5aside

My dream 5-a-side: Champion Slye by Justin Salhani

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You may have seen Champ doing the rounds on Guerrilla FC's Twitter account (ed note: Yo twitter support, get this sorted!). When not with us on the pitch he spends most of his days as a freelance media specialist. On the pitch, whatever the game demands he will deliver. Here's his five a side.

GK Gianluigi Buffon
Buffon's presence in the box and calmness in times of panic are his best assets. He is one of the greatest keepers to ever play the game and was doing it before some of us were even born. He's also adapted his game with the times.

Def Roberto Carlos
This left back inspired a whole generation of fullbacks to attack. He was the player that never backed down. He was tenacious down the left flank and was always in on tackles. He read the game fairly well and yeah, he had that sick left foot that could power through the Berlin wall if it was called upon. Funny how Roy Hodgson didn’t rate him in his Inter days.

Mid Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho would play at the base of midfield just for fun. He is the king. He brought joy to a generation that was being constantly pushed to a more civilized style of play. But through all this the man would always be smiling, no matter how bad it got. He is one of those players who understood that football is a spectacle and should always be fun.

Mid Lionel Messi
Alongside him would be the greatest player the world has ever seen. Nothing more needs to be said. We all know he is the best. Period.

Fwd Ronaldo
O Fenomeno was a pure goalscorer blessed with the physique and technique most would die for. He’d be bagging the goals left, right, and center. We're unfortunate that injuries robbed us of his talents.

Subs Cristiano Ronaldo & Zinedine Zidane
Two kings.

This team personifies Champ as skillful player who can get down and dirty if the need is there.

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Salhani

My dream 5-a-side: Omar Al-Banna by Justin Salhani

  Omar (right) in his infamous pants

Omar (right) in his infamous pants

Omar is the youngest member of Guerrilla FC. He's got a reputation for quick feet and a terrible selection of pants (the American kind not the British kind.) An alumnus of University of Maryland, Omar's alter ego labors as a civil engineer.

GK Iker Casillas
Having spent around 25 years with Real Madrid, Casillas stands as a symbol of loyalty to me in an era of modern football that has seen a growing culture of transiency in players and managers moving around chasing money and glory. Before he was shipped off to Porto after a shaky three-year period under Mourinho and Ancelotti, San Iker’s career with Madrid saw him earn numerable domestic and European honours that helped propel him to cult status among Madridistas at home and abroad. Noted for his leadership skills out the back, Casillas would make the ideal captain for my five-a-side team.

Def Paolo Maldini
A player that dedicated his life to one team, Maldini was a work horse whose tenacious grip on the game led him to receive praise from some of football’s finest talents. Noted for his ability to read the game and his technical skill on the ball, Ronaldinho was once quoted saying that one of the things that impressed him about Maldini was that “when he was on the ball, he did not look like a defender, but rather an elegant midfielder”. This only pays tribute to his being regarded as a complete footballer, an essential quality for a 5-a-side team.

Mid Johan Cruyff
In my opinion, few if any have contributed to football more than Cruyff. Not only did he enjoy an illustrious career as a player, but one as a manager as well. With his remarkable understanding of the game, Cruyff’s philosophies have been adopted by numerous youth academies in Europe as well as a generation of managers that applied it successfully in modern football (*cough* Guardiola *cough*) (ed- are you okay, Omar?). What really drew me to selecting him for my team was his beginnings on the streets of Amsterdam where he began developing his instincts that set him up to become one of football’s greatest icons.

Mid Zinedine Zidane
My favourite player and one of the greatest minds to have graced the game, Zizou was a playmaker whose elegance and demeanour enchanted millions, myself included. Of course, that was when he wasn’t head-butting other player in fits of anger, arguably testaments to his burning passion. Having only watched him towards the end of his career, his performances at the 2006 World Cup were ones that drew me to football in a way no other player could. To only add to his story, his vision of the game allowed him to come back to football after retirement and ascend Real Madrid’s managerial hierarchy to become one of the Madrid’s most successful coaches in only over two years at the helm. His vision and insight on the game only complement those of Cruyff and Maldini.

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Fwd Ronaldo
Growing up, I didn’t see other kids wanting to be like players as much as they wanted to be like O Fenomeno. On the international stage, his flair with the ball only served to make Brazil synonymous with skillful football. Every glory hunter and their mother were fans of the Brazilian team for which Ronaldo served as poster boy. What really captivated me about him was his remarkable dribbling and finishing talent which I could not and still do not really know how to explain. I could not think of a better number 9 for my team.

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Salhani

My dream 5-a-side: Werner Brito by Justin Salhani

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Werner Brito is the Guerrilla FC assist king. He joined us a few seasons ago and quickly
established himself as an integral part of the squad. An architect by trade Werner is always
creating on and off the pitch hence his nickname 'L'Architetto'. 

Def Paolo Maldini
At the back Werner chose Paolo Maldini. He went against the grain of getting a keeper.
Maldini is one of the best readers of the game. His technical ability is one of the most
underrated attributes. Maldini is known world-wide for his defending but people forget that
he could play anywhere. His intelligence and reading of the game would come in quite
handy in Werner’s team and his calmness under pressure would be key for the
team.

DM Sergio Busquets
At the base he would have Sergio Busquets. Not the most physical imposing of players but his ability to keep the ball is unrivaled and maybe among the best of all time. What he would bring is control and tempo of the game.  Yes, he might not be physical but why do you need
physicality if your technical ability is up top?

Mid Andres Iniesta
On the right he would have the DON. Yes, he would have Andres Iniesta. Not much needs to
be said about this pick. Iniesta is one of those players who makes you watch in wonder. Technically brilliant but at times he beats you with just simple things. For all his brilliance and fancy things people always overlook his ability to make the game look so simple.

Mid Juan Roman Riquelme
On the left he would have Juan Roman Riquelme - one of Argentina’s forgotten sons. Riquelme was a boss on the ball. He could get out of the tightest of spaces. For those who haven’t heard of him do you due diligence and get in on the Riquelme world. You’d be amazed by the things he did on the ball.

Point Pablo Aimar
Up top he would have 'El Payasito' Pablo Aimar. He was that guy on the pitch who was skinny and short but always had tekkers. He was a defender’s nightmare when driving at you. He was influential in his Valencia days and inspired the great Leo Messi. His ability to be
everywhere would put all defences on their hills, whether it’s him bossing it and dictating
from deep or running down the wing he caused issues everywhere.

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Sub
Ronaldo

For Werner, control and care for the ball is what is important. All his
players can control the ball in tight places. It's not the most physical of teams but who needs physicality when technique is on madness.

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Olivier Salhani

My dream 5-a-side: Ryan Symons by Justin Salhani

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Ryan Symons is the Chief Strategist of Guerrilla FC. He submitted his 5-a-side before the big news that Arsène Wenger wouldn't be carrying on next season and as a big Gunner he is gutted.

Where I grew up, we played 5-a-side with no keeper so I am going to leave the keeper out and start out in the back.

CB Patrick Viera
He's an Arsenal legend (come back!) and a top footballer. I also don't buy into the notion that you need pure defenders in small sided matches. He'll be a good physical presence who can read the game from the back, with great technical ability, and will make marauding runs forward. Everything you'd ever want in a 5-a-side back.

LCM Paul Pogba
I want a bit of flair in my midfield - someone that can both ball on their opponent and control the game with great technique and eye for the pitch. I also want someone that can attack and be creative from a more removed position. Don't let Jose's use of Pogba fool you - he's a #10.

RCM Jack Wilshere
I also want a Brit with good technique in my midfield (and also a Gunner). Jack is the perfect combination being an annoying POS to opponents, aggressive, and technically sound. Jack would be that guy you hated playing against because he was so quick and good in small spaces and would then kick the shit out of you while defending and not get called cause there were no refs. Really allows the playmakers to playmake, while not sacrificing the quality.

Free Ronaldinho
This speaks for itself. I want Ronny to embarrass every opponent every time he touches the ball, free space for the striker, and play as someone who sparks creativity in others. If he doesn't have 5 megs a game, it's been a bad game.

ST Thierry Henry
Henry is everything. Pure goal scorer, great technical quality, quick, and a good head for the game. All I picture is him coming in from the left and curling the ball inside the right post 10 times a game - minimum - in small sided.  

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Salhani

My dream 5-a-side: Justin Salhani by Justin Salhani

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Justin Salhani is a football purist. He's also the guy who has been behind Guerrilla FC since the get-go. He lives in Milan now so he's no longer a regular with Guerrilla Football Club but he still leads everything on the brand and conceptual side.

First, a disclaimer: my 5-a-side won't include Lionel Messi. I think he's the greatest player of all time, but my team isn't built to win. We're built to entertain, to suffer, and to experience the human condition. After we leave the pitch, we will have succeeded only if we've learned from our failures and grown as people.

In goal, I will have Gianluigi Buffon. His anticipation is the best I have seen from a goalkeeper. In a small sided game, I think a player like Ederson would be more useful, but Buffon has the perspective and personality to help us battle through hard times and face the darkness together.

At the base of an interchanging diamond, I would play Andres Iniesta. He is one of the most technical, skillful, and intelligent players I've ever seen. He's always calm, he combines well with players and excels at dribbling out of pressure.

On the right of the diamond, I would have Juan Roman Riquelme. His rhythm and control of the game would dominate any 5-a-side and the combination play between him and the others would be a work of art.

On the left of the diamond, is Zinedine Zidane. The most graceful player to ever step on a pitch. He can dazzle with the most simple of touches. 

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Up top, I would have Dennis Bergkamp. He's a player who got as much joy out of an assist as a goal and was another incredible technician. 

My manager of course would be Arsène Wenger because of his values as a man. He's someone who could teach all our players not just about sport but humanity and philosophy.

The team would be quite slow in big spaces. But I think we'd rarely have to chase the ball considering our superior level of technical quality and intelligence. All of our players bring a strong focus and have a higher ideal about football - beyond winning and losing. 

Justin Salhani is the founder and creative head at Guerrilla FC and lowsocks creative.

Words Adrian Kidaman - captain of Guerrilla Football Club

My dream 5-a-side: Diana Al Shammari by Justin Salhani

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Diana Al Shammari is a student at California State University. She's originally from Baghdad, Iraq and has also lived in Egypt. While growing up in Iraq, Al Shammari noted playing football was frowned upon for girls. This inspired her to write about these issues within the game. I've followed Diana's work for sometime and recently asked her to share with Guerrilla FC her dream 5 aside team.

GK Gianluigi Buffon
For me, he’s the greatest goalkeeper to ever stand between the goalposts. Legendary is an understatement to describe him.

Def Paolo Maldini
The only person I trust to play in defence in this hypothetical five-a-side. Unstoppable in his position and guaranteed to haunt strikers and whoever tries to face him. 

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Mid Zinedine Zidane
Can you blame me? The greatest midfielder to ever grace a football pitch and the greatest footballer ever for me. Bossing the midfield is guaranteed with him in this team and I’m sure he’ll provide some outrageously beautiful assists to the strikers.

Fwd Lionel Messi
What can I say? You simply can’t have a five-a-side without this magician in it. He’s simply unstoppable.

Fwd Gerd Müller
Der Bomber - one of the greatest goal scorers in history. Having him and Messi upfront would be every defender’s and goalkeeper’s nightmare.

Diana's on Twitter & Instagram

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Salhani

 

My dream 5-a-side: Raymond An by Justin Salhani

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Raymond An recently moved to Koreatown, Los Angeles from the DMV to pursue his passion of being a creator. His favorite club is FC Barcelona mainly due to Ronaldinho's influence, which also led him to study abroad there for a semester during Pep Guardiola's last season in charge. His football experiences include attending the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, El Clasico, a UCL semi, and in a couple months he’ll also follow the Korean team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

A notable footballing memory - he once snuck into the Spanish national team's bus in DC when they were at a nightclub. He slipped his way into an after-party but was caught by a bouncer and expelled. He said Pedro and David Villa were very nice and Sergio Ramos was pulling girls left and right.

I picked this team because well, I'm Korean and they're all legendary players for Korean standards! If my life depended on it I definitely won't pick this team and would probably look completely different. But I wanted to use this opportunity to shed some light on the Korean players that will probably never gain much, if any, recognition.

GK Oliver Kahn
Kahn is the one non-Korean player in my side. He is not my favorite keeper nor do I think he was the best of all time, but I enjoyed his badass attitude and sometimes you need that. Can you imagine him throwing it down on a 5v5 pitch where the players have no room to run away? And plus, there is not one Korean keeper that I really like.

Def Hong MyungBo (captain)
MyungBo was the dependable figure of Korean football during the 90s and 2002 World Cup when he lead the back line. If there was a penalty kick situation, you could count on him. I remember the penalty he took against Spain in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Youtube it. Cool like a Pirlo Panenka? Nah. Calm and cool like a Hong PK.

Mid Jisung Park
Park, probably the most important Asian and Korean player to play the game, was a model to a lot of Asian footballers you see today. His success was set the standard. Park will never stop running on a full pitch, you think he'll get tired on a 5v5?

Fwd Cha Bum-kun
Cha made a name for himself in the Bundesliga back in the 80s while playing for Bayer Leverkusen. He scored over 50 goals. That was the first for an Asian player.

Fwd Ahn Jungh-hwan
Ahn is one of the most prolific strikers in modern Korean football. He was the one who scored the golden goal against Italy in the 2002 round of 16 knockout match. His Italian club at the time, Perugia, terminated his contract for scoring that goal. Cha and Ahn will be the ones scoring all the goals for us both in quantity and in clutch moments.

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Subs Lee Young Pyo and Son HeungMin
Lee played for PSV and Tottenham. Asian players generally not flashy, but Lee had one heck of a step over and was not afraid to use it. Not even during his EPL debut with the Spurs.  A little trickery to unsettle the opposition in a 5v5 might be necessary.

Son, who we all know, is tearing it up for Spurs this season. Recent fans of Son might not be aware, but he was tearing it up in Bundesliga with both Hamburg and Leverkusen. The man knows how to score and if Cha and Ahn can't bring it, you know my Son will. Only reason why he's not staring is because in Korean culture, you respect your elders and it is probably smart to just let them play first.

Raymond An is a Creative Director for Guerrilla FC and check out his store RAYSBEACHCLUB for exclusive football street wear.

Words Adrian Kidaman - captain of Guerrilla Football Club
Edits Justin Salhani - founder and brand lead at Guerrilla FC

My dream 5-a-side: Adrian Kidaman by Justin Salhani

 Adrian Kidaman, Guerrilla Football Club's captain, poses in the soon-to-be-released Guerrilla FC Street Camouflage Scarf. Photo by Champion Slye.

Adrian Kidaman, Guerrilla Football Club's captain, poses in the soon-to-be-released Guerrilla FC Street Camouflage Scarf. Photo by Champion Slye.

Captain of our DC-based football club, Adrian Kidaman is a Nairobi-born playmaker with a penchant for nutmegs and using his first touch to make audacious turns. Here, he outlines his dream five aside team.

Over the past year a lot has happened with Guerrilla. A few of our team members retired or moved away but we've regrouped and recruited some fresh faces.

Yesterday, we dropped our 2018 Umbro Away kit and our mission to bring DC some football culture is still pushing on.

On the footballing front, Guerrilla FC continues to evolve - and as a way of reintroducing ourselves we asked members of the community to give us their dream five aside.
As captain, I'll go first.

GK Santi Canizares
In goal I would have retired Spain international Santi Canizares. I got to know of him
in his Valencia days (early 2000s) when they were bossing it in La Liga. Santi was capped
46 times by the Spanish national team, even though he never managed a start in an international tournament.  Valencia’s rise to topple the big two ensured him as a first-choice international for Spain during the 2002 World Cup but he missed out due to an accident with an aftershave
bottle cutting a tendon in his foot. The footy gods are at times foul.

Def Paolo Maldini
Maldini would be my only defender. The legendary Milan defender was a boss of a
player both physically and technically. He is a solid defender but it’s five aside and I need to have
players who are always attacking. His ability to read the game would be crucial in preventing counter attacks - something Guerrilla has always struggled with!

Mid Steven Gerrard
Gerrard for the simple reason that he could go mad at times and win you games through sheer will power.

Mid Zinedine Zidane
Zidane just because I have never seen any player in my life who can boss the game on so many levels.

Free Role Pablo Aimar
His great hair, pace and technique would be trouble for any defence in the world. For those who never got to see him, he was Messi’s idol so that alone justifies his inclusion.

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Subs Guti & Robert Pires
Guti for his vision and ability to control the game and Pires just because he was one of the last breed of what I called wonder wingers. They were players who just made it seem as though they were gliding down the wings without a sweat while bringing havoc to the other team’s defence.

While this is a pretty decent team would, I'm not sure if we would win anything with me as a manger. But I do know it would be fun to watch us try.

Words Adrian Kidaman
Edits Justin Salhani