A talented attacking midfielder with over 500 FC Internazionale Milano appearances to his name, Sandro Mazzola has 70 years of experience to call upon when selecting his UEFA.com users' Team of 2012.
The famous 'relay' involving Mazzola and Gianni Rivera, who could not co-exist in Italy's starting lineup at the 1970 FIFA World Cup and therefore played a half each, is not a scenario Mazzola cares to contemplate when selecting his XI. A four-time Scudetto winner who lifted back-to-back European Cups in 1964 and 1965, Mazzola has plumped for an abundance of technical talent in his team.
View Mazzola's choices below and submit your own selection before 12.00CET on Friday 4 January.
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Buffon has shown remarkable consistency with his performances over the years and has reacted to some tough times by returning to peak form in 2012.
Defender: Branislav Ivanović (Chelsea FC)
He defends well and makes a considerable contribution in midfield. Ivanović also has also has no shortage of physical strength and technique.
Defender: Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain FC)
For many years in Europe he has allied strength with an excellent sense of positioning. The Brazilian international also has the useful knack of being able to chip in with a goal or two.
Defender: Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona)
Originally a midfielder, he has adapted splendidly to the role of centre-back. He is very smart, and knows how to anticipate the movements of his opponents and intercept the ball.
Defender: Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC)
Cole's performances are always positive and he hardly ever drops below par. He offers his side sound defence, while the opposition will often be threatened by him.
Midfielder: Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona)
He is the most complete midfielder that I know. I've followed Xavi since he was 16 and playing in Barça's academy and he has transformed into a commander on the field.
Midfielder: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Pirlo has an amazing positional sense. He somehow always manages to find space so his team-mates can pass to him and is equally excellent at setting them up with his own precise passing.
Midfielder: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
A player who can do everything. He supports the midfield, he is great at laying on fantastic assists for his team-mates and also scores himself. I think his main skill is his ability to play at great speed.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
Ronaldo combines technical skills with impressive physical power. He is a great dribbler and is often unpredictable, making him particularly difficult to stop when 30 to 40 metres from goal.
Forward: Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid)
A complete striker. For a couple of years he has shown his ability to score in every way; he is also extremely good in the air.
Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
His control and technique while going at full speed is unique in the world. He is exceptional at being in the right place to score and for setting up his team-mates at the perfect moment.
Sandro Mazzola was speaking to Alessandro Massimo
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