Former Rangers man Arthur Numan picks his best team-mate XI – but has to choose between Romario, Ronaldo and Dennis Bergkamp up front

Arthur Numan in action for the Netherlands against Croatia
(Image credit: Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

With spells for Rangers, PSV and the Dutch national side, Arthur Numan certainly lined up with some top players in his time.

Still, Numan picked himself when it came to asking him for his Perfect XI. Good on the lad – it's good to back yourself, after all. 

We sat down to ask the former left-back who else he would pick in his side…

Former Rangers, PSV and Netherlands star Arthur Numan picks his Perfect XI

Arthur Numan Perfect XI

(Image credit: Future)

Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar

“Edwin was really focused and able to coach his team-mates so well. With his height, he was a massive presence in the penalty area – whenever he caught the ball, he wouldn’t waste any time bringing it back into play. He knew where all the outfield players were on the pitch, making him excellent in transition.”

Right-back: Berry van Aerle

“A real team player who gave 100 per cent in every single game. Perhaps not many people would choose him, but I would – Berry was an underrated footballer and always on top of things defensively. He was very successful too, winning five league titles and a European Cup at PSV, plus the European Championship with Holland [in 1988].”

Centre-back: Jaap Stam

“In his prime, he was one of the world’s best defenders: a rock at the back, and someone you could rely on blindly. Jaap was powerful, quick and gave his all from the first minute to the last. As much of a terrier as he was on the pitch, though, he was extremely calm off the field. I got on really well with him at PSV, and we’d often go for dinner together.”

Centre-back: Frank de Boer

“A player with a great overview of games. He was tactically strong and brilliant at directing teams from the back – a quality which made him suitable to become a coach. Frank was especially good at crossing the field in a kind of sweeper position.”

Left-back: Arthur Numan

“Of course I’m in this team! At PSV, I started in an attacking role on the left wing, but gradually converted to left-back. I was one of the first to play in a wing-back role, which is far more common nowadays – I was one of the forerunners! I was given the freedom to get forward, make overlapping runs and build play from the back, which suited my game. I was a stronger player offensively than defensively.”

Defensive midfield: Phillip Cocu

“Phillip balanced the midfield incredibly well, could score goals and was very vocal on the pitch. I played alongside him for many years at PSV and in the Dutch national team, and we enjoyed some superb link-up play. When I made forward runs, he covered in defence.”

Right-midfield: Gerald Vanenberg

“Genuinely, Gerald was the most technically gifted footballer I ever played with – he was amazing at PSV. The way he could turn, twist and dribble... he was such a great player.”

Left-midfield: Marc Overmars

“Marc’s blistering pace made him dangerous. I always knew exactly when he was making a run and when to play him the ball, having been a left-winger myself. I just instantly felt when he was going inside or out.”

Attacking midfield: Ronald de Boer

“Ronald would definitely be the No.10 in my team. I played with him in many Dutch youth sides, the national team and at Twente and Rangers. He was a really creative player with scoring ability, but equally as good at setting up his team-mates.”

Centre-forward: Romario

“It was partly because of him that I decided to join PSV [in 1992], as he recommended me in the media. He was very smart as a player. Sometimes you thought you had him under control, but then out of nothing he’d sneak in behind the defence. Romario was quick with his feet, had great ball control and could turn away from opponents in a flash.”

Centre-forward: Ronaldo

“Ronaldo came to PSV when he was only 17, but it was clear he was in a special class. He’d find an extra gear when he was already accelerating at top speed. In one match, he beat about four or five players and it seemed like he was gliding past wooden dolls. Off the pitch he was a friendly guy, easy going, always with a smile on his face.”

Manager: Dick Advocaat

“I worked with him for many years, for club and country. He’s a winner who always gave 110 per cent. Even now, I see the same man as 30 years ago: always hands-on, always focused.”


Wim Jonk

Clarence Seedorf

Dennis Bergkamp

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Arthur Renard has been writing for FourFourTwo since 2013, when Ronald Koeman hosted him for a Readers interview in a small room in stadium De Kuip. Two years later Arthur moved to London, where he still lives and from where he covers English football, while he has also been travelling the world to cover events like the World Cup and Copa America.