Figo. not in the same league.
    personally the best team of the decade is as follows but i should point out im joking. Martyn, P Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Graveson, Carsley, Osman, Rooney, K Campbell

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  • 404. At 12:57pm on 22 Dec 2009, Lennonisagod wrote:

    My European team of the decade is

    LB:A.Cole (Not going to be a popolar choice)

    Subs:Kaka (amazed he wasn't even in Minshulls squad!), Van Nistelrooy, Puyol, Zambrotta, Davids, Gerrard, D.Villa

    Owen would be in the squad instead of Villa but he decided to leave the best club in the world far too early.

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  • 405. At 12:58pm on 22 Dec 2009, bronzedannyboy1987 wrote:

    Cant believe some people are mentioning the likes of Hierro, Ramos and Stam, and saying Carvalho has done nothing this decade. Let me just list Carvalho's major achievements since 2000:

    02/03 UEFA cup with FC Porto
    03/04 champions league with unfancied FC porto

    04/05 Premier league title with Chelsea
    05/06 premier league title with Chelsea
    07/08 Champions league finalist with Chelsea

    Euro 2004 finalist with Portugal
    WC 2006 semi finalist with portugal

    UEFA best defender of the year 03/04
    FIFA world cup all star team 2006
    Chelsea players' player of the year 07/08.

    Although he fell out of favour a little last year, and I wouldn't have him ahead of the likes of Cannavaro, puyol or Nesta, the fact is he is still a quality central defender and worthy of inclusion in the squad at least.

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  • 406. At 12:58pm on 22 Dec 2009, Aarfy_Aardvark - bring back 606 wrote:

    @147, Interesting little lineup with regards to your unsung heros of the decade team. I would have far liked Phil to write about that than something as trite as this. I mean anyone can pluck star names out of a hat or by the wonders of google, but it takes a special eye to name players who do just a great job and do so without the plaudits and accolades. For me, I would also include Makelele somewhere in your list. I simply can’t think of another defensive midfielder who has come close to his ability in the past decade.

    For Asia, I will go for the following; (note: Australians are not included seeing as they only joined the AFC in 2006.)

    GK: Yoshi Kawaguchi (Japan)
    RB: Hossein Kaebi (Iran)
    CB: Lei Weifeng (China)
    CB: Yuji Nakazawa (Japan)
    LB: Lee Yong-Pyo (S. Korea)
    MR: Mehdi Mahdavikia (Iran)
    MC: Park Ji-Sung (S. Korea)
    MC: Server Djeparov (Uzbekistan)
    ML: Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan)
    CF: Maksim Shatsikh (Uzbekistan)
    CF: Yasser Al-Qahtani (Saudi Arabia)

    Incidentally I'm so glad that Yasuhito Endou has finally got given the recognition he deserves by winning the Asian Footballer of the Year award. Sadly doesn't make my list though.

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  • 407. At 12:59pm on 22 Dec 2009, Alex Coates wrote:

    How about this; Future XI of the next decade:

    1. (GK) Joe Hart (England) - Good signs at the Under 21's in the summer.
    2. (LB) Keiran Gibbs (England) - The best LB Arsenal have.
    3. (CB) Jeffery Bruma (Netherlands) -I've seen him play, solid as a rock.
    4. (CB) Jonny Evans (N Ireland) -Already show real class, wil be captain.
    5. (RB) Aleksander Ignjatovic (Serbia) - First team regular at Feyenoord.
    6. (CM) Nemanja Matic (Serbia) - Skill, touch, pace & killer passing.
    7. (LM) Gabriel Obertan (France) - Putting Giggs to shame down the left.
    8. (AM) Gael Kakuta (France) - Looks the part already, I'd start him ahead of Ballack or Deco any day of the week.
    9. (RM) Zoran Tosic (Serbia) - Flashes of brilliance in the Euro Under21s
    10. (CF) Fabio Borini/ Mario Balotelli (Italy) - What a pairing, must win Italy something.
    11. (CF) Theo Walcott (England) - We need a big, game winning striker - put your faith in him now, he's got the talent & composure.

    Subs: James Milner, Jan Sabek (GK), Gabi Agbonlahor, INSERT NEW BELGIAN TEEN HERE, Gibson, etc etc.

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  • 408. At 1:05pm on 22 Dec 2009, William Morriss wrote:

    Great blog Phil....I don't see anything obviously wrong with your team but where is Ryan Giggs?!!! I know he hasn't featured in any major international tournaments but he has been a mainstay of the Man Utd team all decade and surely deserves a starting berth?!

    My team would be this:


    Thoughts please?

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  • 409. At 1:06pm on 22 Dec 2009, chris wrote:

    #385. Rik_Waller1986 2000-2010 is 11 years. A decade is 10 years, hence 2000-2009. It really isn't rocket science....

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  • 410. At 1:08pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sinhealer wrote:

    Is bad enough people mentioning players from South America in the European 11 of the decade but post 91 saying Maradona and Pele made me laugh,I am guessing not much speed in the last 10 years.

    Also a mention for post 245 who name's Lineker in his team..I am guessing that is for his thoughts on the action at half-time...

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  • 411. At 1:08pm on 22 Dec 2009, Quiche wrote:

    Since people are too lazy to read the premise of this article being about European players in the 'noughties' - that's 2000 > 2009 - or just keen to talk about other players, I've done Phil's concept of 'both'...

    For the 'noughties', I've gone for the rule that a player has to have played darn near all of 2000-9 (e.g. not Schmeichel / Torres) but a notable exception for any player who has only played 5 years or so but who has won World Player of the Year (such as last six years C.Ronaldo or first six years Zidane). I think that's fair.

    Explanations for the less commmon ones:

    Campbell (always in tournament best XIs)

    Subs: Casillas, Rio Ferdinand, Gallas (plonker yes but Chelsea haven't won the title since he left and he covers the whole defence), Xavi, Gattuso, Ballack, Giggs (NB Ronaldo goes up top if required - Giggs on, Pires RM)

    South America:

    Dida's rubbish but the only keeper I can think you lasted the whole decade so I'm cheating here...

    Chilaverrrrrrrrrrrrrt!!! > 2004 then Julio Cesar > present
    Roberto Carlos
    Veron (so he was rubbish in England but he started and ended the 00s on highs, it was him or Gilberto NB Mascherano too little of the decade)

    Honourable mentions to Cafu, Mascherano, Gilberto, Rivaldo and Crespo


    Lots more cheating on my whole of the noughties rules here as it's the least I know about - forgive me...

    Kameni, Lauren, Kolo Toure, Yobo, Wome, Yaya Toure, Essien, Appiah, Aboutrika, Drobga, Eto'o

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  • 412. At 1:09pm on 22 Dec 2009, john wrote:


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  • 413. At 1:10pm on 22 Dec 2009, jaydrawmer wrote:

    No Messi? No Cafu? No Roberto Carlos? No Ronaldo (the original one)?

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  • 414. At 1:10pm on 22 Dec 2009, Zell182 wrote:

    Ricardo Carvalho? He's just a fouler and Nistelrooy? Goal-hanging so and so. Beckham has to be the worst choice there though.

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  • 415. At 1:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, Abdul wrote:

    Oh come on! Rooney on the bench? Where in the World did u leave both Raul and Eto'o who were by far more consistent? This is my problem sometimes with u guys. You always show sympathy with ur beloved country. If Eto'o was English we would not be able to sleep. Rooney is a fantastic player as an Arsenal fan , i know but to equate him in the corridors of the team of the decade is a bit too much.

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  • 416. At 1:13pm on 22 Dec 2009, Scott wrote:

    All great players but this does not represent a formation used in football. Teams playing 4-3-3 would have a combination of defensive, central and attacking midfielders, all dependant on whether the manager had selected wingers or strikers to play alongside a centre forward.

    At the back I'd stick with Kahn and Thuram, slot Puyol and Nesta into the centre of defence and bring Maldini in at left back.

    In midfield Zidane keeps his place but I'd replace Beckham and Figo with Clarence Seedorf and Claude Makelele, two of the most hard working and decorated footballers in European competition over the last decade.

    With one midfielder holding and two attacking I would choose wingers who can give the team some width and also beat defenders with ease so straight away I would have to say Ryan Giggs on the left while Cristiano Ronaldo drops out to wide right.

    This leaves a tough choice for the lone centre forward position but Henry just edges it ahead of Van Nistlerooy.


    Puyol Nesta
    Thuram Maldini


    Seedorf Zidane
    Ronaldo Giggs


    If I could justify appointing the manager on one trophy alone I would choose Otto Rehhagel for leading Greece to the Euro 2004 crown. However, I couldn't so I'd have to choose who I think has been the best manager of the 'noughties' and, although Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti are both great, successful managers I would give the job to Jose Mourinho.

    The subs bench would be warmed by Casillas(GK), Cannavaro(DF), G. Neville(DF), Keane(MF), Nedved(MF), Raul(FW) and Van Nistlerooy(FW).

    You may now start picking holes in my team selection but bear in mind this is based on performances during most of the last decade, not just the last 2 years (Xavi fans!) Thanks.

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  • 417. At 1:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, MrDavid wrote:


    When at the top of their games these players were unbeatable.

    Job done!

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  • 418. At 1:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, john wrote:

    RYAN GIGGS... ANYONE WON ANYTHING MORE... OR PERFORMED MORE CONSISTENTLY... yes Wales have let him down but he would be first on the bench

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  • 419. At 1:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, Bobby Martinezs Blue Army wrote:

    its all about phil neville

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  • 420. At 1:21pm on 22 Dec 2009, Blue_Army09 wrote:

    Can people not see that this is a EUROPEAN team yet there are mentions of South American players and African players, if you read the blog properly then you'll know why Ronaldinho and Drogba havent made the team.

    i agree with most of the team i would like to have seen Ryan Giggs in the side and i would have gone for Alex Ferguson manager, i dont see how you cant have him as manager considering his consistant achievement over the past decade, the same goes for Ryan Giggs, one of the most decorated players in the world.

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  • 421. At 1:21pm on 22 Dec 2009, ciaran_hore wrote:

    I'm probably worse even posting a comment on this article seen as I'm entering into a debate where approx 100 out of the 400 comments have either proposed non-european players, to players who have retired before the decade began, to people who think a decade constitutes 11 years. Really don't envy you Phil.

    For what it's worth here's my team:


    Thuram Cannavaro Terry Maldini

    Ronaldo Keane Zidane Giggs

    Raul Henry

    Subs: Kahn, A Cole, Puyol, Figo, Viera, Del Piero, Larsonn.

    Manager: Alex Ferguson

    I await the comments as to how I didn't include Ronaldihno, Roberto Carlose, etc.......

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  • 422. At 1:22pm on 22 Dec 2009, surprisedicare wrote:

    Sure no-one will read this as I'm comment 4million and something. I certainly didn't read every comment but:

    - Standards of geography are appalling in this country.

    - Standards of reading and comprehension are appalling in this country (see how many time "European" was pointed out only for the same mistake to persist).

    - Standards of counting are terrible in this country. A decade actually runs 1-10, a century 1-100, a millenium 1-1000. A batsman doesn't complete his century on 99 does he? Appreciate it's a grouping of terms, hence "noughties" rather than numbers, but point remains.

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  • 423. At 1:23pm on 22 Dec 2009, ginlarde wrote:

    Is this some sort of sick joke? where is Tom Huddlestone?!

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  • 424. At 1:24pm on 22 Dec 2009, Danny McMail wrote:

    Henrik Larsson

    KNVB Cup: 1993–94, 1994–95
    Scottish Premier League: 1997–98, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04
    Scottish League Cup: 1997–98, 2000–01
    Scottish Cup: 2000–01, 2003–04
    La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06
    Spanish Super Cup: 2005–06
    UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
    Swedish Cup: 2006
    Manchester United
    Premier League: 2006–07
    European Golden Boot: 2000–01
    SFWA Footballer of the Year: 1998–99, 2000–01
    SPFA Players' Player of the Year: 1998–99, 2000–01
    Guldbollen: 1998, 2004
    UEFA Cup Top Goalscorer: 2002-03
    SPL Top Goalscorer: 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04
    Scottish Football Hall of Fame: 2006
    Tidernas Guldboll (All-time best Swedish football player): 2005[40]
    All-time leading SPL scorer (158 goals)[41]
    Orders and special awards
    UEFA Jubilee Awards - Greatest Swedish Footballer of the last 50 Years: 2003
    Honorary Doctor of the University from the University of Strathclyde: 2005[42]
    Member of the Order of the British Empire: 2006[43]
    H. M. The King's Medal: 2007

    Hard to beat!!

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  • 425. At 1:25pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sinhealer wrote:

    John,Messi is not a European.

    Jaydrawmer, NONE of those players are the article then post not the other way around.

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  • 426. At 1:25pm on 22 Dec 2009, Doogle7691 wrote:

    Gigi Buffon

    Paul McShane Cannavaro Nesta Maldini


    Nedved Gerrard Totti Zidane

    Ade Akinbiyi

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  • 427. At 1:28pm on 22 Dec 2009, Rafael Benitez wrote:

    Has got to be the Greatest .......

    GK - Bruce Drop-a-lot

    RB - Razvan Rat
    LB - Ars Bandeet
    CB - Frank Belt
    CB - Rod Fanni

    MC - Brian Pinas
    MC- Prince Polley
    MC - Mario Turdo
    MC - Yuri Sak

    SC - Bongo Christ
    SC- Danny Diver

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  • 428. At 1:31pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #403 Gerrard and Lampard....helllooo. Lampard or Zidane. Gerard or Figo. not in the same league.


    Whilst all will agree with Zidane over Lampard, I have to disagree with Figo over Gerrard.

    Give me Stevie G over Louis Figo every time.

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  • 429. At 1:31pm on 22 Dec 2009, billbixby480 wrote:

    419. At 1:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, Matt Berry wrote:

    its all about phil neville

    If we add in Titus and Pascal we're getting close to a dream back four!

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  • 430. At 1:33pm on 22 Dec 2009, alex wilson wrote:

    1. John O'Shea

    2. John O'Shea
    3. John O'Shea
    4. John O'Shea
    5. John O'Shea

    6. John O'Shea
    7. John O'Shea
    8. John O'Shea
    9. John O'shea

    10. John O'Shea
    11. John O'Shea

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  • 431. At 1:37pm on 22 Dec 2009, thackers wrote:

    MY TEAM:

    Julio Cesar

    Dani Alves, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry, Joan Capdevila

    Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi

    Diego Forlan, David Villa

    If the team is based on last season then the team they have chosen is a load of rubbish, Patrice Evra was awfull last season, very suprising how he got LB. Cristiano Ronaldo again how is he there, what did he do? Fernando Torres was injured most of the time, he was only scoring goals against the lower clubs just like Ronaldo.

    Overall I think the people who do this dont know football!

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  • 432. At 1:43pm on 22 Dec 2009, lambagoan wrote:

    Well done to all the posters seriously suggesting South American players for the European Team of the Decade.

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  • 433. At 1:43pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andy Graham wrote:

    people need to learn whats in europe and what isn't!!

    a world XI is a completely different thing, fat ronaldo would be in everyones team, everyone who grew up watching him.

    im suprised at how many people have left out the likes of Scmeichael, Shearer, Zola, Cantona, Stam. the list goes on

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  • 434. At 1:44pm on 22 Dec 2009, camilio100feugos wrote:

    I've just made a short analysis of the European players who've appeared most in the last 9 Eufa team's of the year Each appearance counts once.

    You then come up with the following:

    GK Buffon (3)

    DF Puyol (4), Nesta (4), Terry (2), Maldini (2)

    MF Nedved (3), Gerrard (4), Zidane (3), C Ronaldo (4)

    ST Henry (5), Shevchenko (2)

    I believe these players can play well together.

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  • 435. At 1:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, george wrote:

    stephen bywater

    tyrone mears
    dean leacock
    darren moore
    jay mcevely

    giles barnes
    matt oakley
    stephen pearson
    gary teale

    stevie howard
    kenny miller

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  • 436. At 1:48pm on 22 Dec 2009, Jonathan Hinton wrote:

    my euorpean XI

    GK: S. Frey
    LB: A. Cole
    CB: J. Terry
    CB: C. Puyol
    RB: S. Ramos
    RM: R. Van Der Vaart
    CM: S. Gerrard
    CM: P. Veira
    LM: C. Ronaldo
    CF: D. Villa
    CF: W. Rooney

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  • 437. At 1:48pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:

    378. At 12:31pm on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:
    370. At 12:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:
    Chnaging the selection a bit; what about people's worst players in top flight football?


    i'll go for one straight away, i think this bloke played for us (leicester) in the premiership - Junior Lewis, one of the worst players i have ever seen.


    Actualy quite difficult. Anyone else want a pop?

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  • 438. At 1:49pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #431 MY TEAM:

    Julio Cesar

    Dani Alves, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry, Joan Capdevila

    Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi

    Diego Forlan, David Villa

    If the team is based on last season then the team they have chosen is a load of rubbish, Patrice Evra was awfull last season, very suprising how he got LB. Cristiano Ronaldo again how is he there, what did he do? Fernando Torres was injured most of the time, he was only scoring goals against the lower clubs just like Ronaldo.

    Overall I think the people who do this dont know football!


    And overall, I'd say you're an idiot that can't read or fails to grasp an understanding of basic english.

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  • 439. At 1:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #434 Few could argue with that team mate.

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  • 440. At 1:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, freddyaduwhereareyou wrote:

    #431 - Brilliant!

    4 South Americans in a European team of the 'Noughties'!

    I also think the title of the piece might give away the fact that the team is not based on last season alone - and if it was I'm sure it would be titled 'European team of 2008/09'!

    And #433 - Cantona. Classic. I'm fairly sure he retired in the 90's and beach footy doesn't count!

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  • 441. At 1:59pm on 22 Dec 2009, Doogle7691 wrote:

    i'll go for one straight away, i think this bloke played for us (leicester) in the premiership - Junior Lewis, one of the worst players i have ever seen.

    CM:Robbie Savage
    CF:Ade Akinbiyi

    Actualy quite difficult. Anyone else want a pop?

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  • 442. At 2:01pm on 22 Dec 2009, Liam wrote:

    Hmm, my Best XI would be:


    Thuram, Maldini, Puyol, Zambrotta

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Vieira, Zidane, Pires

    Henry, Bergkamp

    I am a Gooner so I understandably left out some players but I chose Henry and Bergkamp because they've already proved they can play well together.

    Some other I would've included are:

    van Nistelrooy

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  • 443. At 2:05pm on 22 Dec 2009, freddyaduwhereareyou wrote:

    i'll go for one straight away, i think this bloke played for us (leicester) in the premiership - Junior Lewis, one of the worst players i have ever seen.

    CB:Boumasong (Roque Junior?!)
    RM:Anthony La Tallec
    CM:Robbie Savage
    CM:Igor Biscan
    CF:Ade Akinbiyi

    Actualy quite difficult. Anyone else want a pop?

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  • 444. At 2:07pm on 22 Dec 2009, fistick wrote:

    1. At 7:37pm on 21 Dec 2009, mtirfan wrote:
    Spot on, Phil! Italy maybe Europe's only world cup winner in the last 10 years, but THREE European teams won the Euro during the same period: France, Greece and Spain :D

    OFCOURSE euoropean team will win the euro not an african team its a euor competition only european team can play m8

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  • 445. At 2:08pm on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    can't believe no one has put heskey in.

    has there been a more prolific 'non' goalscoring centre forward in the 2000's?

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  • 446. At 2:09pm on 22 Dec 2009, yellowgreenred wrote:


    Thuram Cannavaro Nesta Zambrotta


    Xavi Zidane

    Ronaldo Henry

    Van Nistelrooy

    Subs: Buffon, Puyol, Desailly, Seedorf, Gerrard, Giggs, Torres

    ....perfect balance, perfect team


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  • 447. At 2:12pm on 22 Dec 2009, masterbertieblade wrote:

    Here's my team:

    GK Boubacar Barry

    LB Guy Demel
    CB Kolo Toure
    CB Maldini
    RB Derek Geary

    LM Didier Zokora
    CM Siaka Tiene
    CM Zidane
    RM Rory Delap

    CF Salomon Kalou
    CF Keith Edwards

    Subs: Fatty Foulkes, Bob Booker, Drogba, Beckham, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, Wally Downes and Titus Bramble

    Manager: Jimmy Sirrel

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  • 448. At 2:13pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:

    CM:Robbie Savage
    CF:Ade Akinbiyi

    Come on people, we must fill this first 11!!

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  • 449. At 2:14pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kev wrote:

    Slow hand clap for all the utter cretins naming non-Europeans in a European team, and for the equally stupid who named players who didn't even play in the noughties.


    I read the entire thread (last day at work and utterly bored...OK??) and as if wading through all those idiots wasn't enough, there are the wannabe comedians naming Titus Bramble et al. Really hilarious.

    Anyway, #434 is a good shout. Great blend of skill, steel, pace and leaders in this team:


    Puyol Nesta Terry Maldini

    Nedved Gerrard Zidane C.Ronaldo

    Henry Shevchenko

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  • 450. At 2:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, chris wrote:

    #437. worst team in Premiership.

    GK. Massimo Taibi

    D. Igor Stepanovs
    D. Frank Sinclair (How many own goals!)
    D. Djimi Traore
    D. Roque Junior

    M. Eric Djembe Djemba (So bad they named him twice)
    M. Ali Dia
    M. Igor Biscan
    M. Klebersen

    S. Albert Luque
    S. Sergei Rebrov

    Any worse than that???

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  • 451. At 2:16pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kopin_It wrote:

    In terms of manager I would have to go with McTaggert. The amount of success he has enjoyed with the poor half of Manchester has to be commended. ;o)

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  • 452. At 2:17pm on 22 Dec 2009, Roberto Del Rio wrote:

    Haha, knew this would be a controversial article

    for me it would have to be:

    Thuram, Cannavaro, Nesta, Maldini
    Figo, Zidane, Makelele, C. Ronaldo
    Van Nistelrooy, Raul

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  • 453. At 2:18pm on 22 Dec 2009, Gooner4Life wrote:

    How can Ronaldo be in the team of the decade when he only started playing good football ine the 06-07 season? what about Gerrard? and how can u put carvalho in there as well? what about nesta and ferdinand?

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  • 454. At 2:19pm on 22 Dec 2009, Ricci667 wrote:


    Prunier - Winston Bogarde -Carlton Palmer - Roque Junior

    Nicky Summerbee - Eric Djemba-Djemba - Ali Dia - Sergei Rebrov

    Ade Akinbiyi - Jason Lee -

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  • 455. At 2:21pm on 22 Dec 2009, chico wrote:

    i wud never leave maldini out if its over the last 10 yrs! viera was said to be the best at his role at 1 stage of his career. but to be fair id say u got it more or less bang on mate. im italian myself so id defo go for buffon such a big keeper even at peno's. is there any room for the one and only baggio lol

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  • 456. At 2:22pm on 22 Dec 2009, Philosopher_King wrote:

    This is a very Madrid-centric team selection eh Phil 'Franco' Minshull?? I love how in this team of the DECADE, Sergio Ramos can make the bench ahead of Puyol?! Haha! Anyway, this is what my lineup would look like:

    In a 4-1-4-1 formation managed by Sir Alex Ferguson:

    Gk = Buffon

    LB= Maldini (C) (no question!)
    CB= Cannavaro
    CB= Terry
    RB= Puyol

    DM= Gattuso
    LM= Giggs
    CM= Xavi
    CM= Zidane
    RM= Ronaldo

    ST= Torres (Controversial- i know, ideally would have liked Henry but he's too lightweight for the lone man role. And Sheva just faded away in the latter half of the decade).

    Subs: Casillas, Thuram, Nesta, Lahm, Gerrard, Van Nistelrooy, Henry.

    Anyone thoughts?

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  • 457. At 2:24pm on 22 Dec 2009, joshjs10 wrote:

    Some really good choices but what about the likes of Kaka, Messi, Gerrard?? Yes Beckham is great at dead ball situations but so is Juninho, but you wouldn't play him just for that reason would you? Cristiano Ronaldo, yes the most expensive player, but doesn't really turn up in the big games, Messi and Kaka always turns up no matter what, and never fails to show what they can do in the big games. You would also need to have a midfield that sits back, perhaps Makelele? Viera? This is the 'noughties' we are talking about so what about the prolific Valencia and Spain striker David Villa??

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  • 458. At 2:25pm on 22 Dec 2009, Becks23 wrote:

    First of all this is a European team so goofy Ronaldo and Messi cant be picked. I cant believe how little people know about football. You cant look beyond this team FACT!!!!!!


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  • 459. At 2:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    Rooney?! I'm at a loss as to how Rooney is considered one of the best players in Europe at the moment let alone the last decade...

    As a United fanatic & a season ticket holder who sees Rooney week in week out I can verify that he's probably not our best player let alone the Premiership's top striker, yet week in week out we hear the same chants from the Prawn Sandwich brigrade screaming Wazza's name despite the fact his corners don't beat the first man & his goals come in dribs & drabs.

    I'm never one to give stick to my own teams players & I love Roooonaldo as much as the next Red, however I'm bemused as to the accolades he receives when in reality I believe that Drogba, Torres, Van Persie are leagues ahead in terms of technique (if not brawn...).

    This smacks, once again of blinkered patriotic support of English players who honestly aren't as good as our rose tainted spectacles portray..

    True it is that the Beautiful Game is a subjective topic of conversation but surely the likes of Raul, Dennis Bergkamp (pains me to say it!), Christian Vieri, Michael Owen (European Player of the Yr in the early noughties)to name but a few, have contributed more to the European game over the last 10 years.

    Furthermore, if Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Peter Schmichael (albeit in the late stages of his career since 2000), Patrice Evra, Alesandro Nesta or Patrick Viera were English, I'm convinced you would have included them...

    PS - Ask 90% of the top players in Europe, which United player they admire most & Paul Scholes is the name you'll hear..

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  • 460. At 2:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, chico wrote:

    LOL all footballers listen to this sum 1 called ANDREW reckons lampard should start over zindane LOL

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  • 461. At 2:28pm on 22 Dec 2009, bow4fowler wrote:


    McTaggert as the boss.

    RB:R.Junior/Traore (on the right for extra effectiveness!)
    LM:Djemba Djemba/Nunez
    CM:Ali Dia/Savage
    CF:Heskey (for the goals)/Luque

    Would take on any top Eu team mentioned here, or even the ones including Messi and Rivaldo!

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  • 462. At 2:32pm on 22 Dec 2009, masterbertieblade wrote:

    @449 what a tosh team you picked! No titus Bramble and no Grogba ... get some class mate you boring old fool!

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  • 463. At 2:32pm on 22 Dec 2009, bobbieflowers wrote:

    450. At 2:15pm on 22 Dec 2009, chris wrote:
    #437. worst team in Premiership.

    GK. Massimo Taibi

    D. Igor Stepanovs
    D. Frank Sinclair (How many own goals!)
    D. Djimi Traore
    D. Roque Junior

    M. Eric Djembe Djemba (So bad they named him twice)
    M. Ali Dia
    M. Igor Biscan
    M. Klebersen

    S. Albert Luque
    S. Sergei Rebrov

    Any worse than that???


    couple of subs for u


    and, slightly controversially (in the context of this thread) but undoubtedly true...shevchenko

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  • 464. At 2:37pm on 22 Dec 2009, john maher wrote:


    Lot of boggling of the mind when I read your selection.

    Three options to be considered:

    1. you are being deliberately 'controversial'
    2. you're having a laugh
    3. you actually don't know much about the game

    For instance:

    Oliver Kahn? No mention at all of Peter Cech or Shay Given.

    Lahm ahead of Maldini? Maldini is possibly the best left back of all time, never mind the naughties.

    No Roy Keane? What's that about?

    Beckham? Ditto.

    No mention naywhere of Dennis Kerkamp is a tad bewildering.

    And most boggling of them all - Sergio Ramos on the bench!!!

    I presume (and indeed hope) that you are having a laugh or trying to be controversial?



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  • 465. At 2:40pm on 22 Dec 2009, Barnes B 25 wrote:

    Best players, always debatable, but best team, I doubt it.
    The mid field combination of Xavi and Iniesta are better than the Real Madrid trio, and probably many Teams could beat this one.
    As Florentino discovered, teams win, not players, although they can help in an emergency.

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  • 466. At 2:41pm on 22 Dec 2009, Luke wrote:

    Putting Ricardo Carvalho ahead of Paulo Maldini, you must be joking mate!!! Maldini is probley one of the best defenders in World Football history so far. You cant even begin to compare Ricardo Carvalho to Paulo Maldini! 7 Serie A titles, a World Cup winner, 5 Champions League medals, 4 UEFA Super Cups, a coppa italia, played top level football for one of the best clubs in the world untill he was 40, and captain his club aswell as his country.
    Carvalho has won 1 champions league, 2 premier leagues, 2 fa cups, 2 carling cups. You cant compare them. Maldini every time!!!!!!

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  • 467. At 2:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 468. At 2:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, LB wrote:

    i cant believe so many of you have got the team of the nineties wrong and have missed out jaap stam and marcel dessailly as the cb pairing.
    Here's my team of the 90's :

    Goalkeeper : peter schmiechel

    defenders : lillian thuram or cafu(2 close 2 call), jaap stam, marcel desailly, roberto carlos

    midfield : david beckham, edgar davids, zinedine zidane, luis figo

    strikers : ronaldo(brazil), dennis bergkamp

    subs : kahn or van der sar, nesta, maldini, robert prosinecki, paul scholes, ryan giggs, thierry henry, rivaldo, patrick kluivert, brian laudraup

    it would take me too long to think of a worst ever prem team so im just gona list some awful players who have managed to play in the premiership :
    michael dubbery, tony hibbert, nicky hunt, derby county(07/08), djimi troare, josemi, nunez, rebrov, kromkamp, taibi, bramble, akinbiyi, djemba-djemba

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  • 469. At 2:52pm on 22 Dec 2009, Luke wrote:

    Carvalho ahead of Paulo Maldini who is probley the greatest defender in the history of World Football. Played top level football untill he was 40, 7 Serie A titles to Carvalhos 2 Premier League titles, 5 Champions League Titles to Carvalhos 1, World Cup Winner to Carvalhos 0.
    You cant even begin to compare the two. To see Sergio Ramos on there is a joke to, whats he done!? Ashley Cole has achieved alot more than him!!!!

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  • 470. At 2:52pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kev wrote:

    @462 YAWN.

    It's an interesting premise for a blog - the best European team of the last decade, since we'll be in 2010 soon enough - and it'd be nice if people could stop hijacking the blog by posting their worst teams or attempting to be comedians by suggesting joke players.

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  • 471. At 2:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, TBY wrote:

    Phil, how about a team picking 11 players from the last 11 UCL Winners. I know its flawed but I get:

    Schmeichel(99); Carragher (05), Carvalho (04), Puyol (06), Maldini (03); C. Ronaldo (08), Effenburg (01), Kaka (07), Zidane (02); Messi (09) and Raul (00).

    I know this is a different concept to the one you explored, and I am not saying these were the best players of their particular teams, but I wonder how you would read this?

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  • 472. At 2:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, SauzeesTeeth wrote:

    #4, Tim Hawkins.

    There is a pretty successful team called Barcelona who play 433. Anyway, the players picked by Phil would most likely be in a 4231 formation, Zidane and Beckham in midfield with Henry left, Figo right and Ronaldo centre in behind van Nistelrooy.

    My team would be Casillas; Thuram, Cannavaro, Maldini, Lahm; Zidane, Xavi; Figo, Ronaldo; Raul, van Nistelrooy.

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  • 473. At 2:56pm on 22 Dec 2009, macmurphy wrote:

    #433. Andy Graham you really are a tool. You berate people for not understanding the concept what a European player is, but then go on to list several players from the nineties (Cantona/Schmeichel/Zola) when it's suppose to be a team made up of players from the noughties. The level of stupidity being shown here by many posters is staggering!

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  • 474. At 2:56pm on 22 Dec 2009, Mat Cauthon - The Price is right wrote:

    Eh I agree with a lot of the team, but how can you justify Beckham ahead of Nedved? I'm not saying Beckham's a bad player, but Nedved offers far more! He's faster, tireless, technically better, great at motivating team mates, not afraid to track back, possesses a superior shot, can play anywhere in midfield, can read the game brilliantly, hell he's even better looking :D

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  • 475. At 2:58pm on 22 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    PS - Another popular misconception is that Kleberson was a poor play for United.....Far from it.

    He only played a handful of games & actually played quite well. Unfortunately for him he suffered quite a few injuries & also failed to settle in the area of grasp the language.

    You'll note that he went on to captian Besiktas before moving back home & is now back in the Brazil squad. He is expected to feature in the 2010 World Cup.

    Don't know how anyone can name him in an all time worst 11 without considering the whole of the Bradford, Swindon, Hull & Derby teams of years gone by?!

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  • 476. At 3:00pm on 22 Dec 2009, abenezer wrote:

    I agree with most of the selection except for we are talking about best player of the decades. Imagine, how on earth roony is there even though he is in the bench? I know C.Ronaldo is best for the last three or two years but there are players like Ronaldo(brazil) and ronaldiniho who should be there before him. I didnot see also carvalho before maldini and nesta.

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  • 477. At 3:01pm on 22 Dec 2009, poshtotti wrote:

    Barnes B 25,

    Good observation on Xavi and Iniesta, but both havent had sustained success as the midfield three of Figo, Zidane and Becks. Plus the three's higher profile might have have just swung it anyway. They've only had an impact in the last couple of years.

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  • 478. At 3:02pm on 22 Dec 2009, camilio100feugos wrote:

    @ # 439 & # 449 thanks for the props.

    I took the brief as selecting the best European players over the last decade based upon their actual factual performances.

    As a yardstick for performance I believe the selection based upon the Eufa team of the year appearances eliminates national and seasonal bias. As it turns out the most selected European players in their positions can also make a good team. I also believe that appearances in the CL are most indicative of a players quality, since the CL is a representation of the best European teams.

    This selection method includes players from smaller nations (Wales, Poland, whatever), who would never make the team based upon international results (which is what I have against the original selection).

    GK is a non starter, Buffon is the most selected and has won the most honours over the decade.

    Defense is a bit more debatable with A Cole and P Lahm tied for appearances with Maldini. However, Lahm is a left-back, where Puyol is much more selected. I've edged Maldini over Cole based upon his strength of character and I believe he'll fit better with the other three.

    With a midfield of C Ronaldo, Nedved, Zidane and Gerrard, you have sufficient discipline to let their creativity blossom and I think you won't miss Keane/Viera too much while gaining enormous pace and grit on both wings.

    Sheva is debatable as he ties with RVN in 2 appearances but I believe him to be able to create more chances on his own than RVN, who is a better finisher.

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  • 479. At 3:03pm on 22 Dec 2009, Mike Baumber wrote:

    What a great comment from MTirfan at 7.37am, "3 European teams won the Euros during the decade"!!!!
    Well who would have thought that! Should have stayed in bed

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  • 480. At 3:11pm on 22 Dec 2009, NYC1888 wrote:

    This is one if the worst teams I have seen. A team full of prima donnas. Of course they have had their moments of class but this full 11 here is a joke.This is a classic englishman's patronizing choice. Not one mention about Henrik Larsson any where in this blog. Face facts you will not be winning the world cup. Unfortunately it will be brazil again.

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  • 481. At 3:19pm on 22 Dec 2009, Slick_Footwork wrote:

    It's easy to forget players - but in Ronaldinho you've forgotten the best player of the decade.

    Yes he's past it now but from about 2002-2006 he was the best player in the world, year after year. He should almost certainly be in the first 11.

    Messi should also be in the squad. How is he behind Torres and Rooney? Especially Torres, he's had a couple of good years in the Prem but come on. Thats it. He's played second fiddle to David Villa for Spain.

    I'd also consider Makelele.

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  • 482. At 3:22pm on 22 Dec 2009, bigbadbade wrote:

    Steven Gerrard not even on the bench? Interesting to say the least.

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  • 483. At 3:23pm on 22 Dec 2009, Sinhealer wrote:

    ...And still the stupidity continue's...
    Slick_footwork ..Messi is behind Torres and Rooney as Messi is not European ..
    I wonder how a lot of you posters get through the day when you cant even read a 6 word title to the topic you are answering/complaining about..
    I am guessing you bang into a lot of things and fall down a lot.

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  • 484. At 3:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, matt24 wrote:

    My team would be (4-1-4-1)
    Buffon (GK)
    Thuram (RB) Puyol (CB) Nesta (CB) Maldini (LB)
    Makelele (DM)
    Ronaldo (RM) Zidane (CM) Xavi (CM) Pires (LM)
    Van Nistelrooy (ST)
    Subs, Kahn(GK), Terry(CB), A Cole(FB), Giggs(LM), Figo (CM), Larrson (ST), Shearer (ST)

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  • 485. At 3:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, Kev wrote:


    I'd go with Sheva (in his prime) too rather than RvN. With C Ronaldo, Nedved, Zidane and Gerrard in the team there would be no shortage of goals from midfield, and that's before even factoring in Thierry, so I'd be more inclined to go with a Rolls Royce like Sheva (used to be) rather than a goal sniffer.

    @476 & 481

    Good grief. Muppets STILL turning up and ranting about the omission of Messi, R9 and Ronaldinho. Have the Continental plates shifted so much that Argentina and Brazil are now in Europe?

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  • 486. At 3:26pm on 22 Dec 2009, ciaran_hore wrote:

    the average IQ on this board is lower than the number of games jerzy dudek has played for real madrid. and i wondered why England dont produce good mangers.........

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  • 487. At 3:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, macmurphy wrote:

    Slick = Thick

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  • 488. At 3:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 489. At 3:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, Declan wrote:

    Henry is a cheat and no matter what he has done in the past, he shouldn't be included, if it was against England, would you be so quick to include him the best 11?

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  • 490. At 3:47pm on 22 Dec 2009, Josh wrote:

    So many clueless morons on here slating Beckham because his celebrity status gets under people's skin. The bloke was an England captain (turned in arguably the greatest individual performance of the decade vs Greece when he ran 11 miles and scored the spine tingling free kick) won a champions league, 6 premier leagues, 1 La Liga, 2 FA cups, 1 spanish cup, an intercontinental cup, was twice runner up in FIFA world player of the year, BBC sports personality and is set to play in his FOURTH world cup because a genius coach like Capello (as well as AC Milan) still think he has the class and fitness.... but nah he doesnt deserve a place at all....

    Some strange choices by phil but on the whole not a bad side! I think I would go traditional 4-4-2:





    Coach Mourinho/Ferguson

    Sadly as an utterly arrogant cheat I would leave out Ronaldo (which I realise can easily be criticised) I tried to pick players who have oozed class the entire decade not just a short spell so no chance for Rooney, Ronaldo, Ramos, Villa, Torres etc their time will come

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  • 491. At 3:51pm on 22 Dec 2009, Jonny5 wrote:

    It concerns me how many people cant grasp the fact that brazil etc are not in europe, what are they teaching in geography these days?

    Not sure if anyone would agree but i think steffen effenberg would be a good shout, at least on the bench. Of course this is all down to personal choice but for me there is no room for terry and ashley cole as some people have suggested, and to suggest cech and given should be in it is a bit overboard in my humble opinion, both great keepers but not really done it for as long or on the big stage like kahn or buffon. I also think Del Piero should be included, while not the force he was he consistently single handly destroyed teams especially man u during the late 90's and early 00's

    If it was the best champ man players of the decade that would be a completley different matter :)

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  • 492. At 3:52pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #490 Well said Josh!

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  • 493. At 3:52pm on 22 Dec 2009, Nick wrote:

    Interesting that in your team of the decade you couldnt find one single left back and had to play Lahm out of position.
    Lahm is primarily a right back for both Bayern and Germany. Thats why SAF was scouting him as a possible replacement for G Nev.
    He can cover at left back but hes not even the best right back and is undone time and again by quick feet and pace.
    As much as it pains me to say it but Ashley Cole gets the nod for me but if you're talking about continental Europe only tham Maldini even at 38/39 is light years ahead of Lahm

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  • 494. At 3:54pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    #489 Errrr yes I would.

    Just like I'd include Maradona top of the pile in my list of all time greatest players

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  • 495. At 3:55pm on 22 Dec 2009, Josh wrote:

    492. Cheers andy - a man with taste!

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  • 496. At 3:57pm on 22 Dec 2009, Martin Cassidy wrote:

    Oliver Kahn (B.Munich days)

    Lillian Thuram (Juve days)
    Alessandro Nesta (Lazio/Milan days)
    Fabio Cannavaro (all days)
    Bixente Lizarazu (Munich days)

    Cristiano Ronaldo (United days)
    Zinedine Zidane (all days)
    Luis Figo (Barca days)
    Ryan Giggs (United days of course)

    V.Nistelrooy (United days)
    Henry (Arsenal days)


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  • 497. At 3:58pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andy Connor wrote:

    Phil, How dare you write a blog about YOUR PERSONAL CHOICE for european team of the decade.
    I mean you decide to write a blog about who you think would be in YOUR european team of the decade.
    Come on lads, Im pretty sure everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially in football which divides opinion somewhat!
    How about we discuss what phil has put forward has opposed to slagging him off because he has an opinion different to your own (god forbid!)

    Good team phil, although personally Beckham would make my 90s team of the decade but not neccesarily 00s. Id have C. Ronaldo at right midfield.

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  • 498. At 4:07pm on 22 Dec 2009, camilio100feugos wrote:

    @ 490

    Interesting comment re Beckham. He was a good player, but wasn't selected for the eufa team of the year as much as Nedved, whom I beleive to be better defensively, while being on par offensively and from set-pieces.

    His honors mention rightly that he was part of a squad which won a lot. These squads were carried by others (Keane, Zidane) not by him, he was a contributor not the deciding factor. That he is included in the WC squad is less relevant, since the bigger countries are favoured here.. ie Nedved, Giggs and others have a much more difficult time of it to make it to major tournaments.

    Re the inclusion of Bergkamp.. he retired at the start of the 2006 season (opening match of the Emirates stadium), which gives him 7 years. He was by then for a number of years a player who didn't play all mathces for Arsenal. He was substituted by Henry. His most glorious moments in my opinion where end 90's and beginning of the 00's.

    Re the non inclusion of C. Ronaldo. C. Ronaldo made his European mark in 2003 in the Sporting Lissabon - ManU match. He then went on to the Euro finals as early as 2004, scoring two important goals ... this gives him a fair share of the decade I would say.

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  • 499. At 4:09pm on 22 Dec 2009, NYC1888 wrote:

    Josh #490. That's the most sensible comment i have read so far. Not a fan of Beckham off the pitch but he always turns it around and for me a truly brilliant player. Also good 11

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  • 500. At 4:21pm on 22 Dec 2009, Andrew wrote:

    I'm going home now but what a fantastic blog to help pass the day away!

    Cheers to all those involved!

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