Jaap Stam's Perfect XI: Who's the only former Man United man to make the cut?
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
A magnificent keeper with great presence, and the best in the world at the moment (This was 2009 remember, even if it doesn't sound far-fetched now – Ed). I played with two great keepers in Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar but Buffon is right up there. It's difficult to choose between them; they were all ‘complete’ goalkeepers. Pure class.
People tend to forget that defensively he was very strong, but he stands out because of his attacking impulses and energy. Cafu just kept going – up and down, up and down – and never gave up.
Centre-back: Alessandro Nesta
Nesta is a very powerful defender. The man has got it all: speed, anticipation, strength in the air, and he’s excellent in one-on-one situations. One of the best around, and would have achieved even more were it not for injuries.
Centre-back: Paolo Maldini
One of the most respected footballers of all time, both on and off the field. A strong defender, either on the left or at centre-back, but also excellent going forward – though less so these days. At his best, he had great speed, was an excellent passer and even weighed in with his share of goals. The man has played at the top level for Milan for 24 years – you’ve got to admire that! And he’s always solved problems on the field through his footballing skills, never by being dirty.
Left-back: Roberto Carlos
His left leg seems to be made of iron. He had a fantastic shot, but thankfully I have never stood in the wall when he took a free-kick as I was always covering another player. If one of Carlos’s shots hit you on the head it could quite easily cause physical damage. He makes it difficult for the right-winger to play; neutralising them very effectively by his constant raids forward.
Right-wing: Luis Figo
Figo was very difficult to stop in full flow, combining pace, trickery and magnificent crosses into the box. He occasionally fell short defensively, but was scintillating going forward.
Central midfield: Roy Keane
Every team needs a player like Keane, someone who can control the game and dominate the tempo. Tactically and positionally he always got it right and is very good in one-on-one duels.
Who'd partner Keano?