Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some fun with Starting XI's

1) Here's my starting X1 in the world today.


(*put in Casillas or Buffon if you'd like but I'd say Howard is just about as good as both)

2nd team:

(*or Xavi. nod goes to Iniesta for that Champions League goal vs Chelsea)

2) Club XI

Taking it another step, what if you could only choose 1 player from each of the traditional top 11 clubs in the world (or in my opinion, Europe)? I'm choosing out of Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Olympique Lyonnais (just to keep the French involved).

By the way, has Schalke 04 (who's best player is Jermaine Jones) and Tottenham (Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe) in the top 11 overall current club values ahead of Inter and Lyon. Even Roma is ranked ahead of Inter. (So why does Inter want to sell the extremely marketable Ibrahimovic, especially when they just won another scudetto?) But we're keeping Inter in since they're one of the top 3 powers in Italia and Lyon is the only team in France that makes noise at the international level.

Man United - Ferdinand, Rooney
Chelsea - Terry, Lampard, Essien, Drogba
Liverpool - Torres, Gerrard
Arsenal - Fabregas, Arshavin, Van Persie
Juventus - Buffon
Inter - Ibra, Lucio, Maicon
AC Milan - Pirlo, Ronaldinho
Madrid - CR, Kaka
Barcelona - Messi
Bayern - Ribery
Lyon - Grosso


Buffon is the best choice at GK since Madrid has bigger stars than Casillas. Maicon is the best RB in the world (such that 2nd best, Dani Alves, doesn't even get games with Brazil). Ferdinand is among the best CBs and Grosso is a world class LB who won WC 06 and a Scudetto with Juventus. He's also my Lyon fill-in since they sold Benzema. Pirlo is AC Milan's playmaker and Fabregas brings Spanish flair to Arsenal. CRonaldo and Ribery slotted in as their respective team's best player, each on the wings. Messi is Barca's best wing and player but he is often deployed up top there. Lampard mans the attacking mid, supporting Torres' attack. Another solution is to substitute Gerrard and Drogba for those two but I like having Lampard represent Chelsea.

3) International XI

Okay, lets do the same thing for top 11 International teams, according to Fifa (-Greece, plus #12 USA): Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, Russia, England, Argentina, France, Croatia, USA.

Brazil: Kaka
Spain: Casillas, Xavi/Iniesta, Torres
Holland: Robben, Van Persie
Italy: Buffon, Pirlo, Cannavaro
Germany: Ballack, Lahm
Russia: Arshavin
England: Terry, Ferdinand
Argentina: Messi
France: Ribery
Croatia: Modric
USA: Howard, Gooch


Tough to find defenders in this group so we opted for Buffon instead of Howard since I think Gooch has more speed than Cannavaro. Plus, he is the only US player on a top 11 club, AC Milan. Terry and Lahm are fair representations of English and German defense. Ferdinand and Ballack were just squeezed out. Robben and Ribery are the only real options on the wings. Kaka, Xavi, Messi and Modric are the best from their respective countries. That leaves Russia - Arshavin will have to do up top. I suppose Van Persie can take Kaka's spot up top and Modric can move to the right wing to make room for Kaka in the center midfield.

4) What the heck, here's another. This XI is made up from players I would want in a lineup, non-US.

Yeah, I know Cech hasn't been the same since he had his noggin caved in but he's still among the best. I like my goalkeepers tall, long limbed and athletic. Buffon is the other option but he plays for Italy, ugh. Lahm and Maicon have been so impressive as attacking and defensive fullbacks while Terry and Lucio seem to have such command and presence on the field. Essien has taken over the role of best defensive midfielder from Makelele, a role which I require on the field at all times. Pirlo is magical as a creative playmaker while Lampard is intelligent on the ball and adept at everything. Messi brings a brilliance and speed unmatched by all except perhaps Kaka. Torres is my first choice striker even though I don't prefer his slightly child-like appearance. For me, its still better than Drogba's immaturity or Ibrahimovic's petulance.

5) How about all-time?

C. Alberto-Beckenbauer-Moore-Maldini
Di Stefano- Zidane - Cruyff - Maradona
----------Pele -------Ronaldo----------

6) How about all-time USA?

Donovan---Reyna-Caligiuri--C Jones

Keller, Harkes, Stewart, Ramos, Joe MM, Gooch on the bench.

7) How about for US WC 2010?

Dolo -- Gooch - Boca-- Spector
----------Donovan- Ching----------

No comments:

Post a Comment