Departing Chelsea duo line up in our concocted Farewell XI
Frank Lampard’s release by Chelsea was the latest in a string of “legend status” players to be either shown the door by their long-term employers or retire. So many, in fact, that we created a team of them:
After 387 appearances and 21 trophies, Victor Valdes enters the world of free agency from Barcelona without a new challenge lined up in his career.
At right-back, Inter Milan’s fresh-faced Argentine, Javier Zanetti, gets the nod. The former skipper racked up 615 appearances at the San Siro, playing until the ripe old age of 40.
Another Barca legend, Carlos Puyol, lines up at centre-back having been forced to retire through a knee injury this off-season.
Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand joins the Sideshow Bob lookalike at the back, but not in the old folks home just yet as he bids to find a new club following his release from Old Trafford.
Ashley Cole faces the same situation as Rio having been let go by the clearly non-nostalgic Chelsea. The left-back, who made 229 appearances for the Blues, has a host of top clubs chasing his signature but is yet to decide on his future.
As the muse for this XI, Lampard makes the grade and gets the skipper’s armband to boot. The midfielder will hope to put himself in the shop window for England at the World Cup and is 16/1 to be England’s top scorer.
A former teammate of Lampard’s joins the Englishman in midfield, as Juan Veron announced his retirement from professional football following Estudiantes’ final match of the season, closing out his third stint with the club.
Two Welshman fill three of our attacking midfield positions, with recent interim United manager Ryan Giggs on the left and Cardiff’s Craig Bellamy on the right.
It took two seasons playing against Emile Heskey in Australia for Alessandro Del Piero to finally hang up his boots and he’s picked to play off recently released Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, who will be hard pushed to find teammates of this calibre in his quest for a new club.
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