Picking an Elite Borussia Dortmund 5-a-Side Team from Current Squad
Five-a-side football is growing more and more popular across the world.
With a smaller pitch and smaller goals, a shorter period of play and, obviously, fewer players per team, this variation of the game is perfect for your weekday football fix.
Former Premier League stars Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage engaged in a 57-hour "Battle of the Five-a-Sides" for Sport Relief at the weekend, per the BBC's website, and it got us thinking at Bleacher Report.
Which Borussia Dortmund players would make the ideal team?
There are plenty of options in the Black and Yellows' current squad, so don't be surprised if some huge names are missing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for example, is without doubt a fantastic goalscorer in real life, but he's not a great fit for the tight spaces of a five-a-side pitch. He needs room to unfurl his incredible speed.
Find our picks on the following pages.
The easiest pick to make, Roman Burki makes the squad over his name twin Roman Weidenfeller.
The Switzerland international is more agile and better—more confident, at least—with his feet, which is important in five-a-side football, where the goalkeeper's distribution can make all the difference if the opponent commits too many men forward.
Burki showed his incredible reflexes in the goalless draw with Bayern Munich at the weekend with one of the saves of the season against Arturo Vidal, as this video shows. He'd bring five-a-side opponents to a white heat with his heroics.
We thought long and hard about Sokratis Papastathopoulos, whose agility and uncompromising nature seem to fit well in the five-a-side game, but in the end, Mats Hummels had to feature in this team.
It's all about versatility: Dortmund's captain is not only a sublime defender on his current run of form, he's also good with the ball at his feet. He likes to take on players, which, granted, is his downfall at times, but five-a-side football demands that confidence.
YellowWallPod.com's Luca Gierl jokingly tweeted during BVB's match at Darmstadt earlier this month that "Hummels might be the best player ever to play in the opponent's box. He just doesn't [do] it that often because it'd be unfair."
Dortmund's No. 15 always defends with attacking on his mind, and that makes him an ideal five-a-side player.
The Black and Yellows' midfield maestro Ilkay Gundogan was a shoo-in for this team.
He's made for playing in tight spaces, which he navigates on the normal football pitches of this world with impeccable technique and body control.
Blessed with both quick feet and a quick mind, the Germany international is arguably one of his side's best dribblers, and he's completed an impressive 87.9 per cent of his passes this season, per WhoScored.com.
He's not a prolific goalscorer, as he's never eclipsed three league goals for Dortmund, but he's too strong a playmaker to omit him.
If Dortmund have one player who's made for five-a-side football, it's Shinji Kagawa.
The diminutive Japanese has the technical skills, agility and strategic understanding of the game to be an excellent five-a-side midfielder.
His confidence doesn't seem to be particularly high at the moment, as he hasn't started as regularly in 2016 as he did in the first half of the season, but his fit for five-a-side football can't be denied.
If he and team-mate Hiroshi Kiyotake can keep the ball against 55 kids, as shown in the video above, he can surely be an asset against four opponents.
As stated in the introduction, Aubameyang isn't a great fit for this exercise. Dortmund's five-a-side team doesn't have a true striker. Instead, the two choices were Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Both are dangerous goalscorers from their midfield positions, having netted nine league goals apiece so far this season, and both have the agility to play on a smaller pitch.
Mkhitaryan's incredible form this season ultimately tipped the balance. The Armenian is arguably his side's player of the campaign to this point and thus deserves a spot in our fictional lineup.
With supreme body control and a sharp mind for tight spaces and difficult situations, the 27-year-old could play in a number of positions in five-a-side football, but we'll peg him as our forward here.