Ever wondered who would be in Michael O’Neill’s dream team of former teammates he shared the pitch with?
The former Northern Ireland manager revealed his star XI with The Fantasy Football Club back in 2016, which Sky Sports shared once again this afternoon..
And his #One2Eleven features some stellar talent.
O’Neill enjoyed a successful playing career with clubs including Newcastle United, Dundee United, Hibernian and Wigan.
The current Stoke City manager also played for and managed Northern Ireland, leading his country to the 2016 Euros before stepping down last year.
As for his #One2Eleven, check it out below with the comments O’Neill made on the show about each player.
GOALKEEPER – Jim Leighton
I played with Jim at Hibernian and also briefly at Aberdeen. First of all, he was a fantastic goalkeeper but when he came to Hibs, he was well into his 30s and re-established himself as a top class goalkeeper and Scotland’s number one. He actually played ahead of Andy Goram at France ’98. It was great how he resurrected his career at Hibs and it was fantastic for us as a club.
RIGHT-BACK – Roland Nilsson
I was at Coventry with Roland and I watched him a lot, given that I was on the bench quite a bit. He was a Rolls Royce of a player. He was unflappable. A fantastic athlete and a great defender.
CENTRE-BACK – David Narey
He was a Scotland legend who is well remembered for that amazing goal against Brazil. Again, he was a top-class defender who would probably be suited to the modern game because he wasn’t a physical defender. He read the game well and could intercept passes with ease.
CENTRE-BACK – Mal Donaghy
He’s the first Northern Ireland player in my side. He won 93 caps for Northern Ireland and had a great career at Luton and then at Manchester United and Chelsea. I’m playing him at centre-half but he could have played at left-back or even as a holding midfielder but again, he was a player that was so calm and cool under pressure. He was a brilliant one-on-one defender.
LEFT-BACK – Maurice Malpas
I often had to play in front of Maurice on the left at Dundee United but in that whole time, I never saw him get done as a full-back. He played against some great players for Scotland and Dundee United but in terms of positional play, he was outstanding. A top defender.
RIGHT WING – Keith Gillespie
Keith came into the team very young and made an immediate impact. What I liked about him was that he was always there for Northern Ireland. He played 86 times and he was always a handful. When he came in, he was pace, pace and more pace but his game developed. He was a fantastic player for Northern Ireland.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Paul Gascoigne
There was no way he would have just played on the right side, he would have been all over the pitch. I only played with Gazza for a season at Newcastle but it was a fantastic experience. In many ways, I feel I saw the best of him because it was all about the football. The rest is history because we all know what a good player he was.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Norman Whiteside
When I came into the Northern Ireland team, Norman was only about 23 but he’d already got two World Cups under his belt. He’d done everything. His physical presence and his vision were both phenomenal. He could also score a goal and was just an all-round player. He was just a top footballer and a top bloke.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Gary McAllister
Another fantastic player, Gary was such a technician. He was a great striker of the ball and a great leader on the pitch. What was remarkable was that he went on after he left Coventry and had a brilliant career with Liverpool. He was a player who could mix it with the top players in the game.
LEFT WING – Michael Hughes
We actually played in the same school team, as well as at international level. For me, he was one of the most talented Northern Ireland players we’ve ever produced. He probably didn’t score enough goals but he had the technical ability to play at the very top level of the game.
STRIKER – Duncan Ferguson
There will be plenty of crosses into the box from this team so who better to have on the end of them than Duncan Ferguson? Duncan came into the Dundee United team very young and he was unplayable. He was phenomenal and a great finisher on his left-hand side. He was a very gifted left-sided player and a lot of people probably didn’t realise that. However, in terms of the ball going into the box, he made sure he was going to win it.
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