Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, and Cristiano Ronaldo were in the biggest squad ever revealed by France Football—the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.
The weekly magazine has instead declared its best XI in history, as voted by journalists from 170 countries and territories, after having canceled its annual Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best footballer because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The revered line-up includes three-time World Cup winner Pele of Brazil and legendary Argentinean Diego Maradona, who died of a heart attack last month.
The squad also includes Lev Yashin, goalkeeper; Cafu, Franz Beckenbauer and Paolo Maldini, defenders; and Xavi and Lothar Matthaus, midfielders.
“For me, it is an honor to have been included in the eleven of the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. I want to thank you for choosing me and also congratulate all the players who were selected … and all the nominees, there are real phenomena on that list,” said in an Instagram post-Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or a record six times.
Ronaldo, a two-time winner of the World Cup and dual recipient of the Ballon d’Or, also expressed joy in being placed in the No. 9 spots.
“It’s such an honor to be elected the best center-forward of all time in the Dream Team by France Football, “It is such an honor to be elected the best forward center of all time in the Dream Team by France Football.
“I gave my life for football and followed my dreams. No matter the obstacle I faced and the pain I had to overcome I was always focused to get where I wanted,” he added.
“I’m very honored to be part of France Football’s all-time 11. What an amazing Dream Team. They all deserve my respect and admiration and I’m proud to be amongst such extraordinary players. Thank you! I’m very honored to be part of the all-time 11th of France Football. What an amazing Dream Team. They all deserve my respect and admiration and I’m proud to be among such extraordinary players. Thank you!”