Euro XI v Copa America XI | Who would win the battle of the greats?

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Euro XI v Copa America XI | Who would win the battle of the greats?

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Utkarsh Arora

06/25/2016

Ever wondered who would have come out on the top if the Copa team was pitted against the best team from Euro? Here’s a sneak preview into who makes the cut for the best of the best.

The footballing gods have been too kind to us this year. Having seen one of the most scintillating seasons in the Premier League, coupled with a down to the wire season in La Liga, and an incredible recovery by Juventus in the Italian league, we have been bestowed with two more months of football action in the form of the Copa America and the Euros. It’s like the cherry on the cake for the wonderful gift that life is. Ever wondered who would have come out on the top if the Copa team was pitted against the Euros? Here’s a sneak preview into who makes the cut for the best of the best.

Euros: (4-2-3-1)

GK – Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)

A no-brainer of sorts, the Brock Lesnar of goalkeeping is by far the best out there. Manchester United and Spain fans might disagree with David De Gea standing tall in the goal, but Neuer is second to none when it gets to the business end of the tournaments.

RB – Juanfran (Spain/Atletico Madrid)

If his performance on the pitch was not enough, the Spain right-back became a cult hero of sorts to Atletico Madrid fans with his open letter in the wake of the penalty miss against rivals Real Madrid in the 2015/16 Champions League final. His reliability at the back and forward runs through the flanks made him a favourite with Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, and there are not many in Europe who can match up to the 31-year-old’s consistency.

Also read: Euro 2016 | Missing players XI; Benzema, Kompany and Pirlo among absentees

CB - Toby Alderweireld (Belgium/Tottenham Hotspur) The Belgian defender formed one of the most impressive centre-back partnerships in recent seasons with Kevin Wimmer and Jan Vertonghen last year at Tottenham Hotspur. With Vincent Kompany out of the Euro with injury, the 27-year-old will be the main man to take his country forward.

CB – Chris Smalling (England/Manchester United)

Smalling was one of the few bright sparks for Manchester United in what was a mediocre season, even though they did end the season with silverware. The England defender has been one of the most consistent defenders in Europe last season and will be a strong contender for partnering Alderweireld.

LB – Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland/Wolfsburg)A good season with Wolfsburg has helped the left-back earn a name for himself at the European stage. With Switzerland in the knockout stages of the Euro, the dead-ball specialists stake is likely to increase with big European clubs like Arsenal behind him.

CM – Paul Pogba (France/Juventus)Pogba is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, and with his reputation growing after every match, the 23-year-old will be the right man to control the midfield. Pogba will also be a vital cog in France’s search of the Euro title in front of their home fans.

CM – Sergio Busquets (Spain/Barcelona) Arguably one of the most underrated midfielders in world football, because of his association with a side that boasts of talents like Messi, Neymar, and Suarez. The man quietly goes about his business in a top-notch efficient manner and will be hoping to guide the La Roja to their third Euro title on the trot.

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RW/RM – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Real Madrid)

The name is more than enough.

CAM – Mesut Ozil (Germany/Arsenal)

With 19 assists in the Premier League last season, Ozil was one of the best-attacking midfielders in Europe last season. The No.10 also holds the key to Germany’s fortunes in the Euro and will also take up the role in the Euro team behind Ronaldo, Payet, and Lewandowski.

LW/LM – Dimitri Payet (France/West Ham United)

After a season where he well and truly made his presence felt, Payet has fast become one of the brightest stars in world football at present. He can play either side of the central striker as well as the #10 role and is proving to be a priceless player when on the song.

CF - Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)

Statistically, the best center forward in Europe right now. Lewa has scored over 40 goals last season and if his recent form is anything to go by, the Polish side could be a surprise package this year.

Also read: Euro all-time XI | Help us pick the dream team

Copa America: (4-3-3)

GK - Claudio Bravo(Chile/Barcelona)

With Navas ruled out due to injury and Ospina not playing much, Bravo rises to be the undisputed #1 for the Copa America team.

RB – Dani Alves (Brazil/Barcelona)A very obvious choice if there’s a back 4 system and faces little competition from his fellow countrymen for this position.

CB – Diego Godin (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid)

The ever reliable Uruguay captain is the first CB in our line-up. A tall, and powering presence with a good understanding of the game makes him a clear cut choice.

CB – José Giménez (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid)

The young CB looks a real talent for the future albeit having had a great season in the present. Playing alongside captain Godin, this pairing is sure to have a good understanding and reading of the game.LB - Filipe Luis (Brazil/ Atletico Madrid)

A good disciplined no-nonsense defender, Luis is a strong contender in this back 4. While he is good going forward, he understands his priorities as a defender and stands firm to the challenge.

CM – Arturo Vidal (Chile/Bayern)

The ever-rising value of Arturo Vidal refuses to die down. A silverware-laden career was further glorified when Bayern did the double. He is the link between the backline and the creative players that lie ahead and next to him. there are few in the world who do the job better.

LCM - Angel Di Maria (Argentina/PSG)

Back to his sizzling best after a horror show at United, Di Maria is looking more and more like the destructive force he was at Real Madrid. Pacey, skilful, and creative, he is a lot to handle on most days.

RCM – Gary Medel (Chile/Inter Milan)

A CDM by trade who can also play at CB, he came to prominence with his move to Cardiff in August 2013 from Sevilla. Nicknamed ‘El Pitbull’, his reading of the game is absolutely top class, however, his reputation of going in fiercely sometimes works against him in the form of cards and fouls. On most days, though, there are not many center-backs who would complain about Medel guarding their defence.

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RW – Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona)

Although he is known for his infamous incidents on the field, there are not many who can match up to the skills of the Uruguayan. His pace, finishing, dribbling, off the ball movement and basically his all round game makes it a treat to the eyes to watch Suarez.

LW – Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)

The lad is not too bad either, can pick a pass, score a goal, take a free-kick and pretty much do anything on a football field that is humanly possible.

CF – Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina/Napoli)

You know you are on song, when you keep Sergio Aguero out of the side. Higuain has had the best ever season for a striker in the Italian league, where he notched up 36 league goals, breaking a 66-year-old record in the process. The Argentinian is sprouting fire and terrorizing defences at will.

In the hypothetical event that these 2 teams do ever face off, it would be a spectacle of the highest order. Pogba vs Vidal in midfield will be a powerhouse contest second to none, while Ronaldo and Messi on the wings with Lewandowski and Higuain in the middle will be beautiful to devour with your every own eyes.

Suarez vs Rodriguez on one wing and Messi vs Juanfran on the other will be jaw-dropping, to say the least, especially with Messi and Juanfran well acquainted with each other, plying their trade in the same league. Busquets as a deep-lying ball player with Pogba just ahead of him works like a charm for the European side because it gives the front 3 and Ozil the liberty to float around and create intricate passes.

On the other hand, the individual brilliance of Suarez, Messi, and Di Maria can produce a moment of magic before the blink of an eye. Suarez and Messi will switch wings as they so often do in Barcelona and Higuain will look to capitalize on half chances, let alone clear goal scoring opportunities. Just typing these words out is mouth-watering so you can only imagine how the eyes will gauge out if and when a match like this ever takes place.Goals galore in this one, but the presence of a slightly more stable defence and the luxury of slightly more familiar playing style might help the Europeans come out on top by a goal with the match ending 3-2.

Also read: Remembering the Greek Miracle of Euro 2004

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