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What if Manchester United’s players were Winter Olympic sports?

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Well, it’s either this or we talk about that Newcastle game.

OLY-2014-FREESTYLE-SLOPESTYLE-MEN Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Never liked football anyway.

Curling: Michael Carrick

Venerable, slow, and divisive. Curling is either a modest but affecting exercise in considered precision, or an inexplicable, ponderous waste of time. Carrick? Much the same. And both, by happy coincidence, are greatly improved by an angry Scot shouting “HURRY”.

Cross-country skiing: Chris Smalling

They, at least, have an excuse. They’ve got skis stapled to their feet.

Ski jumping: David de Gea

A question of nonsensical bravery, here. We don’t know how ski-jumpers can stand at the top of that violently vertiginous slope, look down, and not burst into tears and demand to be taken home immediately. And we don’t know how David de Gea can look at the defence arrayed in front of him without etc. and so on.

Speed skating: Ander Herrera

National stereotyping suggests that we should go for Daley Blind here, given the Dutch dominance over the sport. But we’ve gone with Ander Herrera because he, like speed skating, is at his most fun when everybody’s lying on the floor and nobody knows who to blame.

Bobsleigh: United’s back four against Newcastle

Four human bodies hurtling through space with little to no control over their destination, at the mercy of forces greater than they can hope to comprehend, hoping against hope that they won’t end up in a dizzy, humiliating pile. Oh dear. That’s them out of the medals.

Figure skating: Anthony Martial

Well, he’s got the twinkliest feet in the United squad. That’s the best we’ve got. However, if the conceit here was which players would we most like to see attempting the sports, here we’d be voting for the big man-little man pairing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata. Poor Juan would end up stuck in the rafters.

Nordic combined: Matteo Darmian

Here, clever Olympians take on two quite different sports, cross-country skiing and ski jumping, in an attempt to disguise the fact that they’re not actually good enough at one. We note here that Matteo Darmian plays both left- and right-back.

Ice hockey: Marouane Fellaini

”Oh, here’s a classic. I went to an elbowing in the face last night, and a Marouane Fellaini broke out. Ho ho ho.”

Alpine skiing: Nemanja Matic

The backbone of the United team, just as skiing is the backbone of the Winter Olympics. The solid, reliable, ever-present, kind of underwhelming backbone. As with defensive midfielders, one can never fully trust anybody who thinks the skiing is the best bit.

Biathlon: Romelu Lukaku

Because no matter how hard you work the rest of the time, it always comes down to the shooting.

Luge: Jose Mourinho

Something something going downhill at terrifying speed something something doesn’t really look to have any kind of real control something something is definitely going to start screaming soon.

Skeleton: Scott McTominay

Because there’s hardly any meat on him! Hooray! Next!

Freestyle skiing (excluding moguls): Paul Pogba

For two reasons. Firstly, because we reckon that the winter sports traditionalists treat all this fun stuff with the same harrumphing confusion that proper football men reserve for Pogba and his haircuts. And secondly, because we’re fairly certain Jose Mourinho has just as much of an idea what’s going on.

Moguls: well, obviously

Snowboarding: Alexis Sanchez

The most recent addition to the Olympics is, by happy and not at all contrived coincidence, the most recent addition to the Manchester United squad. Why? Er, because snowboarding is exciting yet involves quite a lot of falling over? Yes, that’ll do.

Thanks to Twitter user @ghosterson, whose joke we have bludgeoned to death.