Eddie Barnes

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Eddie Barnes was a midfielder on the Zwangzug national football team, and later became the manager of Clube Comercial. A star at Dunboor FC, Barnes competed on the national team from World Cup 35 through World Cup 41 and is a member of the World Cup Hall of Fame.

A native of Arlington, Eddie was not the first Barnes to "play for" the national team; one or the other of his sisters, both passable instrumentalists, generally performed the national anthem before games (actually singing the thing is generally too patriotic for Zwangzug). Also unusual for Zwangzug was growing up watching and caring about football, as Eddie did; the excitement he expected was not present when he joined the team. Still, he was able to appreciate the significance of a victory against Rejistania; playing against the top teams brought out his best. That was never truer than in World Cup 36; with Zwangzug springing upset after upset, Barnes rose to every occasion. In the quarterfinal against the hosts Cafundéu, Barnes assisted on the winning goal and forced a mistakenly-disqualified own goal. It was enough to make him Man of the Match and make him famous in Cafundéu; he was named to the tournament's Best XXIII and signed with Dunboor after the tournament. They would win the title the next season, with Barnes named the league's third-best player despite playing in the offensive midfield, rather than defensively at the national level.

Barnes had made his way back to the defensive midfield and become the team's "idol" by the next season, when he was named second-best in the league despite Dunboor's mild dropoff. He scored his only international goal in Zwangzug's 7-1 demolition of Scotchpinestan during World Cup 38 qualification. By World Cup 39, Barnes' popularity in Dunboor had grown to the point that some fans rooted for Zwangzug as well as Cafundéu. He was part of the the Cafundelense League Best XI that was assembled to take on and defeat the Landau institute, and named second-best in the league for a second time after Dunboor finished second in Season 7. Once again competing as part of a representative team, he scored against Yafor 2 in a friendly match before World Cup 40. Barnes made the second teams-of-the-season for Seasons 8 and 9.

By World Cup 41, Barnes' penchant for rising to the occasion in big games had faded into a penchant for slacking off against weaker teams, and he spent the qualifiers on the bench. He returned to the starting lineup for the proper, but when he was beaten in the midfield to set up Starblaydia's only goal in the first knockout round, it seemed as if an era had ended. It hadn't quite. After his international retirement, Barnes won a second title with Dunboor in his final season there, being named fourth-best player overall. And despite not directly helping Zwangzug to qualify for World Cup 41, Barnes was awarded his country's third Hall of Fame slot.

In some ways, Cafundéu represented relative freedom to Barnes. Seeking to stay there and participate in an organization with as broad a scope and importance to the country as football, Barnes became a tax collector. In Season 16, however, he returned to football as the coach of Clube Comercial, then in the second division. They were promoted that season, and were surprising winners of the State Champions Cup in Season 17. Clube Comercial ultimately finished 13th in Season 17; Barnes was named the league's fifth-best coach. He earned that distinction again after the team's seventh-place finish in season 18. In Season 23, Clube Comercial won the league championship, and Barnes was named coach of the season. The next season, he was ranked second-best coach after Clube Comercial came second in the primeiro turno. Season 26 would see Barnes deemed fifth-best among coaches (Mercenários were third in the regular season).