PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING: voting should be based on player performances in Serie A/Coppa Italia from the 90/91 season to 99/00. Performances outside this timeframe or other competitions do not count. TEAM HARMS VS TEAM ENIGMA/THE RED VIPER HARMS TACTICS Inspiration: My team is built on the foundation of arguably the greatest team of mid-to-late 90's — Juventus side that won 3 Serie A titles and reached 3 consecutive CL finals, winning one (and would've reached the 4th one if not for Roy Keane's heroics ). Ferrara, Montero, Davids, Del Piero were the core of that side, and the likes of Inzaghi, Iuliano and Deschamps are upgraded with GOATs in their respective positions — Luís Ronaldo (the best player in the whole draft), Lilian Thuram and Frank Rijkaard. There is only one obvious downgrade — from Zidane to Djorkaeff, but we shouldn't underestimate the latter, who often outperformed Zizou in their first years in the league (obviously not when Zidane reached his peak in 98-00), won Inter's player of the year in 1997, finished 9th and 11th in Ballon D'Or lists of 1996 and 1997 and formed a great partnership with Ronaldo in 1997/98. On the left I have Amedeo Carboni as a balanced left back, on the right — Diego Fuser as a side midfielder, both in their natural roles. Legends for Roma and Lazio respectively they've spent most of the 90's playing in Serie A and are exactly the kind of players that should be highlighted in this draft. Fuser's spell at Parma also saw him playing with Thuram on that right wing — another proven partnership for me, after all those Juventus guys and Ronaldo-Djorkaeff. In goal I have Claudio Taffarel, Brazil’s best ever keeper, one of the first bricks in the foundation of Parma’s successful 90’s. He was good enough for them to give him one of the three foreign slots: «When I arrived, my team-mates were asking for my autograph». 2 times he was voted 3rd best keeper in the world by IFFHS in his time in Serie A (I like how they've made a whole presentation about it and even made a personalised shirt "the world's third best goalkeeper" at Parma ) Thoughts about the game itself: Enigma/TRV have a great team but, not to be rude, I feel that my team is simply better; makes sense, considering that I've added two of the best midfielders in the draft to my side while my opponent's team stayed the same. With this addition I'm certain that my drool-worthy front two will get enough chances to win the game for me — while my formidable defensive unit, covered by the Dutch duo, will be incredibly tough to break down. PLAYER PROFILES (Note — the time scopes and awards are only from the relevant seasons, from 90/91 to 99/00; so, for example, only 3 out of Ferrara's 7 Serie A titles would be shown. I also discarded all European trophies although there were many). Spoiler GK — Cláudio Taffarel. Parma 1990-93, Reggiana 93/94 Brazil's best ever keeper, he was good enough for Parma to give one out of three foreign slots to a goalkeeper. In 90/91 he kept 19 clean sheets in 34 games and was voted the world's 3rd best goalkeeper by IFFHS in 1991. Spoiler: Honours IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: Bronze ball 1991, 1994 RCB — Lilian Thuram. Parma 1996-00. The best ever in his position — and right in the middle of his peak. His enormous success with France coincided with his spell at Parma, where he won Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and proved himself as one of the greatest defenders of his time. Spoiler: Honours Coppa Italia 1998/99 Supercoppa Italiana 1999 French Player of the year 1997 Guerin D'Oro (Best player in Serie A) 1997 ESM Team of the year 1998/99 Ballon D'Or — 7th place, 1998 CB — Ciro Ferrara. Napoli 1990-94, Juventus 1994-00 One of the best defenders in the draft, tough as nails yet smart and elegant, he, alongside his partner in crime (sometimes literally) Paolo Montero was the foundation of the great Juventus team of the late 90's. In the words of Ryan Giggs, they were "...the toughest defenders [he] played against". Spoiler: Honours Serie A 1994/95, 96/97, 97/98 Supercoppa Italiana 1990, 95, 97 Coppa Italia 1994/95 ESM Team of the year 1996/97 CB — Paolo Montero. Atlanta 1992-96, Juventus 1996-00 Strong in the air, the timing of both his tackles and his fouls is invariably exquisite. His sense of positioning is what you would expect from a player for whom defending is, in this case quite literally, second nature. But he is outstanding at what he does for the same reason all people are who are outstanding at what they do. His passion for the job. He has the heart and soul of a man for whom the entire meaning of life is contained in the principle of 'no pasarán' - they shall not pass. Spoiler: Honours Serie A 96/97, 97/98 Supercoppa Italiana 97 LB — Amedeo Carboni. Roma 1990-97 Hardworking and athletic, Carboni was a brilliant left back, equally capable of defending and supporting an attack. He managed to earn 18 caps for his country despite having to fight for a place with the likes of Maldini and Benarrivo — and he when we look at his time in Serie A, we see a true Roman legend, ever-present in his 7 seasons apart from one long-term injury. Spoiler: Honours Coppa Italia 1990/91 CM — Frank Rijkaard. AC Milan 1990-1993 The best defensive midfielder in history of the game and still a key part of AC Milan's team at the beginning of the 90's. Apart from 2 Serie A titles in 3 eligible seasons he also won Serie A player of the year (Guerin D'Oro) and Serie A best foreign player — both in 1992. Spoiler: Honours Serie A 1991/92, 1992/93, runner up in 1990/91 Supercoppa Italiana 1992 Serie A Player of the year 1992 Serie A Foreign player of the year 1992 Ballon D'Or 10th in 1992 CM — Edgar Davids. AC Milan 1996/97, Juventus 1997-2000 After a short and unsuccessful spell at Milan he moved to Juventus, where hit the ground running — instantly becoming a key performer and retaining the title of one of the best midfielders around. Incredible engine, amazing technique — and the cool looks, of course! Spoiler: Honours Serie A 1997/98, runner up in 1999/00 Ballon D'Or 8th in 1998, 26th in 1999, 18th in 2000 AM — Yuri Djorkaeff. Inter 1996-99 One of my old favorites, he was nicknamed "The Snake" by Arsene Wenger (you never knew when he would strike). A very complete attacking midfielder — he was a great dribbler, possessed fantastic vision and was always going with something unexpected. His biggest moment at Inter was, of course, his glorious overhead goal against Roma, but the main reason why I picked him was because of his natural chemistry with Ronaldo. Spoiler: Honours Pirata d'Oro (Internazionale Player Of The Year): 1997 FIFA XI 1997 Ballon D’Or 9th — 1996; 11th — 1997 Serie A runner up 1997/98 RM — Diego Fuser. Fiorentina 1990-91, AC Milan 1991-92, Lazio 1992-98, Parma 1998-00 Fuser was a quick, hard-working, and energetic player, with good technique, and crossing ability, who excelled at making offensive runs down the right flank and assisting strikers with accurate crosses. A tenacious, and physically strong winger, he also possessed notable stamina, a powerful shot from distance, and was accurate from set-pieces. He's reunited with Thuram — they formed a great partnership on the right playing for Parma in the late 90's. Spoiler: Honours Serie A 1991/92 Coppa Italia 1997/1998, 98/99 Supercoppa Italiana 1999 LF — Alessandro Del Piero. Juventus 1993-00 Unbelievable player, unbelievable talent. If you're spending your time reading some football forum, you know all about him already. Spoiler: Honours Serie A 1994/95, 96/97, 97/98 Supercoppa Italiana 1995, 97 Coppa Italia 1994/95 ESM Team of the year 1995/96, 96/97, 97/98 Serie A Italian footballer of the year 1998 Serie A-Top assist provider 1999/00 Ballon D'Or — 4th in 1995 and 1996 All-time leading scorer for Juventus All-time appearances for Juventus Italian player with the most seasons with 10 goals or more (17 seasons) ST — Luís Ronaldo. Inter 1997-00 The best player in the draft, and in his 1997/98 form a strong contender for the greatest of all time striker position. Absolutely devastating at his best (and he is at his best). Spoiler: Honours Ballon D’Or 1997 Ballon D’Or 3rd — 1998; FIFA World player of the year 1997 (silver in 1998) Onze D’Or 1997 Bravo award 1997 Serie A Footballer of the year 1997/98 Serie A Foreign footballer of the year 1997/98 FIFA XI 1997, 1998 Pirata d'Oro (Internazionale Player Of The Year) 1998 Serie A Player of the decade 1997-2007 Serie A runner up 1997/98 ENIGMA/TRV TACTICS Formation: 5-3-2/3-5-2 (fluid, lopsided), counter attacking. Defensive line: normal Style: very direct, fast tempo, interchanging positions in attack. Counter attack when possible and target opposition CB's and the space left by di Livio on the right flank. Player profiles and roles: GK: Sebastiano Rossi - One of the best keepers in the pool. He was the record holder in Serie A for the longest unbeaten run with 929 minutes to his name, only recently beaten by Buffon. Won 5 Serie A titles in the 90's and was integral part of one of the best defensive lines in history. LWB: Branco - Excellent going forward, whilst solid at the back, he had 3 seasons at Genoa in the early 90's topped by a great performance in 90/91 season when Genoa finished 4th - the only team unbeaten at home. The Brazilian left-back added power and devastating ability at set pieces scoring one of the goals of the season against rivals Sampdoria away. RWB/RM: Attilio Lombardo - The ‘bald eagle’ was one of the best Italian players of the 90s. An excellent provider from wide his delightful skills were a joy to watch and became a cult hero for Samp. He had a great engine and capable of providing in both phases - a truly top player in transition. He will be in more attacking role compared to Branco on the other side and will provide natural width from the right in attack. LCB: Paolo Maldini - The best defensive player on the pitch, simply put. Couple of quotes that describe him as a whole: "There are great players and there are world-class players. Then there are those who manage to go beyond that term. Paolo is the perfect example. He is the symbol of Milan." - del Piero "Paolo Maldini is the best I’ve played against." - Ronaldo Fenomeno "Maldini was the best and toughest defender I ever faced. He had everything: he was a complete defender, who was strong, intelligent, and an excellent man-marker." - Ibrahimovic "Maldini went through the entire 90 minutes without tackling. That is an art and he is the master of it. He is a great player." - Sir Alex RCB: Guiseppe Bergomi - one of the greatest defenders not only in the pool but also in history he was a defensive colossal - tight marker, agile, excellent in the air and a true leader on the pitch. CB: Riccardo Ferri - A partner in crime he formed a great partnership with Bergomi in that Inter side. Alike Bergomi he was one of the top defenders in his time, also winning 45 caps for Italy in his career, albeit the stiff competition some of the best defenders at the time. Spare defender at the back, top marker and excellent in the air. He's a great fit for id's attack. CM: Dunga - In the early 90's Dunga was at his physical peak, playing his trade in Italy. He will provide the defensive stability in midfield, excellent eye for a pass and high energy to combine with Matthaus and form an awesome midfield pair in the center of the park. CM - Lothar Matthäus - was a gargantuan footballer. The term 'complete player' is frittered around too often, but Matthäus could rightly lay claim to that. Equally adept in his own penalty box as in the opposition’s, Matthäus was a box-to-box midfielder capable of scoring numerous types of goals in the air or with either foot. He was quick, powerful, elusive and technically supreme. Matthäus played one of the best season in history from midfield in 90/91 - scoring 16 goals in Serie A and another one in the cup. Voted FIFA World Player of the Year - in 91 (not based on his WC form the year prior). AM: Francesco Totti - Young Francesco played both as a left winger and playmaker under Zeman. He was fast explosive and often isolated the opposition fullbacks to create numerical advantage. He won the Guerin D'Oro during that time - being the highest rated player in the league based on average ratings and then went on to become the club captain. The first season under Capello he was the main playmaker of the team and bang in the middle as a #10 winning the best player of the year in Serie A award in the process. For three seasons in a row under Zeman he was a creative force for Roma amassing close to 60 goals and assists. SS - Gianluca Vialli - If you’re not one of the twice-in-a-millennium talents who can do both, there is still plenty of kudos to be found in settling somewhere in the middle. To do so requires an element of a jack-of-all-trades skill set: speed, power, technique, enough height to be a focal point of an attack, not so much that your centre of gravity becomes a weakness. To be important enough to your team to be picked even when the goals dry up; then repay the faith with a finish so emphatic that it’s remembered more than a hundred tap-ins. If you could zoom in right to the very centre of the great-goalscorer-scorer-of-great-goals continuum, you will probably find either a bubble perm or a shiny dome. Both, at some point, have belonged to Gianluca Vialli. Top scorer in a Serie A winning side he was instrumental for the greatest Samp side in history. A scorer of great goals and a great goalscorer - Vialli had it all. CF - Abel Balbo - An exceptional striker, with a killer instinct in front of the goal and excellent movement to create space for others. Balbo scored 117 goals in 253 games when the league was at its absolute best defensive wise. A notoriously consistent goalscorer he'll work like a treat alongside Vialli. Tactics and advantages: Defence and keeper - We have the superior defence and keeper for this one. Our defence consists of two of the very elite defenders in the pool(and all time for that matter), alongside a proven combo in Ferri and Bergomi as a spare rugged defender at the back. Rossi is solid influence at the back and his credentials are superior than his counterpart. Lombardo and his work rate will also provide in both phases. Midfield - harms has reinforced well with Rijkaard and Davids and obviously that's one of the top midifleds in the pool but that is also one of our main assets as well. Matthäus and Dunga will give a proper battle in the middle of the park and we have added the highly energetic Totti to spearhead our midfield, who will add to the midfield battle, but also pull Rijkaard to the wings like he usually did for Roma creating space when in possession in the middle. Attack: Two of the best goalscorers in the 90's - Abel Balbo and Vialli will lead the line.Vialli will be on the move and in a free role and running into pockets whilst also finishing chances himself. Balbo is a natural goalscorer who wouldn't need many chances to make a difference up top. Advantages: Top defensive line - we have the upper hand both in terms of defensive unit and in terms of quality. Ferri/Maldini/Bergomi are at their peak incarnation providing excellent cover both in central areas and out wide. We do also have an upper hand in the GK area with Rossi holding the most games without conceding a goal in the 90's. Variety in attack - Our team will be a constant threat both on the wings and through the middle. We have natural width on the right with Lombardo and both Vialli and Totti providing width on the left complimenting one of the best wing backs in the pool in Branco. Lombardo against Carboni - I feel we have the upper hand here with Bergomi providing cover for him when we launch a counter attack.