WHEN we think of the greatest footballers of all time, Ronaldinho certainly springs to mind.
The Brazil legend, 43, enjoyed an illustrious career representing some of the biggest clubs in the world including Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
He also enjoyed a successful international career, winning the World Cup and the Copa America with Brazil.
Ronaldinho’s influence on the pitch led him to claim several individual accolades including two Fifa The Best Men’s Player of the Year awards and the sought-after Ballon d’Or.
And to celebrate his outstanding legacy, we’ve taken a look back at his favourite all-time Champions League XI.
Picking the team back in 2015, the happy trickster couldn’t resist a strong Brazilian flavour.
Check out who makes the cut, and who doesn’t, below – with only one of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi named…
GK – Gianluigi Buffon
QUITE possibly the greatest goalkeeper of all-time, Buffon is still going – back at his boyhood club Parma – at the age of 45.
Buffon has made 124 Champions League appearances, keeping 53 clean sheets in his glittering career.
But, incredibly he has never won the tournament.
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RB – Cafu
RONALDINHO’S former Brazil team-mate, Roma and AC Milan legend Cafu gets the nod at right-back.
He played 54 times in Europe’s elite competition across six seasons in Italy and won the title in 2006-07.
CB – John Terry
JT played 109 times across 13 seasons in the Champions League – finally winning the title in 2010-11.
The England legend knows all about Ronaldinho too, having scored a late goal to cancel out the Brazilian’s stunning strike in the 2005 last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge.
CB – Paolo Maldini
ARGUABLY the greatest centre-half to ever lace up a pair of boots, Maldini was famously the defender who “never tackled”.
Maldini played in EIGHT Champions League (and European Cup) finals – winning five – including bouncing back from losing the Miracle of Istanbul in 2005 to beat the same Liverpool side two years later.
LB – Roberto Carlos
ADDING to the Samba vibe is left-footed, free-kick god Roberto Carlos.
The Brazilian played 103 times in the Champions League with Real Madrid and Fenerbahce, winning twice with the LaLiga giants.
CM – Frank Lampard
THE second of three Chelsea players on the list, Lampard makes the cut over the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta – the Brazilian’s former Barcelona team-mates – in the team.
Lampard, now boss at Everton, played 105 times in the Champions League, winning the 2011-12 trophy to boot.
CAM – Kaka
MAKING the XI ahead of the likes of Zinedine Zidane is Brazilian tormentor Kaka
The attacking midfielder was at his peak in the mid-2000s, during his time at AC Milan and Real Madrid – but won just one title, the 2006-07 triumph.
CM – Claude Makelele
BEFORE N’Golo Kante came on the scene, Makelele was the man making CDM sexy again – with the position even known as “The Makelele Role” to this day.
During his time at Chelsea and Real Madrid, the Frenchman played 84 times in the Champions League, winning the crown in 2001-02.
What Twitter thinks of Ronaldinho’s XI
- “I see no Scholes/Gerrard, or even Rio.”
- “Where is Xavi, Zidane? He is a Brazilian, that is why he put Kaka ahead of the great midfielders…”
- “Gerrard for Lampard though… Gerrard was a machine in the Champions League.”
- “Great line-up, but the fact that CR7 is not in either Henry or Ronaldo’s place…”
- “Ooooft, name a current day team that could beat that line-up?!?”
- “Oh Ronaldinho you missed your self over there. I’ll put you in place of Henry…”
- “This team will beat any other team ever…”
RW – Lionel Messi
RONALDINHO assisted Messi for his first-ever professional goal – and the pair tore things up in Spain for years afterwards.
A man who needs no introduction, Messi has made 156 Champions League appearances to date, winning four titles across 18 seasons.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is now seeking his fifth title as PSG make another attempt to claim their first European trophy.
ST – Ronaldo
THE “original”, Brazilian Ronaldo makes the team in place of Cristiano…
Ronaldo played 40 times in the Champions League with Real Madrid and Barcelona, scoring 14 times but never winning the trophy…
Spent many years with Inter Milan, then in the Europa League.
LW – Thierry Henry
FINISHING off the XI is Arsenal legend Henry.
The Gunners hero played 73 times in the Champions league, scoring 35 times – but never won the trophy with Arsenal, before finally winning towards the end of his career in Barcelona.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk