On a long journey, I decided to set myself a challenge; come up with a team of European footballers.
Sounds easy enough right? But I could only choose one footballer from each country. It is a lot harder than you think. I decided to use a 4-3-3 formation.
Here is what I came up with.
GK – Hugo Lloris (France)
The France international is one of the best shot stoppers in the world. He has fantastic reactions, his handling is excellent and at 26 hasn’t even reached his peak yet.
RB – Lukasz Piszczek (Poland)
The Borussia Dortmund right back is a brilliant attacking full-back with a wicked cross, but he doesn’t shirk his defensive duties either. He has made 34 appearances for Poland.
CB – Vincent Kompany (Belgium)
Belgium’s representative is a defensive rock. Comfortably one of the best defenders in the world, he is solid in the tackle, imperious in the air and quick over the ground.
CB – Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)
The Serbian centre-back, despite his recent injury setbacks, is still one of the best in the world. He is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense defender who will put his body on the line for the team.
LB – Leighton Baines (England)
He can take a fantastic free-kick, and created the most chances in Europe last season. In my opinion he is even better than Ashley Cole now.
CM – Andrea Pirlo (Italy
The Italian midfielder was a ‘must’ in my team. There are few midfielders in the world that can match his passing and his positioning in midfield. Baines would probably have to step aside for free kick taking duties in this team.
CM – Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
The German international would be the box-to-box midfielder of the trio. Having appeared 98 times for Germany, he is the perfect midfielder. He is strong, athletic and very comfortable on the ball.
CM – Andres Iniesta (Spain)
He has appeared in two of the last three Ballon D’or Finalists, he has scored the winning goal in the World Cup Final and is simply a joy to watch. He is in my opinion the best midfielder on the planet, ahead even of his team mate Xavi. His dazzling dribbling skills, combined with his probing passes, make him a nightmare for defenders.
RW – Gareth Bale (Wales)
He is the new Welsh wing wizard and has just come off the back of a stellar campaign, where he scored an impressive 26 goals. He is a fast and powerful runner, combined with a wicked long range shot. At only 24, there is no telling what he could go on to achieve.
LW – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
The Portuguese ace is quite simply the best European footballer. He is the perfect combination of pace and power, combined with unparalleled dribbling skills and finishing that most could only dream of.
ST – Robin van Persie (Netherlands)
The Dutch centre-forward is lethal in front of goal, and since putting his injury problems behind him, he has proved he is one of the best strikers in world football at Arsenal and now Manchester United. Possessing a lethal left foot, he can score free kicks, beautiful volleys and simple tap-ins.
Substitutes – Petr Cech (Czech Republic), David Alaba (Austria), Daniel Agger (Denmark), Luka Modric (Croatia), Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
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