Messi, Ronaldo and the World XI: Should FIFA Host a Global All-Star Game?

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad de Futbol  at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 9, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In October, the football world was baffled by a bunch of mysterious men dressed in black robes.

Across a single weekend, the creepy figures turned up at Stamford Bridge, the Allianz Arena and Juventus Stadium. They sat in silence, watching the games and offering little or no explanation for their presence.

It was obvious that the nightmarish troupes were part of some sort of advertising campaign, which became clear when Franz Beckenbauer gave us the "horrifying" news that aliens wanted to play football against humans in a beat-us-or-we-destroy-your-planet duel.

Now it has been revealed that Beckenbauer has selected an XI to play the aliens, with the dual purpose of saving the world and promoting Samsung mobile phones:

This elaborate marketing exercise got me thinking: Who would make a World XI? And if aliens don't come down and threaten to play us or destroy us, why doesn't FIFA put on a Global All-Star game, featuring two teams of the very best players from all six continental federations?

The benefits of a Global All-Star game would be myriad. We would get to see players linking up on the same side who would never get the opportunity to do so otherwise.

The continuing rise of the Champions League in comparison to international football demonstrates a desire to see the very best players on the same teams, regardless of the country they were born in. This arrangement would satiate that demand. 

It would also be a huge money-spinner in terms of commercial rights for football's governing body—and well all know how much they love money. Just imagine how much sponsorship and TV revenue would be generated by the biggest global megastars in the game converging in one 90-minute match.

Samsung could stop creating fake alien invasions and put their money into a truly impressive spectacle.

And if it was held at the end of the European season, it would create relatively little disturbance to the calendar. 

There are a number of ways that the world's finest could be divided into two opposing teams. Perhaps it could be UEFA teams versus the rest of the world. Or reigning domestic champions versus non-domestic champions. Or just make it completely random—either way, it would be a great spectacle. 

So, which players would be up for selection? Let's use Samsung's Galaxy XI as a starting point:

Lionel Messi (captain)
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney 
Mario Gotze 
Radamel Falcao
Victor Moses
Landon Donavan
Wu Lei 
Aleksandr Kerzhakov 
Stephan El Shaarawy 
Lee Chung-Yong 
Iker Casillas

The glaring problem isn't just that Victor Moses has been charged with helping to save our souls, but that the team contains no defenders. Beckenbauer, you've damned us all!

Several of these players, however, would make an appearance the Global All-Star game. Here are my starting XI selections, which, for the sake of the argument, have been divided by reigning domestic champions and non-title holders.

Let's start with the domestic champions:


And here's their non trophy-holding opponents:


Wouldn't you like to see how this game plays out?

Give your thoughts on the line-ups and the concept of a Global All-Star game in the comments.


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