The World Team of the Decade, as selected by John Cross

World Team of the Decade (4-4-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Lillian Thuram, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Roberto Carlos; Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Xavi, Lionel Messi; Raul, Andrei Shevchenko.

I have gone for players now outside of the Premier League rather than any English or English-based players. Having chosen David Beckham in my best Premier League XI, I have gone for Cristiano Ronaldo just to level things up.

Buffon is by far and away the best keeper of the past decade in Europe. Thuram was a rampaging right-back, Nesta is pure class and Maldini gets the nod ahead of Fabio Cannavaro at centre-half to accommodate Roberto Carlos.

It's all about attack and flair, so Zidane, possibly the best player of all, plays alongside Xavi, a fantastic example of brilliance from the past few seasons. The same goes for Lionel Messi, an awesome talent and a joy to watch.

Up front, I have gone for Raul, a classy record-breaking striker. And Andrei Shevchenko was simply unplayable when he was at his peak for AC Milan.

Forget Shevva's awful spell at Chelsea, he gets in ahead of Raul and Thierry Henry because the Ukrainian destroyed opposing defences, re-wrote European record books and was the best in the world for several seasons.

Finally, I hated leaving out Francesco Totti as he is a player I love to watch for his technical ability, skill and vision.



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