Enigma/TRV --------------------------------------VS-------------------------------Arbitrium Enigma/TRV Tactics Formation:- 5-2-3 to 3-4-3 fluid, interchanging. Defensive line:- Normal. Style:- Direct, fast tempo. Open up the flanks and stretch the play. Messi to pull the opposition CBs and create space for Robben and Ronaldinho to cut inside and attack. Vieira and Sammer to make late runs and link-up with the attacking players. GK:- Gordon Banks - Considered by many to be amongst the Top-3 goalkeepers of all time, Gordon Banks will forever be remembered for his save from Pelé's header during the 1970 World Cup and rightly so. Yet those who saw Banks play knew he was capable of repeating such saves week after week. He wasn't just great - he was consistently on top of his game and a Banks' mistake was very rare indeed. LWB:- Giacinto Facchetti - One of the greatest, most pioneering and era-defining players of his time. This was a man – who above all else played the game with impeccable spirit and morality – who was decades ahead of his time at full-back; a man who scored 75 goals in over 600 games for a largely defensive Inter Milan. The greatest left wing-back of all time. LCB:- Ciro Ferrara - An immovable object and an unstoppable force. The lynchpin of the all-conquering Juventus side in the late 90s and early 21st century, Ciro Ferrara was one of the greatest defenders of all-time. But what made him so unique? It is worryingly uncommon, even in the modern game, that we see a defender with considerable technical ability, so much so, that when such a player even shows signs of emerging, they’re a highly sought after commodity. Ciro Ferrara had this ability in abundance; often seen marauding forward out of defence with players in tow, or Reading and intercepting passes as they were made; he was always several steps ahead of his opponents. Throughout his 20-year playing career, Ferrara made an impressive 500 appearances shared between Napoli and Juventus. A commanding presence at the back and a remarkable ability to turn defence into attack; Ferrara was irreplaceable on the team sheet. Certain performances standout from Ferrara; a game between two Italian giants in Juventus and Inter in the 97/98 season saw Ferrara come up against an on fire Ronaldo. The rest is history. Spoiler: Ciro Ferrara against Fenomeno Ferrara occupied an unenviable position, marking often regarded the greatest Brazilian striker of all-time behind Pele. Regardless, he managed to get forward, play key passes and outmuscle Ronaldo on several occasions, keeping the attacker relatively quiet. This game wasn’t unique, a great performance yes, but its just another example of Ferrara’s style; confident and formidable, Ferrara didn’t shy away from big games and didn’t back out of tackles. He had a versatility that made him adaptable for any position across the back line. Combined with a manner with the ball that made him look like he belonged on any part of the field. Libero:- Matthias Sammer - Not many defenders have won the Ballon D'or on the back of great defensive displays both for club and country. A colossal figure and modern day Beckenbauer he wasn't that far off from his predecessor in terms of quality. At his absolute peak, Sammer was as great and as influential a defender as any in the history of the game. RCB:- Carles Puyol - A true gentleman of the game and raised with the spirit of La Masia, Puyol was one of the best defenders of modern era. Excellent on the ball, tough in the tackle, great in the air and a true leader on the pitch, Puyol won it all on club and international level. And its not easy to thrive in a system where you don't have much cover from the full-backs and midfielders either, especially at club level, where he had to often cover for the marauding Dani Alves at the back and did it with precision. Puyol was a cornerstone for both Barcelona and Spain when they dominated world football both at club level and International football. RWB:- Carlos Alberto - A player of great technique, elegancy, and strong character, "O Capitano Do Tri" is considered by many as the greatest right back to have graced the game of football. The captain of the greatest International side of all time, the Brazilian Team of 1970 FIFA World Cup. In the final match against Italy, he scored the fourth goal. It was the last and most memorable goal of that brilliant tournament. A thunderous finish to an outstanding collective play that symbolized the dominance of Brazil during that tournament, and that is to this date one of the most replayed goals in television, an all-time World Cup highlight. CDM:- Fernando Redondo - The pure essence of elegance. A master at controlling the tempo of the game, the term "Rolls Royce Midfielder" is apt for Redondo. When you hear this name, the first thing that comes to mind is that outrageous and mesmerizing piece of skill at Old Trafford. But he was much more than that. It's hard to describe Redondo, because even if you think of the highest praise and the most eloquent descriptions, it just won't be enough to get a grasp of the magnitude of his legacy. So, we would just quote what two of the greatest managers of all time had to say about Fernando Redondo. B2B:- Patrick Vieira - At his peak, Patrick Vieira was a footballing Death Star, a physical and technical monstrosity who decided games with one scything tackle or searching pass. If Thierry Henry was Arsenal’s superstar, then Vieira was its nuclear soul, an irresistible force of nature that made the midfield his personal, unconquerable universe. A complete midfielder who was silky but at the same time could be rough when he had to. A true midfield general. LWF:- Ronaldinho - A two-time FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005 and one-time Ballon D'or winner in 2005, Ronaldinho is often considered as one of the most skillful players to have graced the football field. Renowned for his technique, flair, tricks, insane close-control and no-look passes, no one embodied the Joga Bonito spirit like Ronaldinho did. A true joy to watch. RWF:- Arjen Robben - The best right winger of modern era after Luis Figo, Arjen Robben is a true wing-wizard. Blessed with breathtaking pace and immaculate close control, Arjen Robben pierces through opposition defenses like a hot knife through butter. You know what he is gonna do, yet you can't do anything about it. He is just that good. False 9:- Lionel Messi - The GOAT. Goals, be it solo goals or outside the box or from free-kicks. Assists, be it through-balls to the other attacks or diagonal balls to the overlapping full-backs. Dribbling, be it one on one or one vs five/six. Lionel Messi ticks all the boxes. In terms of absolute peak as well as sheer consistency. The World Cup is all that is missing from Messi's résumé for him to be considered "The Undisputed GOAT". Spoiler: Messi As False 9 Lionel Messi made his name playing on the right as an inside-forward. One could go to youtube and check out the goals he scored when he was younger. Receiving the ball deep on the right, he dribbled in and shot while cutting inside, and the ball almost always found its way into the top corners. He was devastating before, but he became a God in the season he was moved centrally. Counting the seasons from Ibrahimovic’s departure to Luis Suarez’s arrival, Messi scored 227 in 211 games; most of them coming from a false 9 position. David Villa was signed to replace Ibrahimovic, but he was never really a replacement in the like-for-like sense. In his 3 years at Barcelona, Villa featured on the left-wing in a lot of games. This helped the Argentine a great deal because Villa’s cunning movements dragged many a defenders out and gave Lionel Messi the space he needed. However, his best season came when he was the only true scorer in the starting XI. David Villa injured his tibia in the Club World Championship by the end of 2011. With him out injured and only Pedro making sparse runs towards the goal, Leo scored a record 73 goals that season. What Messi as a False 9 does is, it unlocks all the tools in Messi's Arsenal. He can play closer to the opposition goal, yet have the complete license to drop deep and build attacks. And when he drags the opposition CBs along with him, that creates all kind of chaos at the back as it hampers the opposition's defensive shape. Defence:- Marshaled by Sammer in his peak incarnation and two excellent CB's who also fit him really well stylistically and the GOAT full backs in Facchetti and Carlos Alberto we can claim one of the best defences in the draft, especially when it is protected by Redondo and Vieira. Midfield:- Redondo and Vieira have it all in midfield - physicality, skills, passing ability and superior positional sense which can help us take control of the proceedings in midfield. And with Sammer supporting them from the back, we have the quality as well as the quantity needed to dominate the game in midfield. Attack:- Messi has the biggest impact in attack on the pitch by far and is the most decisive player, who should win the game for us. Combined with a peak Ronaldinho and Robben our attack has the x-factor and unpredictability needed to dislodge the comfort of the opposition defenders and decide the match. With Messi dropping deep and dragging the opposition CBs with him, it will create ample amount of space for the likes of Ronaldinho and Robben to thrive. Both are outstanding dribblers who are masters in tight spaces and could eviscerate any defender in one-on-one situations. So, they would require extra attention. Otherwise, its game-over. But its a pick your poison situation for the opposition. Because if they double up on Ronaldinho and Robben, that allows the two best wing-backs of all time, Facchetti and Carlos Alberto to maraud and dominate the games from the flanks and be the difference maker. And with late runs from Vieira and Sammer, it adds an extra dimension to our attack. vs Arbitrium:- Arbitrium has got a very good team. Especially his defense, which is outstanding. A very solid midfield as well. However, the attack is underwhelming and not quite upto the standards that is required. In narrow formations, its often the full-backs who decide the games because its usually crowded down the middle. And both Giacinto Facchetti and Carlos Alberto Torres are considerably better than Roberto Carlos and Dani Alves. In terms of wing-backs, Giacinto Facchetti and Carlos Alberto Torres are the benchmark. Also, we have far better and bigger number of match-winners on the field, who could produce that moment of magic and win the game. Arbitrium Tactics Player Summaries: 1- Ladislow Mazurkiewicz voted the 6th best South American Goalkeeper of the 20th century and rightly revered as Uruguay's greatest ever. 6. Franco Baresi (Captain) For me, the greatest pure defender of all time. Absolutely no argument that he should be in everyone's top 3 defenders of all time. 13. Alessandro Nesta One of Italy's greatest ever, and arguably the best central defender since Baresi retired 15. Lilian Thuram Another of the generations finest and undoubtedly in the all time discussion also. Player's just don't get past him. 2. Dani Alves One of the best right backs in history in terms of being able to control a game. 3. Roberto Carlos One of the best left backs in history. Period. 14. Josep Masopust The Czech Republics greatest ever player, this ballon d'or winning box to box midfielder was a joy to watch and could keep the ball for fun 8. Paul Breitner A german legend and one of the most well rounded footballers in history, Breitner offers everything you could want from a box to box midfielder 10. Juan Alberto Schiaffino Arguably Uruguays greatest ever player, and considered one of the greatest players of all time by those who played with and against him during his era. Laser Vision, and true grit, he would be a joy to watch in the modern game. 11. Mario Kempes One of Argentina's all time greatest players and World Cup final goalscoring hero, Kempes role in this team is vital and it's one he'll carry out with ease. 9. Hernan Crespo Injuries permitting, his goalscoring exploits would have been even more impressive. A pure finisher blessed with an outstanding leap and sense of positioning, in this team he gets to focus on doing what he does best, putting the ball in the net. Thoughts on Team Enigma/TRV and the game: Enigma and TRV have built an excellent team, and for me have the greatest player of all time in Messi, so dealing with him is where I need to start. I considered playing Makelele and dedicating him to Messi but there hasn't been a single player in the last decade that can deal with his False 9 version. He's an almost unbeatable Trump card. So, it would seem my best attempt at stopping him is to compare my defence as a whole to the ones prime Messi faced. Sure, he played against some great back lines but not once did he come up against as formidable a defence as mine. We can hypothesize all we like, but Baresi, Nesta and Thuram is as unsurpassable as it gets, especially considering they are all at their peak and past his peak Nesta was still able to do this; A Thuram Nesta partnership could do very well against Messi, so when you factor in who is sweeping up behind them it's as confident as any manager can be. Robben and Ronaldinho have pretty much the same task in that they both never came close to facing as elite a defence as this. Ronaldinho in what was effectively his prime did come up against Nesta a few times, when Nesta was probably still a little past his peak yet still able to play like this; And as amazing as a duo it seems, just how effective would prime Ronaldinho on the left and false 9 Messi have been? There's a chance that Ronaldinho's impact would be somewhat limited as he won't make those runs in behind, he comes for the ball and makes things happen. And lets not forget, False 9 Messi was also a by-product of his wingers work-rate and pressing and in Ronaldinho and Robben he just wont get that. It looks like a great front 3 but i'm not convinced of its functionality. The battle of the full backs in this game is fecking mouth-watering. I don't think one can claim to have the upper hand on the other, personally. However as a defensive unit, mine is undoubtedly superior when you factor in both teams 3 central defenders. Redondo and Vieira is a great midfield two, I just don't think its as likely to be as good a partnership as what mine is. A ballon d'or winner and a ballon d'or runner up against lets face it, two players who almost got to that level. With Schiaffino in front of them, in possession my midfield 3 will be lethal, and from what I understand the Uruguayan would be more than willing to help out when Sammer steps forward. Who on Enigma/ TRV's team can do the same if Baresi steps out with the ball into space (which there will be a lot of at times) I remember watching Crespo when he was on fire with Parma and formed an unreal partnership with Enrico Chiesa which we only got to see a handful of times because one of them always had an injury. When they played together however, they were unstoppable and put 4 past both Juventus and Ac Milan in the same season thanks largely to the contribution of these two. Mario Kempes is a severe upgrade on Chiesa, and these two will work brilliantly together. Crespo will also give those defenders a run for their money in the air when crosses come in from my full backs, and both he and Kempes movement is enough to keep that backline occupied. Bottom line. I think my defence and my midfield are better, and I think both of our defences are strong enough to compensate for the other's attack. Enigma/TRV have more magic up front, but none of those 3 ever came close to coming up against a defence like that and hopefully that counts for something.