The 8 Guys You Always Meet At A Five-A-Side Football Game

Are you the tactical blowhard, or the slide-tackling liability?

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely bad players.

And nowhere is that more evident than on the weekly five-a-side pitch, where we all have our specific role to play…

(Remember: if you don't recognise him, then he's you)

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The guy who loves a slide tackle

You told him about the strict 'no slide-tackling' rule. Three times.

But there he is: studs a full meter in the air, legs rigor mortis, jet-force momentum behind him, ready to tear a Total 90-shaped hole through the torso of some poor, quivering schmuck.

As the ambulances arrive, you'll see him strop off into the distance and mutter the words: "I thought this was a man's game?"

Professional equivalent: Roy Keane

The former child prodigy

It wasn't supposed to be like this. This guy spent his entire childhood on the books at Leyton Orient, strutting the school halls like a pound shop David Beckham, destined for a dizzy career in professional football.

But then he discovered girls, booze and apathy, and now here he is: joylessly dancing the ball around every player in sight; effortlessly spanking belters into the top right corner; silently regretting every life choice he ever made.

Each and every bad touch you take is a dagger to his soul.

Professional equivalent: Michael Johnson

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The guy who screams "track back!" non-stop for the whole game

...As he straddles the halfway line, making absolutely zero effort to do anything himself.

You're starting to suspect that he doesn't even know what "track back" actually means, but he's a pretty furious guy so best to leave it, really.

(Note: this is the very same player who swears under his breath whenever you get the ball)

Professional equivalent: Vinnie Jones

The guy who needs to go in goal

"Do you, eh, hurgh…" He staggers towards the goal, clinging his chest with both hands. "…do you, ohjesuschrist, huuuuurgh, ican'tbreath…" He's only been playing for 3 minutes. "…I think it's my turn in goal, please?"

You mercifully hand him the gloves, and watch as he crumbles between the posts in a red-fleshed heap. Maybe all those fags and chorizo slices weren't the perfect pre-match preparation, after all.

Professional equivalent: Neville Southall

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Terry

Oh look, thirty blokes with biceps the size of gammon joints are playing on your pre-booked pitch. They've definitely noticed you, so why aren't they wrapping up? Should you just tell them to… leave? Or patiently wait at the sidelines until they're done?

It doesn't matter what option you choose, because Terry the one-man war machine is already marching into the madness, ready to wipe the pitch clean by any means necessary. God bless that terrifying man.

Professional equivalent: Terry Butcher

The master tactician

He demands that everyone on his team huddle up before the match, just so that he can dish out complex tactical instructions that he's memorised from Football Manager.

"Right, Ian, you'll be playing the trequartista role today. I'll pivot on the left as a wingback-cum-anchor. I want everyone else sweeping box-to-box, okay? YEAH? LET'S GO."

If by that he means "everyone take a turn goal-hanging", he'll get his wish.

Professional equivalent: Tim Sherwood

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The Boney Bastard

A clash of knees with this man is like the touch of Death itself. Every bone in his impossibly angular body is capable of causing you severe internal bleeding at even the slightest contact.

And as if that isn't enough, he also insists on wearing proper metal studs, just to ensure that his feet are as dangerous as his set square elbows.

He's sent more men to A&E than every failed DIY project put together. Steer well clear.

Professional equivalent: Peter Crouch

The retro guy

The Bradford City 1992 home kit still holds up as a retro classic, but unfortunately your belly doesn't boast the same timeless appeal.

This guy spends a good hour struggling to fit into his beloved childhood shirt, which qualifies as more of an adult bib than a cool fashion statement.

Needless to say, he supports Borussia Dortmund and sincerely refers to himself as a 'false 9'.

Professional equivalent: Niklas Bendtner