Arsenal new player Rob Holding has not seen much first-team football this season, but he sure knows a good player when he sees one.
Speaking for Arsenal TV, Holding gave his ultimate XI, and to be honest, it’s a team that would terrify even the most experienced of players out there. Some of those who didn’t make the cut were Cristiano Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp, Neymar, Thierry Henry, and Andrea Pirlo.
Here is Holding’s XI:
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
Juventus’ and Italy’s long-serving keeper has been regarded as one of the best, if not the best keeper, to grace the game. He’s proven his qualities throughout the years.
Right Back: Dani Alves
‘He will give me width and attack down the right-hand side.’
The Brazilian spent eight years at Barcelona, and you don’t remain in one of the biggest clubs in the world without possessing the quality. He is one who would fight for you team – even if it means scooping from that Brazilian flair for theatrics.
Centre Back: Fabio Cannavaro
A legendary defender, Cannavaro was so influential for Italy at the back during the 2006 World Cup that he was chosen for Ballon D’or ahead of in-form Thierry Henry. How good is that?
Centre Back: Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand is good choice for any ultimate XI. The tall defender was part of a hugely successful 2008 Manchester United side, but don’t let that fool you, he was top class throughout his career too.
Left Back: Ashley Cole
Hated by Arsenal fans and loved by Chelsea fans. Quality tends to divide opinions like that. Undoubtedly, Cole was a very good player during his Arsenal time.
Centre Midfield: Paul Scholes
The one to have in midfield, for sure. Scholes is considered by many to be the best midfielder to grace the Premier League. As obvious as his repertoire of passes and succulent executions were, his intelligence in the decision making process of the game separated him from others.
Centre Midfield: Patrick Vieira (captain)
Holding classified him as ‘ultimate centre midfielder’, and he is not far from the truth. A powerful player, physical but with intelligence and technique, all of it on top of being a true leader. Vieira is the one to have in any ultimate XI.
Winger Right: Ronaldinho
A shining man wherever he played, Ronaldinho infected crowds with his enthusiasm on the pitch. His smile never dropped off his face, and neither did ours.
Considered one of football’s best ever players. Zidane was hugely influential for France and the clubs he played. He was a midfield general, controlling the game with his passion and vision, but could score goals too.
Winger Left: Lionel Messi
Holding described him as a ‘joke’. He must be. He’s scored 339 goals in 375 matches for Barcelona. He possesses unique natural talent, but it remains to be seen whether he will do another ‘Argentina’ when surrounded with players who do not play solely for him.
That is the Brazilian Ronaldo, the one who was called the Phenomenon. And what or who do you call a phenomenon? Exactly something very rare indeed.