Wayne Bridge FC
Inside Blue Sat 21 Apr 2018
Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Southampton, we asked Wayne Bridge to select his combined five-a-side team from two of his former clubs.
The left-back won a clean sweep of domestic honours during his six years with the Blues, which included the first FA Cup final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium when he helped us see off Manchester United.
Bridge also appeared in the 2003 final during his time with Southampton, the club he grew up supporting and where he began his career, so we got the former England international to pick a line-up based on those he played with at the two clubs.
Without further ado, allow Bridgey to talk you through his team.
‘My goalkeeper would have to be Petr Cech. He came in a year after me and we ended up setting the clean sheet record with him in goal. Carlo [Cudicini] was great, Antti Niemi at Saints was brilliant, but Petr has to be the one.
‘I can't have many defenders in here. I can't really pick myself with some of the players I played with, to be honest! It's so hard. Do you go solid, or pick someone to go bombing forward? We had some great defenders at Chelsea: Desailly, JT, Carvalho, Gallas. I'm just going to shove Ashley Cole in there. All of his achievements in the game, he was just brilliant and he'll get up and down all game. Even then, I could leave Ash out and stick Makelele in there to tidy up behind the attackers.
‘This is so difficult picking a team! Frank Lampard is going in for all the goals and what he achieved over the years, but this is ridiculous how many players I'm going to have to leave out. It's hard for too many from Saints to get a look in because of all the great players there were at Chelsea.
‘Matt Le Tissier is getting in there no matter what, for obvious reasons. It was unreal to play with him. He had a VHS out back then which had all his goals on it and it was called Unbelievable. The things he could do with a football were ridiculous. As a kid, you dream of playing alongside someone like that.
‘Dean Richards would get a look in – he was a great guy and when Hoddle came in I was playing alongside him and he really took me under his wing. He was just brilliant. Marian Pahars was great at the time. But look at the Chelsea players I'm leaving out. Tiss has been picked, but it isn't easy for him to get in there!
‘I was going to say Arjen Robben as my last pick, but you need a proper centre-forward so I'm going to stick Didier Drogba in there. Didier got me my FA Cup winners' medal and he was just so strong. He could score all types of goals – he'd get wonder goals from miles out, you'd stick it up to him and he'd just bully a defender and turn them, he'd get headers, tap-ins, everything. He'd just go and win you the game. Lamps was the same. His goalscoring record from midfield was just unbelievable.
‘Sometimes I’ll be playing golf or something with someone I've only just met and they'll be asking me, “Who's the best player you've ever played with?” By the time I’m at the 18th hole, another 10 players will pop into your head. I played with so many great footballers. I’ve not even mentioned Damien Duff, and what about Joe Cole? He so skilful – he'd be great to play five-a-side with. But I’m sticking with this team or else I’ll be here all day!’