Earlier in the week I was mulling over my Premier League Fantasy line-up, seeing if there were any changes to be made in time for the midweek match-ups. Simultaneously, I was browsing the players that were available in my American Football fantasy team in time before Thursday’s deadline and this weekend’s ties across the pond. (Disclaimer: I enjoy both, but ‘real’ football is of course the superior code of sport). Such is the extremes of my multi-tasking capability, it got me thinking – who of the planet’s soccer players could make it in the world of helmets, heavy safety gear, incessant ad breaks and oddly shaped playing balls? Well the following line-up may have had a good hand at the American sport had they not been snagged by its international, and let’s face it, much superior older brother.
Quarterback – Rory Delap: This is the obvious one. Football’s human catapult would be first in line to take up the quarterback role, the most integral part of any American football team. With his knack for throwing footballs an unusually long distance, the Stoke City midfielder would feel right at home in this code of sport. His legs would be used even less, and such is Stoke’s style of play his arms may get more of a break too.
Running Back – George Elokobi: The muscular Wolves defender wouldn’t look out of place amongst the NFL’s elite ball runners. We assume Elokobi would be used on the occasion where brute force is needed to barge his way through the traffic ahead. Best of luck trying to stop this Cameroonian mini-van in his tracks.
Running Back – Sergio Ramos: Brute strength isn’t the only attribute necessary in this position, so the incision of speed and trickery from the Spanish defender may add another dimension to our running game. It would be all too easy to include some of football’s pace merchants, but one would feel the likes of Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott would end up on ‘Injury Reserve’ after one hit. Ramos may be a bit more durable.
Tight End – Michael Essien: The powerful Chelsea player may just be the perfect player for the Tight End position. Essien can blend both the blocking end of the position with his strength as well as the receiving end thanks to his speed and natural ability.
Offensive Line – Adriano, Ronaldo, Bramble, any oversized football player who can get in the way and be a general nuisance: giving Delap time on the ball and their respective running-backs space to exploit.
Wide Receiver – Thierry Henry: So who wasn’t expecting this shameful cliché here? The silky Frenchman and now New York Red Bulls forward will be our number one receiving option. Should you ask why? Everybody knows he has the ball handling skills to make some big plays in this offence.
Wide Receiver – Frederic Piquionne: West Ham’s braided French striker can help generate the marketing end of the team. Let’s give him number 84, and call him Moss. Piquionne shares an uncanny resemblance with one of American football’s greatest receivers, Randy Moss, but we doubt he’ll be recreating some of the big plays Moss has pulled out over the years.
Wide Receiver – Theo Walcott: Who better to call on when a touchdown is needed in the dying seconds and we’re stuck dead and buried within our half of the field? This, we expect, will be our most often used attacking tactic with Delap’s big arm and Theo’s insane speed.
Kicker – Paul Robinson: The Blackburn ‘keepers big boot means we’ve nothing to worry about when it comes to kicking it between the sticks, regardless of distance from goal.
Punter – Ask one of the many defenders in the world whose first tactic is to hoof it as high and as far away as they possibly can.
On defence, we would attempt to recruit Everton’s Tim Cahill, small but springy so the opposition won’t know what hit them when he pops up to intercept passes and tip the ball astray. Making tackles would be many of football’s defensive midfielders, namely Lassana Diarra, Javier Mascherano and Lee Cattermole. And tracking the opposition receivers would be the likes of Nemanja Vidic and John Terry. You can be sure no receivers will be catching any footballs against us.
Comment with your NFL/FIFA crossovers below.