Fancy being a fantasy football boss?
DIE-hard football fans, if you’ve ever wanted to manage your own dream team of Eden Hazards, Sergio Agueros, Dele Allis, Zlatan Ibrahimovics and Harry Kanes, look no further than your PC or cellphone.
The Fantasy League phenomenon has captured sports fans the world over, ranging from American football to baseball and, of course, soccer. The most popular of these is the Fantasy Premier League, which is centred around the real English Premier League and its players.
The fantasy league gives users a budget of £100 million (unfortunately, not real money) to select a team of 15 (two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards), and you’re only allowed to choose three players from any one team.
From the starting XI, users nominate a captain, who will earn double the usual points, and a vice-captain, in case your captain is unable to play.
The scoring system is simple: points are gained for goals scored/saved, clean sheets, and even for players playing more than 60 minutes.
After creating their teams, users can enter a league, which are either private or public, and if you know other fantasy players, you can create your own league. The fantasy team with the most points by the end of the season is the winner.
If you’re a bit more serious about it, the official FPL website awards prizes to the best managers every week, which include a Nike match ball, a copy of the latest Fifa video game and tickets to any Premier League game of the winner’s choice.
Antonio Baloka, an avid football fan and fantasy league player, said: “My friends and family are largely football fanatics, especially fans of England teams.
“Fantasy football is a means of proving how much you really know, and it gives you serious bragging rights.”
Baloka is a three-time winner of his private league, the Lekker League, in which he competes against family and friends.
Paul Miles, who has been playing for seven years, added: “If you are committed, competitive, have nerves of steel to even bet against your favourite English Premier League team so that your fantasy team scores big, then this game is for you.”
Miles and Baloka are close friends and compete against each other in the same league.
If you fancy your chances, why not sign up too? Visit www. fantasy.premierleague.com.