Would Messi get into the England team?


he’d fit in quite well, but the problem is that the place he’d fit in best is as a replacement for Kane ie as a false nine, and Kane commands his own place

ridic to suggest we wouldn’t accommodate a player of Messi’s quality, but we’d need to change the tactical setup

It is probably fair to say we have around one third of the world's best attacking midfield players in the at the mo.  Extraordinary really.

A rare what Laz said 

The real question would be 'is an England team with Messi and the necessary changes better than an England team without Messi?' 

That, my friends, is not something I have done the numbers on but could if you'd like 

Heh, are you suggesting kane is better than Messi?

Kane is absolutely the single most overrated player I have ever seen

Is that to me?

No, I am (as was clear from my post) not suggesting Kane is better than messi.

Rest of your post therefore N/A

he does little that is spectacular but his ability to hold ball up and allow an attack to be built around him is second to none in the world.

Messi is obviously the more talented player but he would not complement our existing midfield as well as Kane, as somebody said above, would need to change system entirely to accommodate him.

He would not only get into the team, he would instantly be the best player in the team.

Had he been born English he would have been played out of position, benched for not being big enough and probably never achieved his potential.

being the best player in the team does not mean getting in the team.    Yes we would have built our team around him over the last 15 years if he had been english but we have not.     I think if he were available to us now, even assuming he had the whole WC to bed in, he would be used as a super sub but would not start.

I think you're nuts. You have him, saka and foden buzzing around behind Kane. Bellers, Rice and Philips in midfield and our usual back 4. Beats everyone.

Errr… have you w**kers actually been watching him play?  He’d be our best attacker by a distance.  He can and does play in various positions. 

I’m sure we could find room for him in the Falkland Islands 1st XI. 

It is a dilemma tho. Do you 

1. Build your team around 7x Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, or

2. Build your team around Harry Kane, winner of * checks notes * Millwall Young Player of the Year 2012/2012

We always seem to need to identify one totemic player who is critical to the team and undroppable rather than focus on the collective. Do other teams suffer from that?


Walker  Stones   Slabhead   Shaw

        Rice       Philips


   Saka     MESSI    Foden


Hes a great player but his reputation is self fulfilling to a certain extent - when he does something good but something many other players might do it is still remembered as Messi level genius.  The same happened in respect of Maradona after he was way past his peak. 

With Ronaldo its rather the reverse because everybody hates him.

He’s outscored all of our attacking midfielders this season.  Loads of assists too. He didn’t do that with his reputation. 

RofRoyalty - Not saying it wouldn't work if put into practice, but I am concerned that FIFA might have some rules-based concerns about your proposal to accommodate Messi in the England set-up by playing 12 players...

I’m with RR. If we’re going to be forced to accommodate the world’s greatest midfielder mid-tournament, the least FIFA can do is allow us to field an extra player.

If you could put an extra player anywhere it has to be in goal. I don't know if he's any good as stopping shots but a pair of extra hands is always going to be useful in a penalty shootout. He's versatile. 

I think you're nuts. You have him, saka and foden buzzing around behind Kane. Bellers, Rice and Philips in midfield and our usual back 4. Beats everyone.

Risky to go in without either a goalkeeper or England’s star forward, Raheem Sterling. 

Raheem Sterling is absolutely shite, I wouldn't put him on the pitch if we were allowed 12 players and he was the only choice for the 12th

Oooh - vital question arises: is it rush or fly goalie (I’m firmly in the rush camp). Poll needed, stand by:

It’s Rush goalie.


I’ve only ever heard netball players and septics refer to it as fly goalie.



Anyone born in 1940 or earlier = outside half

Anyone able to consume an apple without the use of dentures = fly-half

It's deffo rush goalie.  I assume because the term comes from 1980s playgrounds it has something to do with ian rush.

Accrington Stanley?  Oooer dey?


There’s another term from the 80s that means whoever is nearest the goal is the goalkeeper. I can’t remember it tho. 

Wang - I always thought it came from the fact that you had to rush back. Not sure Ian was renowned for ever entering his own penalty area.

You end up trying to put it in a sentence and it sounds familiar: “As there’s only four of us, we’ll play nearest in”.

In my playground rush goalie tended to simply mean the keeper could go upfield if he wanted. Which is ofc the normal rules of football, so I always thought it a bit strange to give it a name. The other 10 yr olds seemed to think goalies needed to stay in the penalty box. They obviously lacked my precocious legal genius.

and ofc messi gets in. Just replace mount or sterling or whoever else is playing in that withdrawn 9 role.

That wiki entry is a bit confused though. There was a difference between rush goalie (one person who could act as goalie but also play outside the goal) and nearest in which was whoever was closest to the goal could act as goalie at that point.

Wiki seems to be conflating them.

I always thought rush goalie was some kind of variation on the five/seven a side rule that the keeper wasn't allowed out of the semi circle round the goal where as fly goalie as oracle describes i.e. last man back is deemed goalie.

It might just be that I played by odd rules at 5/7 a side as the consensus seems to be that they both mean last man back is goalie.