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The 2008 World All-Star Lineup

After posting some of my predictions about the 2008 MLS All-Star lineup, I started thinking about the rest of the world and how MLS’s best would fare against their best 11. My conclusion? Not too well. But then again, what team could compete with such a collection of stars?

So, without further ado, as a companion to my MLS’s Best XI post, here is the lineup I would go with if I could choose from every player in the world:

Starting Eleven:

I would employ a 3-4-3 (simply too many great forwards to only put two up top):

Forward:

Didier Drogba (LS), Thierry Henry (RS), Ronaldhino (CS)

Midfield:

Kaka (CAM), Michael Essien (CDM), Cristiano Ronaldo (RWM), Lionel Messi (LWM)

Defense:

John Terry (LB), Fabio Cannavaro (CB), Carlos Puyol (RB)

Goal:

Gianluigi Buffon

Strategy:

Buffon is the best in the game, hands down. It really doesn’t matter though because Terry, Cannavaro and Puyol would be a brick wall. Each one could play in the middle.

Basically, Ronaldo and Messi would be downright unstoppable. Overload your defense to stop one, and the other would thrive. Essien would be instructed to push the ball outside to one of them, or up the gut to Kaka. Ronaldo and Messi could either take it up themselves, or play it to the middle to Kaka or Ronaldhino, who would both play distributor to some of the most prolific forwards in the game.

I would put Ronaldhino just underneath Drogba and Thierry to maximize his playmaking ability.

Reserves:

Forward: Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Robinho

Midfield: Steven Gerrard, Juan Roman Riquelme, Frank Lampard, Franck Ribery

Defense: Gianluca Zambrotto, Allessandro Nesta, Rio Ferdinand

Goalie: Dida, Petr Cech

I had no idea how hard it would be to come up with this list. There are simply so many strong players. For instance, its almost comical that strikers like Carlos Tevez, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Miroslav Klose and Fernando Torres can’t even make the roster. The omissions of Deco, Patrick Viera and Gennaro Gattuso in midfield are also difficult to justify. In defense, Rafael Marquez, Cafu and Paolo Maldini deserve honorable mention.

So, who did I leave out? Let me know in the comments.

Also, what would be the final score of an MLS v. World All-Star Game. I would wager 3-0, and I don’t think that is being too generous in either direction.

Why so low? Too many chiefs on the World team, and not enough indians. Each one of those players is used to being the focus for his team, and I believe their egos would hurt their play and prevent them from running it up too badly.

Of course, if the World team was given a month to prepare… Lord, what a beatdown for the ages we would see…

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