COS contributor Oliver Davies takes a look at those top notch players who failed to make their respective World Cup squads.
You may remember that a few weeks ago I made the best XI not at the World Cup, sporting a 5-3-2 and players like Ibrahimovic, Cech and Zhikov
It was a great team, but there was one fundamental flaw. It consisted only of players who’s nations had failed to qualify. This week it became clear that it was not the best XI not gracing the pitches of Africa.
The release of the 30 man squads freed up a whole new bunch of super stars to book themselves a holiday or get married.
I’m going to fill in the gaps by creating a team of players who could have gone to the World Cup, but have been pointedly ignored.
The list of squads can be found here.
First of all, I should say that in the week The Offside did a good job of a Brazentina/Argentzil team, and any similarities between that team and this can be credited only to Dunga and Maradona.
First of all, a short list.
Mario Balottelli, Antonio Cassano, Luca Toni, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Nesta (Italy)
Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema, Patrick Viera (France)
Julio Sergio, Naldo, Marcelo, Pato, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Diego (Brasil)
Paul Robinson (England)
Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Milito, Lucho Gonzales, Esteban Cambiasso, Lisandro Lopez, Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina)
That’s a 23 man squad, what each nation will eventually name for the tournament. Sorting it by position:
Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson, Julio Sergio
Defenders: Naldo, Marcelo, Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Milito, Alessandro Nesta
Midfielders: Antonio Cassano, Samir Nasri, Patrick Viera, Diego, Lucho Gonzales, Esteban Cambiasso
Forwards: Mario Balotteli, Luca Toni, Francesco Totti, Pato, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Lisandro Lopez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Karim Benzema
So, as with any good list it has a top end bias. But, that’s OK; this is a really good squad. With cover and depth that any full nation would be proud of.
The crowning glory, a starting XI:
Tactically, I’ve gone with a top weighted formation to mirror the bias in my squad, with a creative midfield and a flat back four.
Personel wise, there’s no arguing with most of this. Couple of points would be should Cassano or Ronaldinho get a place, and would we be better placed to use a 5-3-2, given the presence of two wing backs and no wingers.
But, whatever, this team easily deserves a top 8 finish. Maybe we can petition FIFA to justifiably replace France with our Ignored XI.
Oli, this article’s author, is the founder and writer of BarnsleyBlog.com; the number one fan blog about Barnsley FC. He’s also getting the ball rolling on a new world cup blog, at worldcup.barnsleyblog.com. To see articles like this and much more; why not give it a visit. You’ll be warmly welcomed!