My Favourite XI : IndieZizou

After a brief lull, “My Favourite XI” is now kicking into gear and we are thrilled to welcome our first guest post of the revamped series. Jamie from IndieZizou is on hand to guide you through the 11 players that have left a mark on him.

There is a core of Manchester United legends; but you should also spot an admiration for a certain type of midfield maestro. He has picked out every type of maestro that you could imagine.

Previous Favourite XI: Andy Hunter

Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel (retired)
A beast of a goalkeeper, the starfish saves and the then ridiculous 60 yard throws to Kanchelskis or Giggs steaming down the wing. His reputation and standing only enhanced by the likes of Massimo Taibi, Mark Bosnich and Fabien Barthez that followed him.

Defender: Alessandro Nesta (Montreal Impact)
I struggle to get excited about defenders but Nesta made everything look so effortless, whilst looking totally unruffled and ready for a night out. I’d need him to cover for Shaun Taylor.

Defender: Shaun Taylor (retired)
Ever present and scored 13 goals for Swindon Town from centre-back during the promotion season to the Premier League in 1992/1993. An awful footballer on reflection but as a 9 year old kid all I cared about was the goals and the easy to sing-along chant of “ooooooh Shaun Taylor.”

Defender: Jaap Stam (retired)
A monster of a defender both in size and ability. If I had to pick a defender I’d hate to face it’s Stam, scary bloke!

Midfielder: Roy Keane (retired)
Just an absolute leader. Dominated against the very best and dragged United across the line in Turin in 1999. The current state of United’s midfield only makes me miss him more. His clashes vs. Vieira are something that is sadly missing from the modern game.

Midfielder: Paul Gascoigne (retired)
Some of my earliest football memories are of Gascoigne and those tears at Italia 90. Growing up in the 90′s it was impossible to not love everything about ‘Gazza.’ That free kick against Arsenal, that header in the Rome Derby and Football Italia coverage on a Sunday. The icing on the cake though was being at the game vs. Scotland in Euro 96, sat amongst Scotland fans, abusing Gazza from minute one and him scoring that goal and doing that celebration. I even dyed my hair blonde. To this day I find it tough to watch Gazza videos without getting emotional.

Midfielder: Zinedine Zidane (retired)
Perfection as a footballer, so much grace and poise, all nicely underpinned by the temperament of a mad man.

Midfielder: Andres Iniesta
Like Zidane without the anger and the face of an innocent china doll. Of all current players it’s Iniesta I’d choose to watch above all others. Mesmerising on the ball.

Forward: Mark Hughes (retired)
The sole reason I became a Manchester United fan, much to the annoyance of my Manchester City supporting Dad. To be more specific it was that volley in the 5-1 loss at Maine Road that made me fall in love with ‘Sparky.’

Forward: Eric Cantona (retired)
Cantona picked up the mantle as my favourite player from Mark Hughes. I had the pleasure of meeting him as a 10 year old, where 6’4 Eric seemed like an absolute giant! We only had one picture left on the film that day and my Dad asked me to choose between Cantona and Ince, safe to say I made the right decision in going for Eric.

Forward: Romario (retired)
Just edges in, in front of Stoichkov. Part of that glorious Barcelona team and the main man at the 94 World Cup. The king of the toe poke finish and I remember mimicking his arms open celebration a lot as a kid.


Duncan Shearer (retired)
Goal scorer supreme at my home town club for 4 glorious years between 1988 and 1992. A player I stared at in open-mouthed awe when I met him as a mascot in 1991 and a player who made me cry when he left for mega bucks Blackburn at the end of the 1992 season. Adding salt to the wound he was replaced by Terry Gibson.

Ronaldo (retired)
The best striker of all time. In an era when highlights of European football were only available on Eurosport on a Monday night, Ronaldo at Barcelona seemed to be from another planet altogether.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Ever since watching clips of him as a 15 year old on youtube and signing him on every football manager until my self inflicted retirement from the game. I find it impossible not to love everything about Aguero even after the title clinching goal for City.

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Effortlessly strolling around the pitch at his own pace, never flustered and sporting that beard. What’s not to love?

David Luiz (Chelsea)
I don’t even know if he’s that good but I just love watching him play. Steaming around the pitch like a mad men, afro bouncing all over the place, goals from 30 yards, who needs to defend?

(Photo credit: voyages provence via Flickr)

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