WHEN we think of the greatest footballers of all time, Ronaldinho certainly comes to mind.
The 42-year-old Brazilian legend has had a glittering career representing some of the biggest clubs in the world including Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
He also had a successful international career, winning the World Cup and Copa America with Brazil.
Ronaldinho’s influence on the pitch saw him receive several individual accolades including two FIFA Player of the Year awards and the coveted Ballon d’Or.
And to celebrate his outstanding legacy, we’ve taken a look back at his favorite Champions League XI of all time.
When he picked the team in 2015, the cheerful trickster couldn’t resist a strong Brazilian taste.
Check out who makes it and who doesn’t below – naming just one from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi…
GK – Gianluigi Buffon
Possibly the greatest goalkeeper of all time, Buffon is still going – back to his boyhood club Parma – at the age of 44.
Buffon has made 124 appearances in the Champions League and kept 53 clean sheets in his glittering career.
But incredibly, he never won the tournament.
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RB – Cafu
Former RONALDINHO Brazilian teammate, Roma legend and AC Milan legend Cafu gets the nod at right-back.
He played 54 times in Europe’s elite competitions in six seasons in Italy, winning the title in 2006/07.
JT made 109 appearances in 13 Champions League seasons, eventually winning the title in 2010/11.
The England legend also knows all about Ronaldinho, having canceled out the Brazilian’s stunning goal in the 2005 Round of 16 at Stamford Bridge with a late goal.
CB – Paolo Maldini
Maldini was arguably the best central defender to ever lace up a pair of football boots. He was known to be the defender who “never attacked”.
Maldini played along EIGHT Champions League (and European Cup) finals – five wins – including rebounding from defeat in the Miracle of Istanbul in 2005 to beat the same Liverpool side two years later.
LB – Roberto Carlos
The left-footed free-kick god Roberto Carlos also contributes to the samba atmosphere.
The Brazilian has played 103 times in the Champions League with Real Madrid and Fenerbahce and won twice with the LaLiga giants.
Lampard, THE second of three Chelsea players on the list, makes his mark on the team against Xavi and Andres Iniesta – the Brazilian’s former Barcelona team-mates.
Lampard, now Everton boss, made 105 appearances in the Champions League and won the 2011/12 trophy to boot.
CAM – Kaka
Brazilian Kaka, who manages to get into the starting XI ahead of players like Zinedine Zidane
The attacking midfielder was at his peak in the mid-2000s, during his spells at AC Milan and Real Madrid – but won just one title, the 2006/07 triumph.
CM – Claude Makelele
BEFORE N’Golo Kante came on the scene, Makelele was the man who made CDM sexy again – with the position even known to this day as “The Makelele Role”.
During his spells at Chelsea and Real Madrid, the Frenchman made 84 appearances in the Champions League, winning the crown in 2001/02.
What Twitter thinks of Ronaldinho’s XI
- “I don’t see Scholes/Gerrard or Rio.”
- “Where’s Xavi, Zidane? He’s a Brazilian, that’s why he put Kaka in front of the big midfielders…”
- “Gerrard for Lampard but… Gerrard was a machine in the Champions League.”
- “Great line-up but the fact that CR7 isn’t in Henry’s or Ronaldo’s place…”
- “Ooooft, name a current day team that could beat this lineup?!?”
- “Oh Ronaldinho, you missed yourself over there. I’ll put you in Henry’s place…”
- “This team will beat every other team ever…”
RW – Lionel Messi
RONALDINHO backed Messi to score his first-ever professional goal – and the pair caused uproar in Spain for years.
A man who needs no further introduction, Messi has made 156 Champions League appearances to date and won four titles in 18 seasons.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is now aiming for his fifth title as PSG make another attempt to claim their first European trophy.
ST – Ronaldo
THE “original”, Brazilian Ronaldo makes the team instead of Cristiano…
Ronaldo played 40 times in the Champions League with Real Madrid and Barcelona, scoring 14 goals but never winning the trophy…
Many years at Inter Milan, then in the Europa League.
LW- Thierry Henry
FINISHING from the XI is Arsenal legend Henry.
The Gunners hero made 73 appearances in the Champions League, scoring 35 goals – but never lifted the trophy with Arsenal before eventually winning at Barcelona towards the end of his career.
https://www.NewsKilo.com/sport/football/600520/ronaldinho-champions-league-xi-messi-ronaldo/ Ronaldinho’s Champions League dream team XI revealed, including Arsenal icon Thierry Henry and three Chelsea legends – The US Sun