With Serie A champions Juventus set to face Singapore Selection at the brand new National Stadium in 7 days, FourFourTwo continues to pick the starting XI we'd like to see take the field from both squads.
But here's the twist. Instead of posting our predicted lineups all at one go, Jeremy Lim and Dominic Neo will reveal one member of the team each day, as we count down the number of sleeps till the big match.
Without further ado, we present FourFourTwo Picks: The Left-backs.
Allez viens Evra!
Team: Juventus FC
Patrice Evra’s career has now come full circle. After starting out professionally with little Marsala and Monza, the Frenchman is back on the Italian peninsula and dining at top table this time with Juventus. In the years before he arrived at the Italian champions, Evra was busy racking up as many career milestones as he could. Amongst them had been contesting four Champions League finals with Monaco and Manchester United, the latter with whom he finally tasted success in Europe’s premier club competition.
The 33-year-old witnessed first hand the affection of his new club’s supporters for the first time in Jakarta, where his new side played the first friendly in it's tour of Asia-Pacific. Their hunger and passion struck him. “In all honesty I didn’t expect such a welcome from the fans, as I thought that only happened with United,” he confessed. As things turned out, it was Evra’s wish to experience the burning desire to win again that led him to join ambitious Juventus: “It is a big club like Manchester United and gives you the same sensations”.
A leader among men, Evra’s arrival brings pedigree to the Juventus defence. His accomplishments as a left-back in a four man defence gives new coach Massimiliano Allegri more options in Juventus' backline. Back in the country where his storied career began, the veteran will now look to see it out with one final hurrah.
Vive Le Camara!
Team: Singapore Selection
Club: Home United
“[Camara] is capable of playing for a top European club … if he had a Singapore passport, I would call him up”, said Singapore Select manager and national team coach, Bernd Stange. Not bad for a young talent who initially found it hard to live and work overseas, when he moved from France in 2011: “I called my mother and cried … I wanted to go back … Singapore is very hot so it was very difficult to breathe … my first game was very difficult”.
Things are much rosier now for the 1.78m Camara, whose parents are of Malian descent. He won the S-League Young Player of the Year award and the Singapore Cup in 2013 with Home United. 6 goals in 36 games capped a stellar breakout season for the left-footed full-back.
Strong, fast, aggressive and technically adept, Camara can fill in at centre-back and on both wings as well. Blessed with a sweet-left foot, the 22 year-old is a threat from set-pieces, not unlike Everton’s Leighton Baines.
Camara has come a long way. If he keeps progressing at the same rate, the sky’s the limit for him. This match against Juventus will be as good a chance to show Stange what he can potentially offer the Singapore National Team.
FourFourTwo will be at the Singapore Sports Hub on August 16 to watch the Singapore Selection take on Juventus FC. Will either of the French defenders come up big for their new sides? You'll only find out if you join us there! Tickets to the match - priced from S$45 to S$180 for adults and S$30 to S$45 for children – are still available at Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshubtix.sg). And don't forget a special National Day Promotion this weekend, with half priced childrens tickets when bought with an adult ticket. Additional adult/child tickets will also be 10% off.