CNNSI.com has released its "ranking of the best players in the world at their respective positions for the 2001-02 season." http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/2002/08/28/best_xi/ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/2002/08/28/bestxi_penpix/ GK: Oliver Kahn - Germany - B. Munich D: Roberto Carlos - Brazil Real - Madrid D: Lucio - Brazil - B. Leverkusen D: Rio Ferdinand - England - Man Utd D: Cafu - Brazil - AS Roma M: Michael Ballack - Germany - B. Munich (Leverkusen) M: Zinedine Zidane - France - Real Madrid M: Freddie Ljungberg - Sweden - Arsenal M: David Beckham - England - Man Utd F: Ronaldo - Brazil - Inter Milan (Barca) F: Raul - Spain - Real Madrid My opinion: While the list mostly has players on it that deserve to be there, I take exception with a few of them. (1) Ronaldo, while having come back to form, didn't actually play a 2001-02 season. (2) Roberto Carlos seems to have reached the list by association. Playing for Real Madrid (CL winners) and Brazil (WC winners) looks good on his resume, but I'd say there are other better players at the same position. He's a very good player, not doubt, but his reputation certainly exceeds his abilities. With the proper tactic it's actually quite easy to pin him back in his half, and all of a sudden he loses all of his effectiveness. (3) The same, but to a lesser degree, goes for David Beckham, although I'd certainly give him an award for being the most dangerous set-piece player (which is important). (4) I haven't made up my mind on Ljungberg, but am surprised to see him in the list. Arsenal fans can probably fill me in. Looks like a list of good players and good politics. Missing: Edgar Davids? Probably. Van Nistelrooy? For sure; take out Ronaldo.