My Perfect Player #9
Matt Statto of the excellent Juversation is the ninth blogger to pen a piece on his Perfect Player – you can also find him on the fairly new (and might I add also excellent) Four Added On blog, for whom I will be writing a piece soon. It’s sort of a ‘you scratch my blog, I scratch yours’ arrangement.
Brain – Alessandro Nesta
This is certainly a tough one for myself, there are many players who could be selected for this part of my player. Obviously it would be incredibly tempting to go for a creative midfield player, with three names coming to my mind immediately in Juan Roman Riquelme, Xavi and Andrea Pirlo. However, for me, there aren’t too many who are more intelligent than Alessandro Nesta. At his peak, he was a majestic defender who possessed impeccable anticipation and reading of the game. It was rare he would actually have to make a tackle, often being two or three steps ahead of the opposition in order to sweep up with ease. It’s a credit to the class and quality of the man that he is still an integral part of the AC Milan side who won the Scudetto last season.
Head – Jared Borgetti
A choice certainly plucked right out of left field, however there weren’t too many options which came to mind when mulling over an attacking header of the ball. Known to many in England as ‘that Mexican guy who flopped at Bolton’, but make no mistake, in Mexico this man is a legend and a man who scored well over 200 goals, with plenty of them coming with his trusty bonce.
Eyes – Juan Roman Riquelme
Ok, Ok, I had to get him in somewhere. Riquelme is a real favourite of mine, one who had he not had a penchant for falling out with coaches/directors/you name it, probably would have gone on to achieve absolute greatness. They say there is a fine line between genius and madness and for me, Riquelme could fall under that cliché. In terms of seeing a pass and picking a man out, Riquelme is absolutely second to none and anyone who has watched him closely will be able to testify to that. Extraordinary level of vision.
Mouth – Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte is the last true captain of my club Juventus. By true captain I mean someone who not only was willing to put everything on the line for the team, but also by orchestrating and organising everyone else. There was no slacking off when Conte was on the pitch, if you were out of position, out of place, or had your head down, Conte was going to give you a roasting and sort you out. A true leader and one who I hope will bring his big mouth to Juventus in his new head coach capacity for the forthcoming seasons.
Lungs – Daniel Alves
Ugh, how annoying is he!? Just when you think you’ve contained and stifled Barcelona (in the odd rare occasion that happens), charging out of nowhere to create an overlap comes the human bullet train who goes by the name of Daniel Alves. The work rate and amount of energy this guy expends is surely one of the main causes of global warming?
Upper Body Strength – Carlos Tevez
Another personal favourite of mine (I’m a sucker for Argentinian players, to be honest). Carlos Tevez for a man standing at around 5’7″-5’8″ is as strong as an ox. One of the key features of his play is his ability to use his wide and powerful shoulders in order to hold up the ball by holding off defenders who are much bigger and supposed to be much stronger than he is.
Lower Body Strength – Ronaldo (Original)
This man had everything, for me he is still the most complete and explosive forward I have ever seen and to be honest, I could have put him in a lot of these categories. However the reason I’m choosing him for Lower Body Strength is pretty damn obvious to those who saw him in his heyday. The man was a ridiculously powerful runner and absolutely lightning quick. Once he had used his powerful quads to burst past you there was no stopping him.
Left Foot – Alvaro Recoba
I could have quite easily gone with Lionel Messi here, or even Diego Maradona, but I’m going to have to agree with Backwards Gooner here and choose Alvaro Recoba. Such a gloriously frustrating player. One game he would be the best player in the world by some distance, the next…. he wouldn’t get on my park team on a Sunday morning.… Ok, I’m obviously exaggerating there, but it’s the highlight what could have been had he possessed the mental strength to match his brilliant technique. If there was a ridiculous goal to be scored which seemed like one which could only be done playing on an edition of PES or FIFA, it would be scored by Recoba and his amazing left foot.
Right Foot – Alessandro Del Piero
I have a huge man crush on Alessandro Del Piero. Alongside original Ronaldo he was the first real idol I had as a young kid growing up watching and playing Football in the 90’s. The way he could jink past defenders with ease, the way he could cut inside from the left and majestically curl the ball in the far top corner, it was all so exquisite. For me, he is one of the best players I have seen, however due to injury impacting significantly on an a number of his peak years, he has never really reached the standing he could have in terms of his place in the history of the greatest players to play the game. Still, for me, he will always be very near the top and if the 11/12 season is to be his last, then I will cherish every last minute of it.