TEAM HARMS VS TEAM TUPPET TACTICS HARMS I don't think that a big write-up is necessary in this game — should be a pretty straightforward game from a tactical point. Tuppet has, as usual, assembled an impressive team with a breathtaking Zico-Puskas duo upfront — while my side with the addition of Rijkaard became even more impressive defensively (idmanager's Dzajic-Charles-Maradona-Garrincha front four was probably even scarier than Tuppet's attack). My team will play in a direct counter-attacking manner, although with the amount of quality I have in midfield (and you should count Beckenbauer as a part of it — he was one of a kind specifically because of his ability to perform as a world-class midfielder and defender at the same time). Gento, Elkjær and Finney on the end of long balls from Beckenbauer, Netzer and Breitner; long-distance attempts from Breitner, Netzer etc.; smart interplay and surprising arrival of Beckenbauer, Breitner or Netzer inside the box... et cetera et cetera et cetera Also something that I like to highlight — 7 players out of my starting 11 scored more than 100 goals in his career: Elkjær, Finney, Gento, Netzer, Breitner, Rijkaard and Beckenbauer. The vast amount of different goalscorers should be a big plus for me — as well as different sources of creativity; you can't stop all of them, and while you're trying to contain one, the other will have his chance. The only glaring mismatch here is Tuppet's keeper — considering that this is an all-time draft semi-final he looks more and more like a sheep at this moment. Just a few goals that he conceded from the games on his footballia profile — not a list of his biggest career mistakes or anything. His decision-making is atrocious, he is often getting caught out of position and on 1 on 1 it almost like he tries to look less big and intimidating than he is. On the other hand we have Beara — one of the greatest keepers of the 20th century and a keeper that Lev Yashin, when he received his Ballon D'Or, highlighted as the best keeper in the world ("It's not me, it's Vladimir Beara"). I've made a small compilation about him — including a worldie against England and, of course, a save of Puskas' penalty in the Olympic's final in 1952: Spoiler: Beara Paco Gento vs Djalma Santos One of the most interesting individual battles will take place on the left (Tuppet's right) where Paco Gento will face Djalma Santos. On paper the decorated Brazilian looks like a good fit, but in reality in one game that they've played against each other (in 1962 World Cup) he struggled to contain him. Time after time Gento's pace saw him beating Djalma 1 on 1 — even though it was a very average Spanish side that had only 35 y.o. Puskas as a somehow credible secondary threat (35 y.o. Di Stefano stayed on the bench — surprisingly, so did Luis Suarez, maybe he had an injury). Brazil secured the victory when a late piece of genius by Garrincha made the score 2:1, but Gento's performance was sublime. Explanations of my players roles — some with links to mine and not mine compilations/all touch highlights: Vladimir Beara — world-class goalkeeper (Yashin famously said that Beara was better than him), and a match-winner for me, considering the keeper that starts for the opposition Franz Beckenbauer — expansive libero, the best there ever was, in his ideal position. The best player on the pitch — even counting Zico and Puskas Oscar Ruggeri — Ruthless and aerially dominant stopper, key to Argentina’s 1986 World Cup campaign Lilian Thuram — defensive right back, again, the best there ever was Branko Zebec — complete left fullback; experienced in all on-field roles, from center back to center forward, his pace, positioning, defensive awareness and crossing is ideally suited to the modern fullback role, capable of adjusting his role depending on the game Frank Rijkaard — defensive midfielder, the best there ever was. Amazing foundation for my midfield three and a perfect cover for Beckenbauer when he decides to go forward. Finished 3rd in 2 consecutive Ballon D’Or lists Paul Breitner — one of the best box-to-box midfielders in history, energetic, skilful, well-known for his game-winning goals. Finished as runner-up in 1981 Ballon D’Or vote Günter Netzer — the side’s main playmaker, well-known for his devastating partnership with Beckenbauer and Breitner for the national team. It’s hard to find a player with more precise long passes and superior vision. Also a runner up for a Ballon D’Or in 1972 Francisco Gento — astonishingly fast and skilful winger who had won 6 European Cups and 12 league titles in his time in Madrid — all while being a key performer for their side Sir Thomas Finney — Bill Shankly named him the best player he ever saw; incredible player, two footed, capable of playing in every attacking position with an astonishing almost 1 in 2 goalscoring record (mostly from the wing) Preben Elkjær — one of the most complete forwards of all time, he possessed incredible tenacity and workrate as well as great finishing and dribbling ability TACTICS TUPPET Tactics: We're continuing to play in 4-2-3-1 from last round. We have upgrade our defense with Sir Bobby Moore now partnering up another legendary English defender Billy Wright to create a rock solid defense. Puskas / Zico - Puskas and Zico are obviously my team's best selling point as they are the two best attackers on the pitch. This gives me quite an edge, especially in goal scoring department. Since Pele / Romario are blocked Puskas is the most prolific player in the draft with an amazing 746+ goals. Those goals include goals in world cup final, Olympic final, CL finals, match of the century and various other important matches. And Puskas did it all while not being the sole goal scoring focus of the team. He was an excellent provider as well and an extremely creative forward. He was infact part of two partnerships with Di Stefano & Kocsis, where the other partner was an extremely prolific goal scorer as well. He also linked fantastically with all time great goal scoring number 10s in Di Stefano & Hidegkuti. Puskas sometimes fails to register as one of the greatest ever player in the history of game, so here's a cool little article from Jonathan Wilson, who described him as - "How great was Ferenc Puskas? Such things, necessarily, are subjective - and, particularly when you're going on video footage, almost impossible to judge - but for me he stands alongside Johan Cruyff as one of the two greatest European players of all time." I am aware of the solid defense that he is facing and his duel with Kaiser would probably be legendary but he is well capable of punishing even the best defenders of all time. This brings us to Zico, one of the all time greatest number 10 and an extremely potent goal scorer with 500+ goals to his name. Throughout his storied career he had plenty of great performances and faced some of the finest defensive midfielders like Tardelli & Souness who said about Zico - "I wanted to see how he would react to a physical challenge," the combative Scot said later. "But I couldn’t get close enough to him to find out." Here he is against a monster defensive midfielder in Rijkaard but again its almost impossible to keep such a twin complimentary threat of Zico & Puskas to keep quiet even if you have world class defenders. These players have proven it time and again against best defenses and highest level that you can't just completely keep such players quiet. Zico's exploits against two fine defensive setups in Italy 82 & Liverpool 81 shows that even the best defenses could be taken apart. Jairzinho / Giggs - Jairzinho is in his 70 WC winning role, which fits his goalscoring instinct perfectly as when Puskas drops deep or left to create chances Jairzinho along with Zico would provide the goal scoring presence up top, just like he did in 70 and scored in every single world cup match. Jairzinho against Zebec could be a profitable route for my team. Zebec is a bit of enigma, he was cleary very versatile and I have tried to read up on him as much as possible, but from what I see his best position was clearly as an attacking player, as a WF or SS. He later in his career became a successful Sweeper as well and also played in midfield. But it seem like a John Charles situation to me, where he can play in defense but he was clearly an attacker first. Here he is facing one of histories all time greatest winger, one who Facchetti even had trouble keeping up with. Giggs on the left side provide a genuine hard working wing presence to balance the goal scoring GOAT trio. A peak Giggs was one of the finest left wingers of all time, his balance was just amazing and as SAF said he can leave any defender in twisted blood. In the GOAT attacking crowd from both teams its easy to ignore the presence of Giggs but its very important here. Giggs would force Thuram wide and is exactly the kind of fleet footed, nippy attacker that Thuram would have trouble against. As a genuine wide attacker who was as comfortable at whipping crosses as cutting in and score, Giggs would not let Thuram act as an auxiliary CB, which would have been ideal for Beckenbauer. Not a big deal ofcourse but every little thing counts. Giggs was capable of leaving the whole defense behind to score a worldie, just like he did in this scintillanting goal against Juventus with a defense comprised of Thuram, Ferrara, Montero, Davids & Buffon - Masopust / Monti - Masopust would be playing as a box to box playmaker, using his impeccable technique, dribbling and finishing to both control the game when needed and arrive in the area to score. He was the best midfielder in the world and is one of the only two midfielder to have won a Ballon D'or when he dragged his team to a world cup final. Monti as a superlative defensive midfielder fits right next to him. The fabled Doble Ancho is the perfect destroyer to limit the impact of Laudrup. Monti's various achievements are well known in draft circles, he is along with Varela & Redondo the best SA defensive midfielder and was a great leader to boot. His world cup win where he marked great Sindelaar out of the game in SF is famous but he also led Argentina as Captain to a World cup final before that and was one of the first South American to ply their trade in Europe with Juventus where he won 4 Serie A and became their captain. This midfield provides a perfect platform for my attack and a great shield for my defense. Defense: This is the area we have improved a lot and have a great partnership of two of England's finest defenders and captains - Billy Wright and Bobby Moore. Moore is my ball playing defender and Billy Wright is the stopper. We all know about Moore and as a pure defender there's not much between him and Beckenbauer. At least Pele as one of the attackers who has faced both seem to think Moore was better in an interview - Prost Amerika: Who was the toughest defender you played against? Was it Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Moore or maybe someone else? Pele: I met a lot of good defenders I played against. The difference was I played all over the world. Every place I played not with my team Santos or with Brazil, always I have one player to follow me and to stay with me. Then it was not easy because I get excellent players all over the world … but I think I can mention two in the whole of my career. I can mention Beckenbauer who used to play for Germany and Bobby Moore when we played against England.I think those two players. Different style because Beckenbauer used to play more to control the game but man to man, the best was Bobby Moore. No doubt. While Moore was the best English defender of all time, Wright was not far behind him. As a pure stopper there are few who are unquestionably better than him. Wright was the one who came second in a Ballon D'or vote, a feat later repeated by Moore as well. He was dominant in air with a prodigious leap and faced some of the all time greatest header in his career with consistently playing and holding his own against the likes of Lofthouse, Lowtawn & Charles. D. Santos is the GOAT right back and is playing as a usual balanced fullback role while Lizarazu was a fantastically balanced full back. Both would attack obviously when there's space in front of them but since they are facing two great wingers as well, their focus would be on defending first. Finally Roberto Fernandez was a brilliant GK, the second best Paraguayan GK after Chillavert with 78 international caps to his name and was part of the team that won Copa America beating a Falcao / Socrates brilliant Brazil in SF, earning the name "El Gato" for his reflexes.