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My Legends XI: Ewan McQueen – Down Ibrox Way Columnist

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I started watching football from a young age, having watched my first game in 1995.

As many visitors to the website will know, I’m a proud Rangers fan but this Legends XI will try to stay away from an Ibrox bias.

Instead, I will choose a team and squad that will feature the players I have loved to watch since 1995 in a 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel

The Dane is simply the greatest keeper I have ever seen. His shot-stopping ability was simply tremendous and for me he was a key reason why Manchester United had so much success during the 1990s.

Right Back: Cafu

One of the all time great Brazilian footballers, he can easily make a claim to be the greatest Right Back of all time.

His marauding runs that often started near his own box were a joy to watch at both club and international level as he starred in very successful Brazil and AC Milan teams throughout the 90s and 2000s.

Centre Back: Jaap Stam

Along with Schmeichel, a stalwart and key member of Manchester United’s 1999 Treble winning team.

However, I loved Stam wherever he went, before and after at Old Trafford and also during his performances for Holland.

He was a typical no-nonsense defender, winning header after header and bullying top quality strikers week in week out. These are defenders I have always loved and Stam was my favourite.

Centre Back: Paulo Maldini

For me there has never been a classier player than the AC Milan legend. To be at the top over for 20 years in one of the best leagues in the world was testament to his wonderful fitness regime. He had wonderful composure and an eye for wonderful passing.

Left Back: Roberto Carlos

The Brazilian first came to my attention with that superb free kick in 1997 against France that is arguably one of the greatest goals ever.

Whilst he never repeated that feat, he was a joy to watch throughout the late 1990s and 2000s.

An integral part of Brazil’s success in the 2002 World Cup and also a key member of Real Madrid’s Galacticos, Carlos had one of the best shots in football and I really didn’t care that he was a distinctly average defender.

Right Midfielder: Luis Figo

Despite his recent foray into embarrassing ‘Just For Men’ adverts, Figo is still one of the coolest men to ever play football in my eyes.

The Portuguese midfielder had a brilliant crossing and passing ability and also chipped in with his fair share of fantastic goals.

It showed how good Figo was when the initial furore over his transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid soon died down when fans realised how much of an asset he was.

Centre Midfield: Paul Scholes

He’s my favourite player of all time. It says something when players of the quality of Zinedine Zidane and Xavi Hernandez say this as well.

His passing ability was second to none and some of his superb volleys always feature in my favourite goals of all time.

For me, he is the greatest English midfielder of the last 15 years.

Centre Midfield: Xavi

I think its unfair how he has only come to a larger prominence amongst football fans in the last few years. The Spanish midfielder has been wonderful to watch over the last decade and I subscribe to the gospel that Barcelona wouldn’t have had half the success they have had in the last decade without him.

I’ll make a bold claim- Xavi is the complete player and the best player in the world.

Left Midfield: Brian Laudrup

I couldn’t pick a team without at least one Rangers player in it and Laudrup for me was my favourite player as I started watching the Ibrox club.

He was a class above everyone else with his skills and pace and ability to score just about any type of goal.

In certain games, where Rangers were struggling to break down teams other players gave the ball to Laudrup, convinced he would bring a moment of magic and more often than not the Dane delivered the goods.

Striker: Raul

A player who I used to try to emulate when I played football in the street. One of the greatest instinctive goalscorers of all time for Spain and Real Madrid, the Spaniard is still scoring for fun at Schalke.

What endeared me even more was his wonderful ability to keep his ego in check whilst big name superstars were continually bought.

Striker: Gianfranco Zola

The little Italian is one of the most skilful players I have ever seen in the English Premiership.

His backheel against Norwich in 2003 is one of the greatest pieces of trickery to happen in the last 15 years, not just in England but in world football.

He may have been small but he was a giant in terms of footballing ability.

Substitutes:

Andy Goram: The second player to be linked with Rangers in this squad, but like first eleven goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Goram pulled off impossible saves.

One of his saves in particular in an Old Firm game against Pierre Van Hooijdonk defied belief.

Fabio Cannavaro: One of the greatest defenders of all time who deservedly won the World Cup in 2006 as Italian captain. Like first team player Maldini, he was so assured with the ball at his feet and could man mark even the very best strikers out of the game.

Redondo: At Real Madrid between 1998-2000 in particular, this dynamic Argentinean midfielder was one of the very best in the world.

Along with my Dad, I used to wax lyrical about his passing and how he used to ghost past defenders like they weren’t there. Very unlucky to not take a place in my starting eleven.

Zinedine Zidane: For me he’s still the greatest player I have ever seen, although as I said in the intro, this is about my favourite players and Scholes and Xavi and Redondo would be ahead of Zizou for a centre midfield role.

Having said that, his goal for Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League Final is my favourite goal ever and the Frenchman had the unique ability to win games all by himself.

Dado Prso: For my final choice, I am really showing my allegiances but Prso’s work ethic and commitment were second to none throughout his career. He first came to my attention when he scored four goals for Monaco in a Champions League tie in 2003.

I was delighted when Rangers signed him the following summer and during his time there I loved his passion and desire in every game.

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About Author

Ewan is a third year Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. A Rangers season ticker holder, he is interested in all things related to Scottish Football, but also writes about the English Championship.

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