We asked Brad Friedel for his best-ever team-mate XI – and the side he picked is unbelievable

Brad Friedel of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane on April 29, 2012 in London, England.
(Image credit: Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Brad Friedel is one of the Premier League's most enduring goalkeepers – so you may not be surprised to see how good his Perfect XI is.

But quite how good it is, is something else. The American played for Liverpool, Tottenham, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Galatasaray among others, lining up with legends across his career. 

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

Brad Friedel picks his Perfect XI…

Brad Friedel Perfect XI

Brad Friedel's Perfect XI (Image credit: Future)

GK: David James

“Jamo had everything – in some training sessions, nobody could score past him. He was so big, strong and agile. Athletic, too. We weren’t the closest team-mates at Liverpool, but I always had a tremendous amount of respect for his ability and talent.”

RB: Kyle Walker

“I was at Aston Villa when he came on loan, then I played at Tottenham with him for four years. Kyle was an exceptionally explosive right-back and a really good team-mate. He was so quick that it didn’t matter if he made a mistake, because he could always correct it with his pace. He’s had some incredible coaching from Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola, and now he’s positionally superb.”

CB: Ledley King

“He hardly ever trained because of his knee – I never knew how a player could do that and just fit in seamlessly. I’ve never known a captain as quiet, but Ledley commanded everyone’s respect. Positionally, he was the best I played behind. Very rarely did I scan the field and tell him where anyone was.”

CB: Eddie Pope

“Another quiet leader – him and Ledley could have played next to each other, at any level, at any club in the world. Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen were both interested, but Eddie felt more comfortable staying in the US. On the international scene, he shut down some of the best attackers in the world.”

LB: Jan Vertonghen

“Jan hated playing left-back with a passion, but he was just too good to be left out! excellent as a centre-back, his true position, and was a very good passer. He was just one of those players who could slide into any top club and not be out of place.”

CM: Paul Ince

“Incey was a very, very good footballer – he could play one-twos in tight areas or score goals – but he could also mix it up physically. If you needed him to kill someone, then he could do it. As a leader, he tried to instil fear in other players or be very vocal. When the big games came along, there were very few better than him.”

CM: Tugay

“Only Tugay could tell you why he didn’t play for a club like Barcelona. A truly magnificent player, with one of the best touches in world football. He had a great strike, and when I played with him at Galatasaray, an engine on him, too. He chose to stay at Blackburn for a long time and the fans loved him – still do – but he could have played anywhere.”

RW: Gareth Bale

“He’s so big, fast, strong, powerful – at one stage during his time at Real Madrid, there was really only Messi and Ronaldo who were better than him. A truly remarkable physical specimen. When Gareth’s fit, he can run by anybody with the ball and create things that other players couldn’t even imagine doing.”

AM: Luka Modric

“He’s still one of the best midfielders in the game, and he was when we were at Spurs. He’s not a tough tackler, but he’ll have the ball anywhere, any place, any time and can dictate a game’s tempo. Luka has no issue being a star, as he’s shown at Real Madrid.”

LW: Gheorghe Hagi

“The best I ever played with. Even coming to the end of his career at Galatasaray, he was only a notch below someone like Diego Maradona. You only needed a week with him in training to see his class.”

CF: Harry Kane

“I was doing my coaching badges while I was at Tottenham, and Harry was training with the first team. Even as a young kid, his shots were so difficult to save. I told the academy director John McDermott that his strikes had whip like Robbie Fowler and power like Alan Shearer. John just looked at me like I had five heads!”

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

“His attention to detail was second to none. He’s a compassionate man, but passionate for the game, too. Poch was very, very smart and he ran the club like no other I’ve been around.”


Uli van Gobbel
Mousa Dembele
Michael Owen

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