As I am taking part in my company’s 5-a-side football tournament on Friday, just thought of coming up with a fantasy 5-a-side team. Feel free to come up with your alternative squad if you have one ( some sort of a readership test… haha)
Shay Given (Ireland) Goalkeeper
I wanted Iker Casillas, but I am restricting myself to a player per country. Considering Given’s consistent performance this season, he is my pick for the goalkeeper position.
Andreas Iniesta (Spain) Defender/Playmaker
Initially, it was to be Cannavaro in as a straightforward defender. But I thought in 5-a-side games, the “defender” is also the playmaker, so I pick Iniesta, who is able to hold and distribute the ball superbly.
Kaka (Brazil) Midfielder
It is a no-brainer here. The Brazilian is, at the moment, the most complete attacking midfielder in the world, more dangerous and versatile than even Ronaldo. Will be the focal point of my attack.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Midfielder
Another no-brainer. Imagine him and Kaka combining to twist and turn the opposing defence inside out (it is not too hard, since both are playing for Real). And I am counting on him for his rocket freekicks too.
Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Sweden) Striker
In a pure fantasy team, the obvious choice would be Lionel Messi, but I fear having too many dribblers might unbalance the team. So it is the big, prolific Swede as the out-and-out striker.
Darren Fletcher (Scotland) Reserve
I thought it would be good to have a utility player on my side, someone who can add some grit (read: break some legs) to the already very skilful side.
It has been my philosophy that good football should be all about teamwork (eg: passing the ball around with as little touches as possible) instead of individual brilliance. Now, it may sound painfully obvious, but it is just not easy to do that in practice.
In all my years of watching football, I considered only 3 teams to be true exponents of this philosophy: Brazil, Arsenal and Barcelona.While all 3 possess great players, their main weapon is NOT really in the individual skills of them, but in the quality of their passing.
Sure, it may be breathtaking to see Messi dribbling past 5 to 6 defenders to score, but I think it is no less spectacular and far more efficient to have Iniesta threading a defence-splitting pass through to Messi, who plays a quick one-two with Henry before sliding the ball to Ibrahimovich for a tap in.
*If you wonder why I didn’t mention Man United, it is because while they do play a fast and direct attacking game, their passing is really not as flowing the above mentioned.*