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England were the only home nation to represent Britain in the last two World Cups, 1978 and Scotland the last time that happened. Wales, N.Ireland and Scotland have less and less chance of ever qualifying again as fewer and fewer of their lads play in the top leagues, England heading the same way if they don't act fast to reduce the number of foreign players (and managers who prefer those players) in the premiership. I'm not taking about dumping the Torres's and Drogba's but the lesser foreign names that are equal to our English lads and so denying domestic first team starts in the premiership. This is not the only reason Scotland wont qualify for the next ten World Cups but it's the biggest, a cheap Ghanaian wingback now preferred over a brave young Scottish defender in the SPL. This has to stop in all British leagues. 17 English guys play in European leagues yet 200 of their guys play here.
Now that the tournaments nearly over and the biggest players in the world, according to that Nike advert, are out by the Quarter-Finals, that lavish commercial disappearing rather quick from the worlds screens after Ronaldo sulked and spat his way off the field after his dreadful World Cup, here are my players of the tournament, many competing for the prestigious 'Golden Ball' award for the player of the World Cup. There's no substitute for talent but there's also no substitute for hype and so the Nike advert players don't feature much. The England players certainly don't.
Of the eight so-called super stars pictured with each group on my wall chart all but three are left, the curse continuing there, and only two of them still performing in the World Cup. To celebrate the fact that Messi is clearly not as good as Maradona and Argentina are out, I'm listing my World Cup dream team that have managed to live up to the hype and will be on the wall chart next World Cup because of their performances here. I'm happy to say there will be no Ronaldo or Kaka in this list as it's not a poser's eleven.
Richard Kingson (Ghana)
How can you not love Kingson, a raw but agile keeper that was prepared to save the ball with just about any part of his body if it helped his national team progress. His enthusiasm was amazing and he pulled off some great saves, he the main reason they made the quarter-finals. They wee great to watch and Kingson expressed that rawness and passion (and naivety) African football is famous for.
Alongside Juan, the Brazilian captain has been immense in the team over the last two years, a centre-back pairing that looked almost impenetrable, until North Korea cut them wide open to score a lovely goal and the first hint it would not be Brazil's year. He will head a fridge and hoof it with the best of them when needed and always up for the corners. But his real strength is the ability to come out with the ball and get an attack going, something England can only dream about. He is almost the perfect centre back.
The complete centre-back for me and why Spain are almost impregnable. He is there at the heart of the defence but quickly powering down the middle to lift any pressure on his goal when required. Even with hair in his eyes he is able to head anything away at any angle. Spain's fullbacks are their weakness yet Ramos and Puyol are out wide clearing up their mess with apparent ease. And in that Spain ethos of pass...pass...pass...these boys can pass...pass...pass...!
Germany are not the most solid team defensively these days but they make up for that with the attitude that they can't be beaten. Germany have made three straight semi-finals, eight straight quarter-finals and have finished third or better in an incredibly eight of the last 11 World Cups (and made six European Championship finals for good measure in that time period), and the reason for that is they play from the back, Lahm, their captain, carrying on traditions of old. Get the ball and keep the ball and then play through the midfield to the strikers...
Podolski (40 goals in 78 matches) and Klose (52 goals in 100 games) had scored just seven goals between them in the Bundaslega but once they pull on the national shirt they are a team and have scored seven between them in just five World Cup games in South Africa. Lahm is in my team as the captain more than the defender and his ability, along with Joachim Louw, their exciting coach, to lead and inspire is the name of the game in international football. John Terry is in that class but he was a naughty boy and now the England team's legs are jelly, but Germany just seems to rise above in-house squabbles and get results. They haven't finished below England since 1966 and failed to make the semi's just three times since 1966. They took that Wembley defeat to never forget where as we sat back on our laurels and loured the 66 team. Lahm may not be a great defender but that leadership gene is embedded in his make up.
Brazil can defend as well as attack and this fellow does both, bombing up and down the right side of the park like a greyhound chasing a stick for his master. He covers some serious yards and whips in crosses and passes as well as he clears up his business at the back with elegant ease for a defender. I didn't see him put a foot wrong until Holland dumped them out and sure to be back in 2014 for his home World Cup.
Andres Iniesta (Spain)
For a tiny winger this guy spends a lot of time in font of the 18-yard-box, weaving intricate patters with Xavi and Villa that would even bamboozle Dan Brown. He is an amazing player to watch as his control is so good that he expects anyone he passes it to at pace to have the same control, which Puyol and Capdevilla don't quite have. He has a clever shot on him that bends both ways and can also bomb the wings and work the angles on the edge of the box. Marking him must be a nightmare. Top player.
That engrained German psyche of arrogance meets confidence is what Schwienstieger is all about. He has been immense this tournament and driven by that total belief that Germany are kings of the world in football and beyond he has been that Keiser. Bastion has completely bossed the midfield and pinged passes in from all angles for Klose to hit his record 14th World Cup goal and earned three assist for young Muller, Klose now just one behind the great Gerd Muller. It's the fact a very ordinary striker like Klose can get 14 goals that mean this guy is so good. His forging jinking runs and the ability to set that fast German counter-attack pace that has most surprised football pundits is paying off big time and alongside Podolski they are insatiable in devastating teams not set up to hold that pace and width. Bastian Schwienstieger is my player of the tournament, the 'Golden Ball' winner.
You have to have a holding player in front of the defence and behind the midfield in international football. But Spain play two, Alonso alongside this guy, both sweeping behind their outstanding attacking midfielders. Xavi just doesn't give the ball away and can ghost through the middle of the park and be twenty yards out looking at the shot or a dink into Villa or Torres before you know it. He has been very impressive and the reasons why Barcelona have made two straight Champions League Finals. He is Spain's Zindane right now and really excels in the Spaniards 'ticky tacky' style of fast passing to man marked players, moving the ball at 100 mph in those triangles. You have to be very good to even play that style, let alone in a World Cup against such varied opposition.
It's controversial but Holland seemed settled as a team because they are all one colour this year, and it's not orange. There's always been in-fighting in the national team and many say it's due to racism. This team is all white and in the final, and a home tie too for the creators of the modern metropolis South Africa is.
Holland have raced up on the fence in 2010 and done just enough to win each game, now on a 22 match unbeaten run going into their semi. They can step up the pace when needed and find the goal. But for me Sneidjer has been a revelation, a player I don't know much about. He makes the ball dance on his laces and can move the play from one side of the pitch to another in an instant. I have never really seen this level of confidence before in a Dutch player since the likes of Van Basten and Rudd Gullet. With a great shot and the ability to get right into the box with powerful runs he really looks like a player that's going to break Dutch records and could still lift the World Cup, level top scorer this tournament. England need this man in their team.
Quite simply the best winger in the world for me and Chelsea's biggest mistake to let him go. Devastating pace and footballs most accurate shot, this guy can turn a game in moments. He is an old style winger that can hug the touch lines and get it in from the by-line, the low pulled back cross always the most devastating. Yes he dives and feigns injuries but sadly that's what you have to do to make World Cup Finals in the modern game. He is still the business out wide though, also willing to come inside and get the full-backs on yellow cards and so terrorise them thereafter, forcing the opposing manger to make an early change.
The Germans have used their Under 21 system well, rushing through guys into the national team if they have it, regardless of their league form or experience, and it works very very well. Many of this squad are the U21 team that recently beat England 4-0. We have only Hart in England's squad in South Africa. The Germans see international football as a different beast all together to what we-England-do. Ozil has come through because he is ready and England Under 21 lads just don't get that chance, let alone get to play in their first teams in the Premiership and even the championship. Managers don't like to risk young players as they are in the results business and so buy older or foreign players with that experience to get those results. Ozil is fearless as he is quick, impish and clever, and born to Turkish parents, the Germany policy of playing foreign born players catching everyone on the hop, perhaps an apology of sorts by the Germans for their troubled past. Ozil's value just went up three fold.
David Villa (Spain)
Spain's incredible record of one defeat in 45 games going into the World Cup is partly down to this fella, the best striker I have seen in the World Cup since Van Basten. He has that Linekeresque ability to snaffle important goals in tight games and Spain's impressive and exaggerated passing style eventually leads to a chance for this guy, which he has taken pretty much every one. Maybe Germany will get the better of them with their expansive game, pace and size but if this guy gets a sniff it will be in the net tonight. Two footed strikers at international level are invaluable and if he and Fabregas go to Barcelona to join Messi and co then that team will be invincible. What a player!
Although he didn't score in this World Cup he did look good at what he does, no better player running with the ball into dangerous areas and getting a shot off than Messi. But he doesn't like passing and so a lot of those chances go astray. No man can beat every player on the pitch unless he is Maradona, the monkey on Messi's back, that particular bearded genius on the sidelines watching on. 50 goals for Barcelona is fabulous but Rooney and Ronaldo did similar in the last year but nothing much in World Cup. You have to be a team man with passion to be a great player at the very top level. Messi seems to earn a quadrant of the pitch but rarely leaves it. He is still a fabulous player though!
Joachim Louw (Germany)
The 50-year-old coach is not only known for his ober touchline fashion sense but brilliant tactical coaching, and not only that but he brags about how he does it in press conferences with likeable hubris. After managing six Austrian/German league teams in 6 years (with little notable success) he made the Stuart Pearce style step up to assistant manger of Germany to Klinsman for World Cup 2006. Getting the national job for Euro 2008 he took Germany to the final and may repeat that in South Africa.
To get to the Spain semi-final he had the small task of beating Argentina and he didn't it with real nouse. He admitted he couldn't go two-on-two with Messi and Tevez so sacrificed his wide defensive guys to come in and go tight on Messi, forcing Argentina out wide and the ball away from Messi, meaning they could stretch the play if they got the ball back, which they did, scoring 4 great goals. Its one of the greatest wins ever in World Cup and Louw was the architect.
- - - Golden Boot - - -
Villa (ESP) 5 Goals
Sniedjer (HOL) 5 goals
Higuain (ARG) 4 Goals
Klose (GER) 4 Goals
Muller (GER) 4 Goals
Vittek (SVK) 4 Goals
L/B Cole (Eng)
CB Puyol (Spain)
MF/ Podbolski (Germany)
MF/ Boateng (Ghana)
Anyone who is a serious football fan will have their own "dream team" consisting of some of their favourite players from their team and also from other teams. I have decided to do my own dream team consisting of a starting eleven and six subs. As not only a Manchester United fan but a massive fan of Football as a whole I like to see a great display of skill and talent from any player. I have chosen to do a "Dream Team" consisting of players from the Premiership teams.
Goalkeeper - Edwin Van Der Sar
At 6'6, Van Der Sar is one of the tallest goalkeepers in the world and has been a steady pair of hands since joining Manchester United from Fulham. He is a great shot stopper who makes very important saves and has formed a formidable partnership with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the centre of the Manchester United defence. He gives out a commanding presence in the United goal.
Left Back - Ashley Cole
This was a tough one for me as although I am a big admirer of Patrice Evra I have to admit that Ashley Cole is a player of real quality, He has great pace and can go forward producing quality crosses into the box for Chelsea. Whatever your take on his well known wage demands he is one fine player who is one of the rare defenders who are as good defensively as they are going forward.
Left Centre Back - Nemanja Vidic
It was fair to say that when Manchester United signed the combative Serbian from Spartak Moscow he was not very well known unless you were a big fan of Football. He signed in 2006 and had an immediate impact in the heart of the United defence and has notched up what is arguably the best defensive partnership in the world with Rio Ferdinand. The tough tackling defender is also one to watch from corners who will chip in with a few goals.
Right Centre Back - Rio Ferdinand
It would only be right that Rio is here to partner Vidic as they have struck up a great partnership. When Rio Ferdinand is on form he makes defending look so easy, I have lost count of the number of times that Manchester United have held on at the end of the match when Rio has made commanding headers away and crucial perfectly timed challenges. He also is a great motivator and can lead from the back.
Right Back - Gary Neville
One of the three remaining from the "can't win anything with kids" days. Gary Neville has had his fair share of injury problems of late but when fit he is a pest for the opposing side for his defensive work and also the way he gets forward and for the way he can deliver the ball into the box. One of the most professional players in the game. He epitomises the never say die attitude of the club.
Left Wing - Ryan Giggs
What can you say about this man's career?? He has been one of the best players in the Premiership and he has remarkably been there right from the start. He may have lost some of his pace but he still has the fantastic football brain and that never say die attitude that sums up United. I was one of the people saying he should have retired a couple of years ago but from some of his displays in the last couple of seasons he still has it.
Left Midfield - Cesc Fabregas
Still only 22 the Spanish midfielder has been talked about as a great player since the age of 17. He possesses excellent passing with a fierce will to win, he can also score the spectacular goal from time to time and is one of the most talented Midfielder's in the game today. He also seems to score really important goals for Arsenal which further adds to his abilities. He could be a really great player.
Right Centre Midfield - Steven Gerrard
This man is "Mr Liverpool" the heartbeat of their midfield, he has pace, skill, endless passing range and can score some incredible goals. He is one of the best Midfielder's England have ever had. As a Manchester United fan I would love to see Gerrard sign for us but that of course will never happen otherwise he would be carried out of Old Trafford in a body bag after being murdered by a bitter scouser.
Right Winger - Florent Malouda
The French Winger had already enjoyed success with Lyon before he signed for Chelsea. He is one of the quickest players in the Premiership and has a good cross on him as well as fantastic drive and he seems to come up with very important goals as shown on Saturday with his winning goal against stoke in the 94th minute. I see him becoming a great player at Chelsea.
Strikers - Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is playing some of the best football of his career right now and he has shown that Manchester United can still be successful without Cristiano Ronaldo. Rooney has deceptive pace, an incredible work rate and he can score all types of goals. He is turning into one of the all time great English footballers of all time. Since Rooney scored that incredible winner for Everton against Arsenal aged just sixteen he has improved even more than people expected.
The Spanish striker is one of the hottest strikers in the world and is almost guaranteed to score 20+ goals a season. His pace is more than enough to frighten defenders but he also has a great shooting range and never stops trying to score even when he misses one he really should have scored. He is fantastic.
The Brazilian midfielder has shown a lot of promise in his short time at Manchester United despite scoring just 1 goal in 78 games he has shown himself worthy of inclusion in some of United's biggest games. He is a very fine passer in the middle of the field and works his socks off every game. When he tackles a player he is always looking to bring the ball up the pitch towards the goal. He's also a great player to have in the dressing room for his enthusiasm.
Whilst there is sometimes a question mark about his performances for England, the same can't be said about his performances for Chelsea. He is their midfield dynamo who can score fantastic goals from around 35 yards out and is a very good player to have when you are trying for a late equaliser or winner as he will give everything
The Australian midfielder signed for Everton from Milwall and has become one of the best midfielder's in the Premiership. He is another one who comes up with important goals and at 5'10 he heads well above his size as he is a big threat from corners. Another player who's enthusiasm for the game is catching. Brilliant player.
Another Goalkeeper here and Liverpool's Spanish stopper is one of the best shot stoppers in the game. There are often times when he keeps Liverpool in a game for the front players to win the game. It's no fluke that Liverpool have one of the best defensive records year in year out with him in goal. Another very fine Goalkeeper.
The bulky Tottenham defender has had some bad injuries but on his day is a fine defender who can make all sorts of tackles and can also start an attack with a deft pass. He is also good in the air and although he should maybe score more goals he is still a threat from corners. A shame that he is not fitter than he is.
When Drogba came to Chelsea he brought with him the diving he had shown at Marseille but what he also brought was an incredible eye for goal whether he was closely marked or whether he had just received the ball on the edge of the area. He can score from just about anywhere inside 35 yards. When he is at his best he is an incredible handful and is another player who scores many important goals for Chelsea.
So there is my dream team of the Premier League. I would have Sir Alex Ferguson as manager as I feel he is the best manager of all time. I feel that this team would win the league year in year out if they stayed fit. It has a mix of the "big four" as well as a couple of other teams in Tottenham and Everton who are trying to make that step from comfortably in the League to European competition every year. It looks as though there could be change this season.
Dream teams are a rubbish idea. I entered into dream teams years ago when entries were cheap. Now most teams cost £5 or even more to enter and than more to do transfers.
Dream Team is a good idea to entice footie mad people. In current climate it has become a business and now most people will feel ripped off. Cost of tickets at football grounds has hit the roof in last five years and so has price of entering a dream team.
Chances of winning off a dream team are slim to none. So many people enter and form players for this season won't do the same next season, there always is a surprise package and this is when most people lose out in the competition.
I was always at the bottom of the pile. My best position in Sun was 139, 657.
Football is the main fantasy team sport, F1, cricket, golf and rugby have also had dream teams.
I will never do a dream team again because it costs too much and too much time following the team and ultimate loss.
He hadn't seen this one before, now I'm going to be a little bit naughty and do two teams, one of pro's and one for fun with other people.
As much as I dislike Chelsea I'd have to say Cech is probably the best keeper anywhere in the world today so I'd pick him. A good shot stopper, rarely has a lapse in concentration, and is decent at everything, with only the flaw that he's too brave and as a result gets injured a bit more than maybe he should...oh and that sily hat he wears.
As a huge man united fan and a massive admirer of this guy for many years, and his importance can be seen when he's missing for england, Gary Neville, dispite getting on a bit is probably one of the most complete full backs in the world, with highly trained tackling ability, he's able to control the defense and his crosses for the likes of Ruud have helped united to several titles.
Rafael Márquez might seem like an odd choice but his ability going foreward, control, tackling, shots and his overall complete play is among the best out their though he does seemingly get over-looked by people. Mexico without Rafa just don't look a very good team, though Rafa make them look like they could well reach the 1/4 finals of a World Cup.
Perhaps a contrversial selection with the world wide wealth of players who can play in centre back, but we need a world cup winner and I don't think anyone can argue with Fabio Cannavaro to partner Marquez and help keep a sturdy line at the back, the Italians are basically known for being defensive msters as it is.
I considered Gabriel Hienze for the role but couldn't quite bring myself to put him into it, so instead I've gone for Philipp Lahm, who adds some youth to anotherwise sturdy and experienced back line, and allows him to go foreward on the left, with Neville booming up the right pinning the opposition into their own half.
Fernando Gago seems perfect for the role and gets it just above his countryman Javier Mascherano on the fact that I feel Gago will grow into a better player than Mascherano who is also phenomanol. Gago's displays for Real Madrid have helped him look a player far beyond his own years.
With a solid defensive unit I've decided I'd have soem fun up the other end of the pitch.
Christiano Ronaldo, I don't think many even need to be told why we need this wonderfully fleet footed superstar in any line up, the guy can shoot, beat players and cross. With the diving and cheating out of his game and the final product almost always being in his game now a days we are left with no unanswered questions about the player Ferguson picked up for what now looks like a bargain price.
Kaka, the soon to be crowned world player of the year has shown everyone why he also deserves to be in every team we pick for something like this, a master of creation and possibly the most complete player we currently have playing for anyone in the world.
Although he's going though a bit of a poor run in the Barcaleona side we can't ignore the goofy toothed Ronaldhino, who with Ronaldo and Kaka in an attacking 3 would give all defenders nightmares. A player who when he's on the ball almost makes it seem like the ball loves him.
I was wanting to put Joaquin or Robinho in here but felt neither of them would quite work as well as the Argentinian wonder kid Lionel Messi who with Kaka, Ronhaldhino and Ronaldo make any defence crap them selves, can you imagine these 4 running at you?
With the vast quality and creativity of the guys behing them, I don't feel a goalscoring striker is really needed, and as a result have gone for Wayne Rooney who will just act as a gel for the four guys charging up from the middle and would likely even be able to link in with Gago to make such a dominately attack minded team play such sexy and romatic football Wenger would be jealous.
So to recap:
Now my other team:
In Goal I'd have the boxer Butterbean, I know he'd suck at catching corners, but can anyone really put the ball pasta goal this is full of the big man?
Right back would be Roger Fedderer as his crosses and passes usually remain inside the lines, he'd make a great right back that would lead to an attack via the midfiled as opposed to a real running full back.
Centre back would have to be Ray Winstone, a bit more of the classic centre back to him, a no nonse approach and if you give him a bit of cheek he'll kick you up the arse for it, what more can you ask for?
Centre back number two would also have to be a tough man otherwise they'd be targeted for special treatment from the forwards so for this I've gone with Evander Holyfield, now his boxing carrer is surely gone he could take up soccer/football. He's brilliant with his head (>_>) and seems a pretty fit guy still.
Left Back would be the position made for the unfunny Lenny Henry, and by left back I'm meaning left back on the coach as someone drives it off a cliff and saves me from his "humour".
Defensive midfielder would go to American Football Payton Manning who's passing has lead the Indianopolis Colts to being one of the best teams in the NFL right now (and I prefer him to Tom Brady, who would be on the bench). The guy can pass, has quick reactions, good leadership and knows how to take his knocks like a man.
Right midfielder as we all so Christiano a few years ago complaining about everything and being a bit of a pre-madonna I was tempted to pick boxings very own flashy fleet footed man, but he'd wanted to be captain and have everyone pass him the ball so Floyd Mayweather jr. isn't picked, however I have gone with Dwain Chambers, he's fast, and looks like a big bloke, he's been a sprinter and tried American football, so whats another sport to him?
Attacking midfielder, one of the best english players ever in this role was a ginger meastro so I'm going with the logic that this is the position that was made for gingers, so instead of having Paul Scholes, we have Prince Harry. The guy is young so gives out team some youth to it, he's got a pretty bad temper, like Scholesy and is likely to be a bit of a crap tackler. and he'll never get a crown on his head to stop him heading the ball.
Left midfielder Robert De Niro, no real reason for this, but a reason doesn't need to be made to have a guy like De Niro on your team, really does it?
Up front I'm going for a little and large pair with Shaquille O'neil from the NBA as my big guy up front doing the Jan Koller role of getting his head onto everything. The Little man I'm picking is Shane Warner, with magic in his fingers he surely has something in his feet that rivals it. And if not it'd be funny to see these two try linking up, tall but old and slow Shaq with the podgy Warner....brilliant.
In my euro 2000 dream team i would have the following: GK: edwin van der saar or Toldo. Basically there are no others to rival them. LB: Lizarazu. i think maldini has had his time so time for fresh talent to arise on the left. CB: jaap stam CB: tony adams, both are physical and determined. RB: Gary neville! ML: steve mcmanaman. he can dribble like a meistro. MC: Figo MC: Zidane MR: Davids up fornt i would have kluivert and milosovic the top scorers.
Many people talk of the team of the tournament but what about those who palyed out of their skins and had great tournaments when perhaps many thought they wouldn't. 1.In goal would have to be Rustu of Turkey he started the tournament slowly but quickly found his feet (and remebered how to catch) 2.Although Zambrotta was sent off in the semi final he opitomised what a defensive midfield player should play like he was always covering and many midfielders could learn from him. 3.Manuel Dimas had a great tournament he was always there to support the man playing in front of him namely luis figo. 4.Hakan Unsal of Turkey was a solid as anyone and showed great commitment for the cause 5.Jorge Costa was solid and dependaple (forgetting his last few moments in the tournament) 6.Zahovic was thought to be a good player but had never proved it on the big stage,but he has now. 7.Drulovic barring the first 60 mins against Slovenia played well in a very attack minded yugoslavian side. 8.Mykland of Norway had a great three matches and was awared two man of the matches for this. 9.Milosevic who was joint top scorer may not have scored the goal of the tournament but had a nack of being in the right place at the right time. 10.Gomes of Portugal had a great tournament considering he was third choice striker with 0 goals from 14 caps before hand 11.Neved had an exceptional tournament and although widely known through Europe was not expected to perform to the level he did.
Judging by the performances in Euro 2000 I would have to play using a 3-4-1-2 system. In goal would have to be Toldo who, other than a dreadful mistake in the Turkey game, has been consistent and used his large frame to great effect. The defence would consist of Desailly, Nesta and Cannavarro who have all played excellently throughout. The two central midfielders would be Nedved and Vieira, who incidentally did play each other. On the left would be Luis Figo, who actually did have a relatively quiet tournament but played well for his team. David Beckham, just for his role in England's goals and his great crosses would have to be on the right. There is only one player, for my money, who could play in the hole - the excellent Zinedine Zidane who has shone in Euro 2000. His trickey, skill, power and pace has been illuminated the excellent French side. The two strikers I would choose are Kluivert - you can't ignore his goal threat - and Henry who has the pace to trouble any defence. The players who just missed out are, as follows: Edgar Davids, due to his relatively quiet tournament, Peter Schmeichel, who shone in a very poor Danish side, Totti who only really played at his best in the final and Laurent Blanc who's lack of pace was sometimes exposed.
Nevermind the Dream Team, we all have opinions and they're all variations on a theme, but how about the Euro 2000 nightmare team! Here's my selection: 1. Filip De Wilde, Belgium - Would go in purely for that clanger against Sweden where he stepped on the ball to concede a goal.... but add that neck-high challenge against Turkey (which he'd have got sent off for in the 6 nations, nevermind Euro 2000) and De Wilde is the nightmare goalie. 2. Gary Neville, England - Same as Phil (below) I don't think he was THAT bad, but tended to have 'tunnel-Beckham Vision' he ALWAYS passed to him! I mean I know they're mates but....... 3. Phil Neville, England - I actually don't think he had THAT bad a tournament, but has to be in just for THAT tackle. Poor Pip, single-handedly ending a nations hopes. 4+8. Any of Norway's midfield! - were they even AT the tournament? Sure, with Solskjaer, Flo and Iversen up-front you can understand their haste to get it forward, but really, they could have saved the midfield the cost of the flight and left them at home! 5. Sinisa Mijhailovic, Yugoslavia - (as suggested by The Horse) had a proverbial "nightmare" against lowly Slovenia, conceeding 3 goals, one of which was a direct result of his woeful 'back-pass' and then got himself sent-off! Also conceeded 4 to Spain and SIX to Holland.... oh dear. 6. Frank De Boer, Holland - Yes, controversy again, but really....... the captain missing 2 penalties in the same game! I feel for him, but that nonchalent smile to the fans before miss number 2 tipped it for me. 7. That poor Yugoslavian lad - Sorry, his name escapes me, but bounding with youthful exuberance on his debut, leap onto the pitch and got sent off 14 seconds after coming on..... DOH! (Name = Maeteja Kezman, thanks to Travelnotes) 8. See 4 above. 9. Emile Heskey, England - I'm being a hypocrite here as I thi
nk he's still too young to face too much criticism. Didn't drop any real clangers, just dropped himself, on the floor, a LOT! 10. Alessandro Del Piero, Italy - If you watched the final, you'll know why he's in. If not, he had TWO gilt edged chances to put the game beyond France at 1-0 up. What is it with the Azzuri's favourites self-imploding? First the divine pony-tail in the 1994 World Cup Final and now Del Piero. Ooopppsss! 11. England's left winger - oh..... there wasn't one. And the coach? Take your pick, Keegan? Or Zoff? There you go. My Nightmare XI!
Dream Team 2000! I have just won an fantasy league game on www.dreamleague.com with the team below! This game is based on each players' stats that have been compiled over the Euro 2000 Tournament... Here it comes: Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar Holland Defender Abel Xavier Portugal Defender Frank de Boer Holland Defender Goran Djorovic Yugoslavia Defender Laurent Blanc France Midfielder Gheorghe Hagi Romania Midfielder Luigi Di Biagio Italy Midfielder Luis Figo Portugal Striker Alessandro Del Piero Italy Striker Raúl Spain Striker Thierry Henry France
Right, you mugs! Stop picking big names cos that's all they are. This eleven is picked on Euro 2000 and nothing before or after. 1. Toldo - last minute replacement for Buffon, excellent throughout. 2. Thuram - best right back in the world, anyway. 3. Candela - looked more assured than Lizarizu although not Lemerre's choice. 4. Nesta + 5. Cannavaro - both were rocks for their country. 6. Davids - only just shaded out Vieira who was also great. 7. Beckham - single handedly kept England afloat. 8. Figo - say no more. 9. Kluivert - excellent when confident. 10. Zidane - player of the tournament. 11. Henry - made the difference for France up front. And if anyone disagrees, you're wrong!
GK - Toldo, Took his team to the final against Holland. RB - Has to be Thuram simply because he is the best player in the world in that position. CB - Stam, Actually is a rock! CB - Desailly, Like Stam, is a rock and capable of controlling the line! LB - Maldini, Can go forward and would have to captain, a born leader RM - Beckham, I'm not a Man. Utd fan but like Thuram, he's the best in his position CM - Zidane, that man is so good! CM - Davids, playing against Zidane was good, together even better LM - Zenden, Unfortunately needs to leave Barca to be successful, Rivaldo is too good! ST - Milosevic and Kluivert, their goals say it all!
Barthez (FRA) Stam De Boer Blanc (HOL) (HOL) (FRA) Thuram Beckham Zidane Maldini (FRA) (ENG) (FRA) (ITA) Scholes (ENG) Henry Kluivert (FRA) (HOL) A slightly unorthodox formation I know, the three centre backs will stop anyone coming through the centre (England take note!) and the two 'wing backs' would need to take on a lot of defensive responsibilities. But they would be up to the job and able to get forward to help the attack. In the centre Zidane would run the show, with Beckham providing the ammo for the two strikers. Scholes is there to support the strikers, and also as a ball winner. He would also weigh in with his fair share of goals.
Here's my dream team, selected from the players who have made the most impact so far. In keeping with most of the teams, we'll be playing 4-4-1-1 GK - Toldo (Italy) - May now keep Buffon out of the team, which is some achievement! Was incredible agains the Dutch, both in normal time and extra time AND the penalties. By some way, keeper of the tournament LB - Maldini (Italy) - a natural leader, great going forward too. CB - Stam (Holland) - the definition of "solid" CB - Cannavaro (Italy) - The Italians make the best defenders, no doubt about that. RB - Thuram (France) - a great defender, also gets up well RM - Luis Figo (Portugal) - devastating playing down the right CM - Davids (Holland) - gets everywhere, gets the ball back almost as soon as you've lost it! CM - Zidane (France) - can run the game from here. LM - Zenden (Holland) - Has had a great tournament, is unlucky that he is understudy to Rivaldo at Barcelona! Forward - Henry (France) - has the pace to trouble anyone, and can feed balls to the main striker. Just beat the not quite fit Del Piero for the place. Striker - Kluivert (Holland) - would have been Vieri had he not got injured. I've never been quite convinced by Kluivert but how can you argue with his goals against Yugoslavia? Subs Schmeichel (Denmark) Desailly (France) Zahovic (Slovenia) Jugovic (Yugoslavia) Mendieta (Spain) Ljunberg (Sweden) Raul (Spain) Del Piero (Italy) Larsson (Sweden)
Having been glued to Euro 2000, i ahve compile my dream team from the players so far. This is it : 1. Schemichel (Den) 2. Thuram (Fra) 3. Stam (Hol) 4. Desailly (Fra) 5. Helguera (Spa) 6. Scholes (Eng) 7. Beckham (Eng) 8. Figo (Por) 9. Raul (Spa) 10. Kluivert (Hol) 11. Henry (Fra) Subs (3) - Mendieta (Spa) Davids (Hol) J.Pinto (Por) OK so if the defenders get injured there are none on the bench, but im an attack minded guy :o) There are of course many more talented players who could make this team, and would in others eyes, but this is the line up id go for at the moment (With Del Piero unlucky not to be in but he hasn't played a lot)
All we need to choose is players from Europe, no need to search somewhere in South America, yet, the team made will be unbeatable in the World This is my choice of a dream team Peter Schmeichel Lilian Thuram Jaap Stam Frank de Boer Paolo Maldini David Beckham Zidane Edgar Davids Luis Figo Raul Hakan Sukur There are in fact more than two strikers of my choice, there the two can be replaced by Henry, Milosevic or Owen