Right now, we are in the Gooch Zone™ and there’s no escaping it.
The Gooch Zone™ can either refer to a) the few days between Christmas and New Year, or (b) the time between the end of the Premier League season and the start of the World Cup.
During this time, it’s common for football fans to distract themselves with hypothetical and/or fantastical thoughts.
Such as… which World Cup group could assemble the best five-a-side team?
Before you dig in, you need to know the rules.
In the spirit of fairness, we’ve made sure at least three of the four teams in each group are represented.
That way we don’t just end up with a team completely made up of Spain or Germany players.
Got it? Good…
Group A may be the weakest group of the draw but in Mohamed Salah and Luis Suarez, it features two of the world’s very best.
Highly-rated 21-year-old midfielder Aleksandar Golovin represents a decent option from the two unfancied teams.
Capable of beating any of the others on their day but not among the favourites.
Plenty of Spanish talent to choose from but our self-imposed rules restrict us to just three — and what a trio we’ve picked.
No justification needed for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
2018 Dutch Footballer of the Year Hakim Ziyech completes the lot — the Moroccan No10’s passing and dribbling makes him a perfect fit.
A French spine plus Christian Eriksen was the obvious route in Group C.
That left a straight shootout between the keepers or Australia and Peru — our Premier League bias ensures Brighton’s Matty Ryan a spot between the sticks.
Group D is front-loaded with El Clasico talent of considerable note but they may be vulnerable at the back.
Mainz’s Nigerian centre-back Leon Balogun is prone to a card and Monaco stopper Danijel Subasic isn’t what he was last season.
This team is a forced to be reckoned with.
Brazilian flair offset by Nemanja Matic’s destructiveness — looks very hard to beat.
Like with Spain, it’s difficult to pick out just three Germans but we settled on an World Cup-winning trio.
Sweden’s Emil Forsberg will provide the creativity and will be looking feed the opportunistic Javier Hernandez — you need a selfish finisher to make a decent five-a-side unit.
We already regret not opting for the fantasy Premier League trio of Hazard, De Bruyne and Kane.
However, we didn’t want to risk a Panama and Tunisia keeper or defender (no disrespect, lads) and so our hands were tied.
Youssef Msakni is Tunisia’s star player and we’ve charged the free-scoring winger, who has previously been linked with Arsenal, with filling Hazard’s boots.
In reality, the 27-year-old will miss the World Cup after injuring his knee ligaments, but the squad hasn’t officially been announced yet so we’re having him for our hypothetical five-a-side tournament.
Yes, we’ve cheated, sue us.
We may have saved the best for last.
The Bayern Munich combination of James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski just screams goals.
Sadio Mane’s pace and directness offers a complementary method of attack — although one that’s somewhat negated by the five-a-side format.
Kalidou Koulibaly is the man mountain, physically dominant defender who usually does well in five-a-side
And we’re finished off between the sticks with Juventus’ No1 keeper.
We reckon this may be strongest from back to front.
Let us know on Facebook where we went wrong!
Dream Team World Cup has landed!
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is coming ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- PRE-REGISTER FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
The game officially launches on June 1 – but you can pre-register for the game now.
If you’re an existing Dream Team customer the World Cup game now appears in the app or you can enter here, but if you’re not follow these simple steps:
- Download the Dream Team app
- Create an account
- Click on the World Cup banner below in the app and follow the pre-registration instructions
From Russia with a whole lot of love.