David Beckham: My +10 team
David Beckham may have his critics but it is still widely agreed that the England captain is the best crosser of a ball in football bar none.
His range of passing, command of set-pieces and legendary workrate are arguably just as impressive and, tellingly, Beckham's team-mates and coaches have always been quick to laud a player whose currently tally of 92 international appearances puts him fifth on the list of most-capped England players.
Sven-Goran Eriksson, whose faith in his captain has never wavered, recently said: "I have never understood the criticism levelled at Beckham. When you look at his number of assists, you cannot find that anywhere in the world. He is not a dribbler, but he doesn't need to be because he just strokes the ball wherever he wants it."
It is a measure of the scale of the ongoing Beckham debate in Britian that even the country's Prime Minister recently waded to offer his tuppence worth, giving his wholehearted backing to a player who only ever seems to be one indifferent performance away from a media mauling. "As a crosser of the ball, he's better than anyone else in the world," Tony Blair said in a radio interview. "I also think he gives the team something as captain."
With friends and admirers in such high places, there are some who would claim that Beckham is deserving of another, more glowing tribute from a former team-mate Luis Figo, who has hailed his former Madrid colleague as "a monster of football" who "will go in history as one of the best of all time".
The England captain himself must realise, however, that he leads Eriksson's side into the knockout stages of Germany 2006 with everyone watching, waiting, to see whether his on-field performances can correspond with his unparalleled global profile.
David Beckham's adidas +10 team
My goalkeeper has to be Peter Schmeichel, someone I was lucky enough to play with at Manchester United. He was a very commanding goalkeeper, a huge presence on the pitch and, for that United team, just incredible.
At left-back, Roberto Carlos is the only choice to my mind. He's an incredible player attacking-wise, but he's also immense defensively, and that for me makes him one of the best left-backs in the world.
One of my two central defenders would have to be the great Bobby Moore, of course. At the moment, he's the only English captain to have ever won the World Cup for our country, so I would be honoured to have him in my team.
Next to him would be Franz Beckenbauer. He was immense on the pitch, just incredible. I never played against him obviously, but I have met him quite a few times and he's a very nice man.
At right-back, I would have a good friend of mine, Gary Neville. I don't think I'm being biased when I say that he's one of the best right-backs around. He's someone I always have full confidence in when we're playing in the same team, as we did for a long time with Manchester United and now with England.
On the right wing, I suppose I would have to pick myself as it's my team, and it would certainly be special to have a chance to line up alongside the players I've picked.
My first central midfielder would be Lothar Matthaus, a player who was excellent getting forward and scored goals but was also brilliant at defending and stopping the other team from attacking. An incredible player and a very nice man as well.
Next to Matthaus would have to be a ball-player-type midfielder, and the greatest one that I can think of is Zinedine Zidane, the best player I've ever played with. I've been lucky enough to have played in the same team as Zizou for a few years and I would be honoured to have him in this side too.
On the left, it would have to be George Best, one of the Manchester United greats. George was an incredible player, a great person, and his talent was absolutely immense.
The first striker I have picked is Ronaldo. He is definitely one of the best forwards I've ever played with and, again, it would be an honour to have him in this team.
Then, last but not least, I would have Diego Maradona. He was one of the best players ever, if not the best.
Take a look back at Lukas Podolski's adidas +10 team