Inigo Calderon admits he doesn't know what to think when he is told he plays football like an Englishman.

He is not sure whether it's meant as a compliment or a criticism!

But the bearded Basque will have an extra spring in his step on his next morning run around his home city of Vitoria after being voted into our all-time Albion XI.

Fans' favourite Calde will wear No.2 in our greatest Seagulls line-up, as voted for by readers of The Argus and, after a commanding win in the poll for our right-back.

Or he can don his favoured No.14 if he prefers!

A bit like one of those Cup 'shocks' you can see coming a mile off, Calderon led the way by some distance ahead of players who have featured in or won promotion to the top flight, played international football or, in one case, consistently been picked ahead of him.

He polled 31% of the votes, well clear of nearest challengers John Gregory, Chris Cattlin and Bruno.

Gregory, a former England international who played right-back in the Seagulls' first two seasons in the top flight, finished on 13%.

Cattlin, a big part of the side which took the club to the promised land in the first place, totalled 12%.

And Bruno, first choice for four Albion bosses since 2012, had 11%, one percentage point ahead of John Crumplin.

It was Crumplin who got your vote when we picked the all-time XI back in the summer of 2005.

Calderon's success was not dissimilar. Like Crumplin, he has become a cult hero with fans, winning them over for his commitment levels and never-say-die spirit as much as his skills.

He has played his football in a promoted third tier side and then in the second division and also impressed in a high-profile FA Cup tie or two.


Calderon's career has blossomed in this country and he admits to slightly puzzled compatriots that there is something about his style which endears him to English supporters.

He told Spanish sports newspaper Marca recently: "It would have taken something very good to have persuaded me to leave here.

"The fans have supported me from the start and I've never understood why they love me so much.

"They've even got a song for me, talking about the day I scored a goal with my face!"

Reminded that his style of play tends to appeal to English fans, Calderon said: "People have always told me that. I don't know if it's a compliment or a criticism but I've always loved British football. I fit in well."

Calderon has been keeping in shape for pre-season by running with his brother Diego, a keen amateur triathlete, in their home city of Vitoria in the Basque Country.

He admits he has not ruled out a return home to play for the city's club Alaves as a dream finale to his career - if he can't get to the Premier League with Albion.

But he is willing to share his first-hand observations of top-flight stars he came across last season.

"(Harry) Kane didn't do much except score," he recalled of the Capital One Cup defeat at Tottenham.

"The one who surprised me most was Lamela.

"Alexis Sanchez (of Arsenal) seemed like he was on a motorbike!

"But, of the players I've played against in England, the one who most impressed me was Luis Suarez (with Liverpool in 2011-12).

"Apart from what everyone already talks about, he also has great vision."

Calderon joins Tomasz Kuszczak in our all-time XI which means players from recent seasons have topped our first two polls.

But there is plenty of time for stars of longer ago to make an impact, starting in central defence.

Our ballot for centre-back pairing is open until Monday night.

For the record, Ken Tiler and Stewart Henderson collected 6% of the votes for right-backs.

Chris Ramsey and Des Tennant each had 5% and Don Shanks 1%.

But Calde took top spot. As we perhaps suspected he might.

And that's very much a compliment.