My Perfect Player #20
Head – Ruud Gullit
Arguably the coolest head ever seen in football. A head which would give our player the sort of swagger that says, “hey, losers, I don’t even have to try”. I’m not talking about Ruud’s current cropped and clean shaven look, which is rubbish, but his iconic 80’s dreads and tash combo. Not only did he look effortlessly cool, he backed it up by being one of the best players of his generation. I guess he was alright at heading too, but that’s not the point.
Right foot – Bobby Charlton
After narrowly failing to make the shortlist for the position of ‘head’ in our genetic freak, I have found a more appropriate use for Bobby’s talents. No one was better at leathering one into the top corner than Charlton with his right foot cannon – running on to a loose ball and BOOM, bursting the net with another thunderbolt. And Charlton was doing that when the ball was made out of coal, imagine what he’d do to today’s synthetic pig skins?
Left foot – Alvaro Recoba
To complement the power of Charlton’s piston, we have the sweet, majestic beauty of Recoba’s left foot. El Chino could bend and dip the ball with the accuracy of a laser guided weapon. Perfect for smacking it into the chops of our enemies when they aren’t looking.
Lungs – Dimitar Berbatov
Yes, I know they’re probably black with tar, but our player won’t need to run around much. In fact, the reason Berbatov’s touch is so good is probably because he can’t be arsed chasing after loose balls, so there’s a knock on benefit to his restricted lung capacity. Our player would just stick his (non smoking) hand in the air to signal for a pass, wait for someone to lump it towards him, and the Berba-esque touch does the rest – killing the ball in an instant as if it were paralysed by the venom of a King Cobra. Essien’s lungs would be wasted here.
Mentality – Paulo Montero
It’s important to complement the aesthetic splendour of Gullit’s head, and the craft of Charlton and Recoba’s feet, with the mindset to do what is necessary to win. Alan Partridge summed it up perfectly in his appraisal of Seve Ballesteros, “the lithe sophistication and nimbleness of a ballerina combined with the hard nosed, ruthless thuggery of a bastard”. We already have lithe sophistication courtesy of Berbatov; for ruthless thuggery, look no further than Senor Montero. I believe he holds the record for most red cards in Serie A, but he also won plenty of silver. That’s the kind of bastard we need.
Leap – Francois Omam Biyek
Whoever said, “the number nine rose like salmon”, was almost certainly talking about Omam Biyek against Argentina in 1990. It’s true, the Argentine keeper’s attempted save was woeful, but he was probably expecting his centre-back to head clear before Omam Biyek’s sudden Michael Jordan impersonation sent the ball heading towards goal. With a leap like that you could stop to laugh at the likes of Vidic and Terry as you soared above their anguished faces.
Torso – George Elokobi
Even though our player’s ability will make him too good for everyone, why take any chances? Nothing provides that added assurance quite like the torso of a massive unit like Elokobi.
And finally, Confidence – Niklas Bendtner
Football is all about confidence, or so they say. I think some actual ability might also be important. I’m always confident I’m going to score, and invariably spend the next hour cursing my ability to miss numerous presentable chances. However, that’s because I’m rubbish. And so is Bendtner, but he thinks he’s Pele. Imagine his confidence harnessed with the above set of attributes? Frightening.