SOMEONE asked me the other day to name my ‘ultimate footballer’ of all time – which meant putting a player of choice next to each attribute that a footballer possesses.

It’s something that you can’t do on the spot, so I went away and had a good think about it. The main attributes I came up with were the following: Football brain, heading, strength, vision, leadership, pace, right foot and left foot.

So here we go, I’ve picked eight players to fit those eight attributes listed above. I hope you all agree with my selections…

FOOTBALL BRAIN – LIONEL MESSI

Daily Echo: Lionel MessiLionel Messi

Excuse the pun, but this is a no brainer for me. Easily one of the best footballers of all time – Messi just makes the impossible possible with his ability to make something happen out of virtually nothing. I could watch him play for hours, he’s a genius of the game.

HEADING – ALAN SHEARER 

Daily Echo: Alan ShearerAlan Shearer

Growing up, Shearer was a massive figure in the Premier League and in English football. Whenever I watched him on the telly, I used to think that he must be a nightmare to defend against. He won every single ball in the air, with most of his goals coming from crosses into the box. He was such a physical and powerful player who I admired massively when growing up.

STRENGTH – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

Daily Echo: Zlatan IbrahimovicZlatan Ibrahimovic

What a decorated career Ibrahimović has had, playing for some of the best teams on the planet and winning trophies wherever he’s gone. He’s such a threat in the box and if you’re a defender, deep down, you never want to go up and challenge him for a ball in the air – he most definitely warrants the strength attribute.

VISION – XABI ALONSO

Daily Echo: Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso

This one was very tough as I wish I could have put the whole Spanish midfield from 2008-2012 but I’ve gone with Alonso. The way he could make a diagonal pass look so effortless and split a defence open with just one pass was incredible. He was the heartbeat of two fantastic Liverpool and Real Madrid teams which went on to win Champions Leagues. That says it all!

LEADERSHIP – ROY KEANE

Daily Echo: Roy KeaneRoy Keane

A player you did not want to mess with. He was Manchester United’s most decorated captain for a reason as he could lead his team through any situation regardless of the scenario. Keane was a born winner and you need serial winners in any side that is successful – he knew how to hold a dressing room together and could handle the pressure when called upon.

PACE – GARETH BALE

Daily Echo: Gareth BaleGareth Bale

I was spoilt for choice in this department because I’ve watched and played against so many players who have electrifying pace – but I must give this one to Bale. I always remember that goal he scored for Real Madrid in the 2014 Copa Del Rey Final against Barcelona, where he knocked the ball past Marc Bartra on the touchline by the benches and it was like an Olympic sprint race. Once he rounded Bartra, he just calmly poked the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs – it was just an incredible goal that I can watch time and time again. 

RIGHT FOOT – CRISTIANO RONALDO

Daily Echo: Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo

I had to have both Messi and Ronaldo in this team – you can’t have one without the other! I don’t have to big Ronaldo up as you all know what he’s achieved and what a truly remarkable player he is. I think it’s safe to say, he’s got the most powerful right foot in the world so he’s undoubtedly part of my ultimate footballer

LEFT FOOT – DIEGO MARADONA

Daily Echo: Diego MaradonaDiego Maradona

The last piece of my ‘ultimate footballer’ puzzle. Argentina have always been blessed with some magical, technical players down the years – Maradona completely changed the evolution of a footballer when he first broke onto the scene. His pace, quick feet and vision was really the start of a new era in football.

So, there it is, my ‘ultimate footballer’! Get involved at home guys and send in yours as I’m intrigued to see if I have missed anyone out!

Have a great weekend everyone, I will be back next week for my next instalment. Until then stay safe and take care.

Macca