Manuel Neuer– The 6 feet and 4 inches tall goalkeeper earns the goalkeeper spot in my best ever eleven due to his superb shot stopping ability and being known as the ‘sweeper keeper’. Neuer has managed to save penalties from experts Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka and in his first season at team Bayern Munich, he managed to break the record for most competitive clean sheets when he managed to surpass 1000 minutes without letting in a single goal at the tender age of 24.
Cafu– Cafu generally deserves a place in the Best Ever Eleven just for his achievement on being the most capped male Brazillian footballer. He made 142 appearances in his international career and made 697 appearances in his long career, in which he played for Sao Paulo, Roma and Milan. He is the only player to date to have appeared in three World Cup Finals [1994, 1998 and 2002]. Cafu is also known for his sheering pace, work-rate, stamina and his technical ability. He really does deserve a place in the Best Ever Eleven.
Bobby Moore– England’s greatest ever defender and certainly one of their most inspirational role models, Moore captained England to their only World Cup win in 1966 and deserves every single credit he gets for it. Over his whole career, the ball-playing defender made 807 appearances over his club and international career and even though he scored 28 goals throughout these appearances, he always stood out against the rest in the way he timed his tackles, the way he headed the ball from danger, the way he dominated the backline and made sure his team-mates were organised and has been regarded for the last 50 years that any budding footballer can look up to as an influence.
Paolo Maldini- Maldini started his career as a right-back and left-back for AC Milan and he only earns his place as Bobby Moore’s partner in the centre-back position due to him being moved there during his prime. He used this to influence his CB partners with his experience, tactical ability, positioning and his timing of the challenge and if him and Moore were in the same time and played together, nobody would get past them.
Frank De Boer– The former Netherlands captain and their most capped outfield player with 112 caps gets his spot as the best ever left-back ahead of the likes of Roberto Carlos due to him knuckling down when playing for Ajax and making the LB position his own during the time he spent there. The attack-minded full-back ended up joining attack-minded FC Barcelona where he ended up driving his side to the LA Liga Title in his first ever season there [1998-1999].
George Best– The Manchester United legend earns his place in the Best Ever Eleven ahead of such players as Tom Finney and Sir Stanley Matthews. Best made 474 appearances during his time at Old Trafford and scored 181 goals during his 11 years there. Even though the player made 37 appearances and scored 9 goals for the Northern Ireland national team, he never made an appearance at a major tournament. Best is truly one of football’s greats and he will be remembered as this, even if he did pass away over a decade ago. He is gone but never forgotten!
Alfredo Di Stefano– This man is truly one of football’s greatest when it come to Spanish football. He is only the 2nd top goalscorer in the history of the El Clasico, behind recent Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi. He scored, played in and won five consecutive European Champions Cup, now known as the UEFA Champions League, during Real Madrid’s dominant years during the mid 1950’s. Di Stefano has been regularly described as a powerful, quick, skilful and prolific player who also had bags of stamina, creativity and vision which makes him the ideal central-midfielder. His description is often backed up by his stats, which shows he got 484 goals in 665 appearances.
Zinedine Zidane– Zidane and Di Stefano would be any Real Madrid fan’s perfect partnership in central-midfield. Zidane is renowned for his elegance, ball control, vision and technique and all this would allow him to become the world’s greatest player in the space of 17 years, which he successfully did.
Cristiano Ronaldo– This man really does not need any introduction. He is a cut above the rest in his position but Ronaldo has had the longest feud going in football with Lionel Messi. The pair’s feud has been likened to that of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, which almost ended in tragedy, but Ronaldo doesn’t look like he’s going to end in a tragedy. If anything, he’s going to be going out on top, so Messi better watch his back!
Ferenc Puskas– The first real legend of the ‘beautiful game’ and the first top-class finisher football ever saw after Dixie Dean, Puskas scored 514 goals in 529 club games and he also got 84 goals in 85 games for his international side, Hungary. Puskas is another Real Madrid legend and the man got 7 Champions Cup Final goals in only 2 games. At the tender age of 21, Puskas wasn’t only the best player in World, but he was the top scorer in Europe in 1948. Puskas always lived up to his potential and to this day, nobody can top his goalscoring rate.
Pele- Pele is a classic case of a typical finisher. He tops the every-day striker list for most goals scored at club and international level. There has always been a chain of influential strikers [Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, George Best, Pele himself, Diego Maradona, Alan Shearer and Lionel Messi]. These strikers have always come to the limelight when the older generation of players are getting to the end of their careers. The thing about Pele is that his case is unique. He had to battle Di Stefano, Puskas and Best when they were all in their prime. And yet he still came out on top. This is why he tops the ‘Best Ever Eleven’ list.