In this international week, and inspired by this article recently posted on World Soccer Talk, I thought it would be interesting to look at forming international teams out of players who play in the Premier League. Little did I know how much work this would be! There are currently players from 65 countries on the books of Premier League teams, and that doesn’t include the Adnan Januzaj multi-cultural phenomenon.

Be warned this article contains some strange formations, unbalanced teams, players out of positions and some weird national combinations.  But it’s all in good fun to pass the time during the slow news week that the international break always is.  I’m sure I’ve overlooked people so weigh your thoughts in the comments please.

By the way, I have left England out since no England national team players play overseas at this time (with the exception of Celtic’s goalkeeper).

The teams are listed in no particular order. Skip to the end for the totally made up simulated tournament to see which international squad will win the fictitious tournament.

Belgium All-Stars

For such a small country to produce such a powerful team is quite remarkable. Playing an attacking 3-4-3 formation, this team is quite a powerhouse

GK: Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
DEF: Vincent Kompany, Man City
DEF: Jan Vertonghen, Spurs
DEF: Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal
MID: Marouane Fellaini, Man Utd
MID: Moussa Dembele, Spurs
MID: Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea
MID: Eden Hazard, Chelsea
FWD: Kevin Mirallas, Everton
FWD: Romelu Lukaku, Everton/Chelsea
FWD: Christian Benteke, Aston Villa

Wales All-Stars

Lining up with a solid defensive 5-3-2, Wales have a powerful midfield and an ancient forward line. The loss of Gareth Bale has clearly hurt this team.

GK: Lewis Price, Crystal Palace
DEF James Collins, WHU
DEF: Danny Gabbidon, Crystal Palace
DEF: Ashley Williams, Swansea
DEF: Ben Davies, Swansea
DEF: Neil Taylor, Swansea
MID: Joe Allen, Liverpool
MID: Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
MID: Lloyd Isgrove, Southampton
FWD: Craig Bellamy, Cardiff
FWD: Ryan Giggs, Man Utd

Scotland All-Stars

Once the power of English soccer, Scotland is now barely able to field a team, sporting a number of backup players, injuries and out of form players. The midfield is a strength but where will the goals come from?

GK: David Marshall, Cardiff City
DEF: Alan Hutton, Aston Villa
DEF: Russell Martin, Norwich City
DEF: Steven Whittaker, Norwich City
DEF: Danny Fox, Southampton
MID: Charlie Adam, Stoke
MID: Graham Dorrans, WBA
MID: James Morrison, WBA
MID: Robert Snodgrass, Norwich City
FWD: Steven Fletcher, Sunderland
FWD: Steven Naismith, Everton

Ireland & Northern Ireland All-Stars

Putting politics aside, we have a combined Ireland side. Playing a 4-5-1, the midfield looks strong but where will the goals come from?

GK: Keiren Westwood (Ire), Sunderland
DEF: Seamus Coleman (Ire), Everton
DEF: Jonny Evans (NI), Man Utd
DEF: Gareth McAuley (NI), WBA
DEF: Marc Wilson (Ire), Stoke
MID: James McCarthy (Ire), Everton
MID: Steven Davis (NI), Southampton
MID: Robbie Brady (Ire), Hull City
MID: Damien Duff (Ire), Fulham
MID: Jonathan Walters , Stoke
FWD: Shane Long (Ire), WBA

France All-Stars

With 36 footballers, France has the most non-English players in the Premier League. There are a lot to choose from in most positions, but you can’t say the team is especially strong.

GK: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham
DEF: Patrice Evra, Man Utd
DEF: Mathieu Debuchy, Newcastle
DEF: Sylvain Distin, Everton
DEF: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Newcastle
MID: Samir Nasri, Man City
MID: Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle
MID: Morgan Schneiderlin, Southampton
MID: Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle
FWD: Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
FWD:  Yoan Gouffran, Newcastle

Netherlands All-Stars

Another small country with an incredible depth of talent, Holland suffers from most of their top players plying their trade in other countries.

GK: Tim Krul, Newcastle
DEF: Erik Pieters, Stoke
DEF: Ron Vlaar, Aston Villa
DEF: Johnny Heitinga, Everton
DEF: Jos Hooiveld, Southampton
MID:  Vurnon Anita, Newcastle
MID: Leroy Fer, Norwich
MID: Jonathan de Guzmán, Swansea
MID: Marco van Ginkel, Chelsea
FWD: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Norwich
FWD: Robin Van Persie, Man Utd

Spain All-Stars

As with the real national team, Spain is a powerhouse and is clearly one of the favorites for this tournament. Their attacking midfield options are so strong we are forced into a 3-5-2 formation with a strong Swansea component. No room for Fernando Torres in this lineup.

GK: David De Gea, Man Utd
DEF: Antonio Luna, Aston Villa
DEF: Angel Rangel, Swansea
DEF: Flores, Swansea
MID: Michu, Swansea
MID: David Silva, Man City
MID: Juan Mata, Chelsea
MID: Jesus Navas, Man City
MID: Santi Cazorla, Arsenal
FWD: Álvaro Negredo, Man City
FWD: Roberto Soldado, Tottenham

Eastern Europe All-Stars 

A coalition of countries loosely in the Eastern part of Europe, this team has the strongest defense out there, but is hence rather unbalanced with it’s 5-2-3 formation.

GK: Asmir Begovic (Bos), Stoke City
DEF: Ondrej Celustka (Czech), Sunderland
DEF: Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia), Chelsea
DEF: Nemanja Vidic (Serbia), Man Utd
DEF: Matija Nastasic (Serbia), Man City
DEF: Martin Skrtel (Slovakia), Liverpool
MID: Robert Koren (Slovenia), Hull City
MID: Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro), Man City
FWD: Edin Dzeko (Bosnia), Man City
FWD: Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria), Fulham
FWD: Nikica Jelavic (Croatia), Everton

Scandinavia All-Stars 

Not surprisingly a strong team from Northern Europe, the Scandanvia All-Stars are a little weak up front and aged in defense but they have strength in midfield.

GK: Jussi Jääskeläinen (Fin), WHU
DEF: Brede Hangeland (Nor), Fulham
DEF: Daniel Agger (Den), Liverpool
DEF: Jonas Olsson (Swe), WBA
DEF: John Arne Riise (Nor), Fulham
MID: Sebastian Larsson (Swe), Sunderland
MID: Christian Eriksen (Den), Tottenham
MID: Pajtim Kasami (Swi), Fulham
MID: Aron Gunnarsson (Ice), Cardiff
MID: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Ice), Tottenham
FWD: Johan Elmander (SWE), Norwich

Portugal, Italy and Germany All-Stars 

These traditionally strong nations offer a mixed bag in the Premier League.  They have some strengths but feature a range of skills in the outfielders and a backup goalie. They’re clearly strengthened by Ozil and his Arsenal teammates.

GK: Vito Mannone (Italy), Sunderland
DEF: Sascha Riether (Ger), Fulham
DEF: Robert Huth (Ger), Stoke
DEF: Per Mertesacker (Ger), Arsenal
DEF: José Fonte (Por), Southampton
MID: Lewis Holtby (Ger), Tottenham
MID: Nani (Por), Man Utd
MID: Mesut Özil (Ger), Arsenal
FWD: Ricardo Vaz Tê (Por), WHU
FWD: Lukas Podolski (Ger), Arsenal
FWD: Pablo Osvaldo (Italy), Southampton


Moving to CONCACAF, we found a team a team with a wide variety of footballers from different nations. The main concern is the lack of defenders, causing us to rely on Tim Howard to become a temporary defender.

GK: Brad Guzan (USA), Aston Villa
DEF: Tim Howard (USA), Everton
DEF: Geoff Cameron (USA), Stoke
DEF: Maynor Figueroa (HON), Hull City
MID: Brek Shea (USA), Stoke
MID: Bryan Ruiz (CR), Fulham
MID: Wilson Palacios (Hon), Stoke
MID: Maurice Edu (USA), Stoke
FWD: Chicharito (Mex), Man Utd
FWD: Kenwyne Jones (T&T), Stoke City
FWD: Jozy Altidore (USA), Sunderland

Africa All-Stars 

A relatively strong team with one major flaw — no goalkeeper (Tim Howard is not eligible). Sadly we had to find someone, so put on your gloves Samuel!

GK: Samuel Eto’o (Cam), Chelsea
DEF: Victor Wanyama (Ken), Southampton
DEF: Sébastien Bassong (Cam), Norwich City
DEF: Kolo Toure (CI), Liverpool
DEF: Youssuf Mulumbu (Con), WBA
MID: YaYa Toure (CI), Man City
MID: Mohamed Diamé (Sen), WHU
MID: Adel Taarabt (Mor), Fulham
MID: Victor Moses (Nig), Liverpool
FWD: Wilfried Bony (CI), Swansea
FWD:  Papiss Demba Cissé (Sen), Newcastle

Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia All-Stars 

This mixed team is very strong up front but has some questions in defense.

GK: Julian Speroni (Arg), Crystal Palace
DEF: Fabricio Coloccini (Arg), Newcastle
DEF: Pablo Zabeleta (Arg), Man City
DEF: Martín Demichelis (Arg), Man City
DEF: Antolín Alcaraz (Par), Everton
MID: Claudio Yacob (Arg), WBA
MID: Jonás Gutiérrez (Arg), Newcastle
MID: Antonio Valencia (Ecu), Man Utd
FWD: Hugo Rodallega (Col), Fulham
FWD: Eric Lamela (Arg), Tottenham
FWD: Kun Agüero (Arg), Man City

Uruguay Brazil All-Stars 

Finally another strong entrant, but once again a team is missing a reliable goalkeeper!

GK: Heurelho Gomes (Brazil), Tottenham
DEF: Rafael (Brazil), Man Utd
DEF: Fabio (Brazil), Man Utd
DEF: Diego Lugano (Urg), WBA
DEF: David Luiz (Brazil), Chelsea
MID: Lucas (Brazil), Liverpool
MID: Fernandinho (Brazil), Man City
MID: Gaston Ramirez (Urg), Southampton
MID: Paulhino (Brazil), Tottenham
MID: Oscar (Brazil), Chelsea
FWD:Luis Suarez (Urg), Liverpool

And here are the results of the fictitious competition between the all-star teams, including a late qualification by England…

The Tournament

Seeded straight knockout.

First Round

Spain 5 – 1 Rest of The World
Belgium 4 – 0 CONCACAF
Uruguay-Brazil 2 – 0 Ireland All-Stars
Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia 1 – 0 Eastern Europe
Netherlands 2 – 0 Scotland
Portugal, Italy, Germany 3 – 0 Wales
Africa 3 – 4 England  (Africa couldn’t hold up without a goalkeeper)
Scandanavia 2 – 1 France

Quarter Finals

Spain 3 – 1 Scandanvia
Belgium 3 – 0 England
Uruguay-Brazil 2 – 2 Portugal, Italy, Germany (Uruguay-Brazil wins on PKs)
Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia 2 – 1 Netherlands

Semi Finals

Spain 2 – 1 Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia
Belgium 2 – 1 Uruguay-Brazil


Spain 3 – 2 Belgium