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Dream Team: Stephen McPhail (Sheffield Wednesday)

The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder chooses his favourite XI, made up from players he has played with or against in  his football career.

GOALKEEPER

Nigel Martyn – Retired

It was a toss-up between him and David Marshall but Nigel was so steady – I can’t remember him making a mistake. I was only a lad at Leeds and he made me feel welcome. He was a joker – and got up to mischief with David Batty.

RIGHT BACK

Gary Kelly – Retired

Just an unbelievable pro – I don’t think he missed a day’s training. I looked up to him and he showed me how to behave on the training ground. He was just so consistent – every year he played 40 or 50 games. A great bloke and we still speak every few weeks.

LEFT BACK

Ian Harte – Bournemouth

He has an unbelievable left foot and his delivery was very special. He was also a big threat in the air for his size. He is still going strong and doing really well. He is a great lad – I lived with him when I first went to Leeds. He was really tidy actually.

CENTRE BACK

Richard Dunne – QPR

It was him or Jonathan Woodgate but I played with Richard since the U10s in Dublin. He was always six foot – I can’t  remember him not being. He is a really good friend and a super footballer, who loved the dirty side of the game.

CENTRE BACK

Rio Ferdinand – Manchester United

He could play anywhere really – in training he could play up front. He could head, he could tackle. He was quite a joker as well and he enjoyed a prank. Leeds paid quite a lot for him and he just got better and better.

RIGHT MIDFIELD

Lee Bowyer – Retired

He never stopped: aggressive, good on the ball and he could score. For about five or six years he was unplayable. He was a smashing lad and we got on really well. He is really quiet and quite down-to-earth.

LEFT MIDFIELD

Peter Whittingham – Cardiff City

One of the most gifted footballers I played with. He deserves more than anyone to be in the Premier League – I am delighted for him. We played at Cardiff for seven years together. He is really quiet until you know him but I got to know him well.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD

Roy Keane – Retired

A great footballer, an icon in Irish football and I was lucky enough to play with him a few times for Ireland. He was great with me – I have nothing but good things to say about him. He is someone you look up to, especially as a kid.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD

David Batty – Retired

An absolute legend and so underrated. He never moaned, never did anything foolish and his passing range was  unbelievable. He was just a great, great lad but he is the type who goes off the radar. I don’t think anyone knows where he is these days.

STRIKER

Rivaldo – Sao Caetano

The best player I ever played against. You couldn’t get within a couple of yards of him. We played Barcelona in the Champions League and a couple of years later he was world player of the year. They had Xavi and Pep Guardiola, but  he was on a different level.

STRIKER

Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy

Another guy I played with when I was a boy. He does everything – scores, drops in the hole and his movement is  unbelievable. He is the record scorer for Ireland so you don’t get much better than that. I try to get over to LA and meet  up for a bit of sun.

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