New Delhi: Lionel Messi has named a 'Team of 2008'. Guess what? Ronaldo's not in it. Messi has found space for Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney in his '2008 Best XI', but did not select their Red Devils' teammate Ronaldo.
He also named United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as the coach of the year, and included Chelsea's Petr Cech as goalkeeper.
Messi was fulsome in his praise for Ronaldo's United colleagues, saying of Wayne Rooney: "I love this type of player. He has a great shot, good control of the ball, uses his body well in the area. He is a great goalscorer."
The Argentinian also reserved some complimentary words for Rio Ferdinand, whom he rates as a very tough opponent.
"He is very good in the air and very strong on his feet," Messi told uefa.com. "He is very hard to get past."
Messi did not name himself in the line-up, and his omission of the Portuguese, who pipped for the Ballon D'Or last year, is perhaps telling.
Messi's team in full:
Petr Cech (Chelsea), Maicon (Inter), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), Javier Zanetti (Inter), Xavi (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).