The Rundown

The team that’s better than Bayern: Football’s fictitious XI

The Rundown

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It seems right now that that nothing can stop the juggernaut that is Bayern Munich. First they snared Barcelona's already legendary coach Pep Guardiola; then they poached their biggest domestic rival's star player, in Broussia Dortmund's Mario Goetze; and finally on Tuesday night they thrashed all-conquering Barcelona 4-0 to close in on a third Champions League final in four years.

But we at The Rundown reckon we've put together a side that could give the Bundesliga champions a run for their money.

Admittedly, we have had to send our scouts beyond the normal lists of world's biggest stars - but it's paid handsome dividends as we've brought together a side of world-beaters from classic comics, films and television shows based upon 'the beautiful game'.

So feast your eyes on our Pop Culture Fantasy XI, and beware Bayern, Barca, Real Madrid and co: when the writers decide who wins, you do not stand a chance... particularly when you pick a team almost entirely made up of strikers as part of a revolutionary 0-2-8 formation.

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1. Billy Thompson (Billy the Fish) - With Viz's half man, half fish between the sticks, what chance would the likes of Arjen Robben or Toni Kroos stand of netting?

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2. Billy Dane (Billy’s Boots) - Amazing skills were bestowed on Billy the moment he slipped on the ancient boots of 1930s star Dead Shot Keen. Today they would likely slip through the cracks of current FIFA laws on correct footwear.

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3. Roy Race (Roy of the Rovers) - It's hard to imagine fans being as hard on the English national side if Roy's 24-year, 52-goal career for the Three Lions was a real thing today.

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4. Jesminder ‘Jess’ Bhamra (Bend It Like Beckham) - Plenty of talent, mainstream appeal and a great advocate for Kick Racism out of Football. The complete package... and it made stars of Jess (Parminder Nagra) and some girl called Keira something as well.

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5. Karl Fletcher (from the Dream Team, played by Terry Kiely) - A controversial character, but would be an inspiration to the side. Stood head and shoulders above his fellow cast members' characters for selection. '172 Premiership goals mate. Bosh. He's been Karl Fletcher, and you've been a waste of time.'

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6. Masal Bugduv - A 16-year-old prodigy from Moldova, named by The Times in 2009 as one of Europe's top 50 up-and-coming young players. There was only one problem: Bugduv was completely imaginary. He was an internet spoof whose name was the Irish translation of 'My Little Black Donkey' - a story about a salesman's swindle - and it didn't take long for people to realise that he had been made up from the beginning. Good news, though - we're pretty sure that since being a hotly-tipped youngster four years ago he's progressed to becoming a world-beater.

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7. Nick Jarvis (from The Sun's Striker comic strip) - Helped inspire Warbury Warriors from non-league to Champions League, despite a shark biting his leg clean off and enduring more scandals than John Terry.

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8. Santiago Munez (from the Goal! films. played by Kuno Becker) - The star of the inspirational (and FIFA-backed) tale of a Mexican starlet living in poverty who goes on to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, via Newcastle United.

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9. Kimble (the pooch from Soccer Dog: The Movie and its blockbuster sequel Soccer Dog: European Cup) - A sure-fire match-winner, and still less likely to bite an opponent than Luis Suarez.

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10. Dorothy (from Gregory’s Girl, played by Dee Hepburn) - An extremely capable playmaker who honed her skills by sidestepping her lothario team-mates.

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11. Hamish Balfour (from Hot Shot Hamish) - Owner of the deadliest distance strike around, with a shot so powerful it has been known to break not just nets, but brick walls. Manuel Neuer can try to block Hamish's goal-bound efforts at his own peril.

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And coming on from the substitutes bench...

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12. Corporal Luis Fernandez (Pele from Escape to Victory) - We may struggle to convince the authorities that this POW from Trinidad is not in fact one of Brazil's greatest-ever footballing products. Would make an impact in the last 15 because, in the character's own words, "you give me ball then I do this, this, this, this, this, GOAL."

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13. Kev King (Protagonist of football novel Premiership Psycho) - The team's brutally-uncompromising enforcer, assuming our Kev keeps his nose out of trouble.

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14. Bayern’s “new signing” – you! - While the Bavarians will no doubt flaunt Goetze in Dortmund's faces next season, we shall fire back by bringing on the non-existent subject of a far less successful ploy by Bayern from last year. But only to see out the closing stages. We don't want him disappearing...

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