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Picking a five a side with current Villarreal players

What’s your strategy?

Atletico Madrid v Villarreal: La Liga Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What if the season were determined by a five a side tournament? Where Villarreal stood in relation to Europe, points, record, everything, on the backs of five players. Who would you pick off our current roster? We asked some of our writers to find out:


Here are my five. Mind you, I know nothing about this really!!!!

(1) Goalkeeper—Mariano Barbosa. Why? Well, he’s certainly rested, but also, he’s a keeper who will come out to block plays rather than just sitting on his line, and I think he could distribute the ball very well in this game.

(2) Pau Torres—he’s excellent at one-on-one defending and has the physical attributes to ‘clean up plays’ well.

(3) Manu Trigueros—Manu is a great short passer and could be the guy in the middle that things flow around. He’s full of energy and is willing to track back and defend.

(4) Gerard Moreno—he can score goals, of course, but more than that, he’s a hard worker on both ends and an excellent passer.

(5) Ruben Peña—he is a good dribbler, good two-way player, good passer and can shoot well too.

I realize I have gone for a team of strong passers and guys that I think can be strong at both ends of the little pitch. I thought about Chukwueze or Moi, and maybe if I am allowed to have subs those are the two I’d choose.


I’m going to build it at the futsal diamond form. Asenjo as goalkeeper, defending Pau Torres, Samu Chukwueze and Cazorla could go on the sidelines, Gerard Moreno upfront. That way you have one good defender, one forward with good shot and passing abilities, Samu is fast, while Cazorla can help a bit with the build of play

Editor’s note: I absolutely love that Raul is putting futsal tactics into this thing.


Yikes, slim pickings.

Andrés; Pau, Zambo, Gerard, Paco. I don’t know if this team would be any good but it would be fun.

Editor’s note: And isn’t that really what five a side is all about? Freedom of expression, creativity, FUN? If you want to hear more of Sid’s thoughts on our current roster and why he’s saying ‘yikes’ listen to our last podcast here.


GK Sergio Asenjo: I didn’t really pick him because he’s the starter, I picked him because his average defensive action is three yards further from the goal than Fernandez, and I want a guy who’ll come out and play.

D: Ruben Pena: He’s the most active dribbler of any defender we have, and in five aside willing dribblers tend to have a much larger impact than people immediately looking to get rid of the ball. (I should know, I’m the latter.)

MF: Santi Cazorla: If you lead the team in most completed nutmegs, you get a place on my five aside roster, it’s that simple.

MF: Zambo Anguissa: Big motor, tons of effective dribbling, covers a ton of ground. Every five aside team needs that box to box guy who feels like he’s everywhere. He’s also dribbled past more players this season than anyone on our team.

F: Ontiveros: I know, I know, we have like five forwards who are better players than he is and playing Onti leaves us without a central forward. But this is five a side, and my man averages more dribbles per 90 than anyone on the team and also attempts 7.5 tackles per 90. I want the commitment, the energy, the borderline recklessness.

Can Zambo and Onti cover enough ground to allow Santi to thrive as the center of the team? I have no idea, but I’d love to find out.

Final thoughts:

So, how bad did we do? Who would you have included? Would any of these teams actually be successful? Do you like futsal strategies? Tell us below.