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Ronaldo edges Matthews in Lineker XI
Former England striker Gary Lineker has put Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Sir Stanley Matthews in his all-time Footballer of the Year XI.

Matthews was the first winner of the Football Writers' Association award - and he was edged out of Lineker's selection by Ronaldo, who was given the accolade in the last two years.

TV presenter Lineker chose his XI to launch Forgive Us Our Press Passes, a book written by FWA members, with profits going to the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Sick Children's Charity.

Roy Keane, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer were the others players picked from the modern era, joining the likes of George Best and Bobby Moore.

"I found it incredibly difficult to make the choices which just goes to show that management, even if you have some of the best players in the game's history at your disposal, can be an impossible job," said Lineker who is a patron of GOSH.

"Picking a goalkeeper was relatively easy. Even Neville Southall, with whom I played at Everton, could not keep out Gordon Banks.

"Bobby Moore would be in any all-time British side and one of his predecessors as England captain, Billy Wright, who, although I never saw him, must have been special to win a century of caps.

"Dave Mackay and Roy Keane will make sure no one messes with our midfield but they are in for their footballing ability as well. Keane is arguably the best player to have appeared in the Premier League.

"Bobby Charlton, who will operate in front of him, is probably England's greatest.

"Ronaldo, who cannot be left out of the side, will drive down the left allowing Thierry Henry to cut inside on his favoured right foot. I so enjoyed watching Henry in the Premier League but in my time as a player the pick of them all was Kenny Dalglish.

"In a previous era George Best had the lot. He, too, must start.

"According to my granddad the greatest player ever was Tom Finney yet I have decided to leave him on the bench along with Matthews because they were so long before my time.

"Which leaves one place - at the front. Alan Shearer gets the last spot because I have to work with him on Match Of The Day and if I left him out life wouldn't be worth living. Seriously, he wasn't a bad striker - after all he learned from the master!"

Lineker's XI: Banks, Moore, Wright, Keane, Mackay, Best, Dalglish, Charlton, Henry, Ronaldo, Shearer.
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