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Spain v Italy 5-a-side
  1. Football
  2. Euro 2024

Spain v Italy: Ultimate 21st century 5-a-side teams

Ahead of the Group B heavyweight clash in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday, we've devised two fantasy 5-a-side teams comprised of both nations' most distinguished talents since the turn of the 21st century.

Spain 5-a-side team:

GK: Iker Casillas

A stellar two-decade-long playing career saw Iker Casillas capture every available title at club level, captaining Real Madrid as part of his long and poignant stint as Los Blancos' number one.

Casillas was just as consistent and successful at an international level too, with the stopper now Spain's second most capped player of all time having made 167 appearances, whilst also representing La Roja at nine major international tournaments.

Casillas skippered his country as they triumphed at the Euros in 2008 and 2012, as well as the World Cup in 2010.

DF: Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is considered one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game.

He, like Casillas, also captained Real Madrid, playing a key role as they landed three successive Champions League titles.

In the national team, Sergio Ramos holds the record for the most appearances ever for Spain, pulling on the red jersey 180 times as well as scoring 23 goals from defence.

Despite spending the majority of his career at centre half, Ramos played right back primarily for Spain as they lifted the coveted titles at Euro 2008 and 2012 as well as the 2010 World Cup.

MF: Xavi

A product of Barcelona's famous La Masia, Xavi spent his entire European career at the Catalonian club, appearing 505 times and spanning across 17 years.

He also represented Spain 133 times, scoring 13 goals during that time.

His style of tiki-taka football put him at the heart of a Barcelona midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta that outclassed sides for over a decade, winning every trophy you can win at club level, including a sextuple in 2009.

Xavi finished third in the running for the Ballon d'Or in successive years between 2009 and 2011, a run that coincided with his success on the international stage for La Roja.

MF: Andres Iniesta

Midfield maestro Andres Iniesta was another product of La Masia that saw him play for Barcelona on 442 occasions.

Iniesta was a key figurehead for Spain from 2006 to 2018, where he won the Euros of 2008 and 2012, as well as the Word Cup in 2010.

He played 131 times and scored 11 goals for his country, with his most important contribution coming in extra time, against the Netherlands, a goal which ultimately sealed the World Cup for Spain.

Iniesta is still to this day the only player to win 'Player of the Match' award in a European Championship final, a World Cup final and a Champions League final.

FW: David Villa

David Villa is one of the most prolific goal scorers this century.

He scored 330 times in 617 appearances for eight different clubs, six of which played in La Liga. However, his most successful period trophy-wise came in a Barcelona shirt, which saw him win land every major title there was to play for.

Villa translated his eye for goal to a Spain shirt which saw him become their all-time record scorer, with 59 goals in 98 appearances, whilst he also spearheaded the attack in La Roja's 2008 Euro victory, winning the Golden Boot in the process.

Italy 5-a-side team:

GK: Gianluigi Buffon

A timeless figure between the sticks in Italy, Gianluigi Buffon was a constant on the international scene for almost three decades.

Beginning his career in 1995, Buffon played for another 28 years, most notably spending 19 seasons at Juventus and winning 10 Serie A titles.

The Italian shot-stopper has made the most appearances by any player for the Azzurri with 176 and has subsequently kept the most clean sheets for the national team with 77.

Buffon's most successful spell in an Italian jersey saw him win the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he kept five clean sheets en-route to their crowning glory.

DF: Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro is one of the all-time great defenders, and one of the even fewer to win a Ballon D'or.

Boasting an illustrious career across some of the world's biggest clubs, Cannavaro was a rock at the back for both club and country.

Cannavaro is the second most capped Italian player ever, behind Gianluigi Buffon, whilst he has been bestowed the honour of captaining his country in 79 occasions.

"Il Muro di Berlino" had his finest season in an Italy shirt in 2006, where he captained his nation to World Cup glory - winning the Ballon d'Or and then making a high-profile switch to Real Madrid for €7 million.

MF: Andrea Pirlo

Another legend of the game, Andrea Pirlo is known as one of the most elegant midfielders to have graced the turf.

Pirlo was renowned for his vision, technique and creativity across the globe, however it was Italy who solely got enjoy the maestro, barring a brief spell in New York.

Pirlo displayed the same talent for country as he did for club, representing the Italians 116 times - the seventh most capped player in their history.

He competed in seven major tournaments, including their World Cup triumph in 2006.

FW: Francesco Totti

One of the rare one-club players, Francesco Totti was Roma through and through.

Having spent his entire career at the Stadio Olympico, notching a hugely impressive 250 goals, Totti's name will forever be etched into Roma history,

On the international stage, he made 58 appearances for the Azzuri, scoring nine times, whilst also featuring in the Euro 2000 and 2006 World Cup finals - landing the biggest prize the sport has to offer in the latter.

Despite, spending a shorter time in the national side than others, Totti's impact and legacy is unquestionable.

He is admired by even the sternest of Lazio fans for his footballing ability and services to Italian football.

FW: Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero is one of finest goal-scorers Italy has produced and showcased this in a stellar career for both club and country.

Having spent nearly 20 years playing his football for the Old Lady, and scoring over 200 goals, he is rightly renowned as one of the finest players to have ever played the game.

Del Piero's career for the Azzurri spanned an impressive 13 years, a run that saw him feature in seven major tournaments, including the 2006 World Cup, in which he and his Italian compatriots reigned supreme in.

During his spell in the national side, he scored 27 times in 91 appearances.

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