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 IDMANAGER Spoiler: Team before tactical change VS TEAM ENIGMA_87/THE RED VIPER IDMANAGER TACTICS Formation: 3-4-1-2 Style : Counter attacking. Defend in numbers with high work rate Tactics Defence: The three centre backs starting this game are Guiseppe Favalli on the left, Roberto Ayala in the centre and Fullvio Collovati on the right. Favalli was one of the most consistent and defensively able defenders in Serie A who was capable of playing both as a LB and CB. He was not only defensively astute, but also quite tall standing at 6 feet and was pretty good in the air as well. The defence is organized by Ayala. He is in the position he would enjoy playing in. A very complete defender who was good both in the air and tackling on the ground while also capable of initiating play from the back. On the right, is one of the best Italian centre backs of all time, Fullvio Collovati. He was the perfect stopper to play between a sweeper and an attacking full back. Its the role he has played throughout his career alongside the likes of sweepers like Scirea/Signorini. He is adored by Genoa fans even today where he ended his career in the 90's and was part of their best seasons in the past few decades. In the 1990 season, Genoa had the 3rd best defence in the league. In 1991 season, they finished 4th in the league while being strong defensively. In 1992 season, they reached the semifinal of the UEFA cup while beating Liverpool in both legs in the quarterfinal. The standing ovation the Liverpool fans gave them is still one of Collovati's best memories on the field. Collovati also stood at 6 feet and was good in the air. All three of my centrebacks were tall and good in the air and should be able to handle any crosses from the flanks quite easily. In the goal is Giovanni Cervone, ever present for Roma as their No.1 for most part of the 90's. Very reliable presence at goal. Midfield: The midfield is made of 4 of the most hard working, versatile players who epitomize the Serie A style of 90's. In the middle are Edgar Davids and Frank Rijkaard. Although they don't need any introduction, all I would say is you won't or can't even upgrade them in an all time draft without any restrictions, let alone in a diluted 1 decade 1 league draft like this. One the wings are Pavel Nedved and Angelo Di Livio. Nedved was not only one of the best players of the era, there were hardly any attacking players as hardworking as him. Di Livio also used to handle the right flank on his own for Juventus. As his teammate Roberto Baggio said of him: "He was known as soldatino (little soldier) or soldatino Di Livio, a nickname his Juventus teammate at the time Roberto Baggio gave him because of Di Livio's characteristic way of running up and down the flank." These 4 players would be the engine of the team and harass the opposition not letting them any tome or space on the ball. Attack: Zola would be playing in the hole as the playmaking attacking midfielder and also rush to the box as the third striker when required and increase the numbers in the box. He was as good at scoring goals as he was at creating them. In his peak 5 seasons in the Serie A, he averaged almost 15 goals a season. There are very few players who possessed stats like that while not being the primary striker of the team. He has the perfect base behind him to capitalize and be a star in the game. Ahead of him are Hernan Crespo and Marcelo Salas. Crespo is one of the best strikers in the pool. He not only guarantees goals, he also creates them. Fast, creative and scores both his head and feet. Perfect for my setup. Salas is the grestest Chilean striker of all time and our latest recruit Alexis Sanchez's idol. He was amazing for Lazio at the end of the decade in one of their best team winning both the Serie A and Coppa Italia in the process. In his 2 peak years of the decade during 1998-2000 where he scored 26 and 28 goals, he faced Maldini and AC Milan in 5 games and scored 5 goals. Its fair to say Maldini didn't have a good time facing him. Salas on the other hand played in the zone Bergomi (I assume the RCB) would play. Salas (Lazio) and Bergomi (Inter) faced each other in similar positions in 4 games and Salas scored 3 goals in them. Lazio also managed to win 3 out of those 4 games while Inter won one. One of Lazio's best games among them was a 5-3 win over Inter where Nedved and Salas played in these same roles and both scored while murdering the right side of Bergomi and Zanetti. Its fair to say both Salas and Crespo would enjoy this game and would not be scared of facing the defenders in front of them. ENIGMA_87/THE RED VIPER TACTICS Formation: 5-3-2/3-5-2 (fluid, lopsided). 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. Branco is a great fit for Di Livio who is the main option for ID at the right flank in attack, whilst Lombardo and his work rate will also provide in both phases. Midfield - obviously ID's best area is the midfield, 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 like Nedved 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. Balbo and Vialli against ID's center backs - No doubt we have a bit of advantage there with ID either fielding West or 34-35 years old Collovati. Both Vialli and Balbo are one of the best goalscorers in the 90's providing constant goalscoring threat having bundle of creativity from the middle and the support on the flanks. ID has Ayala to cover for Di Livio, however the latter has used to play in back 5 defensive units, where he has more freedom in term of defensive responsibility, as well as Ayala is not the best fit to cover for an expansive RB in a flat back four. This and of course our threat from deep in Matthaus will create a lot of openings through the middle and on the flanks to outscore the opposition.