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Two former United greats named to all-time Champions League XI team

Scholes and Ronaldo make Champions League all-time team

A pair of former Manchester United greats have been named to the all-time Champions League XI team.

The newly formed football broadcasters Amazon Prime decided to name who they deemed to be the greatest 11 players to ever grace the Champions League.

While there were some no-brainers on this list, there was at least one selection and omission that left pundits scratching their heads.

The Easy Choice

If there’s one name on the list that was the easiest selection it’s most likely Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

The former United striker scored 118 times for the Reds in all competitions in his six seasons with the club including 16 in Europe.

What he’s accomplished in the Champions League is the stuff of legends.

He’s won the Champions League title five times in his illustrious career including helping United to their last Champions League crown in the 2007-08 season.

Ronaldo has also won the Ballon d’Or as World’s best player five times and six times was named to the UEFA Champions League squad of the season.

The Head Scratcher

The selection that’s got everyone talking is without a doubt Paul Scholes.

There’s no question the former English midfielder always had the skill and talent to play in the big time, it’s the iconic names he beat out to earn this spot.

Household names like Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo and Stephen Gerard were all bested by the Englishman for this selection.

Why Scholes?

 From the time he began his career at United till retirement the Salford man was renowned for his accurate passing, long range shot and intelligence in moving the ball.

Scholes may not have had the flash of the above-mentioned omissions to this list but he was an invaluable player who United desperately needed. His stats in Europe don’t jump out at you (26 goals in 134 appearances) but talk to any of his opponents they’ll tell you all you need to know about his talent.

What others said

 Scholes always had an ability to dictate the pace of the game with a discipline and patience that is rare.

He may not have gotten the individual honours of his former teammate Ronaldo but after 90 minutes you knew you’d seen a strong, rugged and dependable player.

Former Brazil legend Socrates once said of Scholes “He is good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.”

French legend Zinedine Zidane referred to Scholes as his toughest opponent. “He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation” said Zidane.

Clutch Performers

 One thing United fans will remember about these two greats is their ability to perform when it matters most.

For Ronaldo he was instrumental in United’s run to European glory in 08 scoring the decisive goal against Lyon in the knockout round and scoring in the final against Chelsea.

Scholes was crucial for the Reds in their last two Champions League triumph’s.

In 99 he scored an away goal helping them move past Inter and eventually win the title.

In 2008 he got the game winning goal in the second leg of their semi-final clash with Barcelona before winning the trophy in the final against Chelsea. (JSL)

 

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