Happy Easter! Today is Easter Sunday and I thought I’d make today’s XI using players that were born on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Of course the dates of Easter change every year, so what I have done is just used people born on the 10th, 12th and 13th of April, as these are the dates of Easter this year.
Let’s get into the XI!
GOALKEEPER- Claudio Bravo
It is Claudio Bravo’s birthday tomorrow, and he has resurrected his reputation somewhat in the last 18 months after a tricky start to life in Manchester.
The Chilean didn’t look nearly good enough for the Premier League when he joined Man City in 2016, and this led the Citizens signing Ederson to replace him. Bravo has been the second choice ever since and has actually acquitted himself pretty well during the opportunities he has been given.
Bravo has had a glittering career, winning two La Liga titles and a Champions League at Barcelona. He has been a part of Man City’s best ever side, and he was in goal for Chile’s two Copa America wins in 2015 and 2016.
CENTRE BACK- Bobby Moore
It is Bobby Moore’s birthday today, and much like Jesus, he is an eternal presence (there is a statue of him outside Wembley). This is befitting of England’s best ever captain and one of the countries best ever players.
Moore is most well known for winning the 1966 World Cup with England, and also his career at West Ham. He is one of the best defenders ever to have lived, although he was not built like a traditional centre back, his reading of game made him perfect in that role.
Moore was the Ballon D’or runner up in 1970, and he lives long in the memory in a country with a rich football history.
CENTRE BACK- Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany turned 34 on Friday (Good Friday) and him leaving Man City in the summer has led to the death of their titles hopes this season. I am breaking my own rules of including the same player in two XI’s in a row, but I couldn’t not put Kompany in!
He is now a Player-manager at Anderlecht in his home country, where he has led them to an underwhelming eighth place. I have no doubt that Kompany will make an excellent manager however as he is an excellent leader on the pitch and clearly knows his football!
CENTRE BACK- Carles Puyol
Carles Puyol is another player celebrating his birthday tomorrow, and he spent his whole career with Barcelona, where he was one of the best defenders of his generation.
Puyol’s career spanned 15 years, and he won six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, one European Championship and of course the 2010 World Cup.
He was a very consistent presence in Barcelona’s back line, and was never afraid of putting his body on the line. He didn’t quite possess the technical attributes normally associated with Barcelona players, but he was still a fantastic servant for them.
LEFT WING BACK- Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos’ birthday was on Friday, and if there was any footballer who would’ve been able to turn water to wine, then it was the Brazilian, just look at his free kick against France!
Carlos was an outstanding attacking fullback with an incredibly powerful left foot and he was an integral part of the Brazil side that lifted the 2002 World Cup.
The best spell of his club career was at Real Madrid, where he made 512 appearances and won four La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, he had an excellent career.
RIGHT WING BACK- Christian Panucci
Christian Panucci is another player celebrating his birthday today, and the Italian right back completes this stellar defence.
Panucci player for five different Italian clubs, as well as Real Madrid and Chelsea. He was part of two Champions League winning sides (with Real Madrid and AC Milan). He also made over 50 appearances for Italy but he was not part of their 2006 World Cup winning squad.
He was a tall defender with excellent arial ability, and this allowed him to deputise at centre back if it was necessary. He was a steady player who had a good career across Europe.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Anderson
The former Man United midfielder Anderson turns 32 tomorrow, and he has had one of the strangest careers ever. He won the 2008 Golden Boy award, but now he is without a club at an age where midfielders are normally at their best.
The Brazilian won nine trophies in his eight year stint in Manchester, including four Premier League titles and one Champions League. After leaving United he went back to Brazil and from he his career just petered out.
Anderson is a true rise and fall story, much like the Easter story! Except Anderson has yet to rise again…
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Fernando Gago
Fernando Gago is another player in this XI to have had a spell at Real Madrid, and this is clearly where he has played the best football of his career. His birthday was on Friday and his career was certainly ‘good’.
The Argentine is a typical defensive midfielder, technically gifted but also defensively astute and he was part of the Madrid side that won two La Liga titles. He is now playing back in Argentina with Vélez Sarsfield.
He has played 61 times for Argentina and was part of the side that won Gold at the 2008 olympics. He made his international in 2007 and he made his last appearance 10 years later, so he has a good international career.
RIGHT WING- Ricky Alvarez
Most of you will not know Ricky Alvarez as he hasn’t actually ever been that good, despite playing for some pretty big clubs. His birthday is today and he turns 32!
Alvarez played 73 times for Inter Milan, and in 2014 he went on loan the Sunderland where he played just 11 times. He then moved to Sampdoria where he enjoyed a renaissance, scoring four times in 46 games.
He is now seeing out his career back in Argentina with the same club as Gago!
LEFT WING- Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane’s birthday was on Friday, and is a player that has the ability to have Liverpool fans kneeling at his feet.
The Senegalese international is one of the best players in the world and he has been scoring goals for fun since joining the reds in 2016.
He is only around 30 goals away from being the highest African scorer in Premier League history and he is arguably one of the best. He is a Champions League winner and will most likely be a Premier League winner by the end of the year.
STRIKER- Rudi Völler
Rudi Völler turns 60 tomorrow and he is the fourth World Cup winner to make it into this XI. The German scored three goals at Italia 90 to elevate his side to the World Cup.
Völler was prolific at club level as well, scoring 257 goals for six different teams across his 19 year career. He won the Champions League in 1992-93 with Marseille and this was his crowing moment in domestic football.
Voller is now the Sporting director at Bayer Leverkusen, and he has had a few jobs as a manager, but they have not been as successful as his playing career.
That’s all for today’s blog! I hope you’ve all had a lovey Easter.
See you tomorrow!