Chad Ochocinco, the Cincinnati Bengals six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, is having trials with the Sporting Kansas City of the MLS, despite not having played competitive soccer since 10th grade. The 33-year-old thinks he can make it in pro soccer during the NFL lockout.
He got me thinking about some NFL and NBA (a league also going into lockout soon) stars who can play soccer at the highest level – thanks because to their intelligence and athleticism.
My team, in a 4-3-3 formation:
Goalkeeper – Dirk Nowitzki
He’s German, so already better than Manuel Almunia. With an imposing 2.13 meters he would be tough to beat in the air.
Centre Back – Clay Matthews
The Green Bay Packers linebacker loves to break down attacks and with his size, speed, aggression and dodgy hair, he’s the team’s Carles Puyol.
Centre Back – Tom Brady
The New England’s Patriots’ quarterback is not afraid of contact and tougher than he looks. with 1.93 meters he’s tall for soccer. He’s quarterback eyes will help him with the long pass. And he has a Brazilian wife for some good advice.
Left back – Troy Polamalu
The Best defender in American football with telepathic understanding of teammates and opponents. Would easily out-intimidate John Terry or Nemanja Vidic. Would he pick up the game? well, he can play the piano.
Right back – Tony Parker
San Antonio’s French guard has played soccer before. Fast and reliable, he’s the perfect right back.
Defensive midfielder – Patrick Willis
The San Fransisco 49ers player is regarded by many as the best inside linebacker in professional football. Strong willed and can chase small midfielders all day.
Center Midfield – Manu Ginobili
Every 4-3-3 team needs a reliable passer and tackler who can score once in a while. With great work ethic, little ego and solid skills, Ginobili is your guy. It helps he’s Argentinean.
Right wing – Chris Johns
The Tennessee Titans star is lightning fast and arguably the NFL’s best all-around running back. Patrice Evra – watch out.
Left wing – Chris Paul
Speedy, loves passing and combative attitude.
Playmaker (number 10) – Steve Nash
Nash is probably the best soccer player in the NBA. His brother played for Canada and Alessandro Del Piero and Thierry Henry are his friends.One of the smartest athletes on the planet, he even owns a Canadian team.
Striker (number 9) – Kobe Braynt
For all his love for Barcelona the Tiki Taka passing game may not be the thing for the NBA’s best player. But with height, desire to score and Italian upbringing, may be better striker than Niklas Bendtner.