Castan names dream side

Speaking to the club’s official website, Roma defender Leandro Castan named his dream XI, here are the Brazilian’s picks:

Goalkeeper: Claudio Taffarel
He’s a role model on and off the pitch and one of the best goalkeepers from my homeland. He won the World Cup with Brazil when I was a kid and he was my hero. I also liked his style.

Right-back: Maicon
He’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen, what more can I say? It’s an honor to play with him. He always makes the difference on the pitch.

Central defender: Medhi Benatia
He’s the best center-back I’ve played with. Period.

Central defender: Himself, Leandro Castan
Can I pick myself? I like the way I play! I always want to be at 100% and make fewer mistakes. I always watch myself back on video after matches. I try to learn from my mistakes. That’s something I do after every game I play.

Left-back: Roberto Carlos
It’s an honor to have played with him. He’s the best left-back I’ve played with. In fact, he’s the best ever. A legend.

Midfielder: Paulinho
Everything I won in Brazil was thanks to him. He always scored goals and performed brilliantly. He always inspired the teams I played in and he deserves his place in my Dream Team. He’s a match winner, he gets forward well and covers too. He’s someone else who’s tactically flawless. It’s a shame I’ve never seen him play in Europe. He’s quality.

Midfielder: Daniele De Rossi
Daniele is crucial for the defence. He makes everything easy for me. Tactically, he’s perfect. He covers when a center-back steps out and, as a defender, he’s someone you always love to play behind. When he drops into defence, you can see he’s naturally very good at helping the backline and watching him, I learn a lot about how to defend too. I’m a big fan.

Midfielder: Kevin Strootman
It’s hard to describe a beast like him. He’s a fantastic footballer. It’s become very easy to play alongside him. He’s good on the ball plus he can attack and defend. In modern football, he’s the complete midfielder. Garcia dubbed him our washing machine and I think that sums him up perfectly.

Attacker: Francesco Totti
Before I moved to Roma, I was a bit nervous about seeing him in the locker room. It’s an honor to play with him and also be his friend. I think he’s the best number 10 of all time. What can I say about him as a footballer? We’d be here for hours. If I had to choose his best attribute, I’d say it’s the way he strikes the ball. I’ve never seen a player with that ability.

Attacker: Ronaldo
How can you not pick ‘O Fenomeno’ in your dream team? He’d be in there for all Brazilians. It was an unforgettable experience when I played with him. When he came to Italy, he was explosive and technical. I hope Neymar can follow in his footsteps – that’s what Brazil needs now. As I’ve said, you have to have Ronaldo in your dream team.

Attacker: Neymar
I’ve played against him on numerous occasions and with him in the national team. He’s lethal. He’s impossible to stop when he isolates you one versus one. If he takes you on, there’s no defender that can stop him. He’s absolutely lightning quick and he’s getting a lot of experience now in Spain. He’ll definitely be the best in the world in a few years. You have to have someone as good as him up front.”

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.