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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Six Chelsea in Ronaldinho dream team

Brazilian star Ronaldinho has sparked a row in Spain by selecting six Chelsea players in his European dream team - and none from his own club!

Chelsea are set to face Barcelona in the Champions League next month in the last 16 of the competition but Ronaldinho ignored the talents of his team-mates and chose a handful of players from the Premiership champions instead.

Ronaldinho picked Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech, England centre-half John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard, French anchorman Claude Makelele, and strikers Didier Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen to appear in his fantasy selection.

Barcelona are currently running away with the Spanish league but the Brazilian decided there was no room for his team-mates - preferring to heap the plaudits on their forthcoming opponents.

'Cech has proved at Chelsea that he is the best young goalkeeper in Europe,' explained Ronaldinho.

'In defence, John Terry is my first choice because he is Chelsea's leader and has developed into a very sound defender.

'I choose Makelele simply because he is quite simply the best holding midfield player in the world. The way he sits in front of a defence controlling the game and protecting his back four is incredible.

'And I choose Lampard because of his incredible footballing vision. His passing and his shooting from midfield are outstanding.'

Ronaldinho even elected to have Gudjohnsen and Drogba as partners for Milan's Andrei Shevchenko attack.

The Brazilian said: 'Shevchenko is very special. His individual class and quality - as well as speed - set him apart and make him the world's most dangerous attacker.

'After Sheva, it's not so easy to choose, but I would pick Chelsea's pair. Drogba is very powerful and one of the biggest aerial threats around, while Gudjohnsen is a clever striker who makes as many goals as he scores.'

Ronaldinho chose 12 players, three in each position.

His European elite squad was:

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Dida (AC Milan); Cafu (AC Milan), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), John Terry (Chelsea); Kaka (AC Milan), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Claude Makelele (Chelsea); Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Chelsea), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan).

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