With the results of the Team of the Year 2007 poll to be announced on Friday, David Healy – top scorer in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying – shares his best XI with uefa.com.
Healy's 13 goals in 12 qualifiers could not earn Northern Ireland a place in Austria and Switzerland but they did make him the highest-scoring player in any UEFA European Championship qualification campaign. The 28-year-old Fulham FC forward reveals the players who have inspired him over the last 12 months – with the former Manchester United FC trainee choosing four players, and a manager, from his old club.
Petr Čech (Chelsea FC)
"Čech was outstanding last year, especially as he bounced back from a serious head injury. He seems to be getting better and better. It's easy to forget he's still young so he might improve even more."
Daniel Alves (Sevilla FC)
"This guy is great to watch: he loves attacking, he can put in a brilliant cross and can provide as well as score lots of goals."
Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United FC)
John Terry (Chelsea FC)
"Vidić has been a rock at the back for United. He was pretty much unknown when he came to the Premier League from a Russian club. He didn't cost much money, but he has been brilliant. John Terry would be my other pick for his determination to defend and not concede goals. You can see he enjoys defending. He is a full-blooded captain for Chelsea and England."
Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC)
"I would have to go for Patrice Evra, for his sheer ability to defend and attack at breakneck speed. He's like a Rolls Royce he's so fast!"
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC)
"You have to look no further than Ronaldo. For someone to score as many goals as he does from the position he plays in, and create so many, is astonishing."
Christian Poulsen (Sevilla FC)
"Poulsen doesn't take as many plaudits as his Sevilla team-mates but he does a great job. He is a key figure to Sevilla's success. Coaches recognise how important he is to their side. I have played against him when he was playing for Denmark and he is a tough opponent."
Kaká (AC Milan)
"Kaká was named FIFA World Player of the Year and you can see why. AC Milan won the UEFA Champions League and his performance at Old Trafford in the semi-finals, when he scored two goals, was decisive in the tournament."
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United FC)
"I would have to go with Giggs. I have played with him at United and against him with other clubs. He's won so much in the game and to have made so many appearances for one club and still be performing at his best after so many years is fantastic."
Ruud van Nistelerooy (Real Madrid CF)
David Healy (Fulham FC)
"Ruud van Nistelrooy was an out-and-out goalscorer at Manchester United. He is doing the same at Real Madrid. He loves scoring and has a fantastic record. He is a great player. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to pick myself but to have the chance to play alongside these players would be something else. Ruud joined Manchester United just as I left and I would have loved the opportunity to play alongside him, or even to train with him, as he is one of the true greats."
Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United FC)
"It was such a great achievement for United to bounce back after Chelsea had won two Premier League titles. His team were unproven and they won it and could do it again this year. That's down to a fabulous effort from the coach."
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