The World XI Challenge

Many moons ago, the splendid @candersonftbl and myself were sitting in Barcelona's El Prat airport, trying to pass the time before our flight back to the UK. This inevitably led to several XI-related gauntlets being thrown down, taken up, exhausted and discarded. I'm pretty sure we got through EPL XIs, La Liga XIs and Great Hair XIs pretty quickly, as we often did back then.

The challenge that I remember best from that day was as follows: to take two representatives from each footballing confederation and create the strongest possible unit of XI and manager. I don't remember much about how we respectively composed our XIs, but I do remember that Charlie was left with one centre-back spot free with only an African choice available and, completely of his own volition, picked Steve Gohouri to fill it. You should remind him of that whenever possible.

For some reason, this challenge popped into my head today and I resolved to confront it again. Here's what I ended up with:

Have a go yourself and send me your XI at @robbro7. If anyone manages to compose a better XI than mine whilst including Shane Smeltz, I'll PayPal them a fiver.


  1. Howard
    Yaya Toure

    Coach: Bielsa

  2. I prefer Rolando, Zinedine Zidane and Howard in place of Javad, Dani and Landon. Also you need to pair-up messi with Pele for a strong attack.


  3. Okay, I'll play along.

    Xavier Samin, Tahiti - we don't really need a goalkeeper. He can just stand there and represent Oceania, we don't DO defending.

    Dani Alves, Brazil - we don't DO defending.
    Gerard Pique, Spain - he kind of defends...a bit.
    Winston Reid, New Zealand - we don't DO defending.
    Taye Taiwo, Nigeria - we don't DO defending.

    Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast
    Michael Bradley, USA

    Keisuke Honda, Japan
    Shinji Kagawa, Japan
    Lionel Messi, Argentina

    Javier Hernandez, Mexico

    Manager: Pep Guardiola