Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has revealed his ultimate six-a-side team, made up of footballers he played with, during an appearance on the Squawka Talker podcast.

On the Christmas special, Robinson – who made 498 appearances throughout his career, playing for Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers and Burnley – spoke about his playing days, Jose Mourinho and David De Gea.

Who makes Paul Robinson’s career six-a-side team?

  • Of course, Robinson picked himself between the sticks. “I’d take a couple painkillers for my back and get through it!” he said.
  • He chose the “hugely underrated” Ledley King as a ball-playing centre-back.
  • To partner King, Robinson picked Rio Ferdinand, adding: “[They are] two players who can defend but can also play.”
  • In midfield, he chose Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes for their positional versatility.
  • And up front, Robinson revealed “it’d be close between Robbie Keane and Wayne Rooney”
    – he ultimately chose Keane.

Robinson made 41 appearances for the England national team between 2003-2007 while playing for Leeds and Spurs, arguably the best years of his career.

He will have seen plenty of his midfielder picks – Gerrard and Scholes – during Three Lions training sessions.

“Midfield, a bit of tenacity and some ball-playing ability, I’d probably go with Steven Gerrard, due to the fact he can play in any position, and Paul Scholes, because he can play off the front as well,” Robinson said.

“Ledley King was one of the best of the Premier League era”

Ledley King and Paul Robinson won the League Cup together at Tottenham in 2008, but King’s knees had begun to falter during Robinson’s time at White Hart Lane.

Over eight years, King made just 21 appearances for England because of his knee problems and eventually retired from football in 2012 aged 31.

“I think King could be put in that bracket [as one of the Premier League’s best-ever centre-backs], as any Spurs fan would tell you,” Robinson explained.

“He finished young because of his knees and I saw the amount of training he didn’t do and wasn’t able to take part in, yet he could still come on the pitch on a Saturday and perform at the level that he did.

“If he was able to train on a weekly basis, regularly, at the intensity of the rest of the squad, you don’t know what he could have achieved.”

Toward the end of his career there were suggestions King would play games without being able to train at all in the build-up, but Robinson explained the reality was not as extreme.

He added: “A couple days after a game, Ledley would be looked after. Nothing ridiculously different to what everyone would do. Players are managed these days. It’s not just about putting a whole team on a training pitch every day. It’s about managing individuals and managing different individuals’ needs. There are different ages and different characters in the squad if you like.

“Certain players a day after a game could train, certain players would get stiff. So there are some managers who would do a warm-down and a little bit of training the day after a game, and give you the second day off.”

Paul Robinson appeared on the Squawka in his capacity as FansBet ambassador to talk about the upcoming Star Sixes tournament in January. To find out more, visit FansBet.

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