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Liverpool legend Gerrard included no Englishmen in his ultimate XI. But there’s a twist

Steven Gerrard drew on the likes of Roy Keane, Didier Drogba and Lionel Messi when naming his best-ever XI - with a tricky twist. Sky Sports asked the Liverpool legend and Rangers boss to select his side without using any two players from the same club or country. That would mean selecting Zinedine Zidane, for example, ruled out any fellow former Real Madrid, Juventus or France players. And yet he still did not opt for any English players, with four players coming from the Premier League.

Gerrard told The Football Show: “It took me more than a couple of hours, I was stewing on this for a couple of nights. “I felt like I had a team and I was happy with it, I had Zidane in it, I had [Roberto] Carlos, Baresi in it. Then you get a text of Carra saying, ‘No, no, no that’s wrong - they played together’. “It’s actually more challenging than what you think. “But we got there in the end and I’m really pleased with the team I picked.” Gerrard got around the tricky test by selecting big-name players from countries that produce fewer top stars, such as Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak. But there was no alternative to Manchester United legend Roy Keane, the midfield destroyer being one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Gerrard continued: “He was a cert going in and is somebody I was a big fan of, and growing up I studied his game a lot. “I really enjoyed a lot of battles against him, he was a top player. “I don’t think you appreciated how good he was until you were directly up against him, to see how fit and strong he was, a box-to-box midfielder.” Some viewers pointed out how Gerrard himself and Cristiano Ronaldo were among the players to miss out, but the winger’s selection would discount Keane, Toni Kroos and Alessandro Del Piero from the ex-midfielder’s team. He added: “I tried to get Phillip Lahm in from Bayern Munich, Zinedine Zidane in... but I wanted to front-load and try to get more goals! “I remember watching Italian footy and seeing Alessandro Del Piero whipping in free-kicks. What a player he was. “When you have a go at this challenge, you’ll realise how difficult it is!”

Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, selected the same front three with Keane, Vincent Kompany and Gerrard in his line-up. However he opted for Everton and Wales hero Neville Southall in goal behind Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved, Lahm, Franco Baresi and Roberto Carlos. Gerrard joked: “I think you can tell from my team that I’m a little bit younger than Carra because I’ve gone for a few more that are still playing now. “I think he showed his age there going for a few oldies.” This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.

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