Four players, one hypothetical mountain.
We want to know your chosen quartet for a football equivalent of Mount Rushmore.
In the hills of South Dakota, granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Rooseveldt and Abraham Lincoln stare out at the landscape with great majesty.
If you could bestow this honour upon four footballers, who would you select?
One way of going about it, is to simply pick who you think are the four best players ever.
You may then end up with a foursome of Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, or something similar…
However, we reckon it’s more fun to pick four players who have most shaped your experience of football.
We sent this (admittedly loose) brief around the office and these are the responses we got back…
Nick Elliott (Leeds) – Maldini, Iniesta, Messi, (Brazilian) Ronaldo
All my minutes in incredibly amateur football have been spent at centre-back and so Paolo Maldini’s demi-God status in the world of defending earned him a spot on my mountain.
Andres Iniesta has me under some kind of hex as I have considered him my all-time favourite player for nearly a decade now.
No explanation needed for the other two.
Sean Cook (Spurs) – Beckham, Keane, Ronaldinho, Van der Vaart
The hairstyles, the boots, the kits — Becks was more than a footballer to me, he was a brand.
Robbie Keane is the reason I fell in love with Spurs and Rafa van der Vaart is the reason I stayed in love with them.
As for Ronaldinho, he was the ultimate flair player, performing magic in a foreign land and any glimpse of him was special.
Michael Golson (Man United) – Zidane, Totti, (Brazilian) Ronaldo, Maldini
Very simply, my four favourite players when I was young.
The gatekeepers, the seducers.
Samuel Gilbert (Arsenal) – Lahm, Casillas, Lampard, Henry
Lampard was a midfielder who seemed to score every week, I can’t help but appreciate him.
I’m a sucker for goalkeeper captains, especially those who wear short sleeves.
Casillas is a great leader and my love for him was confirmed when he popped up in ‘Goal 2’.
Ed Bearryman (Leyton Orient/Peterborough) – Lineker, Zidane, Bergkamp, Charley
No justification needed for Zizou and Bergkamp.
Lineker was my first television hero (playing, not the crisp adverts) and Ken Charley was my first in-the-flesh hero.
I watched the M1 Didier Drogba for Peterborough in the early 1990s and it was liking watching Superman at work, to me anyway.
James Robinson (Fulham) – Xavi, Ronaldinho, Messi, Dembele
Has the ever been a midfielder so widely lauded for not scoring or assisting and essentially just turning around in circles as Mousa Dembele?
His habit of making it look like he’s a Year 10 who’s invaded a Year 7 playground game makes up for any so-called deficiencies.
No, you can’t have your ball back.
You know about the rest.
Liam Spencer (West Ham, obviously) – Parker, Tevez, Noble, Firmino
(It’s worth noting that Liam is eye-wateringly young and an openly biased Hammer…)
Scott Parker and Mark Noble are leaders of men capable of carrying those around them, committed to the cause.
They achieved success through hard work, rather than flashy tricks.
Tevez is a brilliant maverick unconcerned by the opinions of others while Roberto Firmino overcame initial doubt to prove himself — ability and tenacity combined.
Adam Jones (Liverpool) – Riquelme, Gerrard, Alonso, Ronaldinho
Riquelme is the player who made me realise football existed outside the Premier League — the most compelling No10 I’ve ever seen.
Gerrard will always be Mr Liverpool, but Xabi Alonso made the hardest facets of the game look effortless — great hair too.
Jimmy Lloyd (Spurs) – Messi, Cantona, Kane, Cole
Cantona shaped the the style and substance of the Premier League more than any other player — his emperor-like stare would look magnificent in granite.
I consider Ashley Cole the father of the modern full-back, the first man not from Brazil to excel in defence and attack.
Insiders tell of a generous, seasoned pro and not the tired ‘Cashley’ stereotype.
It’s about time we showed him some love.
Nick Rostron-Pike (Man United, very obviously) – Scholes, Cantona, Ronaldo, Solksjaer
At a time when United had, arguably, the greatest front four in Premier League history, it was always Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who pulled on my heart-strings.
The Baby-Faced Assassin even got a glowing tribute from Ronaldo himself when he hung up his boots – and you’ll struggle to find many of them.
Paul Scholes has to be in the list as well – purely because he’d hate the idea of his 18-metre face on the side of some rock.
Andrew Butler (Leyton Orient) – Messi, Henry, Baines, Lockwood
I love left-backs.
Leighton Baines is undoubtedly the coolest footballer in my lifetime; has a wand of a left foot, takes a guitar to England training camps, and genuinely doesn’t care what people think of him.
Matt Lockwood. Sweet Matt Lockwood. The Leighton Baines of the lower divisions.
He’s an Orient legend, stayed at the club despite attention from some Premier League clubs, and once scored an 11 minute hat-trick when we were 3-0 down. From left-back.