The Brazilian, a World Cup winner and Champions League winner in 2002, was Mr Consistency for Real Madrid and the Seleccao throughout the decade. Carlos, an explosive flanker, made a mockery of the term 'full-back'. Now back in his homeland with Corinthians following a spell with Fenerbahce.
Nobody else this century has won as many FA Cups as the Chelsea man, who has also two Premier League titles to his name from his time at Arsenal. Also, Cole has made two Champions League final appearances, losing on both occasions. Nonetheless, he has been one of England's most consistent performers this decade.
The diminutive French full-back was part of Les Bleus' hugely talented Euro 2000 winning team and enjoyed a rich vein of success in the early-to-mid part of the decade, winning Bundesliga after Bundesliga, as well as the Champions League, with Bayern Munich. Now retired, he is a reigning European Jiu Jitsu champion.
The only player on the list who could be eligible for this accolade in three separate decades, having made his AC Milan debut in 1985. He went on to rack up over 900 appearances for the Rossoneri, as well as 125 Italy caps, and ends this decade with a pair of Champions League wins and a Serie A title to his credit. However, that doesn't even cover half of the Maldini story.
A versatile player, Zambrotta would have been equally at home in the list of nominees for the right-back berth, having played there for Juventus, Barcelona and Milan throughout the decade. For the national team, Zambrotta was a key component of the World Cup winning side of 2006 although club honours have been harder to come by since leaving Juventus in the wake of Calciopoli.
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