​Southampton have had their fair share of ups and downs over the last 20 odd years or so; relegations, back-to-back promotions, EFL Trophy wins and even European adventures. 


Throughout it all though, there have been plenty of club legends, heroes and international superstars. 


Famously, nine players in the 2019 Champions League final had passed through St Mary's highlighting the club's smart recruitment and brilliant academy. 


So without further ado, here is the Saints' greatest starting XI of the modern Premier League era - but only using one player from each country. 


GK: Antti Niemi (Finland)

Antti Niemi

Joining Southampton in 2002, Niemi flourished on the South Coast and earned the title Finland's Footballer of the Year in the same season that Saints reached the FA Cup final. 


The big man will be remembered as one of the best goalkeepers in the country during the early noughties until injuries, sadly, got ahold of him. 


RB: Cédric​ Soares (Portugal)

Cedric Soares

The German-born Portugal international Cédric moved to Hampshire in 2015 and has made over 100 appearances to date. 


Having fallen out of favour in recent years, with largely failed loan spells to Inter and Arsenal, it's easy to forget how good he actually has been for Saints.


A solid defender with full commitment and energy, he won Euro 2016 alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.


CB: Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands)

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-WEST BROM

How can anybody be that good at football but project such calmness? A sort of defensive irony that echos around his huge frame. His approach to football as a centre half is something so frustrating and intangible to his opponents. 


During his three seasons at Southampton, Van Dijk helped them to a League Cup final and became club captain, scoring four times along the way. 


CB: Claus Lundekvam (Norway)

Matthew Taylor,Claus Lundekvam

​Joining in 1996 and not leaving until 2008, the range Norwegian played 413 times for the Saints (many as captain) and is the club's top appearance maker for a player not from the UK or Ireland.


A firm Fantasy Football favourite back in the day, much like Niemi, Lundekvam was a big part of Southampton's 2002/03 seasons as they finished eighth and reached the FA Cup final.


LB: Gareth Bale (Wales)

Gareth Bale,Sylvain Legwinski

Bale was the second-youngest player to ever play for Southampton when he made his debut in 2006. Operating from a left back position, he became one of Saints' most creative players that season and so began his reputation of a free-kick specialist - four out of five goals at Southampton coming from a set-piece.


This fresh-faced, slender full back seems a far-cry from where the Welshman is now but down at St Mary's is where it all started.


CM: Morgan Schneiderlin (France)

Morgan Schneiderlin

Every team needs a Morgan Schneiderlin. A box-to-box ball-winner, who can break up play and spray a pass. Strong on the ball and deceptively quick. Sometimes goes under the radar in games but if you take him out of the team, the team will collapse.


The Frenchman played in League One, the Championship and Premier League with Southampton before leaving for Man Utd in a £25m move.


CM: Victor Wanyama (Kenya)

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-CHELSEA

The first Kenyan to play in the Premier League and one of the finest defensive-minded players to grace St Mary's. Using his aggression, physique and height to dominate players and protect the back four. 


After three years at Southampton, Spurs forked out £11m for the Kenya international. He now plies his trade in MLS turning out for Montreal Impact.


RM: Dušan Tadić (Serbia)

Dusan Tadic,Mike Williamson

Dušan Tadić caught Ronald Koeman's eye with impressive performances in the Netherlands, which bought him a move to the Premier League. It was under Koeman, Tadić played his best football at Southampton. The attacking, attractive style of play that the Saints adopted played into Tadić's lap.


Equalling the Premier League record of most assists in a match with four in an 8-0 battering of Sunderland, Tadić later became a more internationally recognised name at Ajax but has long been appreciated down on the south coast.


LM: Sadio Mané (Senegal)

Sadio Mane

Remember when he broke the record for the fastest Premier League hat-trick? Three goals in two minutes and 56 seconds. Takes some doing that. 


There's a reason he became the most expensive African footballer ever when he signed for Liverpool (a record later beaten several times over) and his change of pace, trickery and prolific finishing have taken the Premier League by storm.


AM: Matt Le Tissier (England)

Matt Le Tissier of Southampton celebrates his two goals

There was only going to be one option for England in this XI, wasn't there? Le Tiss spent his entire professional career at Southampton becoming their second-highest ever scorer with 161 goals - many of them impossibly beautiful.


He become the first Premier League midfielder to score 100 goals but more notably, smashed in 47 out of 48 penalties. 


ST: Marian Pahars (Latvia)

Marian Pahars

Signed from Skonto in 1999, the little Latvian was one of the Saints' finest imports before imports became the norm rather than the exception at the turn of the century.


With 42 goals Pahars is still the club's top-scoring non-English player in the Premier League.


In his prime, he was dubbed the 'Latvian Michael Owen' for his predatory instincts, leaving as a club legend in 2005.