A sideways look at Spanish football
The mission set by the evil FourFourTwo masters sounded an easy one at first. Pick your la Liga XI to take on a side from the Premier League. “Easy,” thought LLL “Barcelona with a couple of Real Madrid players thrown in for good measure.”
The catch though was that the side had to be made up of players from eleven different clubs, not so easy considering 18 of the 20 la Primera outfits are, to be brutally honest, not really much good. In fact, it was a torturous exercise of jiggling, poking and swearing, but here are the results in a sort of narrow 4-3-3 formation. Thibaut Courtois - Atlético MadridWhile the rest of the Rojiblancos are merrily underperforming - as they tend to do every year - the 19-year-old Chelsea loanee has been a solid performer between the sticks, with the Belgian goalie making lingering memories of David de Gea seem distant.
Juanfran - LevanteThe selection strategy has been to pack the midfield and forward line with talent and then hope for the best in defence. Especially in the fullback area. Yes, Juanfran is 35 and is getting on a bit, but Juanfran has also been a rock in one of the best teams in la Liga in 2011, statistically speaking. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, buddy...
Adil Rami - ValenciaFast, tough, aggressive and quite scary at the back as well as very handy in the opposition box, the French international has been one of the buys of the season, and is Valencia’s very valuable contribution to la Liga’s best XI.
Iñigo Martínez - Real SociedadSpanish U-21 defender extraordinaire, future full team regular and a centre-back who also likes to score goals from his own half - something that Martínez has done twice this season.
Miguel Torres - GetafeThis was a real problem position and the whopping weak spot of the team. Miguel Torres is the best of a bad bunch of Racing and Zaragoza players available as although the Getafe fullback is incredibly unspectacular, has a fear of crossing the half-way line, Torres is reasonably competent and consistent.
Javi Martínez - Athletic BilbaoA tough-tacking, box-to-box, rampaging World Cup winner who can also play in defence which may be necessary from time-to-time in this particular line-up. A powerful, physical footballer that any Premier League team would love to have anchoring their midfield.
Borja Valero - VillarrealHis team may not be having the best of spells at the moment with Valero’s form suffering too, but the Villarreal playmaker has been one of the consistently best Primera players over the last couple of seasons - an expert at nearly every type of set-piece, cross and pass imaginable.
Santi Cazorla - MálagaPlaying in front of his former Villarreal teammate, Borja Valero, it’s Santi Cazorla - a footballer with wonderful technique, brilliant creativity, a cheeky smile and a Spanish international who would have had an awful lot more caps by now if it weren’t for the fact that’s he’s in existence on the earth at the same time as footballers like Andrés Iniesta, David Silva and now Juan Mata.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real MadridPositioned on the left of a front three it’s the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo, a footballer that many knockers forget scored an awful lot of goals playing for Manchester United, as well as the century and then some of strikes he’s banged in with Real Madrid. The manager’s only concern is whether Ronaldo and a certain Argentinean in the squad will speak to each other - never mind pass.
Leo Messi - BarcelonaIt was a serious temptation to drop the wee Argentinean to bring in Andrés Iniesta to the midfield or even have the defence lead by Gerard Piqué, but the decision was made to go on the all out attack and adopt the policy of scoring more goals than the opposition - something Leo Messi might be able to help with.
Alvaro Negredo - SevillaIt was a tough choice between the Sevilla striker and Fernando Llorente for the front man position, but Negredo nicks it due to the requirement of Javi Martínez to add some steal to the midfield and help out at the back. However, the former Madrid man more than justifies his position as a forward who can score goals ranging from the simple to the spectacular. Negredo is also a footballer who was the top scoring Spaniard in la Liga last season with 20 goals.
FEATURE FourFourTwo's Premier League XI
That's how I think we could strengthen the team by adding a better RB: Put Caceres instead od M.Torres, then we have to replace Negredo with Falcao. Then we have to replace Curtois with Robert from Zaragoza. And there it is:)
Good team, I figure it could take the prem. teams lunch money any day of the week.
played this game in an economics class a few wks ago i had Kameni-alves, ballesteros,botia, monreal-raul Garcia,Benat-Navas, piatti,ronaldo-llorente. hard to see the premier league losing it though, whatever combo you pick!
Miguel Torres better then Didac Vila ,I think not.
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