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Friday, April 14, 2006

"Systems are made by players rather than players making systems."

With only a few relative snoozers in the Copa Libertadores on tap tonight, TDH has decided to bring out one of the old chestnuts of football chatter. The inspiration comes from La Redo (link at right), our Argentine friends, who received over 100 responses. But that's La Redo for you. And the question: you're the manager, you have to win one game, and you can pick anyone - who's your World XI?

TDH thought long and hard about this one. Simply picking the best player at each position won't guarantee winning games, though it might come close. At first, perhaps, it's best to pick your formation. But then again, not every formation might be able to fit the players you fancy.

Anyway, TDH will get you started with a good old 4-4-2:


He always comes up trumps in big games, plus his size gives him a natural advantage. His 2002 World Cup performance was nothing short of stunning. TDH knocked him recently, but has since thought better of it in light of Blackburn's almost non-existent defense.

Gallas, Nesta, Terry, Miguel

Nesta and Terry are surely two of the finest centerbacks ever to play the game, and Terry's still young. TDH has had a soft spot for Miguel, who is incredibly mobile and very tidy, since Euro 2004. Gallas, though he prefers to play at center, is about as good as it gets these days on the left - speed and power. With Ashley Cole out of action, he's the man.

Schweinsteiger, Vieira, Pirlo, Tevez

What, no Arjen Robben? No Fat Frank? That's right, loyal readers, TDH is going for the stone-cold killers here; experience and guile rather than pure talent alone. Strength and savvy in the middle, work-rate and incisiveness on the wings. And if you're wondering who would take the TDH XI's free kicks, then you haven't been watching Schweinsteiger lately.

Henry, Van Nistelrooy

Ronaldinho? Eto'o? Well, come on now. Va-Va-Voom is the most prolific striker in the world. So, if you had to pick a partner for him, who would it be? Surely one of the most reliable close-range (and oblique angle) finishers in the game, to match up with Voom's magical abilities from distance. Remember, we're not picking players to last for another five years, just to win a single game.

Okay, so while TDH was writing this, Mariano Pavone scored in injury time to put Estudiantes into the next round of the Copa Libertadores and then climbed up the cyclone fencing and screamed at the fans on the terraces in Quilmes. Still, bit of a slow night....


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