Who makes the cut in Xabi Alonso's Champions League Dream Team?
Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso has lit up the Champions League for more than a decade and his Dream Team looks a formidable side.
Alonso, who tasted success with both Liverpool and Real Madrid, will hope to claim the famous trophy for a third time with the German champions well placed to launch another assault on Europe's premier club competition.
Alonso was asked to make his dream team selection and few will be surprised to see Zinedine Zidane – "at his peak he was on a different level to anybody" - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the selection.
Manuel Neuer was given the nod in goals, with his ability to play outfield one of the listed attributes – while there are a few surprises at the back.
Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol anchors the heart of the defence alongside Sergio Ramos, with current team-mates Phillip Lahm and David Alaba occupying positions on the flank.
His great friend and influence Gerrard is named in midfield along with Xavi, Zidane and Paul Scholes, with the former Manchester United star singled out for special praise.
"In Spain you would not believe how well respected he is by professionals and journalists," he told The Daily Mail.
"Maybe because he was quiet off the field he never got the right praise in England because he likes to keep a low profile. Technically he could have played in any league in the world."
The forward line was a no-brainer with Ronaldo and Messi the obvious choices.
"I have been privileged to play with some amazing players, but he is the best," he said of former Madrid colleague Ronaldo.
Xabi Alonso Champions League Dream Team
Manuel Neuer; Phillip Lahm, Carlos Puyol, Sergio Ramos, David Alaba; Xavi, Zinedine Zidane, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard; Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi.
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