Jamie Carragher has named a starting line-up consisting of the toughest opponents he faced throughout his playing career.
Carragher, who played for Liverpool for the duration of his time on the pitch, laid his dream team out in a 4-3-3 formation with Gianluigi Buffon in goal.
At right and left back, he named Cafu and Paolo Maldini, who he faced in the 2005 Champions League final that Liverpool emerged victorious in. He overlooked his fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
Jamie Carragher (right) picked a starting line-up of the toughest opponents he played against
Carragher played for Liverpool throughout his career and in 2005, won the Champions League
Carragher described Chelsea defender John Terry as the best Premier League defender
‘I think the easiest ones are possibly the full-backs,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports News on Tuesday. ‘They weren’t just the best full-backs of their generation, I actually believe they are the two best full backs of all time, I don’t think there are too many arguments with that.’
Between them, Carragher put Chelsea duo Marcel Desailly and John Terry, labelling the latter as the best defender in the history of the Premier League.
In midfield, Carragher chose his Manchester United rival Roy Keane and placed him between Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
He said: ‘The midfield, in terms of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, picks itself. What they did for Barcelona makes them absolute superstars, both of them. I probably wanted Roy Keane a little bit more central in the holding position, so he’d be in the centre.
‘I was thinking about what other players you would come up against, maybe Andrea Pirlo – who is a completely different player to Keane in that position – but what Keane would give you sitting in front of the back four is organisation, the energy and the challenges playing from there.’
Carragher described Cafu as Paolo Maldini as the two best full-backs in football history
In midfield, Carragher picked Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta with Roy Keane
Thierry Henry, Carragher said, is the best player to have ever played in the Premier League
Carragher’s all-time team of toughest opponents was laid out in a 4-3-3 formation
In attack, there were two easy picks for Carragher in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. And alongside the two megastars of football he chose Thierry Henry, a player Carragher believes is the all-time best in the history of the Premier League.
‘That Arsenal Invincibles (2003-04) team he played in and the two or three years around that would certainly be the toughest opponent I played at and that’s home and abroad.
‘The problem with that Arsenal team was that when you got in the tunnel with them, everyone was six foot two and had shoulders out here.
‘You look at the physical battle and you couldn’t knock them out of their stride, they were too physically strong for you at different times.’