The 101 Great Goals World Cup 2010 Fantasy League

The greatest football event on earth is almost upon us, and what better opportunity for 101 Great Goals to show off all the knowledge accumulated over the past few years of watching the world’s footballers.

Better yet, why not test ourselves against you, the loyal readers, through the tried and tested method of a FIFA World Cup 2010 Fantasy League? Whether you’ve never played Fantasy Football before, or consider yourself an experienced pro, playing in a Fantasy League is a great way to add some extra interest and excitement to your World Cup. Even Paraguay versus New Zealand can be an eminently watchable game to the neutral, if you’re cheering on Roque Santa Cruz in the hope that he scores a bagful against the Kiwis.

Put simply, in a fantasy football competition, each individual manager is given a budget to purchase a squad of real life players. When your players participate in real matches during the World Cup, you will be awarded points based on their performance.

Over the week leading up to the opening game of the tournament, we’ll be offering you some tips and advice regarding team selections, covering not just the obvious choices (Messi, Rooney etc.) but also some players you may not be so familiar with, but who might help contribute some useful points to your campaign.

Best of all, we’ve set up a private 101 Great Goals league, so that you can test yourselves against all the other readers of this site.

Q. So how do I enter this competition?

A. 101 Great Goals will use the McDonalds FIFA World Cup 2010 game. This is the official game, hosted on FIFA’s own website. It’s free to enter, and remarkably easy to join. To start, you will need to visit the website at http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/ (make sure you bookmark it) and ‘Sign Up Now’ with FIFA’s official website. Once your registration is complete, return to the game website and log in. You will be asked to select a team name. On the toolbar, click on ‘My Leagues’, click on ‘Join League’ and enter the league code 134044-31709. Success! You have been added to the 101 Great Goals league.

Q. What about selecting a team?

A. Team selection does not open until Friday 4th June. This is because the previous day is the deadline for the 32 World Cup managers to confirm their final 23 man squads. Once selection opens, you will have a week to pick and fine-tune your team before the games get underway. You will be able to make transfers as the tournament progresses.

Your squad, like the real squads competing in the World Cup, must comprise 23 players. You will need to select 3 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 8 midfielders and 5 forwards. For the Group stages, you are only allowed to select 2 players from any one competing country.

Each player has been assigned a value from 1 – 10, with values reflecting, in the opinion of the game’s developers, the likely success of that player in terms of scoring Fantasy points during the World Cup. You will have a mere 150 points to play with. Whilst the idea of signing Messi, Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Torres might appeal, this will likely leave you short of depth in other positions in your squad, so spend wisely.

Q. How does scoring work?

A. There are seven ‘game rounds’, and for each, you’ll need to choose a starting XI and a captain from your 23 man squad. Your starting XI must be in a valid formation – choose between 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 5-3-2 or 5-4-1. Note that players can only play in their designated positions.

During the round of games, players will score (or lose) points for a number of different reasons, detailed below. Actions occurring during extra time count, but penalty shoot-outs do not. Game scores are updated live as matches progress.

Points are awarded for:

Playing 1-30 minutes 1

Playing 31-60 minutes 2

Playing 61+ minutes 3

Goal 5

For each goal assist 3

Goalkeeper clean sheet * 6

Defender clean sheet * 4

Midfielder clean sheet * 1

For every 2 saves – Goalkeeper 1

For every save – Outfield player 1

For every penalty save 5

For every penalty miss -2

Foul causing a penalty -1

For every 2 goals conceded by your goalkeeper or defenders -1

Own goal -2

Yellow card -1

Red card (includes any yellow card points) ** -3

*A clean sheet is defined as conceding 0 goals and playing 61+ minutes.

**If a player receives a red card, he will continue to be penalised for goals conceded by their team.

Additionally there are attacking and defending bonuses.

Attacking bonus

For every 2 balls delivered into the penalty area * 1

For every 5 balls given away players ** -1

* Ball entry into attacking penalty area whilst maintaining possession: Player making run, Player passing, Player receiving, Cross.

** Total lost balls – sum of wrong passes (except wrong clearances) and losing possession tackles suffered

Defending bonus

For recovering a ball * 1

For every 3 fouls committed ** -1

* The sum of gaining possession tackles and clearances completed

** A foul where a free kick is awarded
 
Q. What about substitutions?

A. During the round of matches, you are able to make substitutions, if you choose.

If you decide not to make any substitutions, and let the games unfold, any players in your team that do not participate for their country will be automatically subsituted out at the end of the round of games, and a replacement will be used instead. Note that automatic substitutions will only be made providing no substitutions or captain changes have been made during the game round.

Alternatively, you might decide to take a more hands-on approach, making substitutions as you go along. You can make an unlimited number of substitutions during a game round, but you must maintain a legal formation, and you can only substitute in players who are yet to play in that game round. You cannot substitute out a player who has been sent off. If you remove a player from your starting XI and replace him with a substitute, then your original player’s points for that game round are lost, and you cannot substitute him back in. 

Q. What is the purpose of the captain?

A. Your captain scores you double points for that game round, so pick wisely. If your captain underperforms, you can change your captain before the game round ends, switching in someone who is yet to play, providing your original captain was not sent off. If your captain does not play, and you don’t appoint a new captain, then the bonus is lost.

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There is plenty more on the ‘help and rules’ section of the official Fantasy game website. And remember to stay tuned to 101 Great Goals in the week leading up to the opening game, as we provide our tips to make your team a real Fantasy contender.

So sign up now. And tell your friends. By July 11th, you could be crowned 101 Great Goals Fantasy Champion!