The perfect starting 11 if cars were footballers
*or soccer, if you're reading this in the U.S.
I like cars. I like football. I (occasionally) like dumb posts like this one, so what I thought I'd do is put these three things together and come up with an ideal starting eleven if cars were footballers.
For the sake of argument (and honesty), I also included a real life player for each role and my personal favourite real life player in that specific role.
Goalkeeper - Volvo (No. 1)
First and foremost, goalkeepers should be reliable and consistent. It's much better to have a a 7/10 goalkeeper that always delivers instead of a 9/10 excellent goalkeeper that makes a miraculous save from time to time but tends to slack and concede dumb goals when not in the mood. Volvo is your choice. Strong, supremely reliable and durable.
Real life player: Manuel Neuer, Germany, FC Bayern. Because he's consistent and reliable. And he has been for years. He makes the occasional crazy save and he always makes it look easy.
My personal favourite in this position: Juan Musso, Argentina, Udinese and Bartłomiej Drągowski, Poland, ACF Fiorentina
Right-back - BMW (No. 2)
The vast majority of top teams employ two different types of full-backs. If the right-back is technically gifted and with attacking prowess, then the left-back is probably going to be a hard-working, no-nonsense defender and vice-versa. In this instance, our right-back is a strong and skillful player with great passing accuracy and work-rate. You need a BMW for that. Always at the ready, always aggressive and always thinking about what's coming up next.
Real life player: Trent Alexander-Arnold, England, FC Liverpool. Because he's an extremely clever and talented player with great passing abilities. Also an accurate set-piece specialist.
My favourite player in this position: Achraf Hakimi, Morocco, FC Inter.
Left-Back - Toyota (No. 3)
This is the player that helps you win games without you even realizing it. Our defensive full-back, in this instance playing on the left flank, is going to have to run and run and run. A hard-working go-getter with stamina and tactical versatility. You need a Toyota for that. The Japanese carmaker can basically deliver on demand. Speed, strength, durability. If you need it, Toyota's got it.
Real life player: Andrew Robertson, Scotland, FC Liverpool. Because he'll just never stop running. He's got infinite energy and pace and stamina. He's rarely under the limelight but he's the player everyone says "thank you" to when the game's over.
My favourite player in this position: Héctor Bellerín, Spain, Arsenal FC
Centre-back - GMC (No. 6)
Modern centre-backs have to be comfortable on the ball, with both short and long passing skills and, of course, defensive skills. They also have to be physically strong, central defenders are often the tallest and heaviest players on the pitch (after goalkeepers). We're going to need players that know how to keep their cool under pressure, and occasionally score goals.
Real life player: Virgil Van Dijk, Nederlands, FC Liverpool. Because he is immensely strong and one of the best 1-on-1 defenders in the world. He holds the record for the most games without ever being dribbled past: 65. For those of you that aren't familiar with football, it means that for 65 consecutive games opponents have not been able to get past him when they came face to face with him.
My favourite player in this position: Milan Skriniar, Slovakia, FC Inter.
Centre-back - Ford (No. 4, Captain)
With a few notable exceptions, the best teams in the world always use four defenders, two full-backs/wing-backs, and two centre-backs. Most managers will try a mix&match combination. One centre-back is going to prioritize sweeping tasks while the other is going to have to be very good at marking and in 1-on-1 situations with opposition. In this instance, we're going to need amazing marking and tackling skills, and dollops of personality because this is also our captain. That's why you need Ford. A veteran of the game and an all-rounder. There's not much that Ford can't do. Want speed? Ford's got it. Need strength? Ford's got it. Personality? Ford's got it.
Real life player: Sergio Ramos, Spain, Real Madrid. Because he hardly ever fails to deliver when games really matter. A competent and aggressive tackler and excellent in the air.
My favourite player in this position: Sergio Ramos, Spain, Real Madrid.
Deep-lying Playmaker - Mercedes-Benz (No. 5)
Playing this position requires technique, passing and dribbling skills and, most important of all, vision. Johan Cruyff, one of the best players in the history of the sport, was once quoted saying that "football is played with your head and your feet are just a tool to help you" and this role embodies that concept. You need a Mercedes-Benz for that because Mercedes can do anything and it's been in the game for a long time, it invented some of the rules and the elements of the game and possesses vision.
Real life player: Bernardo Silva, Portugal, Manchester City. Because he is exceptionally talented, versatile and agile. He can do anything and everything on the pitch with a high degree of efficiency.
My favourite player in this position: Luka Modrić, Croatia, Real Madrid.
Advanced Playmaker - Audi (No. 7)
this picture was taken with my iPhone
Modern football requires adaptability and flexibility. On paper, you've got eleven players on the pitch doing eleven different things with eleven sets of skills but the truth is, everything is relative. There days you expect every single player to contribute to both creating goal chances and defending. Having said that, you still need some sort of attacking midfielder capable of creating chances, scoring goals and providing assists. You need an Audi for that because Audi loves creating sporty versions of every car in the line-up. And they're always quite good, and they're always very powerful.
Real life player: Toni Kroos, Germany, Real Madrid. Because he can create goal chances in any moment of the game. He sees space and opportunity that no one else on the pitch seems to be able to see.
My favourite player in this position: Marco Asensio, Spain, Real Madrid.
Box-to-box / holding midfielder- Land Rover (No. 8)
Box-to-box midfielders have a key role in the modern game. They need to have pace, stamina and tactical prowess. You need them to consistently run back and forth. They're the hard-workers, the all-rounders of the game. They've got to make firm tackles, block shots and, should the occasion arise, take the shot. In this instance, we're going to balance our advanced playmaker and our deep-lying playmaker with a box-to-box midfielder that's actually a holding/defensive midfielder. You need a Land Rover for that. Terrain Response system will help it change its characteristics in live time depending on how the game goes.
Real life player: N'Golo Kanté, France, Chelsea. Because of his athleticism and versatility. He's tireless and energetic, and occasionally scores goals, too.
My favourite player in this position: Yaya Touré, Ivory Coast, Qingdao Huanghai.
Centre Forward - Lamborghini (No. 9)
Being a centre forward used to be easy. You get the ball, use your physical strength to win long balls and/or keep defenders away, you take the shot, job done. The game has become fluid so there's a lot more you ask of them these days but still, you're gonna need your centre forward to be powerful, skilled and relentless. You need a Lamborghini for that. No mucking about, take the shot, score the goals.
Real life player: Robert Lewandowski, Poland, Bayern Munich. Because he's tall and strong but still light on his feet, agile and quick. A reliable, consistent and ambidextrous goal-scorer.
My favourite player in this position: Karim Benzema, France, Real Madrid; Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, FC Inter
Winger - Porsche (No. 11)
Wingers are supposed to be any defender's worst nightmare. They run and run and run, outpacing and outclassing full-backs and wing-backs on a regular basis. This is what they need to do and for that, you need pace, stamina and the highest level of dribbling skills. You need a Porsche for that. Its mighty flat-six will never stop pulling, and it will pull no punches either.
Real life player: Kylian Mbappé, France, Paris Saint-Germain. Because he's quite simply one of the best players in the world. Lean, strong, quick, explosive acceleration and amazing dribbling, passing skills and goal-scoring abilities.
My favourite player in this position: Alphonso Davies, Canada, FC Bayern.
False Nine - Ferrari (No. 10)
The term "false nine" was widely popularized during Lionel Messi's era at Barcelona, when Pep Guardiola began deploying the Argentine superstar as a centre-forward with both winger and playmaking tasks. The false nine is the wild card. You need outstanding dribbling skills, your passing skills should also be up there with the best and, most important of all, we expect you take the shot with either foot, at any given moment and from any given position, making it count every single time. You need a Ferrari for that. Its V8 or V12 will provide you with the flexibility and power you need to have.
Real life player: Lionel Messi, Argentina, FC Barcelona. Because he's the best footballer in the world and even on a bad day, he still unsettles opponents just by walking in the room
My favourite player in the role: Lionel Messi, Argentina, FC Barcelona, and Lautaro Martinez, Argentina, FC Inter.
Manager - Volkswagen
Modern managers have to be well-researched and prepared but also versatile and intelligent. They've got to have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and still be ready to improvise every step of the way if necessary. You need VW for that because they've got a plan and a solution for everything, constantly hiding behind a dull, smiling mask.
Real life manager: Jürgen Klopp, Germany, FC Liverpool. Because he's smiling all the time but he knows how to get his point across, and the fact that he's also bigger and taller than any of his players helps. He's got his own idea of football but he's always ready to think quick on his feet.
My favourite manager: José Mourinho, Portugal, Tottenham Hotspur.