Here's a look at Steve Davis' complete roster and the writer's analysis of his team, including his preferred starting lineup and his assessment of how these players would come together on the field.
1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 winner; 3-time FIFA World Player Of The Year
Marco van Bastenstarter
3-time European Footballer Of The Year; Euro '88 winner; 58 caps for Holland
1970 World Cup winner; voted to World Team Of The 20th Century; 53 caps for Brazil
1966 World Cup winner; 73 caps for England; 548 total appearances
71 caps for France, 4 league titles; 1 Champions League title
1998 World Cup winner; 107 caps for France; 7 league titles; Euro 2000 winner
FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006; 136 caps for Italy
Captained Argentina to 1978 World Cup; 70 international caps; '86 World Cup winner
European Footballer of the Year 1956; 54 caps and 11 goals for England
89 caps, 19 goals for England; 84 league goals in 388 appearances
4 Bundesliga titles; 83 caps and 4 goals for Germany; 4 German Cup titles
Ballon d'Or winner 1987; Euro 1988 title; 66 caps, 17 goals for Netherlands
Frank de Boer
6 league titles; 112 caps, 13 goals for Netherlands; 1 Champions League
108 caps, 47 goals for Germany; 1990 World Cup winner; Euro 1996 winner
Over 1000 top level appearances; 119 caps for Northern Ireland; 762 league games
2 English league titles; 59 caps, 5 goals with Republic of Ireland; 2 FA Cups
TEAM DESCRIPTION: Since we humans are fallen and imperfect, I went with mostly modern players to fit a modern and carefully selected 4-2-3-1 system. Let me explain:
Pretty much any tactical arrangement can work, as we know. But the danger of this process (any "fantasy" selection endeavor, really) is the wide-eyed urge to be too offensive-minded with your picks. So I chose a formation that would demand I stock up on ample defensive cover. I mean, we all love attacking soccer and players, those who live for their next chance to burst forward and reach into their offensive bag of tricks.
But the hard reality is that a team full of highly technical, free thinking, attacking stars just isn't a team destined for ultimate success. Just ask the Dutch.
So I think my lineup strikes a healthy balance, with enough offensive pop to complement sufficient defensive muscle. I have two of the best, most determined names in the holding midfield business in Patrick Vieira and Clause Makelele, for instance. So, getting through this midfield would be no picnic, even for the considerable likes also in this "league" of the extraordinary.
Something else I appreciate about my team (and that I hope is weighed in the player analysis and rankings that will determine success and failure in simulated games): eight of my 11 starters were captains for their national teams or for prominent clubs. So were some of my reservists. Charisma and the capacity to lead can never be overrated.
TEAM FORMATION: 4-2-3-1
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