The starting eleven: rappers

Rapsoccer_medium

1. We're kind of playing a loose 4-2-3-1 here, if you're wondering about the formation.

2. Starting in goal, we needed length and athleticism. At around 6'5" and with a not insubstantial high school basketball career to his credit, 2 Chainz will more than do as a kind of Hakeem Olajuwon-in-reverse project.

3. Central defense requires some tenacity, energy, and fearlessness, and that's Waka Flocka Flame. Flocka brings along an impressive list of tangible and intangible soccer assets: height for headers, tattoos, and quality soccer hair. Wiz Khalifa takes the other spot based on his height and ability to calm Waka down when he gets a red card for obliterating a striker in the box. Wiz also fills out the tats requirement for central defenders nicely, though whether he can actually do anything is beside the point. He's there to keep things calm.

4. Fullbacks in the 4-2-3-1 have to be physical enough to cut off attacks down the flanks, yet fast enough to push the ball up the pitch. The veteran is Nelly, who like all veterans understands the value of fitness, but also knows how to conserve energy for when it's most needed. (For instance: Nelly has not done anything since 2004, and is waiting for just the right moment to pounce.) On the other side is Tyler the Creator, who fills out the role of team lunatic and hit man. You need a leg broken? Tyler is your man, though you'll never be sure exactly whose leg he's going to snap, or what that player's team will be. You want to see an Odd Future goal celebration; you NEED to see an Odd Future goal celebration.

5. Defensive midfielders represent the true strength of our team. Short, yes, but undeniably strong, and balanced nicely between Kendrick Lamar, the outlandish ball-hog incapable of taking a turn without destroying all other opposition, and Big Boi, the veteran capable of boundless creativity who understands the whole field. You might be wondering about Big Boi's conditioning: he's surprisingly fit, but we assumed he'd be doing a lot of passing and not much running, anyway. Also, this is totally made-up, so you should get upset about this, and about the combined nine and a half feet of defensive midfielder we're starting.

6. The three attacking midfielders are a mess, but you have to admit they're a fascinating mess. Eminem is the older star clearly down a step, and perhaps only starting thanks to an elaborate blackmail scheme involving the manager and a woman who is not his wife. He's volatile, still occasionally explosive, and prone to disappearing into his mansion for months on end. Drake is sulky and wildly popular, so he belongs up here, too. By simply putting on a jersey, he may already be the best Canadian soccer player ever. (Eat it, Craig Forrest.) Pitbull's starting job is part of a contractual agreement with FIFA; we have no choice thanks to Sepp Blatter's insane devotion to corporate synergy. As with everywhere else in life, Pitbull is here, and we're just going to have to enjoy him.

7. Big K.R.I.T. is a bold choice at striker, but consider his striker-y attributes: he comes out of nowhere, works alone a lot, and then swoops in after periods of inactivity to deliver thunderous scores.

8. Didn't make the squad for good reasons: Kanye (locker room cancer), Andre 3000 (shows up once every ten years at this point), 50 Cent (TV and endorsement obligations), Jay-Z (age, off-field issues, knees), Gucci Mane (legal issues, conditioning), Juicy J (failed drug test), Bun B (age, conditioning), Rick Ross (fitness issues), Shaq (Grown Ups 2), Lil Wayne (did not get permission slip signed by Birdman).

9. The manager is Action Bronson solely because we want to see him sweaty, angry, and in an ill-fitting suit.

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