Robbie Keane's Perfect XI, and why Gordon gets the nod over Lippi, Rafa, Jol and Big Mick

"Should I put myself in? Nah, I need that spot for somebody else." There's no room for the LA Galaxy captain - and former Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool and Ireland star - in his XI of previous team-mates...

Goalkeeper

Shay Given
An obvious choice. In his prime he was so quick and sharp; his agility in front of the goal was superb. A top-class goalkeeper and team-mate – so good I'm not going to pick a reserve keeper!

Defence

Javier Zanetti
He's just retired from Inter Milan, which is where I met him. He's one of the fittest guys I ever played with, always running up and down the pitch. Look at the career he's had – it's unbelievable.

Ledley King
Ivan Cordoba, Jonathan Woodgate and Rio Ferdinand were all great, but Ledley stands out. To play at the highest level with his injuries is remarkable. He never trained but was the best on the pitch.

Richard Dunne
A rock in the Irish back four. Strong, quick, unbelievable in the air – no one could get past him. He'd complement Ledley, as King played with style while Richard is more 'whole-hearted'.

Gareth Bale
When Gareth came to Tottenham he was a left-back but we all knew he wouldn't stay there for long, because he had so much quality going forward. We've seen how good he turned out.

Midfield

David Beckham
My former LA Galaxy team-mate. His crossing was incredible. I've never seen a player more efficient in dead-ball situations: he was able to find someone every time, which is amazing.

Clarence Seedorf
My Inter Milan room-mate! Versatile and technically gifted with two good feet, he won multiple Champions League titles with different clubs, which speaks for itself. He's also a wonderful guy.

Roy Keane
He led by example on the pitch, got the best out of other players, had great energy and could take a game by the scruff of the neck. If things weren't going well, his attitude would change that.

Steven Gerrard
Incredible passing ability and energy levels, and the way he dictates the game is truly special. In Steven and Roy Keane before him, you have the two best central midfielders in the Premier League.

Damien Duff
We came through the national team at the same time, and most of my Ireland goals came from his assists. Damien's ability to jink past people created all sorts of trouble. He was fantastic.

Striker

Dimitar Berbatov
One of the best partners I've ever had. We had an unbelievable relationship at Tottenham: we both like to come short, but we kept mixing when we played together and we scored a lot of goals.

Substitutes

Xabi Alonso
One of the best passers of the ball I've ever seen.

Luka Modric
Extremely gifted and created.

Christian Vieri
A pure goalscorer, the same as Alan Shearer.

Rio Ferdinand
Solid as a rock at the back.

Aaron Lennon
So quick on the right, and he was good at giving me crosses between the centre-halves!

Manager

Gordon Strachan
Marcelo Lippi, Mick McCarthy and Martin Jol were all good to me, but Gordon got the best out of me and many other players. A formidable character.

This interview was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Subscribe!