Ballon d'Or Dream Team: Messi and Ronaldo find berths
Football legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been included in the greatest team of all time announced by France Football - Ballon D'or Dream Team. Having canceled its annual Ballon d'Or award for the world's best footballer because of the coronavirus pandemic, the weekly magazine instead has announced its best XI in history. Here are further details.
Messi said it's an honor for him to be included. "For me it is an honour to have been included in the eleven of the Ballon d'Or Dream Team. I want to thank you for choosing me and also congratulate all the players who were selected ... and all the nominees, there are real phenomena on that list," said Messi in an Instagram post.
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon d'Or five times, said that the fellow players deserves his respect and admiration. "I'm very honoured to be part of France Football's all-time 11. What an amazing Dream Team. They all deserve my respect and admiration and I'm obviously proud to be amongst such extraordinary players. Thank you!"
Goal-keeper: Lev Yashin. Defenders: Cafu, Franz Beckenbauer, and Paolo Maldini. Mid-fielders: Lothar Matthäus, Xavi, Pelé, and Maradona. Forwards: Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid and Barcelona stalwart Ronaldo expressed pride at being named in the No. 9 position. "It's such an honour to be elected the best centre forward of all time in the Dream Team by France Football," Ronaldo said on Instagram. The legendary striker was a two-time World Cup winner and dual Ballon d'Or recipient as well.
Pele, arguably the greatest player of all time, is included alongside Diego Maradona who sadly passed away last month. The two South American greats have long been the two contenders for GOAT-status in football. Brazil's Pele won three FIFA World Cups while Maradona single-handedly guided Argentina to the trophy in 1986.