IT’S a team that would take some beating with a forward line that would cause defenders around the world nightmares - but we are not talking about Spain’s all-conquering international side, or the players on Roman Abramovich’s radar as he plans his latest summer spending spree.
Instead, this intimidating line-up of footballing superstars is the Joseph’s Goal XI, with each player having thrown their support behind our very worthy cause.
The Joseph’s Goal campaign was launched last year in the Evening Post, to raise awareness of the extremely rare genetic disorder Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH).
Brave three-year-old Joseph Kendrick, who suffers from the life-limiting condition, is the son of our Latics correspondent Paul.
And through his dad’s sporting contacts, Joseph has met some of the football world’s biggest stars.
Leading the line for the JG All-Star XI – managed by QPR boss Harry Redknapp – is Manchester United pair Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, complemented with Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez.
Anchoring the midfield are Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Welsh legend Ryan Giggs, with England internationals Theo Walcott and Tom Cleverley adding a bit of extra flair.
In defence, former national captain Rio Ferdinand is joined by former Latics and Sunderland defender Titus Bramble, and Manchester City’s rising star Matija Nastasic.
And between the sticks is Liverpool and Spain ‘keeper Pepe Reina, who performed heroics at the DW Stadium to keep a clean sheet against the Latics earlier this month.
Paul, 36, said: “The support we have had so far has been overwhelming and to have such well-known stars show their backing for Joseph’s Goal has been amazing.
“Wigan Athletic have also been brilliant from day one and have helped us out so much.
“Several of the players including captain Gary Caldwell are ambassadors for the charity – and I’d pay good money to see a Latics/Joseph’s Goal squad take on this All-Star team!
“We have a big year coming up, with loads of interest in the bike ride from Wigan to London in May. On behalf of Joseph I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
For more information please follow @josephsgoal on Twitter, or visit www.josephsgoal.org and www.facebook.com/josephsgoal
To make a donation towards Joseph’s Goal, with every penny going towards research into NKH, please visit www.everyclick.com/josephsgoal