Dion Dublin: Perfect XI

The former striker picks his Perfect XI of team-mates and opponents back in September 2008.

Goalkeeper
Peter Schmeichel
Seemed like he was unbeatable at times. To look back and see him in your goal filled the rest of the team with such confidence. I also played against him many times, but the closest I got to scoring was hitting the post with an overhead kick. I’ll take that.

Right-back
Mark Delaney

Had such a great attitude, was quick and could really defend, as shown by his ability to play centre-back as well. Never given the run-around by a winger, not even Ryan Giggs. One of my best pals in football but that’s not why he’s in!

Centre-back
Gary Pallister
Another good pal and a great defender. Awesome in training – when he trained! He had loads of niggling injuries, which often prevented him from training, but he could always turn it on for big games. Good in the air but very quick as well.

Centre-back
Rio Ferdinand
A great defender but what I really like about him is that he can really play too. The potential was always there and he was already very good when I played against him, but he’s just got better and better with experience. One of the best defenders in the world.

Left-back
Denis Irwin
I deliberated this position a lot, but in the end I had to go for Dennis. In a word: faultless. He was the last person in that Manchester United to receive praise but he didn’t want it. Could also play-right back and scored a lot of goals for a defender.

Right-midfield
David Ginola

The last great two-footed player in the Premier League. A great entertainer, a really nice person and a dream to play with as a centre-forward because of his crossing ability. Just ask Les Ferdinand.

Centre-midfield
Paul Ince & Roy Keane
I had to pick two from Ince, Keane and Robbo [Bryan Robson] but these two edge it because their careers overlapped more with mine and I saw more of them. Because of their reputations as aggressive, combative midfielders, people tend to overlook their other qualities. They could both pass, head, score goals and their positional play was excellent. Class acts.

Left-midfield
Ryan Giggs
Quite simply the best left-winger in the history of the Premier League and one of the best ever, full stop. So consistent, given people always expect players of his type to perform magic. Fast, tricky, always weighed in with his fair share of goals, worked hard… and a winner, of course.

Striker
Ian Wright
For his flair, for his finishing ability, for his showmanship, for his passion. Scored goals wherever he went and although he did played with a great provider in Dennis Bergkamp, in other respects it’s more difficult to do it at a big club and his record at Arsenal speaks for itself. Perhaps because he came into professional football late, he loved every minute of it. You could tell he lived for the game.

Striker
Mark Hughes
The best centre-forward I’ve seen at holding the ball up and bringing others into play and great in the air considering he wasn’t that tall. His volleying was also the best I’ve seen. I only got to play with him about four times, but it was enough to see how good he was. I think he’d combine really well with Wrighty.

Substitutes

David James
I think he’s been unfairly treated by England down the years and the fact that he’s back in the number one jersey at 38 proves just how good he is. He’s in such great shape, proof that hard work gets rewarded.

Paul Scholes
I played with him for the best part of a season when we won the reserve league for Manchester United and we scored a bucket-load of goal between us. You could tell then he was going to be a class player and is still one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

Darren Huckerby
Provided a lot of goals for me when I was at Coventry. So fast and skilful that he was almost unplayable at his best. Extremely generous on the pitch, and in life too. I’ve got a lot of time for him.

Andy Hughes
I’ve got to have a couple of players from my Norwich days and I’ve never known a player work his sock off so much. Always popular with fans because of his work ethic.

Peter Thorne
When fit, a prolific goalscorer at Championship level and would have played in the Premier League were in not for injury.

Interview: October 2009. Dion Dublin has joined Sky Sports as a studio expert on live football including Barclays Premier League coverage exclusively live in Sky Sports HD

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