Battle of the Continents

thespus

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ESPNFC recently has had pundits (terrible, awful pundits) list their best XI at the COPA and (predictive) for the 2016 Euro. They were both shit. Harry Kane was the starting striker in the EURO XI. Yes, seriously. Alas - I'm bored. What would your XI look like for the respective continents? Which side would win? Would a combined African team have a shot?

Europe XI:
De Gea
Lahm - Pique - Boateng - Alaba
Pogba - Veratti - Iniesta
Hazard - Müller - Ronaldo

Subs - Courtois, Ramos, Matuidi, Modric, Robben, Griezmann, Ibrahimovic

Lahm and Alaba are midfielders now, and not without good reason, but they're still arguably the best fullbacks in world football and can push into midfield when in possession. Superb players and, before I even type up my South American team, I think the defensive advantage is with the Europeans. Pogba and Veratti are going to be the new generation's best midfield players and they're paired with one of the greatest ever. Veratti has to play disciplined to accommodate shape, but Matuidi could fill that spot wonderfully when leading. Tough luck for Matic. There isn't an out and out striker, but with Ronaldo's insistence on playing similar to a striker these days, having the guile of Müller as the CF makes it very difficult to mark that front three. I was torn between Lewandowski/Benzema/Ibra for striker, but Ibra just edged it despite his regression. Müller deserves to start ahead of all three and an argument could be made for Griezmann to play there, too.

South American XI:
Bravo
Godin - Silva - Otamendi
Vidal - Mascherano
Messi - James - Alexis
Aguero - Suarez

Subs - Alves, Miranda, Marcelo, Biglia, Oscar, Neymar, Cavani

Well, I have no idea how to balance that side. That looks like one of the crazy, attack-minded Chile formations circa five years ago, but with those players on the pitch, it could work - and it's almost impossible to leave any of the attackers out. Suarez, Aguero, and Alexis get the nod over Neymar due to their work rates. James gets the nod because he's more adept at dropping deep in the midfield to help transition. Godin and Mascherano are some of the most disciplined, team-first players in world football and Silva has immense athleticism. Otamendi has seen a recent upturn in form and performed well for a Valencia side which maintained an impressive defensive record. With Diego Simeone as the coach, I'd love watching this side.

Verdict: I think Europe has better depth and a more balanced side, but the more I consider the ridiculous ability of that South American team, I think they'd win 6 or 7/10 against Europe. The work-rates and desire of players such as Vidal, Mascherano, Alexis, and Suarez would cover for the imbalance. Vidal has the engine to cover wide right and, as we've seen, Alexis will pop up anywhere to win a tackle. They might not win the posession battle against a Europe side with Veratti, Iniesta, Pogba, Lahm, and Alaba crowding the midfield, but good luck not turning it over in dangerous areas to Aguero, Suarez, and Alexis. Oh, yeah, and have fun tracking Messi's runs from deep while the two strikers are preoccupying you by dropping deep or playing on the shoulder.
 

Leewilson

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#2
The saddest part for me is that 4/22 of your starting XI are Premier League players. Just shows really that the top class talent isn't in England really at present.
 

thespus

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The saddest part for me is that 4/22 of your starting XI are Premier League players. Just shows really that the top class talent isn't in England really at present.
Yep - I was thinking that as I typed it up. It's difficult to grasp the mismanagement from the Manchester sides re: Pogba and Boateng.
 

Libertadores FC

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#4
Its hard for me to say that South America would win this because of how much more balanced the Europeans are and also because they have won the past 3 World Cups, but I'm gonna go for South America here. As thespus stated, when these players are put together in one team, the ability of these players are ridiculous.
 

Libertadores FC

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#5
Here is my starting line up for SA.

Ospina
Zuniga - Godin - Otamendi - Marcelo
Vidal - Mascherano
Messi - James - Neymar
Suarez
 

thespus

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I had a very tough time leaving Marcelo out. Zuniga over Zabaleta/Alves/Danilo surprises me, I must say. Nice to see Ospina is rated so highly. He's a good shot-stopper, but I feel uncomfortable with such a short keeper.
 

spireite_uk

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#8
Neuer
Lahm Howedes Boateng Alaba
Pirlo Iniesta
Muller Hazard
Ronaldo
Costa

My bash at a Europe one
 

GodsGift

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#9
Africa XI:

Bruce Grobbelaar

Lauren - Lucas Radebe - Kolo Toure - Taribo West

Djemba-Djemba - Robert Song - Jay-Jay Okocha

El-Hadji Diouf - Tony Yeboah - Ali Dia​

 

Glasshalffullpools

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#11
Remember though, good players don't make a good team , only a good team makes a good team!! ................. I must change my Chinese takeaway , these fortune cookies are hopeless!!!
 
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#12
European XI
Courtois
Alaba Terry Pique Evra
Matic
Rakitic Kovacic
Hazard
Ronaldo Lewandoski

South American XI
Messi - Suarez - Neymar

South American XI 1 - 0 European XI
 

Forza Imps

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#13
No one has done an Asian XI:

Ryan (AUS)
Cha Du Ri (ROK)
Zhan Ling Peng (PRC)
Spiranovic (AUS)
Denisov (UZB)
Cahill (AUS)
Abdulrahman (UAE)
Ki Seung Yung (ROK)
Hong Seung Min (ROK)

Okazaki (JAP)
Mabkhout (UAE)
 

mistermagic

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#14
I'd have most of the Japanese and Koreans who play in the Bundesliga. They all look really good whenever I see them play. Not sure why it hasn't kicked off in other European countries.
 

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#16
North America XI:
------------Begovic-
------Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson---
--------Hulk Hogan--Gedion Zelalem--
--------Carli Lloyd------Steven Gerrard
Clint Dempsey-----Chicharito------Usain Bolt
---------------------Bald Eagle-------
 

thespus

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Imagine Lebron James at CB and Odell Beckham Jr. at CF. I don't care to hear any romanticist sentiment; those two would be world class players. Lebron's size and speed alone would make him a nightmare for opposition attackers—good luck on set pieces. Allegedly, Beckham chose American football due to the college scholarship opportunities and better financial windfall. He's faster than Walcott with more strength, lateral agilility, and height. His athleticism alone would see him score goals. It'd be brilliant if they decided to train for a few years and play for USMNT in Russia 2018. Surely they'd be improvements on the current CB/ST combination. It's not like Altidore is renowned for his touch.
 

Avatar

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#18
Imagine Lebron James at CB and Odell Beckham Jr. at CF. I don't care to hear any romanticist sentiment; those two would be world class players. Lebron's size and speed alone would make him a nightmare for opposition attackers—good luck on set pieces. Allegedly, Beckham chose American football due to the college scholarship opportunities and better financial windfall. He's faster than Walcott with more strength, lateral agilility, and height. His athleticism alone would see him score goals. It'd be brilliant if they decided to train for a few years and play for USMNT in Russia 2018. Surely they'd be improvements on the current CB/ST combination. It's not like Altidore is renowned for his touch.
It will happen eventually. Theres so many talented athletes and more importantly, incredible infrastructure to train and educate them.
 

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