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2010 FIFA World Cup: The All-World Cup Team

Jonathan Woo@woo_jonathanwooCorrespondent IJune 2, 2010

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 16:  Leo Messi of Barcelona celebrates after he scored Barcelona's fourth goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Valladolid at Camp Nou stadium on May 16, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

A couple of weeks ago, I read a piece on CaughtOffside.com asking for readers to provide an All-World Team for the upcoming World Cup.  

Color me interested; below I'll do the same thing, selecting an international squad with only one player per country.   Let's see how I fare, going with the popular one striker, 4-5-1 formation. With me as the manager, I present my starting eleven and five substitutes.

Starting Eleven:

GK: Petr Čech (Czech Republic)

RB: Patrice Evra (France)

CB: Sergio Ramos (Spain)

CB: John Terry (England)

LB: Philipp Lahm (Germany)

RM: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

CM: Michael Essien (Ghana)

CAM/CF: Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon)

CM: Kaká (Brazil)

LM: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

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ST: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Substitutes:

-Tim Howard GK (United States)

-Arjen Robben LM (Netherlands)

-Andrea Pirlo CM (Italy)

-Nemanja Vidić CB (Serbia)

-Zlatan Imbrahimović ST (Sweden)

Honorable mentions:

Júlio César (GK), Gianluigi Buffon (GK), Dani Alves (RB), Maicon (RB), Gerard Piqué (CB), Carles Puyol (CB), Cesc Fàbregas (CM), Franck Ribéry (LM), Frank Lampard (CM), Diego Milito (ST), Wayne Rooney (ST), Fernando Torres (ST)

The review:

After I assembled this roster, I realized for the umpteenth time that it was more difficult than I had originally anticipated, especially since some of the world's greatest players currently hail from the same country--like Spain which is absolutely loaded with talent across the board.  Having said that, it's obvious that some great footballers had to be left off the roster to legitimize an international squad with only one player per country.

I realize that keepers like Júlio César or Buffon (circa five years ago) fit the bill, too, as the world's top keeper.  But Čech plays for a world class club in Chelsea and competes against the top talent every week in the EPL.

The back four was tricky to fill out mainly because of great wingbacks that I was forced to omit.

Although Sergio Ramos is more comfortable on the wing, he has played in the center before and for the sake of adding the shifty-quick Frenchman Evra to the roster, I chose to have Ramos in the center.  Terry's career at Chelsea speaks for itself and Lahm plays with a pace similar to that of Evra and would complement him nicely.

In my eyes, the midfield was easier to select. 

While Ronaldo and Messi, two of the most talented players in the world, aren't traditionally midfielders--but wingers instead--both are great in space and can push the ball up the field at their feet's desire.  They can provide for their teammates as well as dribble by opponents and firing a shot of their own.  Essien is a strong, score-from-deep threat, but plays with great pace and control.  Alongside the tall, slender and agile Kaká, who needs no introduction, possession in the central midfield would prove deadly.

Up front, while Eto'o is globally known as a striker, his smooth skill with the ball and intelligence in space I think is of great value at the beginning of the final third.  Being able to receive the ball from any position on the pitch and continue a run through Drogba would terrify any opposing side.

And on the bench, a small squad of super-subs, including the American keeper Howard who is slowly rising the ranks of the top keepers in the world.

Noticeably, the roster is littered with players who certainly entertain a bid to be the top player on his respective squad.  And without a doubt, it should trickle down into what will be a very memorable World Cup.

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