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Stam's deadly dozen

Published: Wednesday 5 January 2005, 10.34CET
Jaap Stam's Team of the Year 2004 contains four of his AC Milan team-mates. features

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Published: Wednesday 5 January 2005, 10.34CET

Stam's deadly dozen

Jaap Stam's Team of the Year 2004 contains four of his AC Milan team-mates.
AC Milan defender Jaap Stam selects his Team of the Year 2004. You can vote for the users' Team of the Year until Monday.

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC and Italy)
I see a lot of him and rate him as the best goalkeeper in the world. He is very consistent and has a real presence whenever he plays. Juventus are having a great season and he's played a key role in that.

Cafu (AC Milan and Brazil)
My Milan team-mate may be 34, but he is still a fantastic player. He does a great job for us down the right, adding a valuable dimension to our play. He had another excellent year.

Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus FC and Italy)
A very flexible footballer who has become an expert left-back over the last year or two. He is extremely consistent, and is improving all the time.

Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan and Italy)
Alessandro is one of the best defenders in the world. I know him well and he is very, very reliable. It is hard to find any faults in his game - yet he is still improving.

Paolo Maldini (AC Milan and Italy)
I cannot leave Paolo out because he is still a brilliant defender. At this late stage of his career he should feel very proud to be nominated among the best in Europe, but he deserves it. A living legend for AC Milan.

Right midfield
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC and Portugal)
An exciting player who has emerged as one of the stars of 2004. He had a great season for United and followed it up for Portugal at the [UEFA] European Championship. His skills are frightening.

Central midfield
Patrick Vieira (Arsenal FC and France)
I can't think of a better man to have in central midfield. A big man physically, a giant for his team. Every good side needs a player to win the ball and drive them forward and Vieira is the best in the world at that.

Left midfield
Arjen Robben (Chelsea FC and Netherlands)
I picked out Arjen as a future star a while back and he is now showing everybody just how talented he is. He was superb for PSV Eindhoven last year, did well for the Netherlands at [UEFA] EURO 2004™ - and now he is setting the Premiership alight with Chelsea. He is definitely one of the best Dutch players for years.

Attacking midfield
Kaká (AC Milan and Brazil)
My Milan team-mate has had a fantastic year and is going to be one of Brazil's best players for years to come. He scores and creates a lot of goals and is capable of winning matches on his own.

Ruud van Nistelrooij (Manchester United FC and Netherlands)
His record is phenomenal. Ruud was born to score and has that ruthlessness that all great strikers have. He's been amazing for Manchester United in the Champions League and they are very lucky to have him. I expect Ruud to break several records during his career.

Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan and Ukraine)
Andriy got my vote for world player of the year. Like Van Nistelrooij he will always get goals. Serie A is not an easy place to score but Shevchenko has been prolific since he's been here.

José Mourinho (ex-FC Porto and Chelsea FC)
He has been incredible this year. To win the Champions League with Porto was a superb achievement. He's proved himself to be one of the top coaches and seems to be carrying on that good work at Chelsea.
Last updated: 06/01/05 10.29CET

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