Widely accepted as Romania's greatest player, Gheorghe Hagi uses his considerable insight to select a UEFA.com users' Team of 2013.
A member of the elite group of footballers to have represented both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF with distinction, Hagi enjoyed an illustrious career that also took in spells at FC Steaua Bucureşti and Galatasaray AŞ among others. The playmaker won one UEFA Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and was a runner-up in the 1988/89 European Champion Clubs' Cup final. In addition, Hagi was his country's talisman for well over a decade, the highlight coming when he scored three goals to help Romania to the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals. He has since become a coach with the likes of Romania, Galatasaray and Steaua.
View Hagi's choices below and submit your own selection before 13.00CET on Thursday 9 January.
Manuel Neuer: He won everything with Bayern. The way he plays, and the fact he rarely makes mistakes, gives confidence to his team-mates. He is an excellent goalkeeper for club and country.
Philipp Lahm: A real captain who has excelled at every level, with both Bayern and Germany. He has also performed excellently since Bayern changed coach.
Sergio Ramos: Very strong and very good in one-on-one situations. He had an excellent 2013 and the fact he is captain of a club like Real Madrid speaks for itself – not many players can do that at his age.
Mats Hummels: Very strong and more than just a central defender. He is a knowledgeable player who can use both feet, who makes very telling passes and who plays with his head.
David Alaba: A young but complete left-sided defender. As far as I'm concerned, he is much more than a left-back. He is the prototype of the complete left-back, who is also a real attacking threat. I am impressed.
Yaya Touré: He is a very good defensive playmaker, who has both defensive and offensive qualities.
İlkay Gündoğan: My second central midfielder has caught the eye since moving to Dortmund. I have to admit that beforehand there were questions and doubts about him, but now these have gone.
Franck Ribéry: The classical winger. He is also a complete player, but somehow different to the Ronaldo type of winger. With all his qualities, he is a certainty for this XI.
Lionel Messi: I had to choose between him and Mesut Ozil as my archetypal No10. I settled on Messi, somebody with so many trophies and accolades. He is my kind of player. I wonder – is Messi like Hagi, or Hagi like Messi? I am older, so I was first.
Cristiano Ronaldo: The most complete wide forward there is – a genuine goalscorer, but also a player who has the necessary strength to penetrate the opposition defence, to make decisive passes. He can do everything.
Falcao: He is a striker who plays with his brain. He has a lot of intelligence and this enables him to score valuable goals, often when he is not expected to.
Gheorghe Hagi was speaking to Paul-Daniel Zaharia.