One evening ten years ago, when I was still a die-hard football follower, I decided I wanted my own team: it would comprise players I would buy if I were a club owner. At that time, my only experience of fantasy football had been on PlayStation, in my reselection of players I liked into different clubs I was playing with. So when I decided I wanted my own team, it felt novel to me to do it beyond PlayStation. I wrote their names on paper, with shirt numbers:
1. Petr Cech | Goalkeeper | Chelsea | Czech Republic
2. Maicon | Right Back | Inter Milan | Brazil
5. John Terry | Centre Back | Chelsea | England
6. Paolo Maldini | Centre Back | AC Milan | Italy [Captain]
3. Ashley Cole | Left Back | Chelsea | England
4. Andrea Pirlo | Defensive Midfield | AC Milan | Italy
7. Xavi Hernandez: Centre Midfield (Barcelona | Spain
8. Frank Lampard: Centre Midfield (Chelsea/England)
9. Ricardo Kaka: Attacking Midfield (AC Milan/Brazil)
10. Lionel Messi: Striker (Barcelona/Argentina)
11. Didier Drogba: Striker (Chelsea/Cote d’Ivoire)
Manager: Jose Mourinho.
My formation was a 4-4-2 Diamond. My manager was Jose Mourinho, who was an easy choice as, back then, I still loved him and he hadn’t gone to Real Madrid to turn El Classico into a death zone. I liked this team badly.
Over the years, I’ve had new favourite players, old ones have dropped out of the scene, retired, and the Team has changed considerably, with only Messi and Pique keeping their places. Today, this is what I have:
1. Thibaut Courtois | Goalkeeper | Real Madrid | Belgium
3. Gerard Pique | Centre Back | Barcelona | Spain [Captain]
5. Leonardo Bonucci | Centre Back | Juventus | Italy
4. Raphael Varane | Right Back | Real Madrid | France
2. Antonio Rudiger | Left Back | Chelsea | Germany
11. N’golo Kante | Defensive Midfielder | Chelsea | France
6. Sergio Busquets | Central Midfielder | Barcelona | Spain
8. Paul Pogba | Central Midfielder | Manchester United | France
7. Kylian Mbappe | Left Forward | Paris Saint-Germain | France
10. Lionel Messi | Right Forward | Barcelona | Argentina
9. Harry Kane | Centre Forward | Tottenham | England
Manager: Pep Guardiola.
It doesn’t at all show that I’m a Chelsea fan.
Individual images of players from Zimbio. Football pitch image from Deviantart.net.