France Football launched the initiative to come up with the best XI of all time in a 3-4-3 formation, to be determined by journalists from 170 countries.
This year’s Ballon d’Or award was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but France Football the weekly magazine that created the award, decided to instead announce a best XI in its place.
The Ballon d’Or Dream Team is as follows: Yashin; Cafu, Beckenbauer, Maldini; Xavi, Matthaus, Pele, Maradona; Messi, Ronaldo Nazario, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Taking his place as the world’s best ever No.1 is the Russian legend Lev Yashin, who made 74 appearances for the Soviet Union between 1954 and 1970.
The back three is composed of Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Brazilian full-back Cafuand Italian legend Paolo Maldini.
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has been named the best defensive midfielder in history. The Spaniard won the World Cup and two European Championships with La Roja, as well as four Champions League titles with the Blaugrana among many other trophies.
Alongside Xavi in the all-time XI is Lothar Matthaus, also as a defensive midfielder, but with slightly fewer votes than the former Blaugrana.
In front of them, in the attacking midfield department, are Diego Maradona and Pele. The late Argentine guided his country almost single-handedly to World Cup glory in 1986, while the Brazilian helped the Selecao to the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
Leading the line for the best ever XI in history is Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario, the man who wowed fans as a youngster and despite serious knee injuries, inspired Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, as well as winning the competition in 1994.
He will be joined by Lionel Messi. Six Ballon d’Ors, six Golden Boots, four Champions Leagues and a myriad of spectacular goals. Messi changed the history of Barcelona and LaLiga.
On being included in the team, Messi said on his Instagram page: ‘For me it is an honour to have been included in the eleven of the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. I want to thank you for choosing me and also congratulate all the players who were selected in the two teams and all the nominees, there are real phenomena on that list !!’
Finally, we have Cristiano Ronaldo. Often compared to Messi, the Portuguese star undoubtedly deserves his place in the team. Five Ballon d’Ors, five Champions Leagues and a winning mentality which is second to none.
And Ronaldo tweeted “I’m very honoured to be part of France Football’s All Time 11. What an amazing Dream Team… They all deserve my respect and admiration and I’m obviously proud to be amongst such extraordinary players. Thank you!”