Pubcast XI: Left Back
This week we’re looking to fill the left-back slot in our Football Pubcast All-Star XI.
On Monday’s show we selected four world-class fullbacks, each with excellent credentials for inclusion in our XI, but who should make it into our side?
Here are the four players, as nominated by the Pubcasters themselves. Please vote for your favourite using the poll below.
We’ll announce the results in next week’s show.
Roberto Carlos – nominated by Stu
Legend has it Roberto Carlos nearly signed for Bryan Robson’s Middlesbrough side in 1995 before eventually plumping for a move to Inter Milan. Things could have been VERY different! The Brazilian only played one season at the San Siro before moving to Real Madrid where he was first choice left back for 11 seasons.
Roberto played a total of 584 games for Los Blancos, scoring 71 goals – a ratio of one in eight. Not bad for a fullback!
While at Real he won three Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and he set a club record for the most league matches played by a non-Spanish-born player.
The legendary Brazilian also played 125 games for his country, winning the 2002 World Cup. I could list his achievements in full, but that would require a blog post all of his own.
After his final game at Fenerbahce his teams mate gave him a good bye shower they loved him so much! The fans loved him, his teammates loved him and I think we should show him some love too and vote him into our Pubcast XI as our left back.
Ashley Cole – nominated by Jim
Ashley Cole the football player. That’s all I’m interested in for the purposes of this vote. Take his very public “private” life out of the equation and you are left with a full back widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
Cole has competed at the top level all of his career and continues to dominate the national scene; providing one of the first names on both the Chelsea and England team sheet. His competition for this position in the Pubcast XI are either very good defenders (Pearce & Maldini) or glorified wingers (Roberto Carlos). Ashley combines the two.
Defensively, he can be relied upon to keep even the most decorated of right wingers quiet – Cristiano Ronaldo still suffers from Cole related nightmares I’m sure – whilst attacking with energy and enthusiasm at the other end.
This team should represent a mix of legends and modern day players who have the potential to be looked back on in future years as greats.
A vote for Ashley Cole demonstrates a vote for the best left back on the planet right now.
Paolo Maldini – nominated by Mike
After selecting our devilishly handsome right back, the erstwhile Mr. Gary Neville, I felt it only right that I chose an equally, indeed some would even say more, handsome left back. If just so happens that this left back is a) genuinely handsome and b) genuinely the greatest left back to ever play the game.
902 appearances for the one club he played for over 25 years, 126 caps for his International side (including two major tournament finals) 5 European Cups from 8 final appearances, 7 league titles, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No, I’m not talking about Phil Neville.
Paolo Maldini is the unquestionable pick at left back. Classy, skilful, dedicated, intelligent, physical and respected, no man personifies all that is great about the art of defending than Maldini.
Milan retired his number 3 shirt when he retired, and it will only ever be worn by his progeny should they turn out for the club. Only Franco Baresi has also received this honour at one of the world’s truly giant football clubs.
And don’t worry, next week I’ll nominate Franco Baresi and David May at centre half to keep the United/Milan balance at the back.
Stuart Pearce – nominated by Simon and Dan
When I started playing football as an 8 year old, taking on players two years older than me (plus I was a titch as a lad), I had to be strong in the tackle, and Stuart Pearce was the perfect role model. Strong as an ox, superb defensively, physically imposing and a leader of men like few English players before or since.
He probably wasn’t as good a player technically as one or two of the other nominees this week, and I’m sure some have won more trophies in the game, but football’s about more than just winning trophies.
It’s also about loyalty, integrity, passion, character and heart. Few players in the modern game could come close to Pearce in those areas. His reaction following his successful penalty against Spain in Euro 96 ranks among the most passionate, memorable celebrations ever seen at Wembley. Most of the nation were celebrating in similar fashion.
There have been few left backs in the modern era as influential as Pearce and there are few better team players in English football history. He’d be your captain, he’d be your motivator, he’d be your go-to guy on the pitch. I want our XI to feature a truly great English player and, if I could choose that player, I’d choose Stuart Pearce.
Stuart Pearce 62.26%
Paolo Maldini 28.30%
Roberto Carlos 7.55%
Ashley Cole 1.89%