With the group phase behind us and quarter finals that just started, things are definitely heating up in this European championship of great importance. Since EP President Martin Schulz has picked his dream team of players, ”The President’s XI” , I, a firm believer of reasonable alternatives, would like to take this opportunity to present mine.
Unlike the President who ”deliberately picked a few players from teams that have been eliminated at the group stage" I have nominated players exlusively from teams still in the tournament since being part of a crew that is able to deliver under high pressure is a tip top kind of quality to hold.
Yes! I know what you think. What about Ibra? Isn’t Sweden, who unsurprisingly beat France, long gone? True. But, I’m fully convinced that the underperforming striker, whose biography the ghostwriter creatively named “I am Zlatan”, could create magic if placed next to a new set of colleagues illustrated by the colorful flags pictured. Let's give him a chance.
As for the front line, Cristiano Ronaldo, not only the tournament’s most tweeted player but currently ranked #1 by UEFA:s index based on individual performances, is a given choice whereas Wayne Rooney can be questioned for a number of reasons, I, especially as an Evertonian, do admit that. The combination of the three is a possible nightmare for fans of more strategic minds but a cool line-up for us who think fantastic achievements can come out of charmingly odd combinations.
On the midfield of this 4-3-3 formation that would make any poor player of the opposite team shake nervously already at the warm-up, there are players such as dangerously talented David Silva who not only stole the show in the match against Ireland but once last year was the player of the month in that particular European league that counts for more action than Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga combined – The Premier League.
As for defenders they include, for instance, super Greek Avraam Papadopoulos who had to go back to Greece with a seriously injured knee already after the opening game (that means he made it back home in time for the new legislative elections though so it's not entirely bad news). Although I'd really like to stress that this is not a sympathy vote for Mediterranean men in pain (the one mentioned is currently having surgery in Germany and can be off the pitch for months! #tragedy) but rather a nomination to honour him. And in case you want to know who replaced Papadopoulos that first game…another Papadopoulos. Isn't it fantastic how life works sometimes?
Positioned in the corner, represented by the flag of the Country of Hearts (reputedly located close to the Scottish highlands), is the so called Twelth Player made entirely out of the supporters who are at the stadium. Not in the pub outside or on Facebook but the ones actually there. Just like the President of the EP, I was once a promising young footballer and I recall that the cheering, chanting and wooooaaahh-ing boosted my power to work harder a lot more than the tastiest of energy drinks in half time or strategic pep talk monologues by the coach.
Speaking of the manager…the one for this team is yet to be decided. Who would you pick? And what does your team look like? Personally I would go for the English mastermind Rodgson but I can see how that would turn this into an English themed party…
Finally, who will win? Logic says Germany, heart sings Greece, keyboard types Portugal.