Lionel Messi has been selected as the best right-winger ever, while Xavi has been picked as the best defensive midfielder ever (alongside Lothar Matthäus), by France Football magazine’s Ballon d’Or panel.
The pair came up through Barcelona’s academy and conquered many titles with the club. Xavi is now a coach, while Messi, of course, continues to play for the Catalans.
Eleven players were selected to make up the “Dream Team” which represents the best players ever in a 3-4-3 formation, as selected by a panel of 140 experts.
In addition, two legends who played for Barcelona but did not spend the majority of their career there were selected – Diego Maradona and Ronaldo Nazário.
Luis Figo. Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Hristo Stoichkov, Johan Cruyff, Sándor Kocsis, Romario, Luis Suárez Miramontes, Johan Neeskens, Luis Suárez Miramontes, Pep Guardiola, Bernd Schuster, Gica Hagi, Andrés Iniesta, and Ladislao Kubala were all former Barcelona players nominated. Former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard was nominated as a midfielder as well, although he never played for the blaugrana.
Full Dream Team
Goalkeeper: Lev Yashin.
Defenders: Cafú, Franz Beckenbauer, and Paolo Maldini.
Midfielders: Lothar Matthäus, Xavi, Pelé, and Maradona.
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Ronaldo Nazário, and Cristiano Ronaldo.