Looking for a World Cup dream team? Try this line-up of legends
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 10, 2022 - 10:42AM
Andres Iniesta displays a message for his late friend in 2010 (Picture: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Having finally decided on the 26 players who will accompany him out to the desert for the long-awaited , may well find himself with some free time before he packs his suitcase for what we hope will be an extended stay at the Souq Al Wakra Hotel.

To help kill an hour or so before he boards the plane, a recently released documentary may offer a few valuable pointers that could determine whether he and his squad will return to an open-top bus parade through the capital at Christmas or are smuggled out of the back gate at Luton airport before this month is out.

Tuning in to How to Win the World Cup [BBC iPlayer] may not in itself be enough to guarantee success, but apart from being a fine watch it does offer an insight into how problems have been surmounted and adversities overcome to unite squads who have gone on to lift world football’s ultimate prize.

In fairness to Gareth, makers of this documentary have access to a line-up he can only dream of. How the Three Lions boss would have loved to have the likes of Andres Iniesta, Manuel Neuer or Marcel Desailly dotted around the dressing room.

Instead, it is the experience and wisdom that brought success to Spain, Germany and France that they offer, but this knowledge does not always come easy.

Iniesta, for instance, part of Vicente del Bosque’s exquisite Spanish side that triumphed at the 2010 edition in South Africa, credits winning the World Cup with saving his life having entered the tournament suffering from depression after the sudden death of friend and Espanyol star Daniel Jarque.

Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (Picture: AP)

Neuer helped German to the trophy in 2014 in a squad revitalised by Joachim Low who bonded while singing Ronan Keating songs on the long boat trip to their remote base.

Desailly, a winner as a player in 1998, reveals how France bounced back from an early exit (2002), a headbutt (Zinedine Zidane in 2006) and squad unrest (2010) to lift the trophy again in 2018.

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This is a film that offers plenty for Southgate to ponder, and the knowledge that even Del Bosque took comfort from Paul the physic octopus’ prediction of a Spanish win in 2010.