You’ve got to pass the time between the end of the World Cup and the start of the new season somehow.
Here at Dream Team HQ, we’ve spent the day debating (arguing) about how the most expensive XI of all time would fair in the Champions League.
Such hypothetical situations are futile as we will never know the answer.
But it’s a laugh nonetheless.
Before we get into the (un)educated guesswork, take a look at the costly line-up…
You may have raised your eyebrows at Fred — let us explain.
Technically, Man United’s new Brazilian is only the 13th most expensive midfielder in history.
However, it’s only fair that we allow this fantasy team to be balanced.
If it was truly just the 11 most expensive players ever then we’d have zero keepers, one defender and two midfielders and eight forwards to work with.
Given that we’ve gone to the effort of ensuring a balanced defence (RB, LB, two CBs), we might as well do the same for the midfield trio and the front line.
Therefore, Fred swoops in ahead of James Rodriguez, Zinedine Zidane, Angel Di Maria and others by virtue of his defensive profile.
Got it? Good.
So how would this bank-busting team get on in the Champions League?
The first thing to note is that the front three is as fearsome as they come.
Neymar, Ronaldo and Mbappe scored 25 goals and provided nine assists between them in the 2017/18 Champions League campaign.
Trickery, pace, finishing… these three have got every base covered.
Expect some 5-0 scorelines in the group stages.
The back four is formidable, but it has its vulnerabilities.
Walker and Mendy will bomb forward and leave space in behind while the pairing of Van Dijk and Laporte are relatively inexperienced in Europe’s premier competition.
The most expensive defence ever assembled certainly appears a tier below that of the Champions League big boys:
- Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo (Real Madrid)
- Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Alaba (Bayern Munich)
- Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba (Barcelona)
And we reckon something similar of the midfield.
The expensive XI’s trio of Fred, Pogba and Coutinho in nicely balanced with each capable of grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck.
But compare it to the now legendary combination of Modric-Casemiro-Kroos, and it comes up a touch short, doesn’t it?
Our conclusion? They’d lose over two legs in a high-scoring semi-final.