Rugby Football’s international XI of the decade: who deserves to join Messi, Neuer and Ronaldo?

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Rugby Lionel Messi, Manuel Neuer and Cristiano Ronaldo could not fail to make our dream team
Messi, Neuer and Ronaldo could not fail to make our dream team

After Ben Coles picked the international rugby XV of the decade and Rob Bagchi selected the cricket team, Sam Dean decided on the Telegraph Sport dream football team of the 2010s, to play in a fluid 4-3-3.

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer

Seven Bundesliga titles, one Champions League and one World Cup only tell part of the story with Neuer, who will be better known for redefining the role of the modern goalkeeper than for his trophy count. Neuer ticked all the usual boxes for a goalkeeper — tall, brave, commanding in the air, great reflexes — but with the help of Pep Guardiola he also helped to bring the position into the modern age with his ‘sweeper-keeper’ tendencies. His performance against Algeria in the World Cup round of 16 in 2014 is one of the finest examples of a goalkeeper doubling up as a defender.

Right back: Dani Alves

Not just the best right-back of the 2010s, but surely the best right-back of the 21st century. Alves was key part of Guardiola’s Barcelona side, without doubt the best team of the decade, and has been a game-changer for attacking full-backs. Some of the old explosiveness has faded in recent years but league titles at Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain say plenty about his longevity. This summer, at the age of 36, he was named the player of the tournament at the 2019 Copa America, which Brazil won. 

Centre back: Gerard Pique

The off-field noise surrounding Pique has detracted, unfairly, from his continued elegance on the pitch. He was crucial to Spain’s success at the start of the decade and was one of the most important players, alongside Alves, in Guardiola’s Barcelona side. They may have expected more success in the Champions League in the second half of the de

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