Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
I rate him as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. He's still pretty young, but he already has a presence that only the greatest goalies possess.
Right-back: Javier Zanetti
Being a left-winger I know plenty about right full-backs and Zanetti is one of the toughest I've faced. He is a class defender who doesn't give an inch, but he also contributes a lot going forward.
Left-back: Roberto Carlos
He's been the best left-back in the world for years now and he still keeps improving. We all know about the quality of his left foot, but his energy and determination are also brilliant.
Centre-back: Paolo Maldini
He may be nearing the end of his career but you wouldn't know it by the way he is performing. Paolo is probably the greatest defender of his generation and is still one of those players that strikers hate to face.
Centre-back: Jaap Stam
My old United team-mate is still one of the best in the business. S.S. Lazio aren't quite as strong as they were a few years ago but in Jaap they have a superb defender.
Right Midfield: Luís Figo
Figo is a very classy footballer who is capable of producing moments of magic at will. He's had another great year in Spain and will be looking forward to UEFA EURO 2004™ on Portugese soil.
Centre Midfield: Claude Makelele
I was very impressed by Makelele last season when we played Real Madrid CF. He is an unsung hero but the players recognise what a great job he does for the team. I don't think there is a better holding midfield player in the world at the moment.
Attacking Midfield: Zinedine Zidane
Definitely the most talented footballer on the planet. Every year he produces amazing things with the ball and he seems to be getting better and better with age. David Beckham is amazed by what Zidane does every day in training and that recommendation is good enough for me!
Left Midfield: Pavel Nedved
He's had the best year of his career to date and now he is one of the most wanted players around. He was awesome for Juventus FC in their run to the Champions League final last season and he's played a major part in helping the Czech Republic reach EURO 2004™. A great midfield player who is in his prime.
I've always rated Ronaldo as a brilliant striker, and he's had yet another sensational year. His hat-trick at Old Trafford against us last season was magnificent.
Forward: Thierry Henry
What a great player Henry has turned out to be for Arsenal FC. He is their main man and seems to either create or score almost all of their goals. He has so much talent it's scary. Pace, power, skill, he has it all.
Coach: Marcello Lippi
Juventus had been in the doldrums a bit but he took them to the Serie A title and the final of last season's Champions League which was a superb achievement. Tactically, Lippi never seems to get outfoxed and although I don't know him that well, I rate him very highly as a coach.
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