France Football’s Dream Team

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Alexander Tabares

France Football recently released their greatest soccer team of all time, as voted by journalists.

Alexander Tabares, Staff Writer

France Football, a french magazine, canceled this year’s Ballon D’or, the highly coveted award given  to the best player of the year. This was done when the soccer season was postponed indefinitely but it has since been resumed and completed. Despite this, the award will not be handed out but instead they came up with an alternative solution: the magazine has made a Dream Team of the best soccer players in history. Much like how the Ballon D’or is decided, this dream team is picked by a group of 140 journalists from around the world. Many of the players seem to be undisputed picks, considering their accolades, but other picks are far more controversial and difficult given similar statistics or legacy statuses..

Wingers
Despite what fanboys on Twitter will have you believe, Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi are inarguably among the best players to ever play soccer. The rate at which they score goals or assist someone else’s is ridiculous, nearing one per game. They have also been shockingly consistent, remaining the best players in the world for the past 10 or so years. They undoubtedly deserve to be in this group of phenomenal players as chosen by the journalists and rightfully so.

Attacking Midfielders
Pele and Maradona are also on the list of obvious picks as they were picked as co-winners of the best players of the 20th century, making their inclusion obvious. Pele, who won three consecutive World Cups, scored over 700 goals in his career. Maradona was also top scorer in many competitions he played in, including the Italian league and World Cup which adds another two contenders to be considered on the list.

Goalkeeper
In goal, Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon D’or, was picked. The goalkeeper was a competitive choice between the likes of Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer, who all played at a consistently high level in the modern game, but Yashin seems to edge them in his vast cabinet of individual awards. His reinvention of the goalkeeper role, making it a more mobile player, cements his inclusion.

“Iker Casillas was too good to not be included. Also, Yashin played in a bad league in the 1960s- his level of competition was far lower,” sophomore Nathaniel Leiva said.

Center Back
Franz Beckenbauer, the only defender to win the Ballon d’or twice, is understandably in the team. Winning the world cup as both player and manager, he created the sweeper role that sits behind the defensive line. His accolades bring him head and shoulders above the rest of the center backs, like Sergio Ramos and Fabio Cannavarro.

Beckenbauer is one of the only center backs to win the Ballon d’or, and he won it twice, so he completely deserves it,”

— sophomore Luis Tobar

Left Back
At left back, Paolo Maldini won a seat in the starting team. He played at both left back and center back and is revered as one of the greatest defenders of all time. His only real competition for this spot was Roberto Carlos, who was higher in Ballon d’or voting, meaning he technically ranks higher, but Maldini played consistently great for about 20 years.

Center Forward
Center forwards was by far the most competitive position, with two three time Ballon d’or winners in Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten. George Weah, the first African player to win the Ballon d’or was also nominated. Romario, Gerd Muller and Eusebio, who are all in the top 10 highest goalscorers of all time, were also nominated. Despite the brilliance of these nominees, two time Ballon d’or winner Ronaldo was chosen for the starting team. His inclusion is the most controversial, as his accolades and amount of goals in his career are far less than other nominees.

Defensive Midfielder
The final spots are for defensive midfielders. Xavi, arguably the greatest midfielder to ever play soccer was picked. Alongside him, Matthaus, the 1990 Ballon d’or winner was picked. The 1958 World Cup golden ball winner Didi as well as the 1960 Ballon d’or winner Luis Suarez are two to mention.