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This question relates to my football (soccer) team. Last year my team competed in a football tournament, we did okay but we didn't achieve our goal of winning the tournament.

This year, I want to make a team for the same tournament but with other, better and higher quality players.

However, this is where the problem comes in, I'm personally friends with some of the guys that I want to 'cut' from the team. They could still play the tournament but they'll have to make their own team. I'm not sure how well some of the guys would take this, probably some of them not very well.

How can I break it to these guys that, whilst it's nothing personal, they're simply not as good as the other players without causing a rift to friendships?

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    What will happen when you have an all stars team and suddenly you are the weak link and they decide kick you out the team to improve their performance? If every losing team in the tournament kick his "low" quality players then you will have a tourney with 2 team. – Juan Carlos Oropeza Mar 18 at 19:14
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There's no easy way to do this. Their feelings will be hurt either way. Essentially you are saying that winning is more important than spending time with these friends. I am a competitive person too, so I understand your perspective.

I think that the only thing you can do is reiterate how much you like them, but for X reason you really want to perform at a higher level next tourney. And make an effort to hang out with them/still play soccer with them, because you will most likely see each other less.

Good luck. I think it's totally valid to want to perform better next time. This conversation will be hard, but if they are good friends and you make an effort to show them you care, I think there is a high possibility of maintaining those relationships.

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In the same vein as Adam Specker's answer, I think you are in a really rough situation here. The right answer really comes down to what kind of person your friends are.

You could, as Adam suggested, make an effort to play with them outside of the tournament. This might work, but there is also a chance that some of your friends will be a bit more spiteful. They might your efforts as a sign of pity, or they might be really offended that you think you're that much better than they are.

I really think the answer comes down to a few questions.

First, do your friends know that they are under-performing? If so that might make it easier.

Second, are you prepared to (in the worst case scenario) lose a friend or two, or at least be the group jerk for a few months? I'm sure they'll get over it in time, but yeah, some people might take it personally no matter what you say.

Lastly, and most importantly, do you value winning this tournament above spending time with your friends? Is it the winning that you enjoy, or is it playing with the people you like?

It's worth mentioning that I was in a similar situation a few months ago, but on the other side. I was in a minor E-Sports league, and it was pretty fun. I got to know some of the other players pretty well. I did under-perform a bit, though. At the end of the season, I was cut and replaced with someone who wasn't much better than me at all. It was annoying at first, but I knew that I wasn't doing great, and I accepted it. I still play with some of the people still on the team from time to time.

Long story short, they'll get over it. Or they won't, and you'll have found the friend not worth keeping. Someone who gets so spiteful over such a small thing is a dangerous friend to have. If you really want to get the gold, then your friends will probably understand. Just make sure the people you stock your team with live up to their reputation. You do not want to be put in the position of doing worse and having to tell your friends that you were wrong entirely.

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