The England Ambassador David Beckham has picked his “best team” from all the talent on show at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and he only thinks that one England player was good enough to be rated in the top XI, Chelsea’s Ashley Cole!
Here are Beckham’s choices, courtesy of Yahoo! Sport:
1. Fernando Muslera (Uruguay) – The Lazio keeper is a find for me having only just recently made his International debut a few months ago. Uruguay didn’t concede any goals in the group stage and his two penalty saves against Ghana show that he has the temperament for the big stage.
2. Sergio Ramos (Spain) – Having played with Sergio at Madrid I can say he’s one of the most determined and committed defenders I’ve come across. He enjoys linking up with the attack and loves to shoot when he gets the chance. Sergio has had a great World Cup.
3. Ashley Cole (England) – I also enjoyed watching Fábio Coentrão for Portugal but Ashley for me is the best left back in the world and probably England’s standout performer in this World Cup. Ashley never stops running and whilst a very good defender, he loves to attack opposing full-backs.
4. Carlos Puyol (Spain) – The semi-final showed how important he is for Spain. Not only was Puyol strong defensively, he got the crucial goal that took Spain into the final. I’ve played against him before and not only does he have natural talent, he has enormous presence and a strong work ethic, leading by example. His partnership with Gerard Pique has been crucial to Spain.
5. John Mensah (Ghana) – The Ghana captain was very solid as they progressed through the tournament and were unlucky in their quarter-final with Uruguay. Leads by example and the rugged defender is not afraid to put his body on the line for his team.
6. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) – Has had a very good World Cup and particularly impressive against England. He has all the attributes of a modern midfield player. You would want him alongside you in any team.
7. Wesley Sneijder (Holland) – A talented playmaker who has had a great season for club and country. Sneijder has an eye for a pass and impressive dead-ball ability. He’s got a lot of goals so far in the World Cup from an advanced midfield role. He will definitely be one to watch in the final.
8. Xavi (Spain) – You could pick Xabi Alonso or Andres Iniesta but I love to watch Xavi play. Every team needs a Xavi. He runs the engine room for both Spain and Barcelona and is such an intelligent player. He has amazing vision and passing ability. Xavi takes on the ball in the tightest of situations and for me, is Spain’s main man. He deserves the highest accolades in the game and could be the player of the tournament along with Sneijder.
9. Thomas Mueller (Germany) – Not a name many had heard of before the tournament, but four goals and three assists from five games is an amazing return from the 20-year-old attacking player. It was a shame he missed the semi and you could tell Germany missed his pace and finishing ability.
10. Diego Forlan (Uruguay) – A striker who has got better and better over the years. I was fortunate to play with Diego at United and we could all see what a talented player he was – now he has supreme confidence. He’s twice been the leading scorer in La Liga and with four goals and several assists to his name in South Africa, he’s had a great tournament.
11. David Villa (Spain) – Top scorer at the tournament so far, he is one of the world’s best finishers. Villa can play off either foot and is devastating in front of goal. It’s frightening to think he’s joining what is already a great team at Barcelona.
Michael Bradley (United States) – I thought the US team looked good and were unlucky to go out. My teammate Landon Donovan was very good but I was particularly impressed by Bradley. If the States can produce players like him for the future, soccer will be in good health there.
Maicon (Brazil) – Brazil produce great wing backs and I was lucky to play with one, Roberto Carlos at Real Madrid. Maicon is another one off the production line. I thought he played well for Brazil and had a great season for Inter. His goal in their first match was incredible.
Lionel Messi (Argentina) – How can you not have the best player in the world in your squad? Messi did everything but score a goal in the tournament. He’s amazing to watch.
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