Gus Poyet: Perfect XI

Having bossed the midfield for Zaragoza, Chelsea and Spurs, 
the Uruguayan has plenty of options in picking his all-time XI of team-mates – although it’s clearly Stamford Bridge that he remembers with most fondness...

Goalkeeper
Carlo Cudicini

I enjoyed playing with Ed de Goey, 
but I’d have to go for Carlo. His agility made up for his lack of height (he was small compared to Ed!) and he saved lots of penalties.
 
Right-back
Alberto Belsue 
A local boy who played for 10 years with Zaragoza. He was very attacking and would get to the goalline before crossing for players like me to score. 
He played for Spain in Euro 96. 
 
Centre-back
Marcel Desailly
‘The Rock’ was amazing. He was 
a nutcase, a winner and he came 
from a brilliant Milan side with 
a winning mentality, which we appreciated at Chelsea.
 
Centre-back
Frank Leboeuf
I loved him for his ability to play from the back and because he was a special character. I played with two great centre-halves at Zaragoza, but Frank and Marcel were both World Cup winners.
 
Left-back
Graeme Le Saux
I enjoyed a great understanding with Graeme. He knew what I was good or bad at. He always talked and overlapped on the left, which let me go inside. Playing with Graeme was easy.
 
Right midfield
Dan Petrescu
A very clever player who enjoyed the game. He was always comfortable on the ball and knew exactly when to do the right things. Unlike many wingers, he had a fine defensive instinct too.
 
Central midfield
Roberto Di Matteo
Despite being full of effort and determination, Robbie was a calm and cool player. He gave our Chelsea side great balance. A big-game player, he scored some important goals.
 
Left midfield
Dennis Wise
I’m leaving myself out of this midfield so it’s a bit off-balance, but Dennis would sort everything out. He did that. He would die for the team but was 
a very gifted player technically too.
 
Centre-forward
Enzo Francescoli
He wasn’t a true forward, but had the attacking instincts of a forward. He was Uruguay’s main man for a long time – he was known as ‘The Prince’ there. The second-best player I ever played with.
 
Centre-forward
Gianfranco Zola
The best I ever played with, no doubt. 
I used to marvel at him in training each day. Gianfranco made you a better player: he knew what I was going to 
do before I’d even thought of it.
 
Centre-forward
Juan Esnaider
He was a big, mad, character who scored a lot of goals, including against Arsenal in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup final. Strong in the air, his will to win would sometimes get him in trouble.
 
Substitutes
 
Albert Ferrer
‘Chapi’ came to Chelsea from Barcelona full of confidence. He adapted easily and improved our team.
 
Carlos Aguilera
Small striker and unbelievable football player. I played with him for Uruguay. He was 
a success with Genoa.
 
Andoni Cedrun
Zaragoza’s Basque goalkeeper for 12 years, during the club’s best ever spell. Also won the league with Athletic Bilbao.
 
Manager
Ruud Gullit
A relaxed, open and easygoing person who liked beautiful football. He always gave others confidence to perform well. 
 
Interview: Andy Mitten. From the September 2011 issue of FourFourTwo.


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