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Open Thread: What's your ultimate Euro 2016 5-a-side team?

Who’d make your dream quintet?

Neuer was almost the consensus pick at goalkeeper.
Neuer was almost the consensus pick at goalkeeper.
Image: Matthias Schrader/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S A CONVERSATION you may well be having in pubs, work, even Whatsapp groups over the course of the next few weeks… of all the players at Euro 2016, which ones would you have on your 5-a-side team?

We asked around the office to get a flavour of who would make the cut and, as you’ll see, one player in particular was very, very popular.

The only rule is that you can only pick one player from each country, keep that in mind when you’re making your selection.

Here are some of ours for starters:

Steven O’Rourke

GK – David de Gea (Spain)
DF – Mats Hummels (Germany)
MF – Paul Pogba (France)
MF - Luka Modric (Croatia)
FW – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

With many of the world’s best players on show, it was definitely a toss up for a number of positions. I don’t like playing ‘last man back’ rules so I’ve gone for De Gea in goals over his German equivalent. The two players I knew I had to get in were Pogba and Ronaldo with Modric to serve as the axis around which the whole team operates.

Sean Farrell

GK – Manuel Neuer (Germay)
DF – Pepe (Portugal) 
MF – Wes Hoolahan (Ireland)
MF – Andres Iniesta (Spain)
FW – Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Obviously Neuer is the best footballing ‘keeper and I presume we’re allowing him roam free and not keeping him penned inside the box. If he is I might swap him out for Pepe, who is in there as an enforcer in a lightweight team. I’m extremely confident that in the reduced space of a 5-a-side cage match, my wee midfielders will pass rings around Steve’s Giant Team… and if not, Pepe can come into his own and cause a row that gets the whole tournament called off.

Rónán Duffy

GK – Manuel Neuer (Germany)
DF – Pepe (Portugal)
MF- Paul Pogba (France)
MF- Andreas Iniesta (Spain)
FW – Eden Hazard (Belgium)

Horses for courses. Picking with a heavy emphasis on quickness of mind and deftness of foot, the front two are among the world’s best. Pogba can also turn on a sixpence while Neuer was born to play last man back. In defence, as any astro regular will tell you, you need a man willing to put the boot in and exploit the dark arts. I think Pepe is my man.

Paul Fennessey

GK - Manuel Neuer (Germany)
DF - Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)
MF- N’Golo Kante (France)
MF- Andres Iniesta (Spain)
FW - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Neuer’s sweeper-keeper abilities, coupled with the fact that I really wanted to use Iniesta, wins him a place in the side while Vertonghen is one of the best defenders in the world and extremely good on the ball. I’m going with Kante instead of Pogba because he adds some defensive balance to the team and I don’t think there’s a more creative midfielder in the world than Iniesta.

Portugal Soccer Two of these three Portuguese players also proved quite popular. Source: Armando Franca

Fintan O’Toole

GK - Manuel Neuer (Germany)
MF - N’Golo Kante (France)
FW- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
FW- Robert Lewandoski (Poland)
FW - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

I’m adopting the Kevin Keegan philosophy that if you score three, we’ll score four and I have full confidence that Kante will do the ball winning and defending for everyone else. Ronaldo guarantees topless celebrations while Zlatan will help balance the ego on the team and Lewandoski was the goal king in qualifying.

Eoin O’Callaghan

GK - Manuel Neuer (Germany)
DF - Sergio Ramos (Spain)
MF- David Alaba (Austria)
FW- Robert Lewandoski (Poland)
FW - Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)

The winner of a 5-a-side is normally the side with energy, high-tempo and capable of hitting the opponent on the break. This isn’t about keeping the ball and playing neat triangles. It’s about exploiting space quickly and efficiently.  I’ve gone with Ramos over Hummels because I have doubts over his physicality and speed while Alaba is the obvious ‘flexible’ option in midfield. De Bruyne up front offers energy, vision, intelligence and an eye for goal.

Niall Kelly

GK - Joe Hart (England)
DF - Gerard Pique (Spain)
MF – Luka Modric (Croatia)
MF - Jon Walters (Ireland)
FW - Mario Gomez (Germany)

Neuer seems to be quadruple-booked so I’ll take Hart instead — any keeper who can do this will always be welcome in my five-a-side squad. This team is all about passing the ball out from the back so Pique is the man, while Modric knits it all together like a boss. Walters is in because every team should have the big man and Gomez may not be as good as Muller, but if he’s in the team then this can be our anthem.

Source: TalentAndFail/YouTube

Disagree with our selections? Of course you do. Let us know in the comments below who you’d pick.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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