Thursday, 29 January 2009

My Dream Team

I was recently asked by a friend, if I was a football manager who I would sign if money was no object and I could bring the World's best players to my (hyperthetical) club. My squad (assuming my 'Here's where the club wants to be in x amount of time' pitch is up to scratch) would look like this:

Starting XI

1. Iker Casillas (GK)- The Spanish Number one is agile, athletic, has great reflexes and his shot stopping abilities are among the best in the World. The decorated Spaniard has been consistent for Real Madrid and Spain for many years now and although he is still a relatively young goalkeeper he already seems to possess a great amount of experience and conducts himself in a mature manner.

2. Jose Bosingwa (RB)- The Portuguese International arrived at Chelsea in a big money move as a relatively unknown quantity from Porto. However, Bosingwa has been in stirling form for Chelsea this season and has given Phil Scolari's men some much needed stability down the right side. His distribution in the final third has contributed to a number of Chelsea's goals this season and he seems just as capable with his defensive duties.

3. Patrice Evra (LB)- As a United fan I watch Patrice Evra a lot and I am confident that the Manchester United left back is one of (if not) the best left sided attacking wing back in Europe. His low centre of gravity allows the French international to breeze past players going forward and gives him a great ability to turn in defensive situations. He's quick, can dribble at pace, tackle and he gets balls into the box- what more would you want from a left back.

4. Rio Ferdinand (CB)- For me Rio is the best centre back in the World at the moment. I may be biased because (like Evra) I see him play every week but he is everything a centre back should be- and even a little more. The England International is a solid presence at that back who's comfortable on the ball, even when under pressure. He seems to possess bursts of pace just when its needed and he looks to me like the kind of player that would be comfortable playing anywhere on the pitch. He seems to have an arsenal of tricks and often pops up with vital goals. Rio has been one of the main reasons for United's recent dominance in domestic and European competitions.

5. Nemanja Vidic (CB)- I know what your thinking by this point but I am not simply picking United players because I follow Manchester United. Vidic is a World Class centre back, he's strong, physical and he's comfortable dealing with the ball in the air and on the deck. He has formed a great relationship with Rio Ferdinand and I think they complement each other well, you would be hard pressed to find a better defensive partnership. Vidic is known to pop up with goals from set pieces and acts as a great attacking option in the oppositions penalty area.

6. Steven Gerrard (CM)- Steven Gerrard is the one English player I wish United could sign, but I know (considering the rivallry between the two sides) that is never going to happen. For Liverpool Stevie G often acts as a one-man-team and he is the one player who, when the going gets tough digs deep and finds that extra gear to drive the team forward. The Liverpool number eight is a class act, he possesses great vision, a hunger and engine like no other and can unleash unstoppable rocket-shots from anywhere in the attacking half.

7.Cristiano Ronaldo (RM)- It would be wrong not to include the newly crowned World and European Player of the Year. Last season the boy was magic, scoring as well as creating goals for Manchester United in England and in Europe. He is an unbelievable talent who has a great passion and desire to constantly improve. He has won almost every accolade possible, all before his twenty-fifth birthday. He's quick, full of tricks, determined and is comfortable playing with both feet. To top off his endless list of qualities, he is also surprisingly dangerous in the air....oh and he's also a bit of a free-kick specialist.

8. Kaka' (CM)- There is no surprise Manchester City wanted to recruit Milan's Brazilian playmaker Kaka' and were willing to pay massive sums of money to do so simply because he is one of the finest players in World Football. Kaka' is technically gifted as well as possessing a great footballing brain. He seems to be able to slow play down and exploit space that other players wouldn't even find. He is surprisingly quick (as I found out when he destoyed United two years ago), loaded with flair and he is an arcitect in the middle of the park. He has the ability to create goals out of nothing and also contributes with his fair share of goals for club and country.

9. Fernando Torres (CF)- The Liverpool and Spain striker is an explosive player who seems to be able to score any type of goal. Torres always seems to be making a menace of himself in and around the penalty area ready to pounce on any opportunities and courting defenders into making mistakes. The Spanish international completed his first season in the Premiership with an impressive goal haul and showed his doubters that he is one of the best finishers around.

10. Sergio 'Kun' Aguero (CF)- This may seem a bizarre choice considering the number of great strikers around today but I have been impressed by the pint-sized Argentinian in recent months. He is still only 20 years old but he seems to have been around for years, he's been impressive for Atletico Madrid the past two seasons and seems to have effortlessly filled the void left by Fernando Torres, who the Altetico Madrid fans idolised.

11. Lionel Messi (LM)- Cristiano Ronaldo may have been crowned World Player of the Year recently but on current form I believe Leo Messi holds the mantle as the Best Player in the World. His performances for Barcelona recently have been out of this World and it seems no one can touch him, without fouling him anyway! It is one thing to be better than the players who oppose you but when you are a professional making other professionals look like amatuers then there is something special at work. Leo Messi is a phenomenol talent who possesses dribbling skills that others could only dream for, he's quick, by-passes defenders like statues and has the ability to score everytime he picks up the ball.

And to the rest of the squad:

12. Gianluca Buffon (GK) A player you wouldn't want sitting on the bench but the World's most expensive keeper would certainly be a more than capable deputy for Casillas.
13. Petr Cech (GK) In any squad three keepers are a must and Petr Cech is one of the best around.
14. Sergio Ramos (RB) Can play on the right or in the centre of defence, the Real Madrid and Spain international came so close to pipping Bosingwa in my starting XI.
15. Jaime Carragher (CB) A man who literally throws himself fearlessly into preventing goal bound opportunities, Carra's solid and plays as if his life depends on it.
16. Xavi Hernandez (CM) The Barcelona playmaker is great in possesion and seems to glide around the pitch effortlessly.
17. Arjen Robben (LM) The Dutch winger is rapid down the left and plays in a similar style to Lionel Messi. He was phenomenol for Chelsea during their glory days (and that is no coincidence) and he is currently in the form of his life for Real Madrid.
18. Andrea Pirlo (CM) Pirlo possesses everything you would want from a holding midfielder and like Xavi he seems to create space and openings without breaking out of his stride. The Italian is also deadly from set pieces.
19. Robihno (AM) If you want an attacking midfielder who possesses flair, direct forward play and sharpness in front of goal then look no further than 'Chelsea...I mean Man City's' record signing Brazilian.
20. Samuel Eto' (CF) The Barcelona and Cameroon striker is a proven goal scorer at every level of football. He is deadly in front of goal and possesses lightning pace, which makes him one of the best strikers in World football.
21. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (CF) Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is is rare breed, a striker who combines a clinical egde with extraodinary attacking flair. Every detail of Ibrahimovic's play is a work of art and it is clear why his creative exploits are often compared to those of a Mr.Cristiano Ronaldo.
22. Ryan Giggs (LW-CM) Even at the ripe old age of 35 Ryan Giggs is still putting in stirling performances. The man is a legend and should be part of any current or future dream team, for his wizardy with the ball at his feet, his vision for a penetrating pass and for continuing to show young whipper-snappers how things should be done.

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