Late last year some of the finest football minds in the country came together to work out once and for all which of them knew best. Of course it was impossible to work out the fairest test of their enormous collective footballing knowledge, so being big kids at heart they decided to settle the dispute by playing a computer game.
Enlisting the help of our friends at Sports Interactive, who have been busy creating a bespoke Blizzard Football Manager League over the winter, we have arrived at what will surely prove to be one of the keenest contests of football knowledge/most gigantic wastes of time (delete as appropriate) of all time. With the final tweaks being made to the software, the kick-off of the competition is nearly upon us.
The teams, given suitably easily identifiable names by their creators, will be skippered by the following Blizzard contributors and all-round football afficionados:
Philippians (Philippe Auclair), Zonal Marking (Michael Cox), Delchester Rovers (Miguel Delaney), VfL Honeystone 07 (Rafael Honigstein), Estella Damn (Sid Lowe), Lilleton OSC (Ben Lyttleton), Hamiltiain Macademicals (Iain Macintosh), Audax Gab (Gabriele Marcotti), Lukeymotiv Moorescow (Luke Moore), FC Musalona (Musa Okwonga), Torpedo Siversten (Lars Sivertsen), Maccabi Steinberg (Jacob Steinberg), Wilson Spartak (Jonathan Wilson), as well as a team of plucky underdogs manned by the humble but charmingly self-effacing Blizzard office elves – Sporting Blizzbon.
The bulging football brains were given a budget of £200m apiece to fill a squad of 18 players from anywhere in the football world that would lead them to glory and settle bragging rights. 252 players were auctioned online over 18 rounds of feverish bidding activity, and yes, there was more than the odd squabble. As each round’s deadline approached the tension was as palpable as the maths skills on display were questionable. There was more than the odd frenzied bidding war over particular players, which may go some way to explaining some of the final prices paid.
We’ll be revealing the full squad line-ups and getting some insight from the managers into their selections ahead of the competition on the blog next week, but in the meantime here are a few questions to ponder (and feel free to leave your guesses/answers or predictions for the season in the comments, below):
- Who blew £90m on Lionel Messi?
- Is Cristiano Ronaldo, therefore, a comparative bargain at £76m?
- Whose squad includes both John Arne Riise and Stewart Downing?
- Whose fourth most expensive player was Alvaro Arbeloa for £18m?
- Who made Gianluigi Buffon the most expensive goalkeeper in the game at £22m?