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FourFourTwo's water-carrying XI: 11 quietly-brilliant stars who never really got the credit they deserved

Guti, Real Madrid
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Sergio Batista (CM)

He played every game at the 1986 World Cup, impressing with his sense of anticipation and a fine range of passing

When Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, Jorge(s) Valdano and Burruchaga were a constant threat up front, Oscar Ruggeri was a rock at the back and Diego Maradona was... well, Diego Maradona.

But holding everything together was Batista, a defensive midfielder who was only 23 years old when called up for the finals. The Argentinos Junior anchorman went on to play every game, impressing with his sense of anticipation and a fine range of passing.

Sergio Batista

Batista (right) helped to bring out the best in Diego Maradona

Marc Albrighton (LM) 

The former Aston Villa man had enjoyed a superb campaign, working hard on the left flank and posing a real threat with his crossing ability

When Leicester won the league in 2015/16, everyone wondered whether N'Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy would be snapped up by the big boys. Danny Drinkwater was called up by England, meanwhile, and a back four led by Wes Morgan and Robert Huth was lauded far and wide.

Albrighton's contributions were somewhat overlooked, however. The former Aston Villa man had enjoyed a superb campaign, working hard on the left flank and posing a real threat with his crossing ability. Claudio Ranieri insisted that he embodied the spirit of his Leicester side due to his sense of sacrifice, and it was pleasing to see him make the headlines after his recent strike against Sevilla.

Dirk Kuyt (FW)

When Liverpool bought Dirk Kuyt from Feyenoord in 2006, they thought they had the next world-class Dutch striker on their hands. Kuyt, after all, had scored 71 goals in 101 games for the Rotterdam outfit, and seemed to have all the attributes needed to take Liverpool to the next level.

It soon became clear that he lacked the sharpness of top-drawer centre-forwards, though, and Kuyt duly managed only 12 goals in his debut campaign at Anfield. That prompted Rafa Benitez to move him out wide, where he became a willing workhorse in support of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

Kuyt still chipped in with goals, most memorably in the 2007 Champions League and 2012 League Cup finals, while he was Liverpool's top scorer with 15 strikes in 2011. The Dutchman took water-carrying to another level at the 2014 World Cup, though: having made his first national team apperance as a striker, Kuyt ended up playing as a wing-back under Louis van Gaal in Brazil, as his tireless running and positional discipline gave Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder the freedom to excel. We'll drink to that.

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