Exclusive: Roberto Carlos Picks Incredible All-Time Champions League XI
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Football legend Roberto Carlos has picked his ultimate Champions League XI ahead of this weekend's final between former club Real Madrid and Liverpool.
The pair of European giants lock horns at the Stade de France in Paris, in a repeat of the showpiece which took place four years ago in Kiev.
Brazilian icon Carlos, widely deemed to be the greatest left-back of all-time, won the Champions League three times with Real in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
And so SPORTbible tasked the former Inter Milan and Fenerbahce defender with assembling his ultimate XI from players who have dominated European football's premier club competition.
Here is the star-studded side he went for, lining up in a 4-3-3 formation:
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas - "You always had a lot of trust in him and his experience. Every great team starts with a good goalkeeper. You could see how calm and collected he was."
Right-back: Cafu - "He’s fast, he’s intelligent and very important for the team. He was like a true captain."
Centre-backs: "Fernando Hierro and Fabio Cannavaro – "They used to get along very well. Hierro was like my father at Real Madrid and Cannavaro was considered to be the best in the world. One was very fast, in Cannavaro, and the other very strong, in Hierro."
Left-back: Marcelo – "He has been the best in the last 20 years. I told Marcelo to not leave Real Madrid because I believed in him and knew had the potential to be great."
Defensive midfielders: Fernando Redondo and Casemiro – "They are two players that help off the ball, stopping the ball from getting through to the defence."
Attacking midfielder: Zinedine Zidane – "He was just magical. The world stopped to see Zidane play."
Right forward: Francesco Totti – "Nowadays it’s very hard to have players stay at just one club for that long. That’s how he made his legacy. He was more comfortable playing at Roma and the Italian national team."
Centre-forward: Karim Benzema – "Everything points towards him winning the Ballon d’Or. Last year I think the Ballon d’Or was a bit weird with the results, hopefully this year Benzema is going to be the best in the world."
Left forward: Cristiano Ronaldo – "Cristiano represents exactly what the Champions League is and modern football. We will only have one Cristiano."
Summarising his side, Carlos said: "It’s very hard to do the XI because there are so many amazing players I’ve had to leave out - [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and Vinicius Jr.
“I think we would lose because nobody in my team really defends! I like football with a lot of goals!"
Carlos was speaking through Champions League sponsor Just Eat. Fans in the French capital just need to look out for a giant Just Eat doorbell located in the city centre, and simply ring to win. Eight lucky people will be surprised by the Real Madrid legend and win tickets to Saturday night’s UEFA Champions League final.”
Featured Image Credit: Image: PA
Topics: Roberto Carlos, Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Francesco Totti, Iker Casillas, Real Madrid