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Former Arsenal star Luis Boa Morte picks his all-time best teammates – with a surprise choice of manager

Arsenal star Luis Boa Morte during the match between Arsenal Legends and Real Madrid Legends at Emirates Stadium on September 8, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Former Arsenal, Fulham, Southampton and West Ham United star Luis Boa Morte has picked an XI of his greatest-ever teammates.

The Portuguese winger played in the Premier League in the noughties, bamboozling defenders and becoming a cult star at a number of clubs – but you'll never guess who he picked as the manager of his Perfect XI…

FourFourTwo sat down with him to ask what a team of his best ever team-mates would look like. 

Former Arsenal star Luis Boa Morte's Perfect XI

Arsenal star Luis Boa Morte's Perfect XI

(Image credit: Future)

Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar

“You won’t find many goalkeepers with his talent – it was a pleasure playing alongside him at Fulham. Besides his great technique to stop goals, Edwin was brilliant at organising the team from his privileged position on the pitch. He was calm – which is a vital attribute, especially for a keeper – and had a fabulous ability to play with both feet.”

Right-back: Miguel

“My old Portugal team-mate made fantastic contributions from wide positions. Miguel was a dedicated player with mobility, speed and offensive skills. He had the quality to deliver passes to the right places at the right times.”

Centre-back: Jorge Andrade

“There are so many things to highlight here. Andrade was really comfortable on the ball and capable of building play from the back. But he was tough, strong and very aggressive when defending. Aerial duels were never an issue for him.”

Centre-back: Fernando Couto

“We’ve got a proper leader here – Couto was another expert defender. He was aggressive to recover the ball and full of energy. It felt like there was no room for errors in his game because he was such a reliable centre-back. Fernando had great potential to help out in set-piece situations at both ends of the field.”

Left-back: Ashley Cole

“Is it getting too obvious that I value technique? My left-back is a gifted footballer who was assured on the ball. Cole had special abilities with his left foot – he could put the ball anywhere he wanted and worked extremely hard defensively.”

Central midfield: Patrick Vieira

“If things aren’t looking good for our team, no problem – we can count on Patrick! What a clever player. He’d boss the defensive system, but then join in attacking plays as well. He could also score amazing 35-yard screamers. Not bad for a holding midfielder, is it?”

Central midfield: Luis Figo

“OK, you’re probably aware of his many skills, so I’ll start by saying that he’s a wonderful human being; a very cool, generous guy. I’m a huge fan of his and feel honoured to have played with him. When it comes to football, Figo had a terrific career, twisting defenders inside out, year after year... and there was nothing they could do. He was unstoppable.”

Attacking midfield: Dennis Bergkamp

“Sometimes it seems impossible to get past a defence and you need a different player to find a way. So here we go. Bergkamp had the killer vision to pick out the right pass, not to mention his unbelievable football technique. Is that all? Well, not exactly: he had goals in his feet, too. He could hit the back of the net himself without any trouble.”

Right-forward: Cristiano Ronaldo

“Any team needs goals, so we’ve got a goal machine in ours. Cristiano is one of the best players in history for a reason – or for many reasons, actually. He’s a positive player who knows what he wants and how to accomplish every mission – he’s been like that since his early days and still has the appetite for more. Lots of pace, focus and incredible strength.”

Striker: Nicolas Anelka

“Everybody expects goals from their striker – fair enough. But they weren’t a problem for our No.9. Goals expected, goals delivered. That’s what Anelka [left] did season after season for many clubs throughout his career – he could do the job easily. Furthermore, he had speed, power and quality to help his team-mates in difficult moments, like holding the ball up when needed or taking part in the build-up of attacks.”

Left-forward: Thierry Henry

“Pace, technique, goals, entertainment: all in one player. You usually find some of these attributes in one forward and different qualities in another. However, Henry wanted every element to himself. He was a classic, elegant footballer… the whole package.”

Manager: Avram Grant

“First and foremost, a great guy. He’s a humble and reliable man, but also an intelligent coach who is very helpful to his players. Working with Avram at West Ham was a superb experience.”

Substitutes

Emmanuel Petit

Deco

Nwankwo Kanu

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