The 1970s were fast times of wild and memorable characters. Before the era of big money but after the first round of televised World Cups, the North American Soccer League embodies much of fun and eccentricity of this beautiful era. Boasting the best players of the decade like Cruyff and Beckenbauer we return you to these wild and fun times. A time before cynical monetization where you can connect with your inner child and just root for your favorite players who played for pure passion for being the best not being the wealthiest.
Our defense of Nílton Santos, Der Kaiser and his trusted lieutenant Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, and Carlos Alberto forms an extremely accomplished platform for the team, with three or the quartet being enshrined in the World Team of the 20th Century (and considered among the greatest in their respective roles):
In goal, Sepp Maier was the core of Germany’s World Cup and European Championship winning defense and Bayern’s trio of European Cups with Beckenbauer and Schwarzenbeck — and was voted 4th in the World Keeper of the Century poll.
In total, they have won 6 World Cups between them — 2 of them as captains (in 1970 and 1974), and as such, they can handle a variety of potent attacking combinations thrown at them by the opposition team.
Nilton's defense prowess is probably underrated today especially with a famous anecdote from a training sesson. This is a good video showing just how great Nilton was:
Our midfield of Falcão, Neeskens and Breitner is one of the best all-around midfields possible in this draft or others. Like Beckenbauer in defense, Falcão is going to be the primary playmaker of this portion of the pitch given his exemplary range of passing and architectural ability. Flanking him are two of the most complete and resolute box-to-box midfielders in football who could also peel wider to fortify the spaces in certain phases of the game — with Breitner having special chemistry with Kaiser and Neeskens with Cruyff, which is a sweet added bonus. Like Beckenbauer in defense, Paulo Roberto Falcão is going to be the primary playmaker of this portion of the pitch given his box-to-box movement, determined dribbling, exemplary range of passing (long and short) and overall architectural ability. Against a side without a traditional no.10 but with a dedicated defensive mid we feel the combination of three of the best central mids in history is the right combination to control midfield and limit the opponent.
Johan Cruyff, the Clockwork Orange and the quintessential False 9, leads our attack as the primary playmaker of that portion of the pitch — constantly probing the opposition defense for passing/dribbling/goal-scoring opportunities and trying to disorganize the backline with his elaborate movement, and is complemented by two Dutch players in Rob Rensenbrink (aka Slangenmens, Dutch for Snake Man)...who famously excelled with Cruyff for the Oranje and then subsequently the nation to another final in 1978:
And Arjen Robben...whose rapid and incisive playing style complements the older Dutch players impeccably — synergizing the attack into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is true for other parts of the pitch, too — considering the commonality in approach and overall ideology, as well as the fact that 9 of the Starting XI have played with each other (which should enhance their interpersonal chemistry).
Victory will be ours!