by Mark Bassey
Former Barcelona and AC Milan dazzler Ronaldinho, has picked his Champions League dream team.
The Brazilian picked four of his compatriots and some other European big names and explained why each person made the cut.
Gianluigi Buffon: “There have been some very good goalkeepers in my era, but Buffon is there for consistency. Most of the goalkeepers have had times when their form has not been so good, but Buffon has been at such a high level for so long.”
Cafu: “You don’t become the most capped player in Brazil’s history, without being very special. I was so happy when he finally won the Champions League with Milan, for the best right back ever not to win the biggest club trophy would not be right.”
John Terry: “We [Barcelona] had some big Champions League games against Chelsea, and I could see then why John Terry is still so important for them now. He is very tough to play against, but he is a fantastic leader, the leader you need in those sorts of games.”
Paolo Maldini: “He was one of the best defenders in Champions League history, but what was so impressive about him is that when he was on the ball he didn’t look like a defender, but like an elegant midfield player.”
Roberto Carlos: “Would be worth having in any team for his ability to take free kicks, but as well as being one of the best free kick takers ever, he is also one of the finest left backs ever. So important to all of Real Madrid’s Champions League wins.”
Claude Makelele: “Defenders feel safe knowing that he is ahead of them, the attackers feel safe knowing he is behind them, for me he is the best I have ever seen doing the job of protecting the defence. You never saw him play a bad game.”
Frank Lampard: “I told Frank Rijkaard that we (Barcelona) should sign him, but he didn’t want to leave Chelsea. I am sure they would not have let him go, at that time he was one of the greats in Europe. His goal record from midfield was what really impressed me.”
Kaka: “Things did not work out for Kaka as well as expected at Madrid, but we must not forget the player at Milan who was the real Kaka. For two, maybe three seasons he was the best player in the world, there was nothing he couldn’t do.”
Lionel Messi: “I have won everything, it is impossible for me to have regrets. I do wish though that I could have played with Messi for longer than I did at Barcelona. There are no words to describe him; he just has magic in his feet.”
Thierry Henry: “My good friend who I played with at Barcelona, and there was even a chance that we nearly played together again in New York. Just a nightmare for defenders, was quick, had skill, and was strong.”
Ronaldo: “He was my idol and then I end up playing and winning a World Cup with him. The most complete striker there has ever been, the most complete striker there will ever be, it is almost unbelievable to think that he never won the Champions League.”