Ive been doing a lot of sitting on my couch since I was finally able to hunker down and wait out this period of social distancing to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum. In trying to keep my mind from turning to mush with boredom, Ive been turning to brain games and thought exercises, thinking out everything from alternate histories to fantasy worlds.
It was in the middle of these that I saw an interesting little thought exercise on The Good Phight, one of our sister blogs here at SB Nation dedicated to Philadelphia Phillies baseball. Inspired in turn by a tweet he had seen, writer Ethan Witte posed an interesting question: Compose the lineup you would turn to if you had to submit a team to play a game with your life on the line.
It struck me as a fun little brain teaser, and one that could be easily transposed to any team in any sport so Ive decided to bring it here to BWRAO.
Now, the rules of the original post were rather open. Every player on every team in the history of baseball was open to him. That was probably for the best, considering the unfortunate (from my point of view) fact that the Phillies havent exactly been a legend factory throughout baseball history. In our version, however, Im going to limit my available pool to just Juve players, although like the original post Im making the entire history of the club eligible for selection. Any player selected would be inserted at the peak of their Juventus career.
So, who would I send out onto the field with my life on the line? Heres my XI, which for the record, will take a 4-3-1-2 formation.
When I can pick the greatest goalkeeper of all time, why waste time? Buffon was one of the games best even at the most advanced stages of his career before he first departed the club, and by the rules of this exercise I get him at his absolute peak circa 2006. This is the biggest of no-brainers.
There havent been a whole ton of all-world right backs in Juves history, recent or otherwise. Stephan Lichtsteiner is a sentimental favorite of mine, but Im going with head and not heart on this spot and going with Thuram. He gets the slight edge over the other main contender, Gianluca Zambrotta. The latter was a more dangerous attacking threat, but over my time here you probably all know my preference for fullbacks who defend first, and boy did Thuram defend. Dude was a rock, and while he wasnt as refined going forward as Zambrotta he could still pose a danger moving up the flank.
The silky-smooth Scirea perfected the libero position in the 1970s and early 80s. He brought a lot of what we saw Leonardo Bonucci do at the height of his powers he just did it first and better. His ability to read the game from the back line was unmatched, and his technical ability allowed him to cut off attacks before they began. Combined with his ability to distribute the ball from the back and even break into the midfield to help orchestrate when he judged it prudent he could do it all. His life was cut tragically short, but his status as one of the teams greatest players will never waiver.
Its only right to pair Scirea with his regular partner in Juves back line. A counterpoint to the highly technical Scirea, Gentile was a bone-cruncher. He was the guy you called in when you needed to kick the crap out the other teams star player. His performance against Diego Maradona in the 1982 World Cup is the stuff of legend, and he brought that brand of play to every game he ever played for Juventus. While he is often thought of first as a hard man, he was as skillful as he was tough, combining the two qualities to devastating effect for opponents. He was only ever sent off once in his career and that was for a second bookable offense following a handball. He and Scirea made the perfect pair, and certainly made a defense that Id trust with my life.
Im taking a bit of a liberty here, but it does work.
Its easy to forget that Chiellini started his career at Fiorentina as a left back. At this point in his career there would be no way he could handle playing on the flank, but remember, Im getting him in his prime, and he was playing on the outside for Italy as late as 2012. Chiellini is another wonderful blend of technique with the dark arts, and all those bombing runs he makes out of the middle will serve him well when he has to get forward. There are probably more efficient attackers who could go in this spot, but Chiellinis grinta is something Id want on any team playing for me. He gets the go here.
If you read my blurb about him in our Team of the Decade post, you know how much I love Arturo Vidal. He was the engine that helped begin the Streak, and at his peak under Antonio Conte was undoubtedly the most complete midfielder on the planet. He was a tenacious defender, an excellent passer, and a high-level goalscorer all in one package. An absolute force that Juventus has yet to fully replace even four years later, I would pick peak Vidal as the centerpiece of any team.
Giuseppe Marotta pulled off one of the greatest transfer deals in the history of the sport when he signed a supposedly washed-up Andrea Pirlo on a free transfer. All he did was trigger a huge shift in the dynamics of Italian soccer.
Pirlos abilities need no description here. He was the great orchestrator, a man who could see an attack out of thin air and then make it possible with his pinpoint passing. His set-piece ability was likewise unparalleled.
His career was revitalized in black and white. He was the best player on the incredible unbeaten team of 2011-12, and was just as good or better the next year as Juve consolidated their hold on calcio. By his final season his powers had finally begun to truly wane, and injuries hurt him as well, but getting the Pirlo of that first year goes a long way toward ensuring success for any team.
Zidane was usually deployed in a more forward role. I have other designs on the attacking midfield spot, but I still want Zidanes incredible abilities in my team, so Im dropping him back a bit.
Zidane was one of the greatest players of his generation, and for good reason. He was never a volume goalscorer, instead doing his job setting up the strikers with his incredible passing ability and dribbling skills. His presence in this spot would make it nearly impossible to defend the midfield. Who do you focus your attention on when two of the greatest playmakers in the history of the sport are on the field at the same time? With Vidal doing the dirty work, this midfield would cause headaches for anyone who played them.
One of the few men in history who you bump Zidane out of the hole with and not be laughed out of the room, Nedved was a fantastic player who could play anywhere along the attacking front. Normally a winger, he had the vision and passing range to play as a trequartista, and was a constant threat to score on his own with his powerful left foot and driving runs into the box. He also brings the kind of intensity I like to see in any player in any position.
There isnt really much to say here. Arguably the greatest player in Juventus history gets an automatic spot on this list.
Its not news to any regular readers of this site that Im far from a Ronaldo stan. Frankly, I dont really like the guy. But when faced with the prospect of putting together a lineup with my life on the line, it would be stupid to exclude one of the greatest players in the history of the sport just because I dont like him. Ronaldo can conjure goals out of nowhere and given the skill level of the rest of this lineup, its likely hell have plenty of service.
Dino Zoff (GK) Buffon before Buffon.
Gianluca Zambrotta (D) A high-level backup at either fullback spot.
Ciro Ferrara (D) Another hard-nosed guy in defense to hold down the center of defense.
Marco Tardelli (M) Someone to do some dirty work in midfield if Vidal gets frisky and picks up a booking.
Paul Pogba (M) He was a phenomenon when he was more concerned with what he did on the field than off it, as he was from 2012-14.
Filippo Inzaghi (F) Dude could make a goal out of a quarter-chance.
Mario Mandzukic (F) A personal choice. He lived for goals in big games, and his work rate tracking back would be useful late on.
See the article here:
What Juventus lineup would you choose to save your life? - Black & White & Read All Over
- Brain Games: Avoiding outcome bias for the surprising stars of Week 1 - theathletic.com - September 20th, 2020
- Be the change - The Tribune - September 20th, 2020
- Renee Miller: at the crossroads of neuroscience and fantasy sports - Campus Times - September 14th, 2020
- The brain teaser that kids can solve more quickly than adults - ABC 4 - September 14th, 2020
- Retirement communities use technology, creativity to keep residents well and connected - Fly Magazine - September 14th, 2020
- 23 Facts About Your Brain That Will Blow Your Mind - Best Life - September 12th, 2020
- Literary Links: Puzzle over these reads on leisure time - Columbia Daily Tribune - September 11th, 2020
- St. Augustine's Paulette Kozlowski serves individuals with dementia and caregivers - St. Augustine Record - September 8th, 2020
- Production wrapped on SEEDLAND Group's "Forging the Future" with Al Roker Entertainment - SHOOT Online - September 8th, 2020
- Theres no harm in asking an innocent question The Manila Times - The Manila Times - September 8th, 2020
- Children'S Toy Market 2020 How the Market has witnessed Substantial Growth in Recent Years? - Scientect - September 6th, 2020
- Brain games: Norepinephrine, the pre-frontal cortex and the draft room chat - The Athletic - September 3rd, 2020
- Brain Games: The Law of Non-Contradiction and how it applies to fantasy football - The Athletic - August 28th, 2020
- 7 Binge-Worthy Disney+ Live Action Series And 7 Missing - What's On Disney Plus - August 28th, 2020
- Brain Games: How to mess with your leaguemates minds on draft day - The Athletic - August 26th, 2020
- What Good Do Brain Games Do? A Virtual Study Is Putting Them to the Test and You Can Help - Discover Magazine - August 22nd, 2020
- We Finally have the Release Date for Brain Games Season 9! Check Out the Host for this Season - Gizmo Posts 24 - August 21st, 2020
- Mandy Moore and Alzheimer's Advocate Greg O'Brien Talk About Living With Dementia - Parade - August 21st, 2020
- Playwright Jason Odell Williams Shares The Difficulty Of Writing For The Screen On WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast - Broadway World - August 20th, 2020
- Citys 20years old Maths Prodigy emerges as the fastest human calculator in the world, wins Indias first gold - APN News - August 20th, 2020
- 'Never Too Late': Brain Exercise to Boost Cognitive Function At Any Age - Being Patient - August 18th, 2020
- Dreamscaper preview A night to remember - PC Invasion - August 15th, 2020
- Brain Games Season 9: When Will It Release? What Changes Should The Fans Expect In The Upcoming Season Of ... - thedigitalwise.com - August 12th, 2020
- 5 Adrenaline pumping games that can also help you to earn cash - NewsPatrolling - August 11th, 2020
- New Study From NeuroGrow Brings Hope to Patients with Persistent Concussion Symptoms; Points to Future Treatment for COVID-19 Neurological Symptoms -... - August 10th, 2020
- Chemotherapy can cause cognitive impairment. Heres how to overcome it - Scroll.in - August 10th, 2020
- Heres whats new on broadcast TV in summer 2020 - Seattle Times - July 8th, 2020
- Brain Games: The chart that will keep cognitive bias out of your dynasty drafts - The Athletic - July 7th, 2020
- Critics Choice Real TV Awards 2020 Winners List in Full - Hollywood Reporter - July 3rd, 2020
- HealthWatch: COVID-19: Minimizing long-term effects - WeAreGreenBay.com - July 1st, 2020
- Reading program launching this week - TimminsToday - June 28th, 2020
- 4 Reasons the Pandemic Is a Boon for the Pet Industry - Entrepreneur - June 28th, 2020
- Keegan-Michael Key Breaks Down the Science of Writing + Performing Comedy - Backstage - June 26th, 2020
- Whats happening (digitally) in the arts world - The Boston Globe - June 26th, 2020
- 5 Things You Can Do to Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's by 60 Percent - Best Life - June 23rd, 2020
- FDA Approves The First Prescription Video Game - Texas Standard - June 18th, 2020
- Every student has capability for nation building - The Tribune - June 15th, 2020
- How to minimize the long-term mental health effects of COVID-19 - WTMJ-TV - June 10th, 2020
- 72nd Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards: The Nominees Are... - LATF USA - June 9th, 2020
- Escarpment stairs reopen: Other City COVID news The Bay Observer - The Bay Observer - Providing a Fresh Perspective for Hamilton and Burlington - June 6th, 2020
- How the Emerging Science of Sleep Is Making Me a Better Father - The Good Men Project - June 1st, 2020
- Virtual Summer Camps And Educational Programs For Kids - Long Island Weekly News - May 31st, 2020
- Summer's Calling! Enjoy the Sun with New Disney Merchandise - MiceChat - May 31st, 2020
- Aldi is selling mats, toys, and bowls to keep your pets cool during the heatwave - Metro.co.uk - May 28th, 2020
- Free app to help dementia patients and caregivers - The Hindu - May 27th, 2020
- Finneas OConnell Isnt Quite Ready to Propose to Girlfriend Claudia Sulewski After Nearly 2 Years of Dating - Us Weekly - May 25th, 2020
- Isolation can have psychological impact - News24 - May 21st, 2020
- Really get away from it all in Nelson, Nevada - Online Athens - May 18th, 2020
- North Suburban YMCA Offers New Programs and Services To Those Who Need It Most - Chicago Daily Herald - May 17th, 2020
- How to help your pets adjust to you going back to work - KOLR - OzarksFirst.com - May 17th, 2020
- Bellator MMA's Emmanuel Sanchez staying positive and waiting for that phone call to fight - MMAWeekly - May 17th, 2020
- Really get away from it all in Nelson, Nevada - Shelby Star - May 17th, 2020
- Really get away from it all in Nelson, Nevada - Shawnee News Star - May 15th, 2020
- 10 games that help sharpen your memory | Invision Game Community - Invision Game Community - May 13th, 2020
- 2019-2020 TV Renewals And Cancellations Deadline - Deadline - May 13th, 2020
- COA offers new online caregiver and dementia support resources - St. Augustine Record - May 12th, 2020
- New Battlefield Game To Launch On PS5 And Xbox Series X By 2021! - The Tech Education - May 4th, 2020
- Fortnite: Fortnite Hosting Diplo, Major Lazer Concert In New Party Mode - The Tech Education - May 4th, 2020
- Enriching and productive activities to access on your phone during your quarantine - Lasvegasmagazine - May 3rd, 2020
- Brain games and activities for quarantine - The Gateway - May 1st, 2020
- Virtual Coronavirus Benefit to Raise Funds for United Hatzalah of Israel - Jewish Journal - May 1st, 2020
- St. Petersburg's Wee Gallery has brain-developing freebies for all you pandemic parents - Creative Loafing Tampa - April 30th, 2020
- Ayrton Senna: How Alain Prost Bonded With Sennas Father After His Death - Essentially Sports - April 30th, 2020
- Art, music enliven days of those with dementia during pandemic - Newsday - April 30th, 2020
- Disney+: Every New Movie & TV Show Coming In May 2020 - Screen Rant - April 28th, 2020
- Tips for the Protection of Your Mental Health During the Quarantine - Ezega - April 27th, 2020
- Fun and recreation are only a phone call away for Cambridge seniors - Cambridge Times - April 25th, 2020
- From Kristen Bell to Megan Trainor: the celebrities are put to the test on the "Brain Games" - Today's - Matzav Review - April 25th, 2020
- Stroke Survivor and Area Stroke Support Group Receive Awards from American Stroke Association - UKNow - April 24th, 2020
- All the National Geographic shows and movies you can stream on Disney Plus for Earth Day - Business Insider - April 22nd, 2020
- Ping pong, walks and mind exercises: Brain-boosting habits of a renowned brain doctor during self-quarantine - CNBC - April 22nd, 2020
- 9 Products to Keep You Entertained During the Lockdown - Yahoo Finance - April 21st, 2020
- Smokers and Alcoholics May Face Withdrawal Symptoms Amidst Lockdown 2.0 - News18 - April 20th, 2020
- Smokers and Alcoholics may face withdrawal symptoms amidst Lockdown 2.0 - Outlook India - April 18th, 2020
- No rules & total freedom: This familys lifestyle SHOCKED the public in USSR - Russia Beyond - April 15th, 2020
- Disney+ Gives Viewing Suggestions for People to Study as They Continue to Shelter in Place - DAPS MAGIC - April 14th, 2020
- Dungeons And Dragons: Tabletop Role-playing Game! - The Tech Education - April 14th, 2020
- Cyberpunk 2077: Game rumoured to have at least two DLC expansions! - The Tech Education - April 14th, 2020
- Tips to stay busy without technology in quarantine - AZ Big Media - April 13th, 2020
- Things to do at home in Qatar: April 12- April 18, 2020 - ILoveQatar.net - April 12th, 2020