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
- The 6 Best Brain Games for Kids, According to a Homeschool Mom Who Uses Them All the Time - Yahoo Lifestyle - April 2nd, 2020
- 6 Activities To Do With Kids When You Are Stuck At Home - NDTV Swirlster - April 2nd, 2020
- Disney+ Is More Than Just The Mandalorian or Star Wars. Here Is Their Latest Content. - The National Interest - April 2nd, 2020
- Staying active: Confined bodies, unrestricted minds - Cleveland Daily Banner - April 2nd, 2020
- North Suburban YMCA Keeps the Community Together Through Online Programming and Services - Chicago Daily Herald - April 1st, 2020
- YMCA's Online Programming and Services Keep Community Together - Patch.com - March 30th, 2020
- 5 WhatsApp games to beat lockdown boredom - IOL - March 30th, 2020
- Why this couple added artificial turf to their yard for their four dogs - Omaha World-Herald - March 30th, 2020
- STAYING AT HOME FOR A WHILE? CONSIDER THESE ALTERNATIVES TO BINGING ON TELEVISION - Island Echo - March 30th, 2020
- Apps and Technology that Can Help With Quarantine Blues - The Bates Student - March 28th, 2020
- Walk for Health at the Island Free Library - Block Island Times - March 28th, 2020
- My day in self-isolation during COVID-19 pandemic - UW Badger Herald - March 27th, 2020
- CogniFit Offers 300 Million Students Free Access to Its Premium Brain Training Program to Help Students Stimulate Their Mind While Schools Are Closed... - March 26th, 2020
- Brain Games: How Well Do You Know Cars? - Car and Driver - March 26th, 2020
- North Suburban YMCA Partners with Covenant Living to Reduce Isolation for Seniors - Chicago Daily Herald - March 26th, 2020
- YMCA Partners with Covenant Living to Reduce Seniors Isolation - Patch.com - March 25th, 2020
- Coping with Social Isolation - Shepherd Express - March 25th, 2020
- 9 Best Android Games To Play While You Are Stuck In Quarantine - Fossbytes - March 25th, 2020
- From Mickey Mouse to the Simpsons: the best shows to watch on Disney+ - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- Long before coronavirus, my mother quarantined me at age 7 to 'contain the contagion' - USA TODAY - March 22nd, 2020
- How to keep your kids learning when they're out of school - Williston Daily Herald - March 21st, 2020
- Meet the dog walkers taking the strain during coronavirus - Telegraph.co.uk - March 21st, 2020
- Early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's cases are on the rise; here's how to take action now - Omaha World-Herald - March 16th, 2020
- The best TV shows to watch on Disney+ - Entertainment.ie - March 15th, 2020
- Nat Geo Brain Games Investigates The Science Behind Movie Magic - Forbes - March 5th, 2020
- 3 brain games to play with your dog - Alberton Record - March 5th, 2020
- The TVLine-Up: What's Leaving, New and Returning the Week of March 1 - TVLine - February 29th, 2020
- Helping seniors find the right recreational activities for their needs | News, Sports, Jobs - The Review - February 29th, 2020
- Binge Them While You Still Can! From Brain Games To Velvet, Heres The List Of Shows Leaving Netflix ... - Top Buzz Times - February 28th, 2020
- From Where I Am Standing: River City high schools re-imagined and changing the odds for students - User-generated content - February 27th, 2020
- 6 Ways Modern Technology Has Changed Video Games Forever - Geek Vibes Nation - February 26th, 2020
- Rebel Wilson Finds Love on National Geographic's Brain Games - E! Online - February 24th, 2020
- Commuters win an award for the first time in Sportsfest - The Miami Hurricane - February 21st, 2020
- Mafia: Chapter 1 Movie Review: The way the film ends makes us eagerly wait for the next chapter - Times of India - February 21st, 2020
- southeastern Connecticut News, Sports, Business, Entertainment and Video - theday.com - February 13th, 2020
- Science showcased as sport in annual tournament | Local News - Goshen News - February 10th, 2020
- New Reading Museum Exhibit Explores Science, Illusions, and Brain Games - Berks Weekly - February 8th, 2020
- Test Your Kid's Vocabulary By Playing These Mind Games - The Seeker - February 7th, 2020
- Brain Games That Helps A Child Improve Vocabulary - Love Belfast - February 7th, 2020
- Marsai Martin and Anthony Anderson's on 'Brain Games' (Exclusive Video) - TheWrap - February 3rd, 2020
- After eye corrections and hair tips, their rivalry as Tottenham's host Man City opens a new chapter - gotech daily - February 1st, 2020
- Kristen Bell Says Goodbye to The Good Place and Hello to Central Park - Parade - January 30th, 2020
- NFL Quarterback Drew Brees Puts His Brain To The Test On Nat Geos Brain Games - Forbes - January 28th, 2020
- 'Brain Games': Drew Brees tracks pandas and throws some passes on this TV show - The Advocate - January 28th, 2020
- Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz to open Realscreen Summit with keynote conversation - Realscreen - January 26th, 2020
- Nat Geo Brain Games Reveals The Mysteries Of How Your Brain Works - Forbes - January 22nd, 2020
- These three new brain games will improve your intellectual skills - Somerset Live - January 22nd, 2020
- 10 Games To Play If You Like Brain Training | TheGamer - TheGamer - January 22nd, 2020
- Magical Elves Names Joel Zimmer Head Of Development, Ups Samantha Hanks To Head Of Casting & Talent Relations - Deadline - January 22nd, 2020
- Brain Games free live stream: How to watch online without cable - nj.com - January 21st, 2020
- SPY GAMES' AND 'LONE STAR,' OH MY - The Republic - January 21st, 2020
- New 'Brain Games' Host Keegan-Michael Key on the Star Power of the Reboot - TVInsider - January 20th, 2020
- Brain Games Hints At Way Forward - themediatimes - January 20th, 2020
- Kevin McDonough's 'Tune in Tonight': 'Spy Games' and 'Lone Star' oh my - The Union Leader - January 20th, 2020
- Tune in Tonight: Spy Games and Lone Star, oh my - Daily Commercial - January 20th, 2020
- 9-1-1: Lone Star is Ready to Make Waves in its Regular Timeslot - PRIMETIMER - January 20th, 2020
- 'Star Trek: Picard,' Grammys: What to Watch and Stream, Jan. 20-26 - Hollywood Reporter - January 19th, 2020
- 3 brain games boost memory, focus, and flexible thinking - Futurity: Research News - January 18th, 2020
- Nat Geo Renews Brain Games & Running Wild With Bear Grylls TCA - Deadline - January 18th, 2020
- Whats on TV This Week: Awkwafina, 'Avenue 5,' 'Star Trek: Picard' and more - Los Angeles Times - January 18th, 2020
- The TVLine-Up: What's Returning, New and Leaving the Week of Jan. 19 - TVLine - January 18th, 2020
- Dog of the Week: Clever Meadows loves brain games and treats - Dublin Live - January 16th, 2020
- 5 Ways To Challenge Your Mind And Stay Youthful - Thrive Global - January 13th, 2020
- Barks and Recreation dog daycare slated to open mid-February - Freeport Journal-Standard - January 12th, 2020
- Why I'm ready to quit bad-mouthing brain games - GoCogno.com - January 11th, 2020
- How could my wife have Alzheimers? She was only 56. - The Boston Globe - January 8th, 2020
- Jason Silva has some interesting, but potentially eyeroll-inducing, things to say about cannabis - The GrowthOp - December 31st, 2019
- Quizmaster 2019: Meet the cast of famous brainiacs Eric Monkman, Pat Gibson, Kevin Ashman! - Reality Titbit - Celebrity TV News - December 29th, 2019
- Happy New Year to one and all! - The Union of Grass Valley - December 27th, 2019
- Smartphone apps: can they improve our mental health? - BBC Focus Magazine - December 27th, 2019
- Tes Scotland's 10 people of the year: Chris Smith - TES News - December 24th, 2019
- Five events for kids happening on Long Island next week - Entertainment - The Island Now - December 23rd, 2019
- Amazon has puzzles and education toys for up to 35% off today from under $6 - 9to5Toys - December 22nd, 2019
- Parents pay thousands for 'brain training' to help kids with ADHD and autism. But does it work? - NBCNews.com - December 21st, 2019
- From Brain Games to the philosophy of the future: Jason Silva - Daily Sabah - December 19th, 2019
- See What's Coming to NatGeo's End-of-Year Programming - Broadway World - December 19th, 2019
- Review: Hang Out With John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch - The Spool - December 19th, 2019
- On the calendar this week | News, Sports, Jobs - SalemNews.net - December 19th, 2019
- Breaking News - When Are Your Favorite CW Shows Back from the Holidays? - The Futon Critic - December 19th, 2019
- Killing Games Sweep the Internet (FPS/Action/War/Fighting) - Mighty Gadget - December 19th, 2019