Our month of input from contributors from other sites continues as Matt Albert from Footy For The Soul plays a game of footy Frankenstein.
In an age of video games and fantasy amusement, we have all become enthralled in constructing our very own team of superstars – an unstoppable Utopian collection of football’s greatest XI. Whether it is Pro Evolution Soccer or The Guardian’s Fantasy Football, we as fans can now enter the realm of manager or director, with our very own budget and transfer kitty.
Yet it serves a greater purpose for the football community – an escape, for some, from the untenable condition of supporting a club mired in relegation battles or mid-table anonymity. Our fantasy worlds provide an outlet to form competitive leagues amongst friends and colleagues in an attempt to salvage some margin of success at the end of the season (and bragging rights throughout the summer).
But have you ever wondered what the perfect footballer would look like? I have, and decided to borrow a few body parts in an attempt to create a combination of humility, moxie, flare, elegance, and ego. Don’t worry, all will be returned in time for the next set of meaningless international friendlies.
Both heroes and villains were approached for this exercise, and no preferential treatment was given to the best behaved. So without further ado, I present Mr Potato Head Footballer…
Hair – Carles Puyol
The dense collection of poodles atop Puyol’s head has given individuals, nostalgically clinging to the 1980s, a sense of pride and confidence no grainy music video can ever re-create.
Head – Tim Cahill
Became the Premier League’s all-time leader in headed goals back in October when he netted his 27th in 170 Premier League matches, setting a new record of 6.3 games per headed goal. Alan Shearer may have finished his career with the most goals at 46, but it took him 441 games to do so! Rumour has it that as a child, Cahill strengthened his head getting punched by kangaroos.
Brain – Xavi
The scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz bemoaned: “If I only had a brain, I’d unravel any riddle for any individ’le.” We all felt bad for the mindless, dim-witted character who simply wanted the ability to think. However, our dear friend Xavi could have taught the hollow-headed man of straw a thing or two about unraveling riddles for individuals. He does so weekly for his teammates, ripping defenses apart with acute-angled passes of the highest order. Vision, awareness, intelligence, creativity – an arsenal of unprecedented mental capacity.
Mouth – Wayne Rooney
I’m pretty sure somewhere on his birth certificate and passport you can find a “f*ck off” – for the simple reason that you are a stranger and have no right looking at such personal documents. Few players can boast a career of profanity like Rooney, who was undoubtedly the main focus of the presentation used to prepare the Brazilian referees for the England v USA World Cup match.
Right arm – Edwin Van der Sar
An overflowing trophy case, including one Order of Orange-Nassau, makes Edwin’s right arm a prized possession. After 23 years of service to the game, the current campaign will probably be the last for Manchester United’s ambassador in the net. Van der Sar is also an incredibly gifted badminton player, can’t you tell?
Left arm – Iker Casillas
He has led Spain to consecutive European and World Cup championships, while representing Real Madrid since he was a wee nine years old. Yet what makes Iker so brilliant is the non-existent threat of any injuries off the pitch thanks to his jaw-dropping girlfriend, Sara Carbonero. She has ensured that injuries and overt stress to his left arm/hand will not occur in the confines of his own home…
Torso – Adriano
I was hesitant to include this drug and alcohol filled body because it sets a bad example for the kids. But upon further review, I realized how foolish excluding him would be. To be blunt, I wouldn’t be caught dead with this guy in an alley, a stadium, or a city for that matter. How many football players have you seen parading around with semi-automatic machine guns and bazookas in their hometown slums? Exactly.
Heart – Kaka
His white undershirt reading “I Belong to Jesus” has transformed from a handwritten message in black ink to official Adidas merchandise. While most public appearances by football players prompt euphoria and fights for autographs, Kaka brings peaceful bliss, as fans wait their turn to give him a bear hug. Rest assured, should any animal meander onto the pitch during a match, Kaka will cradle him to safety and serenade him with his very own written masterpiece, Presente de Deus, which hit the Billboard charts earlier this year.
Left Leg – Lionel Messi
Just the 60 goals in 59 appearances for club and country in 2010. A total of 106 in 159 appearances for Barcelona since 2004. Not to mention his 12 assists leads La Liga this season with the nearest man five behind. Enough said. Don’t forget his insatiable appetite for Lego along with his best mate, Bojan, and an uncanny ability to build sand castles.
Right Leg – Cristiano Ronaldo
On fire in the current campaign with 22 goals in 18 matches so far this season. 63 goals in his last 62. The unnatural technique and thunderous force his right leg produces on free kicks makes most set pieces a foregone conclusion. Back heels, heel flicks, penalty kick faints, and rabonas – a combination of impracticality and artistic brilliance. Just what CR7’s right leg can’t do is for the pundits to laud over on Match of the Day for years to come, if they are even able to recognize a player outside the Premier League.
Feet – Nigel De Jong
His studs have sent more mangled bodies to the hospital than a WWI mine field. Shunned by society and ostracized by his country, De Jong’s aggression warrants neither plaudits nor merit. Basically, you won’t find a more violent set of feet than these to exact your dirty work on the pitch.
So there you have it. A contemporary collection of the most valued assets from the most valued players, all molded into one conglomerate of force. Think I may have missed someone’s limb? Your reactions and opinions are most welcome.
Read more from Matt at Footy For The Soul.