Fan Culture

All Ugly World XI 2010


After reading about 4,237 different best XI of the decade lists, I thought I’d switch it up a bit.  I wanted to consider not just the most gifted players of the Premier League or La Liga or Serie A, etc. but rather the most talented footballers who also possess the uncanny ability to make babies cry and camera lenses crack.  Yes, it’s that time- the All Ugly World XI!  These are the 11 players of world football who simultaneously make us cringe and smile.  The footballing geniuses that fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.  Players like Carles Puyol:  the Barca hardman who once took a ball to the face, prompting Gol TV commentator Phil Schoen to yelp, “Ouch!” and Ray Hudson to wittily (and accurately) retort, “Ah Phil, it doesn’t matter anyway, poor Carles”.

These eleven masters of the beautiful game aren’t just ugly, they’re downright hideous.  And they aren’t just great players, they’re the cream of the crop; starters for their respective national teams and heroes at club level.  They don’t win beauty contests, but they sure do win football matches.  If you’re lucky enough, you might even see their deformed faces at this year’s World Cup in South Africa or in HD, or better yet- experience their hideous genius in 3D!

Whatever medium you choose, you can’t miss these eleven world beaters, those players with the unique ability to make you both erupt in applause and turn to stone.

Without further ado, here is our All Ugly World XI team for 2010:

GK:  Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United and Holland):

The United and Oranje shot stopper is Holland’s all-time appearance leader, two-time European goalkeeper of the year, and two-time Champions League winner.  He’s been named to the PFA team of the year twice and was the Euro 2008 goalkeeper of the tournament.  And who can forget him psyching out Nicholas Anelka on that rainy night in Moscow?  Pure genius.  Yet, he makes it to our list for looking exactly like a terradactyl.

RCB:  Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil):

Here’s all you need to know about Pep’s first-choice right back:  he’s been in nine finals in his career…and won them all.  But is it just me or does he look like an evil elf from some really bad horror movie?

CB:  Martin Skrtel (Liverpool and Slovakia):

Named the Slovak player of the year twice in 2007 and 2008, and the runner-up once in 2006; Squirtel, as I like to call him, won the Russian Premier League with Zenit in 2007 before moving to Anfield where he became a regular (or as much of a regular as you can be in a Rafa Benitez side) who narrowly missed out on a Premier League title in 2009.  I think a picture is worth a thousand words here.

LCB:  Carles Puyol (Barcelona and Spain):

What hasn’t the guy won in his illustrious career?  He’s a multiple Champions League, La Liga, and Spanish Super Cup winner with the Blaugrana as well as a European champion with Spain in 2008.  I guess the answer would be a modeling contest.  He’s Cousin It in football boots.

RM:  Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool and Israel):

This tricky winger has been runner up in the FA Cup, Premier League and Israeli Premier League winner.  He’s been named the IPL’s most valuable player and currently dazzles on Merseyside.  He announced his arrival this Fall with a spectacular hat trick against newly-promoted Burnley.  He is the current captain of Israel.  Unfortunately, he also narrowly beat out Gary Neville for player most likely to be confused with a cheese rat.

DCM:  Javier Mascherano (Barca…whoops, I mean Liverpool and Argentina):

Known for his brash challenges and tidy passing, the Liverpool midfielder is one of the best in the world at protecting the back four.  His impressive display against Manchester United in Rafa’s 4-2-3-1 formation this season solidified his status as the Premier League’s best holding midfielder.  The guy never stops working.  And he never stops looking like he hasn’t fully evolved.

ACM:  Luka Modric (Spurs and Croatia):

Spurs’ diminutive middie is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League.  What an immediate difference he made to a stagnating Spurs side upon his return a few weeks ago.  His creativity dazzles for both Tottenham and the Blazers but he looks like a bridge troll, plain and simple.

ACM:  Ronaldinho (AC Milan and Brazil):

What can we say about Toothy that hasn’t already been said?  He’s the reason we play in Casa.  He’s the reason we play 5 a side.  He’s the reason everywhere around the world, some kid is kicking a ball.  He’s an absolute genius.  When he’s on song, there’s almost no one else better to watch.  However, he is the tangible manifestation of Jar Jar Binx.

LM:  Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France):

Undoubtedly one of the top 5 players in world football today.  His mazy runs for Munchen and France have become Francky Face’s trademark.  The French footballer of the year for 2007 and 2008 and the Bundesliga player of the year for 2008, Francky isn’t a beauty queen but he is a world beater.  Let’s hope they drain his toenails enough so he can be tearing up the flanks for Les Blues this summer in South Africa.

ST:  Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool and Holland):

The original All Ugly.  Say what you will about the Eredivisie’s defending, 151 goals in 207 appearances is a staggering goal record.  Known for his industry and unbelievably high work rate, Dirka Dirka is our second striker.

CF:  Carlos Tevez (Manchester City and Argentina):

Ah, a staple in any All Ugly squad.  The energizer bunny himself, Carlito Tevez.  Some accuse him of being more perspiration than inspiration, but I can’t agree with that considering he single-handedly kept West Ham up in 2007 and became a cult hero at Old Trafford in 2008 with more than a handful of crucial match winners.

So, there you have it.  A collection of eleven gargoyles that  can’t be beat.

Now it’s time for you to help with the bench.  Schweiny anyone?


  1. Skrtel??? Seriously Skrtel????

    He’s easily one of the best looking in LFC!

  2. How dense do you have to be to a) write this crap b) actually pass this for a legit article c) actually allow this to be posted?

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