Gong Xi Fa Cai! Presenting FourFourTwo's all-time Rooster XI

To celebrate Chinese New Year, FourFourTwo have put together a list of footballers who were born in the Year of the Rooster and we think we have a starting 11 to crow about, using a 4-3-3 formation... 

Editor's note: The Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981 and 1993.

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Born in 1981)

Standing guard in our team would be European Championship and World Cup-winner Casillas.

The Spain legend might no longer be first choice for his country after the emergence of David De Gea in recent years, but just a few seasons back Casillas was irreplaceable in goal for Real Madrid and Spain.

Casillas shot to prominence when he was only 20 years old as he impressed many at the 2002 World Cup. There he made a tremendous stop against South Korea which was voted one of the top 10 saves in history.

Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was also a contender in our Rooster XI, but Casillas earned the nod due to his superior accomplishments, especially on the international stage.

ikercasillas-cropped_1104pp0bo2ohr11pk1mldjohqd.jpg

Left-back: Patrice Evra (Born in 1981)

During his heyday, Evra was one of the best left-backs around. He was always willing to overlap and his crosses were a menace to the opposition. He could even chip in with goals, be it with his head or feet.

Now aged 35, Evra may have lost his pace but he is still playing at the highest level with Juventus in the Serie A.

Just last year, he proved to many he still had something to offer as he added stability to France’s backline and helped them reach the Euro 2016 final.

 patrice-evra-paul-pogba_se2e4wl4a8tr1avr6u5fmzkyd.jpg

Right-back: Raphael Varane (Born in 1993)

He was tipped for the big time ever since he was a teenager, especially after Real Madrid made a move to secure him from Lens in 2011 when he was only 17.

Varane has arguably lived up to expectations since and consistently features for Los Blancos. His displays at club level did not go unnoticed and he has been called up by France since 2012.

He became the youngest player to captain France in 2015, when Les Bleus took on Armenia.

Varane primarily plays in central defence but he can also operate as a right-back when the occasion calls for it. While most defenders are not known for their technique, this 23-year-old is at ease with the ball at his feet and is generally strong in the air.

raphaelvarane_1roiih33pkirh160r9dy7mlxkg_0.jpg (

Centre-back: Franz Beckenbauer (Born in 1945)

We are thankful that one of Germany’s greatest ever players was born in the Year of the Rooster, making it a much easier task picking our starting 11.

Many have credited him for defining the role of a sweeper and showing others how protecting your goalkeeper should be done.

Call it coincidence or whatever you like, but Beckenbauer has some sort of affinity with the Year of the Rooster.

He won his first-ever Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 1969, while his last title as a player came in the 1981/82 season. As a manager, Beckenbauer earned his first Bundesliga title in the 1993/94 season.

Centre-back: Nemanja Vidic (Born in 1981)

Vidic is revered by many Manchester United fans, especially after he chose to leave the Premier League because he never wanted to play for any other team in England.

A great leader at the back, Vidic led by example and never shied away from a challenge on the pitch.

Paired in defence with Beckenbauer, we doubt many would be able to breach the Rooster XI’s defence, let alone test Casillas.

 vidic_6.jpg