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Ricardo's Perfect XI: "Cristiano Ronaldo will break every record that you can ever imagine"

Ricardo's Perfect XI
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ricardo broke English hearts in 2004 when he scuppered the Three Lions from 12 yards in the Euros quarter-final on home soil. He did the same in Germany two years at the World Cup.

And the Portuguese custodian played with some of the greats of the game. Here's his all-time XI. 

Ricardo's Perfect XI first appeared in the May 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. For a limited time, you can get five copies of FourFourTwo for just £5 (opens in new tab)!

Ricardo's Perfect XI – Goalkeeper: Ricardo

“OK, this is the easiest position to fill – I’m the goalkeeper of this side! I hope all my colleagues will understand this choice. In such a good team, I’d really like to be involved.”

Right-back: Paulo Ferreira

“Paulo knew how to make everything look simple. Calm, intelligent, elegant. He’s a humble man who had a brilliant career and was always an important player for his teams. A top defender.”

Centre-back: Jorge Andrade

“Every team needs a strong guy at the back to be successful, but Jorge was so much more than that. He had plenty of quality, too. A serious player and great on set-pieces – vital characteristics for any defensive system.”

Centre-back: Ricardo Carvalho

“Carvalho is the perfect man to partner Andrade at centre-back. He was quality on the ball and such a classy defender. He read the game and organised the whole backline. Everything with ease.”

Left-back: Rui Jorge

“Think of someone very competitive – that’s Rui. He was a disciplined player, and every game seemed like a World Cup final to him. Off the pitch, he was the funny guy making everyone laugh. A great professional.”

Centre-midfield: Costinha

“Every team needs a player like Costinha in their midfield – he just went about his job without any problems. He understood the game and knew what his team-mates required from him every time. That’s why he has a Champions League winner’s medal.”

Centre-midfield: Petit

“His name isn’t accurate, as he wasn’t ‘petit’ – he was a giant in the middle of the park. Do you know those matches when you’re desperate to find a goal? The manager would tell everyone to go forward and leave Petit to do all of the defensive work on his own.”

Centre-midfield: Deco

“Magic. Deco was able to do things that no one else could. Most people usually remember his offensive qualities – his passes and beautiful goals – but he had some important defensive skills as well. He worked so hard to help the holding midfielders. He was a playmaker, but ready to sacrifice himself for the team.”

Right-wing: Luis Figo

“One of the greatest players of all time – I was lucky enough to play alongside him for seven years with Portugal. On top of that, Luis was the perfect leader and a fantastic captain. He knew where his team-mates were positioned on the pitch, and picking the right pass came naturally to him. Class.”

Centre-forward: Pauleta

“This guy was clinical in front of goal. It was like he knew where the ball was going in the penalty area before everyone else. Pauleta was always in the right place at the right time, and scoring goals just looked easy for him. Another very humble man and a good friend.”

Left-winger: Cristiano Ronaldo

“Quality, technique, effort and passion – that’s the recipe which
 has made Cristiano Ronaldo the best player in the world. He’s going to break every record that you can ever imagine.”

Manager: Jaime Pacheco

“It was incredible to work with him at Boavista. I could say Phil Scolari, as he’s won the World Cup and Pacheco hasn’t, but I’ll pick Jaime. He was very demanding but big-hearted.”



Rui Costa


For a limited time, you can get five copies of FourFourTwo for just £5 (opens in new tab)The offer ends on May 2, 2022.

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