Fernandinho names his best starting XI of opponents he has faced

Fernandinho names his best starting XI of opponents he has faced

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has named the best starting XI that he has played against in his lengthy football career. 

Fernandinho started his career back in Brazil with Athletico Paranaense before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005.

After spending eight years with the Ukrainian outfit, the Brazilian joined Manchester City six years ago in a deal worth £34 million.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Fernandinho was asked to name the toughest XI he has faced. Former AC Milan and Brazil keeper Dida got the nod in goal, "I played against him a long time ago back in 2007 in the Champions League. Back then he was amazing. He was part of one of the greatest teams in Europe."


Fernandinho's defense includes former Bayern Munich star Phillip Lahm at right-back, AC Milan Paolo Maldini on the left and center-backs of ex-Barcelona man Rafa Marquez and former Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordoba.

"One of the best was Philipp Lahm. I played against Cafu but he (Lahm) was one of the best without the ball and with the ball," Fernandinho continued.

"I played against Paolo Maldini as a left-back. He was one of the best defenders in the world. He was clever and intelligent and never gave the ball away.

"Rafa Marquez was outstanding. I played against him in 2008. The way he kept the ball and found the right passes was great.

"Ivan Cordoba has to be the other center-back. He used to play for Inter Milan. He won so many headers despite being small."


Fernandinho included Javier Zanetti, formerly of Inter, on the right in a three-man midfield with Andrea Pirlo through the middle and Dutch great Claudio Seedorf on the left.


The front three named by the City midfielder sees Brazil legend Ronaldo through the middle, with Lionel Messi on the right and Cristiano Ronaldo on the left, though he wouldn't be drawn on who is the best out of the latter two big names.

"In South America, you grow up with the skills but in Europe, you grow up as more of a hard worker. But they are both class and have been for a long time."

Fernandinho's toughest XI: Dida, Lahm, Marquez, Cordoba, Maldini; Zanetti, Pirlo, Seedorf; Messi, Ronaldo, (Cristiano) Ronaldo.