As a follow up to my article about forming national teams from players in the Premier League, I then thought of the idea of forming teams based on the best players from each of the major leagues. Following this thought, the same exact subject was mentioned on The Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast this past Thursday.
Ultimately I decided it was really only worth covering five leagues — England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. And even amongst those I lack some knowledge, so suggestions and comments are really appreciated. Some teams, such as Spain, really seem to assemble themselves, while England could probably present four or five different squads and whatever is chosen will lead to disagreement.
So with all that said here we go…
Premier League All-Stars
FWD: Van Persie
As mentioned this squad could go any number of ways. Some positions fill naturally with numerous players. Some are weaker but still have a lot of candidates.
To accommodate the players I wanted, I formed a very attacking 4-3-1-2 formation. Goalkeeper and defense positions present something of a challenge. It’s hard to identify truly world class defenders in the Premier League. Goalkeepers, though, is an area of strength with so many candidates such as De Gea, Begovic, Cech and Mignolet all strong, but in the end I went with Hugo Lloris.
Across the back is a tougher call. I slotted Ashley Cole in at left back. At right back, I used last year’s statistical leader, Pablo Zabaleta. I looked for solid center backs rather than ball players but skills in both area are a great benefit. so I went with Jan Vertonghen and an uninjured Vincent Kompany.
My rather attack-minded midfield three is centered by the incomparable Yaya Toure. n the right. I went with Mesut Özil. The left side of the pitch presented more of a challenge due to the many strong candidates who were available, but in the end I went with the creativity of Santi Cazorla.
My supporting forward is Wayne Rooney. His tireless effort helping out midfield and defense plus his creativity earns him this spot. Up front there were three major choices and it was hard to decide who to go with between Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez or Sergio Agüero. Ultimately, based on their differing playing styles, and some statistics, I went for Suarez and van Persie.