World Football's Frighteningly Good Halloween XI, Featuring Zlatan Ibrahimowitch
What's your scariest moment in football?
Watching your team concede a last-minute goal in the derby? Seeing your team drawn away in the third round of the FA Cup for the 20th year running? Or seeing them linked with Grimsby Town's third-choice left-back in the gossip column?
We've all got the odd player who sends shivers up our spine when they're named in the starting XI, but who would make the scariest Halloween XI of all?
Absolutely no apologies are made for the nature of the bad jokes, one-liners, one-worders or spellings within this article. Thanks to Samuhell Tighe for his invaluable input.
GK: Casper Schmeichel
Who else in goal but the (probably) friendly Casper down at Leicester City, Kasper Schmeichel no less.
Everyone is familiar with his father's scary outbursts during his time as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and the younger Schmeichel is trying to follow suit as he and his side bid for promotion back to the top fright—sorry, top flight.
DF: Silence of the Lahm
An oldie but a goodie.
One of the more terrifying films of recent history has nothing on how scary it is to realise that Philipp Lahm is still only 29 years old.
The Bayern Munich and Germany defender has already achieved so much yet only seems to be getting better. He captains the side in a frighteningly lopsided 4-2-2-2 formation.
DF: Martin Scare-tel
You don't want to get on his bad side...
Some might say Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel has the look and the demeanour of someone who wears a Hallowe'en mask all year round, and his bone-jarring tackles have left many a forward in a crunched heap on the ground.
He has overcome some horrifying form in the early part of the year to win back his place this season.
DF: Jonathan Spectre
Former West Ham man Jonathan Spector is plying his trade in the Championship these days, but it's not all doom and gloom.
He's a regular in the starting lineup, in midfield or in defence, as his side Birmingham City look to avoid the dreaded drop down yet another division.
Aged 27, he still has time to reignite his faltering international career with the United States, but his last cap was more than two years ago. It might be a season of despair for the versatile man on current evidence.
DF: Satan Baines
England's current left-back has had a wonderful couple of seasons at Everton and is sure to be in the World Cup squad next season.
Defensive walls stand in terror and he gives goalkeepers nightmares when he looms over a dead ball. Ahem.
Oh, and his hair was pretty blood-curdling, too, last season.
MF: Robert VamPires
Our one tip of the hat to former players is to former Arsenal man Robert Pires, who continues to haunt the club's training ground to keep fit even this season.
Technically, Pires hasn't actually retired, though he has been without a club for some time, but his supernatural powers on the pitch mean he'll probably find one last team to turn out for before hanging his boots up.
MD: Sofiane FeGHOULi
Over to Spain now and Valencia's ghastly season, where Sofiane Feghouli has been one of their eerily disappointing performers so far.
In and out of the side, the Algerian winger has yet to score in the league this term, with Los Che sinking like a stone to the lower half of La Liga table.
AM: Julian Draxula
A scary sight for opposition defenders over in the Bundesliga is that of Schalke's Julian Draxler in full flow.
He's fast, strong, tricky and
afraid of garlic skilful, everything you could want from an attacking midfielder.
Count Draxula's runs past defenders and you'll soon see why defenders bite off more than they can chew when they attempt to stop him one on one.
AM: Mario Ghostze
Staying in Germany, few players can seem to vanish into thin air in the final third like Bayern Munich's Mario Gotze.
His now-you-see-me, now-you-don't ability to drift through defences unmarked makes it seem as though he can walk through walls at times, while a quick feint right or left seems magically to open up spaces for his team-mates.
He's got much to prove this season, though, and not everyone believes in him at this level.
FW: Zlatan Ibrahimowitch
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in terrifying form of late, and the scariest thing is probably that he's not afraid to let anybody know it.
Zlatan's ghouls come in all styles and from all ranges and seemingly at key moments in matches, too.
Forget pumpkins, this Swede is all you need to light the path to goal.
FW: Ricky Van Werewolfswinkel
We finish up with one you've possibly seen elsewhere—Norwich City's own penalty box nightmare, Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Whether or not he turns half-beast at the full moon can't be confirmed, but the Canaries wouldn't mind him bringing a little more blood and guts to the fight at the weekend than he has done so far.
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