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Tennis star Carlos Alcaraz picks his football 'dream XI'

Published at :June 29, 2023 at 2:21 AM
Modified at :July 1, 2023 at 8:31 PM
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Dhruv Sharma

A lineup of inspirational icons

Carlos Alcaraz is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is ranked world No. 1 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). The 20-year-old has beaten the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the best players our generation has ever seen.

Alcaraz has always shown interest in football, be it juggling on the court or supporting Real Madrid. He has the same kind of interest Rafael Nadal has in football; Nadal has revealed he wants to be Real Madrid's president someday. Alcaraz has shared his football Dream XI, a lineup that represents his vision of footballing perfection.

From the grace of midfield maestros to the defensive powerhouse and the lethal finishing of striking powerhouses, Alcaraz's Dream XI showcases an ideal balance of skill, passion, and tactical brilliance.

Carlos Alcaraz's football Dream 11

GK: Iker Casillas

A Madrid legend, Iker Casillas is the best goalkeeper in Real Madrid's history and in the history of Spanish football. He was just nine years old when he joined Real Madrid, and he went on to wear the jersey for 25 years. During his time at the club, he won the respect, affection, and admiration of Madrid supporters.

His impressive sporting career has been recognised by the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, the Royal Order of Sports Merit, and the Community of Madrid's Gold Medal. His illustrious career included every trophy that is possible in football; he won the Champions League, LaLiga, and World Cup with Spain. His inclusion in Alcaraz's team is evident because of his performances.

LB: Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, widely known as Roberto Carlos, is a Brazilian former professional footballer. As a left-back, he dominated the left wing and loved to go for overlaps, attacking at speed to deliver final balls that eventually led to goals.

Technically adept, he was able to keep possession while attacking, and even if he did lose the ball, he would press the opponent immediately to regain possession. He is remembered for his left foot; his free-kick goal is one of the best that has ever been scored in the history of football. He eventually retired in 2012.

CB: Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol carried out his entire professional career at Barça, but his beginnings were with his local side, La Pobla de Segur. In his early years, he showed great promise, and in 1995, when he was 17, he joined the FC Barcelona youth system and moved into La Masia.

He very quickly became a regular at the back for Barca B, and in 1999, he made his long-awaited debut for the first team. He won everything possible with Barcelona, including three Champions Leagues, six LaLiga matches, Euro 2008, and the 2010 World Cup. Aside from trophies, Carles Puyol’s career will also be remembered for iconic gestures; two, in particular, stand out in memory: kissing the captain’s armband and allowing Éric Abidal to lift the Champions League trophy.

CB: Sergio Ramos

A true Madrid legend, Sergio Ramos is one of the greatest players in Real Madrid's history. The hero of La Décima with his unforgettable 93rd-minute goal in Lisbon, he captained the team to lift La Duodécima and La Decimotercera.

He won four European Cups in a trophy haul of 22 titles, including four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, five LaLiga titles, two Copas del Rey, and four Spanish Super Cups. Beyond his impressive numbers, he'll long hold a place in the hearts of Madrid supporters thanks to his big performances on historic nights, and he was named the best defender in the Champions League twice (in 2017 and 2018).

RB: Cafu

Marcos Evangelista de Morais, more commonly known as Cafu, is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a right-back for clubs like Juventus, Roma, and AC Milan. He was renowned for his pace and energetic attacking runs along the right flank. Cafu is regarded as one of the best right-backs to ever play the game.

Cafu is the only player to have appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals, achieving the feat in 1994, 1998, and 2002. He won two of these finals, in 1994 and 2002. He also holds the record for the most World Cup appearances by a Brazilian player, with 20 appearances in four tournaments. Cafu is the most capped Brazilian player of all time, with 142 appearances for the Seleço.

CM: Zinedine Zidane

Carlos Alcaraz football
Zinedine Zidane has won three Champions League titles as a manager

Zidane is considered a genius in the game of football and is recognised by players from other sports. Zidane marked an era in world football with his elegance and technical skills. Blessed with a natural talent for this sport, the French midfielder won everything that could possibly be won, both with his clubs as well as with the French national team.

Zizou was known for his elegance, swiftness, and exceptional ball control, which made him probably the best we have ever seen. He is considered one of the best players who turned into a manager after his time at Real Madrid. He won the Champions League three consecutive years with the same squad, and in 2017 he claimed "The Best FIFA Men's Coach" award.

CM: Luka Modric

We have heard the statement "Ageing like fine wine" too often, and there are a few players in the world currently that fit this description. Luka Modric is the best midfielder in the world right now; he plays as a central midfielder but has the ability to play as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder.

Recently, he extended his contract with Real Madrid, which will keep him at the club for one more year alongside his midfield partner Toni Kroos. Madrid have a stacked midfield for the upcoming season after the signing of Jude Bellingham, and the experience of Modric can help young midfielders grow and maybe help them win trophies this season.

CM: Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is one of the best players to have grown up in La Masia; he is considered by many to be the best midfielder in the world. Andrés Iniesta's career grew as his performances in matches such as the semifinals of the 2009 Champions League against Chelsea, where his goal gave Barça access to the 2009 Rome final, or his match in the 2018 Copa del Rey final against Sevilla were some of the great performances of his career.

He scored the goal in the final of the World Cup in South Africa, thus giving the title of world champion to the Spanish team. Andres Iniesta, together with Xavi Hernandez and Leo Messi, revolutionised football from the mid-2000s until the end of the 2010s. Recent reports suggest that Iniesta would like to join Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets at Inter Miami, an MLS club.

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo

The legendary Portuguese player is regarded as one of the best players to ever grace the football field. Cristiano Ronaldo has been at the top of his game for almost two decades, and he is the only player to ever win three different domestic titles in Serie A, LaLiga, and the Premier League.

As mentioned about age, he continues to push himself at 38 and strives to be the best. He has revolutionised the game, and we can see that it was after his arrival in Saudi Arabia that a lot of top players now prefer Saudi Arabia as a place to play.

Carlos Alcaraz football dream 11

CF: Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as a forward for the Brazil national team and is known for his time at Real Madrid and Inter Milan. He is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. As a multi-functional striker who brought a new dimension to the position, Ronaldo has been an influence on a generation of strikers that have followed.

His individual accomplishments include being named FIFA World Player of the Year three times and winning two Ballon d'Or awards. He is one of the players to play for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Ronaldo was signed by FC Barcelona for a then-world record fee of $19.5 million. He spent one season with AC Milan before returning to Brazil.

RW: Lionel Messi

Messi is arguably the best player after winning the World Cup in 2022 with Argentina. His journey to world cup winner has been exceptional. He called it quits with Argentina after a heartbreaking loss in Copa America and decided to retire from international football, but he came out of retirement and has done the impossible.

Messi has won the Ballon d'Or as the world's best football player a record seven times. He might add on to this tally; he is eligible to win the eighth Ballon d'Or this time. He has won every trophy that is available in the sport of football.