What you’re about to read will never happen. What we’re going to say can never be proved. But don’t worry, it’ll be a laugh.
Imagine an alternative reality in which, once a year, the best team from every ‘top five’ league played their respective host nation.
England v Man City, France v PSG, Italy v Juventus, Spain v Barcelona and Germany v Bayern Munich. Sounds pretty decent, doesn’t it?
(In this made up world of ours everyone is fit and injuries don’t exist)
England 1-4 Man City
Look past the fact Kyle Walker, John Stones and Kyle Walker are playing for both teams.
City’s fluid front six would cause carnage against England’s untested back three, especially when Pep Guardiola’s tactics repeatedly force Harry Maguire to go on Lucio-esque drives up the pitch.
Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson have already both experienced what it’s like to be swarmed by City’s midfield this season and this would be no different.
The only saving grace would be England’s attacking trio, who would be able to pick holes in the English half of City’s defence, allowing Harry Kane to pull one back.
By then Sergio Aguero would already have made Jordan Pickford look silly four times, so it would be too late.
France 2-0 PSG
Essentially this comes down to balance.
Both attacking trios are ludicrously strong although we’d back Kylian Mbappe to take advantage of Layvin Kurzawa more so than he would his former Monaco team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
France’s midfield of Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante has more ability to carry the ball up the pitch than PSG’s Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot, so that turns the game in Les Bleus’ favour.
Neymar would get increasingly frustrated at Edinson Cavani’s inability to find his way out of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti’s pockets, leading to a textbook meltdown.
Italy 0-0 Juventus
The immovable force meets the unstoppable object. Or, in footballing terms, Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini come out of international retirement to play in both defences.
It wouldn’t be a pretty game, with both sides limiting the space on the pitch.
Even Italy’s injection of midfield youth in Bryan Cristante, Marco Verratti and Jorginho can’t find a way through Juve’s defence.
Miralem Pjanic would come closest to scoring with a last minute free-kick only to be denied by Buffon, who would then celebrate emphatically with his defenders. Bellisimo.
Spain 3-3 Barcelona
This would be a complete festival of football decided by which attack could sustain their waves forward for the longest.
Each side would go 30 minutes without possession due to the opposition’s mastery of the ball, meaning the attackers have to be razor sharp in front of goal.
That’s not a problem when you’ve got Lionel Messi at one end and Marco Asensio, Thiago and Isco providing the bullets for Diego Costa at the other.
Who would win? You may as well toss a coin.
Germany 2-1 Bayern Munich
Given they share five players it would be pretty difficult to separate the two.
However the addition of pass master Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil just about give Germany the edge over Germany reserves.
Thomas Muller would probably end up marking Thomas Muller, given his space-invading properties.
But the real battle would be who could get further up the pitch between Bayern’s Manuel Neuer and Germany’s Manuel Neuer.
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