The most highly-anticipated sporting event in the world – the 2018 FIFA World Cup – has started, coming around every four years to keep us glued to our television sets. This year's World Cup will see several super-talented players lined up to play; but looking at all those names made us wonder – what if there was a World Cup for cars? If there ever was one, here's what our Dream XI would look like:
Mercedes-AMG G 63
What you need at the goal is an intimidating but reassuring presence; a safe pair of hands coupled with speed. The name that comes to mind is the Mercedes-AMG G 63. It's big enough to occupy a sizeable space between the goalposts and, with its 563hp V8, has enough pace to be a sweeper-keeper who can quickly charge out of the box to take control of the situation – like Germany's goalkeeper and captain, Manuel Neuer.
Centre backs – Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender
At the back, the team requires a solid, near-impenetrable defence line; and the burly Jeep Wrangler would provide intimidation and muscle in spades. No one messes with a Jeep, so it's a shoo-in for this XI.
Teaming up with the Wrangler in central defence would be the Defender; and you have to admit, with that name, Land Rover's indefatigable 4x4 was just destined to be on this list. You could trust the Defender to get the job done. It would provide the solidity and reliability you'd look for in a – well – defender.
Right-back – Mini Cooper S
Surprised to see the Mini in this position? Don't be. The right-back, in addition to being a key cog of the defence, must also have the speed to double up as a wing-back and join the attackers. The Cooper S has the requisite turn of speed and would prove to be a thorn in the side of any opposition.
Left-back – Ford F-150 Raptor
Adding some more muscle to the back four would be Ford's imposing pick-up, the F-150 Raptor. Not only would it tower over the opposition with its sheer size; but its 3.5-litre, 450hp twin-turbo, V6 would also allow it to press forward and out-muscle the opposition's defence.
Central Defensive Midfielder (CDM) – Jaguar F-Pace SVR
The job of a CDM is to apply the brakes on the rival team's attackers and also to counter-attack when the opportunity presents itself. What you'd need in this position is an SUV that can also get going when needed – and the F-Pace SVR fits the bill. It's big (but not overly so), and with its 550hp V8, it will be able to get a move on when it's time to counter.
Central mid-fielders – Porsche 911 GT3 RS and BMW M3
It's the midfielders who create the chances for the attack. Needed in these positions are playmakers, and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS could well be one of them. It's light on its feet and as precise as they come, so you know the passes would be deft and accurate. And with its speed, the GT3 RS could also join the front three as an extra (and potentially lethal) attacker.
Alongside the GT3 RS would be the BMW M3. It's versatile, and has the power and pace to slice through the opposition and make that all-important break.
Left-forward – Ariel Atom V8
Yes, the Atom is diminutive, but then, so is Lionel Messi – and you see how he makes a mockery of the opposition's defence. The Atom V8 would be the super-agile, pacey attacker that'd dribble past its rivals and finds the back of the net more often than you'd expect it to.
Right-forward – Nissan GT-R
On the right, you'd probably need a more experienced forward, and the Nissan GT-R has been in the game for a long time, now. However, that hasn't diminished its potency – it can still keep up with most supercars when it comes to sheer speed, and considering how precise it still is, it would be the ideal candidate for the position.
Striker – Ferrari 488 Pista
What do you need from your striker? Speed, a sense of position, a cool head and millimetre-precision in front of the goal. What you're looking for, then, is Ferrari's most potent track weapon till date – the 488 Pista. It is explosive and yet measured in how it goes about things. It has all the makings of a star, like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Who you'd want in charge of this team, is someone with a good dose of aggression, sporting acumen, a sense of style and a loud voice that can be heard from the sidelines. This, then, is a job for the Urus – a goal-oriented taskmaster from whom you could expect fiery responses in a press conference, and animated gestures during a match.
What would your Dream XI car team be? Let us know in the comments section below.