With an international core of players from across the globe, a variety of countries are represented on the D.C. United roster. With some of the most iconic nationalities in soccer on the team, we asked some of our guys to build their dream five-a-side squad with players from their home country.
First on the hot seat, we have French center back Frederic Brillant, who has undoubtedly seen a number of great players for Les Bleus in his life-time. With the French currently world champions after their 2018 World Cup victory, it’s a nation that has seen some of the best players to ever grace the world of soccer. Picking five players was never going to be an easy task… but Coach Brillant gave it a go.
"For my five-a-side, I have gone with a very offensive team consisting of French players. In goal, I have selected Fabien Barthez, one of the best ever French goalkeepers. In front of him, I selected Patrick Vieira because he is a strong, box-to-box midfielder and he will also organize my defense. We have Zidane up front with Henry on the right and Mbappe on the left. With those three up front, I think we will destroy the opposition’s defense."
Fabien Barthez | Goalkeeper
The Frenchman made his name with Manchester United and after an impressive career with the Red Devils he is widely regarded as one of the best French keepers ever. The athletic shot-stopper is the perfect man for the job in a five-a-side team where passing ability and reflexes are critical. Not to mention the intangibles he will bring with his larger-than-life personality, aerodynamic frame and famous bald look. Brillant looks like he’s going for an out and out winner with the Frenchman bagging one World Cup and two Premier League Titles in his career.
Patrick Vieira | Midfield
Another Arsenal legend in the lineup for Brillant who had a personal relationship with Vieira when he coached NYCFC during Brillant’s time at the club. A powerful central midfielder whose control in the center of the park and relentless desire to win helped turn Arsenal into one of the most feared teams in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. You can’t lose a five-a-side if you never lose the ball and that will rarely happen with Vieira at the helm.
Thierry Henry | Forward
Say no more. Every five-a-side team needs a goal-scoring machine and you can look no further than Thierry Henry. The Arsenal, France and they-who-must-not-be-named in MLS legend, made his name with his poise on the ball and natural ability to find himself in goal scoring positions. No surprises here as Brillant goes for the player who can create and score from any angle.
Zinedine Zidane | Forward
Arguably, one of the most graceful and naturally gifted players to ever play the beautiful game. There’s no shortage of YouTube videos showing off his first touch and it’s scary to imagine how effective he would be in a five-a-side team. The Real Madrid legend was a visionary and was renowned for his ability to carve out passes for teammates with a scoring range that stacks up against some of the best players the world has ever seen. Zidane, as an out-and-out leader, will no doubt be competing for the captaincy with Vieira in Brillant’s five-a-side squad.
Kylian Mbappé | Forward
Speed. Control. Skill. A deadly combination in a five-a-side team. Paired with Zidane and Henry up front, this team will be dripping in goals. The young forward took the world by storm and has quickly become one of the most revered attacking players on the planet. Good luck catching Mbappe when he gets up to speed and he will undoubtedly feast on passes from Zidane, Vieira and Henry to score while also providing some passing flair himself.