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Arrigo Sacchi: My team of 2011

Published: Wednesday 21 December 2011, 17.40CET
Former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has fallen under the spell of FC Barcelona, selecting five players and "the author" of the Catalan club's recent success in his Team of the Year.
by Alessandro Massimo
from Milan

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Published: Wednesday 21 December 2011, 17.40CET

Arrigo Sacchi: My team of 2011

Former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has fallen under the spell of FC Barcelona, selecting five players and "the author" of the Catalan club's recent success in his Team of the Year.

Architect of one of the finest sides ever to grace European football, Arrigo Sacchi selects five players and "the author" of the FC Barcelona team currently dominating the continental scene as his AC Milan lineup once did in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Sacchi's Team of the Year features a small Dutch contingent as well, two Oranje stalwarts catching the eye of the man who clinched back-to-back European Cups titles in 1988/89 and 1989/90 with a side containing Netherlands stars Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard.

View the former Rossoneri and Italy coach's choices below and make your own selection before 12.00CET on Friday 6 January.

Vote for your Team of the Year 2011

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF)
The complete goalkeeper. He's very strong when rushing out of his goal to take crosses and in one-on-one situations against forwards. He brings his team great reliability.

Right-back: Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona)
A good player when defending and an excellent one going forward. He is fabulous on the ball; he has great skills, physical strength and stamina. He's a complete player, a real champion.

Central defender: Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona)
The leader of the Barcelona defensive line, he is always well positioned on the pitch. He's smart, he can play the ball very well and he directs his defensive team-mates in the best possible way.

Central defender: Thiago Silva (AC Milan)
He is a force of nature physically, but also very good technically. A great defender in Milan's great tradition.

Left-back: Marcelo (Real Madrid CF)
He has a definite dynamism combined with excellent technical skills. The great support he gives to his team is often underestimated.

Right midfield: Arjen Robben (FC Bayern München)
I hope he can avoid injuries because I think he has an extraordinary talent; he's very fast and deadly in one-on-one situations. He combines quantity and quality and has great instinct to deal with various in-game scenarios.

Central midfield: Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona)
He has immense qualities and technical skills, and he's always in the right place at the right time. His main strength is his ability to always choose the best and most appropriate solutions.

Attacking midfield: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
Lethal and unpredictable when one-on-one with a defender, he combines great individual skills with the ability to play with his side and for his team-mates.

Left midfield: Ángel Di María (Real Madrid CF)
A 'total' player who can defend and attack with strength, quality and continuity.

Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Simply the best player in the world.

Forward: Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC)
He has fantastic technical qualities: great ability and talent mixed with physical strength and a great instinct for goal – everything a modern forward needs.

Coach: Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona)
He's the author of this great Barcelona side – the master and creator of the beautiful style of play his team always displays, and the coach who achieves great results through education. He has written a great script and he is the director of the show.

Last updated: 06/12/13 4.15CET

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