Which Premier League legends make our Six Nations XI?
Our legendary Premier League XI, made up of players from each of the Six Nations, would make a formidable opponent for any team in world football.
The 2020 Six Nations is well under way, while the 2019/20 Premier League season is entering its final few months.
With that in mind, we thought we'd put together a legendary XI made up of Premier League players from each of the Six Nations.
To avoid a team full of English and French players, however, we have allowed ourselves to pick a maximum of two players from each country.
And, to round things off, we've also picked an iconic manager to keep the side in check.
Goalkeeper – Carlo Cudicini (Italy)
Italy and England tend to produce wildly different footballers. There is, however, one thing that unites them: an aversion to travel.
For all the wonderful Italian players that have graced the football pitch over the past 25 years, few of note have ended up in the Premier League.
That’s why Cudicini, who made 161 Premier League appearances for Chelsea and Tottenham between 1999 and 2013, makes our team.
The Italian never actually won a Premier League medal, but having been one of the league’s best goalkeepers before Petr Cech relegated him to back-up status in 2004, he does get the small consolation of being named in goal for our Six Nations XI.
You’re welcome, Carlo.
Right-back – Seamus Coleman (Ireland)
An uninspiring name, maybe, but Coleman will go down as one of Ireland’s best ever Premier League players.
The right-back has made 264 appearances in the competition for Everton, after signing for just £60,000 from Sligo Rovers in 2009.
His pace, skill, and stamina make him the perfect right-back for our Six Nations XI, with his bombing runs down the right flank providing an extra attacking outlet in a team that screams goals.
More importantly, though, his understated leadership skills will help keep his teammates’ big egos in check.
It’s a tough ask, but we can rely on Seamus.
Centre-back – Rio Ferdinand (England)
Ole may not be at the wheel, but Rio will surely be content with Sir Alex being in charge of our Six Nations XI.
The England legend won six Premier League titles during his time under Ferguson at Manchester United, and that is a winning combination we simply could not ignore.
On the pitch, Ferdinand’s exceptional distribution and elegance on the ball provide the perfect accompaniment to his partner’s more agricultural style of defending.
Let’s just hope they can put aside their personal differences for the honour of representing this historic team.
Centre-back – John Terry (England)
Strong, aggressive, and not afraid of a challenge, Terry is one of very few modern footballers who could hold their own on the rugby pitch.
Luckily for him, though, we’re sticking to what he knows best – the round, not oval, ball.
Terry makes up the other half of our all-English centre-back pairing, although he misses out on the captain’s armband, a decision which even he won’t dare dispute.
We’ll keep him away from the WAGs, too.
Left-back – Andy Robertson (Scotland)
Robertson is playing in just his fourth season of Premier League football, but few would dispute that he is already one of Scotland’s greatest ever Premier League player.
A title winners’ medal is all but sitting upon the mantlepiece, set to join the Champions League title that Robertson won with Liverpool last season.
Much like Coleman on the opposite flank, Robertson will provide our team with serious zip down the left wing, while his crossing ability will have our attackers licking their lips.
Centre-midfield – Roy Keane © (Ireland)
"Without a shadow of a doubt the most inspirational football player that I played with. The influence he had in terms of his standards, the fact that he made everyone else feel 10-foot tall, the fact that he demanded from you all the time. He was almost like Sir Alex Ferguson out on the training pitch and in the changing room.”
And that, from Gary Neville, perfectly sums up why we have selected Keane as the captain of our Six Nations XI.
Oh, and the fact that we’d be too scared to tell him otherwise.
Centre-midfield – Patrick Vieira (France)
There was only ever one player we could pick to play alongside Keane in central midfield: his greatest opponent.
The destructive duo went to war against each other 12 times in the Premier League – Keane winning four, Vieira winning three alongside five draws.
Their rivalry came to a head during an infamous bust-up in the Highbury tunnel in 2005, but their relationship has mellowed since their respective retirements.
With Keane destroying and Vieira creating, this is a midfield axis which would take some beating.
Right-wing – Gareth Bale (Wales)
Wales. Golf. Betway’s hypothetical Six Nations XI. Madrid. In that order.
It’s good to see that Bale has his priorities straight after being picked on the right flank in our team.
The winger was, in all honesty, a shoo-in for this side considering his heroic exploits for Tottenham in the Premier League and his record goals haul for Wales.
And, considering his continuing nightmare at Real, we’re sure he will welcome an extra international break with open arms.
Central attacking midfield – Paolo Di Canio (Italy)
Gianfranco Zola may feel hard done by in missing out here, but Di Canio - the top-scoring Italian in Premier League history - gets the nod due to his versatility.
Di Canio scored 47 goals in 118 league appearances over four seasons for the Hammers, including his famous flying volley against Wimbledon – later voted the best Premier League goal of the 2000s.
His quick feet, creativity and eye for goal make him the perfect player to pull the strings in this forward line.
Left-wing – Ryan Giggs (Wales)
Like his compatriot Bale, it was almost impossible to leave Giggs out of our Six Nations XI.
He made 672 appearances for Manchester United over 23 years, winning 13 Premier League titles among 35 major trophies, making him the joint-fifth most decorated footballer of all-time.
His off-field antics may have turned his whole family and much of Britain against him, but a strong performance for the lads here and all will be forgotten.
With our two Welsh wing wizards on the flanks, this team will certainly not be short of pace, creativity or goals from wide areas.
Striker – Thierry Henry (France)
Five players have scored more Premier League goals than Henry, but none did so with more style than the Frenchman.
Pace, skill, size and va-va-voom – Henry had it all. He is the perfect fulcrum for our Six Nations attack.
Manager – Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland)
We may have picked just one Scot in our XI, but that does allow us to place the greatest Premier League manager of all-time in charge.
Thirteen league titles in 26 years speaks for itself, never mind the 26 other trophies he won during his time at Manchester United.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to get the hairdryer out.
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