Here's a look at Raphael Honigstein's 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.
Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year; 205 goals and 83 assists 310 games.
Karl Heinz Rummeniggestarter
Twice European Footballer of the Year; 230 league goals in 424 games
Most expensive player in soccer history; 1st Real player to score 50 goals in a season
Golden Ball winner 1994 World Cup; 55 goals in 70 games for Brazil
1974 World Cup winner; 5 league titles; 48 caps and 10 goals for Germany
1980 European Championship winner, 105 league goals in 445 games
1998 World Cup winner; 97 caps for France; 5 Bundesliga titles; Euro 2000 winner
59 caps for Italy; 460 league games for AC Milan; 7 Serie A, 5 Champions League titles
1990 World Cup winner; 105 caps for Germany; Euro 1996 winner
Most expensive defender in history; 51 caps for Brazil; 2 Champions League titles
3 La Liga titles; 2 Champions League titles; 2010 World Cup winner; 34 caps for Spain
4 English league titles; 72 caps, 28 goals for England; 1 Champions League title
All-time leading scorer for Real Madrid, Champions League; 102 caps, 44 goals for Spain
5-time Belgian GK of the Year; 58 caps for Belgium; 3 Belgian league titles
Euro 2008 winner; 28 caps for Spain; Don Balon Award 2008 for best Spanish Player
5 La Liga titles; 3 Champions League titles; 2010 World Cup winner
TEAM DESCRIPTION: I've picked a team and formation that balances the plethora of attacking options with a solid back-four. The front four, supported by two midfielders who combine aggression, force and imagination, are a particularly mouthwatering prospect.
Generally speaking, I only felt happy picking players that I've personally seen extensively for two reason. Firstly, YouTube, black & white footage and old newspaper clippings are unreliable sources. There is simply no way to properly assess older player's true potential unless you want to take the views of their contemporaries as gospel. This, however, is problematic, as objectivity frequently gives way to grand, romantic narratives. One example is the relative anonymity of Fritz Walter outside (West) Germany. Walter, part of the team that overcame the much-fancied Hungarians in the 1954 won the Cup but ended up on the wrong side of football history in the process. His outrageous talent, visible to all those who actually bother to watch full matches of the competition in Switzerland has been forgotten. His skills (and those of his teammates) needed to be downplayed in subsequent years to make Hungary's failure appear even more tragic.
The glorification of the past also conveniently ignores the fact that football has changed beyond recognition over the last 25 years. By definition, current players are more athletic, faster, tactically better versed and arguably on a higher plane technically than their predecessors.
As far my team's tactic's go, I favor a flexible, non-dogmatic approach. The team is of course attacking in nature, but will only press in irregular bursts. When not in possession, I intend to play a fairly high line to keep the distance between the lines at a minimum. Messi, Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo will also take turns to switch with Rummenigge in the most-forward position to allow each of them a bit of respite but also threaten the back-four with their pace. Those four players and Raul are also pretty much interchangeable when it comes to the four attacking positions and thus provide plenty of options to adjust in relation to the opposition. Goals shouldn't be problem.
TEAM FORMATION: 4-2-3-1
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