I’ve bought football magazines for as long I can remember. It all started with ‘Match!’ when I was a boy and, as soon as I started craving more words on the pages than pictures, I decided to move onto the fantastic Four Four Two magazine.
One of the first pages I turn to every month is the last of the magazine, entitled ‘My Perfect Eleven’, where an ex-footballer is asked to pick his perfect team of all time.
I’ve always found it an interesting read, especially as the ex-pros often reveal their relationships with the players in question. However, I am often left with the feeling that (eventhough the teams are always crammed full of superstars) if you actually put them out on the pitch they’d perform in a similar fashion to Florentino Perez’s ‘Galacticos’, or Sven Goran Eriksson’s ‘square pegs in round holes’ England team. Great on paper but too many players being ‘accomodated’, just to get them in the team. No balance = no success.
So, out of that (and attempting not to completely rip-off the magazine!), the series ‘Ultimate Elevens’ is born.
I want you to send me your greatest XI of all time, along with a brief summary of why you think the team would succeed, and a couple of lines on each player. However, and here’s the catch, you MUST have seen every player in your team LIVE – not on TV, but actually at a football match.
Now, I know that for many of you (myself included) that will rule out the likes of Pele and Maradona, but this rule will be what makes each team unique, and gives you the opportunity to share with everyone the special moments you witnessed from each player. My view is that you get a much better sense of a player’s class (particularly qualites such as body language, movement off the ball, leadership, positional sense, awareness etc) when you are actually at the game itself. Sure, TV serves its purpose well, but there’s nothing quite like the real thing.
Second of all, you can chose any formation you like. However, you MUST play every player in their best/favoured position. Now, I know that with some players it is debatable as to what their best position was/is, but what I’m trying to avoid here is a midfield crammed full of attacking midfielders with, say, Zinedine Zidane in the holding role. In fact, every midfield MUST have a defensive-minded player. I won’t publish any teams up that are inbalanced, or have players out of position. That is final!
So, here’s a summary of what I want from you guys:
– 11 players.
– Any formation, but players must be in their correct positions.
– Every midfield must have a defensive midfielder.
– You must have watched every player in your team live, at least once.
– Write a brief summary of why you think the team would succeed, and a couple of lines on each player.
Send your Ultimate Elevens to me at email@example.com, and I will put as many of them up on the site as possible…
…and remember, don’t hesitate to get fully involved in commentating on people’s teams!