The Ultimate One-man Team – Part 1: Line-up and rules!

Welcome to the prelude of “The Ultimate One-man Team”, where we will simulate a league with 28 teams consisting of just a single player. We will clone the player to get a starting 11 and plenty of benchwarmers to compete against all the other team!

On the FootbalSim subreddit, we asked users to suggest players and vote on the rules, and here are the results

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The rules

We’ve asked our subreddit readers to vote on 4 different rules to give shape to the simulation. The results were very close but we will try to apply all the answers with the most votes, bar FM2019 limitations.

1. Who should be the coach of each one man team:
A. A good coach who has a history with the players
B. Everyone gets the same coach

Answer A. got 57% of the votes and answer B. 43%. We’re going to try our best to make this happen. There’s a risk of bias because every coach has a preferred playstyle so it might give some players an edge to have a certain type of default coach.
Perhaps we will give a player like Xavi a possession-based coach and a player like Zlatan one with wing play for headers but keep the coaching attributes exactly the same for each player.

2a. Should the team contain a separate keeper
A. Yes
B. No, the player of the one-man team should also keep

55% votes yes, which will obviously change the results as opposed to having the field player in goal.

2b. What kind of keeper
A. Everyone gets the same shitty keeper
B. Everyone gets an average keeper (eg. Messi & Pinto)
C. A good keeper who fits the player (eg. Messi & Valdes)

Redditors voted overwhelmingly on “Everyone gets the same shitty keeper” with 56% of the votes

3. Should each team have a player in their prime + youth?
A. Only players in their prime
B. Prime + Youth players to warm the bench

Answer A. with 62%, which will mean that Young Yaya Toure will unfortunately not have a presence in this simulation!

4. Should the players be comfortable in every position from the start, or should they grow into their new positions?
A. Grow into their position
B. Every position from the start

Answer A. with 77%

The one-man teams

We have selected 28 players to participate in the league. That’s a lot so we have to test it a bit to see if they can keep up with fatigue. The players on the bottom of the list might be scrapped if we need to reduce the number of clubs, but we’re confident we can pull it off!

1. Christian Ronaldo & 2. Lionel Messi

We couldn’t run this simulation without settling the most discussed topic on the internet: Who is better? Ronaldo or Messi.
Will Ronaldo’s superior length and strength have the edge over Messi’s technical skills? We’ll find out.

3. Di Stefano, 4. Johan Cruyff, 5, Beckenbauer

Both Di Stefano and Beckenbauer are considered to be football legends with great all-round skills. Another name we had to put on the list is Johan Cruyff, if not only to see if a team of Cruijfs can apply total football successfully and perhaps win it all…

6. Gullit, 7. Koeman, 8 Matthäus

Matthäus and Gullit came recommended by Reddit for their great all-roundness. It will, however, be interesting to see if Lothar’s short length will cost him some costly points. The complete our 90s line-up we’ve added Koeman to see if the scoring defender can perform well with his dangerous free-kicks.

9. Kuyt, 10. Großkreutz, 11. O’Shea, 12. Milner.

Four workhorses who are not the most skilled players in this line-up, but have all played in several positions during their career. Will their versatile experience prove to be an important factor in this simulation?

13. Gerrard, 14. Ramos, 15. Seedorf, 16. Yaya Toure, 17. Vidal

Five players who have the all-round skills to reach the top of the league.

Gerrard was our first pick for the league since he was the reason this website even exists! Obviously, Yaya has to be in here as well as he was the test subject of our first simulation.
Ramos was a very popular choice on Reddit, with many expecting his defensive and header skills to make a difference.
Then we have Vidal, who is comfortable in every position in football manager 2019, giving him a head start in the first season.
Last but not least is Seedorf, who had a massive presence in Milan’s midfield in the early 2000s, combining his defensive skills with great technique, leadership, and a perfect free kick!

18. Alaba, 19. Azpilicueta, 20. Roberto Carlos

Three fantastic fullbacks: Azpilicueta who was famously quoted by Mourinho saying: “A team with 11 Azpilicuetas could win the Champions League“, Alaba who won the Euro 2016 clone league by Redditor u/astrowhiz, and Roberto Carlos who was known worldwide for his fantastic long free kicks.

21. Xavi

Chosen to see if he can win it all by just keeping the ball in possession 90% of the match.

22. Akinfenwa

Likely the one who ends last but perhaps his massive strength will have a part to play to prevent that.

23. Zlatan

24. Rooney 25. Carragher

Very popular suggestion among Redditors, likely because of memes

26. Gary Breen

27. Van Dijk

The best player of 2019 deserves a spot in the league, will his headers make waves?

28. Neuer

Perhaps one of the best sweeper keepers of all time. Will contest Akinfenwa for the bottom spot as FM does not give keepers a lot of good stats for on the field. We will give him a Neuer to play in goal though as a bonus!

1 thought on “The Ultimate One-man Team – Part 1: Line-up and rules!”

  1. I think it would have been interesting to see Jorge Campos, the Mexican sweeper keeper/forward as one of the teams as this is a very versatile player with interesting implications for a one-man team!

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