Tuesday, December 15, 2015

If Yugoslavia went to USA 1994


Yugoslavia at the World Youth Cup, 1987.
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
United Kingdom 1970

United Kingdom 1982
France at USA 1994
USA 2010
Holland 2002
England 1974
What if Argentina sent this team to Sweden 1958

Yugoslavia in the 1990's has the potential to be among the greatest ever.  They won the World Youth Cup in 1987. The squad included several players who later found stardom in club football.  Then, in 1991, Red Star Belgrade won the European Cup.  They had a great run at Euro 1992 Qualifying rounds.  They won 7 out of 8 games and eliminated Denmark.  However, ten days before the tournament, Yugoslavia was banned from playing due to war in the region.  Denmark replaced them and went on to win the European Championship.  

I created a 22-member squad of Yugoslavia for the 1994 World Cup Finals.  This squad probably would be similar to Euro 1992 and 1996 as well. Yugoslavia actually announced an official squad for Euro 1992 before the ban.  Croatia and Slovenia already declared independent in 1991 so the their players were no longer available for selection.  All the Bosnians and Macedonians were also not included because of fighting.  The players I listed below, however, included players from all the former republics.

The year 1994 was a good year for Yugoslavian players.  Dejan Savicevic was among the best player in the world.  Along with Boban, he helped AC Milan to win the Champions' League that year.  Davor Suker finished as the second best scorer at La Liga. Slaven Bilic was voted the second best defender in the Bundesliga. They had the talents to challenge Brazil and Italy for the WC title.


Yugoslavia at World Cup 1990


The Team
GK Drazen Ladic
Ladic was first capped by Yugoslavia in 1991.  He became the starting goalkeeper for Croatia after the independence.  He proved himself to be a great keeper in the WC 1998 Finals, despite giving up two easy goals during the qualifiers.  He spent most of his career with Dynamo Zagreb.

GK: Tomislav Ivkovic
Ivkovic was the starting goalkeeper for Yugoslavia at the WC in Italy.  He left Red Star Belgrade in 1985 to seek for a career in Western Europe.  He played in Austria, Belgium and mostly in Portugal.

GK: Fahrudin Omerovic
Omerović begin his career in FK Sloboda Tuzla.  He spent four seasons playing in Tuzla, when in summer 1984 he was transferred to FK Partizan where he will become the main goalkeeper for the following 8 seasons. With Partizan he won two Yugoslav championships, two Yugoslav Cups, and one Supercup.  He transferred to Kocaelispor in 1992. He played Kocaelispor for 4 years. After he moved to İstanbulspor and played there for 2 years. He was capped eight times for Yugoslavia between 1989 and 1992.

RB: Zoran Mirkovic
Mirkovic was a hero at Partizan before heading to Serie A in 1996.  He spent two seasons with Atalanta and then, secured a big move to Juventus.  In summer 2000, Mirković signed a three-year contract with Fenerbahçe. 

RB/CM Branko Brnovic
Bronovic signed with FK Partizan in 1991, helping the Belgrade club to back-to-back national championships. In 1994, Brnović moved abroad and joined Espanyol in La Liga.  He was capped by Yugoslavia on six occasions. He also appeared during the UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying stage as the national team made it all the way to Sweden, only to be suspended due to the Yugoslav Wars.  Subsequently, Brnović represented the newly formed Serbia and Montenegro, being selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

CB: Slaven Bilic
His career began in 1988 with his hometown club Hajduk Split and he later had successful spells with Karlsruher SC in Germany, and West Ham United and Everton in England before retiring from active football in 2001. At national level, Bilić served as one of Croatia's most consistent defenders during the tenure of coach Miroslav Blažević, earning 44 caps between 1992 and 1999 and playing in UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup, helping the team to third place at the latter tournament.

CB: Miroslav Djukic
He spent 14 years of his professional career in Spain, notably at the service of Deportivo de La Coruña and Valencia, amassing La Liga totals of 368 games and 11 goals, and winning six major titles for the two clubs combined. He played at Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.

CB/LB: Sinisa Mihajlovic
He was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003.  He was one of the best defender in Serie , notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.

CB: Igor Stimac
He won 53 caps and scoring two goals, and a member of the Croatian squad that came third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He was also a member of the highly talented Yugoslavia under-20 team that won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. At the club level he played for Hajduk Split and, most notably, Derby County.

CB: Faruk Hadžibegić
He was capped 61 times for Yugoslavia from 1982 to 1992.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990.  He was also the captain of Yugoslavia during the Qualification for Euro 1992. He is the second most capped Bosian player for Yugoslavian national team.

CB: Predrag Spasic
Spasic was the starting centerback at Italia 1990.  Over the course of his career he played for FK Radnicki Kragujevac, FK Partizan, Real Madrid, CA Osasuna, Atlético Marbella and FK Radnički Novi Beograd, retiring at the age of 31.

LB: Robert Jarni 
He was a member of Yugoslavia's Golden Generation of the 1990's.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990 with Yugoslavia and later, represented Croatia at the WC Finals in 1998, where they reached the semifinal.  Professionally, he had played in big clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid. 


Jarni
CB/LB: Ilija Najdoski
He played for Red Star Belgrade and was part of their European Cup victory in 1991. He also played in Spain for Real Valladolid in Spain's La Liga and Denizlispor in Turkey's Super Lig.

DM:  Srečko Katanec 
In 1988 he joined VfB Stuttgart. This team reached UEFA Cup finals in 1989 and lost against Diego Maradona's Napoli. He stayed in Germany only one season. In 1989 he signed for Italian Sampdoria and already at his first season there he won European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1991, his Sampdoria won a "Scudetto", next year it reached Champions League finals and lost against FC Barcelona.  He played for both Yugoslavia and Slovenia national teams.

CM: Vladimir Jugovic
He was a member of Red Star Belgrade that won the European Cup in 1990.  He won another one with Juventus in 1996. He played at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 1998 for Yugoslavia.

AM/CM: Zvonimir Boban
He was the captain of the national team that finished third at the World Cup in 1998.  He was also an important player of the highly talented Yugoslavia under-20 team that won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. He waas also remembered for his career with AC Milan with whom he won four Serie A and one UEFA Champions League titles. 

AM: Robert Prosinecki
He was considered one of the most talented players from Yugoslavia in the 1990's.  In 1987, Prosinečki was named the tournament's best player as Yugoslavia won the World Youth Championship.  He then played for Yugoslavia at the 1990 World Cup and for Croatia at Euro 96 and the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.  For his club career, he played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, but he failed to establish himself at neither club.

AM: Dragan Stojkovic
He is considered one of the best players in the history of Yugoslavian and Serbian football. He starred for Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup (where he was named in the World Cup All-Star Team) and 1998 FIFA World Cup where he captained the team. He was a star player at Red Star Belgrade, but he was playing for Marseille when Red Star Belgrade beat Marseille in the 1990 Final of the European Cup.


Stojkovic


AM: Dejan Savicevic 
He was a part of the Red Star Belgrade team that won the 1990–91 European Cup before joining A.C. Milan in 1992. With Milan, he won three Serie A titles and the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League. He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.


Savicevic 
ST: Davor Suker 
He was a part of Yugoslavia's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He later played for Croatia, where he is the all-time leading scorer.  He is best remembered for finishing the top scorer at the WC in 1998, where Croatia reached the semifinal.

ST:  Predrag Mijatović
He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal against Juventus as Real Madrid won the 1998 Champions' league, its first title since 1966.  He played 73 times for Yugoslavia.  In 1997, Mijatović was runner-up for the Ballon d'Or, behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane.


Mijatović 
ST:  Alen Boksic
He won the 1992–93 UEFA Champions League, and was voted fourth in the 1993 European Footballer of the Year poll. That same year, he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year. He also won two Serie A titles in 1997 and 2000 with Juventus and Lazio respectively, and is regarded as one of the best foreign players in the history of Serie A since 1980's.  He played for both Yugoslavia and Croatia.  He missed the 1998 World Cup Finals due to an injury.

Honorable mention
Zvonko Milojevic, Dzoni Novak, Zoran Vulic, Darko Milanic, Vujadin Stanojkovik, Budimir Vujacic, Davor Jozić, Slavisa Jokanovic, Aljoša Asanović, Mehmed Baždarević, Zlatko Zahovič , Dejan Petković, Vladan Lukic, Mario Stanic, Safet Susic, Darko Pancev.

Too young for 1994, but strong candidates for 1998 and 2000
Ivca Kralj, Dejan Stankovic, Igor Tudor, Savo Milošević, Darko Kovačević, Dario Šimić,  Niko Kovac, Robert Kovac.

Squad Explanation
-- I chose to select a squad for 1994 because the World Cup would be more interesting.  Most of the players were in their prime that year.  
-- In 1992, players such as Suker, Jarni, Boban, Boksic, etc were too young.  
-- Dejan Savicevic was among the best player in the world.  Along with Boban, he helped AC Milan to win the Champions' League that year.
-- Suker finished as the second top scorer at La Liga.  
-- Robert Prosinecki was a flop with Real Madrid.  He left the club that summer, but Yugoslavia would probably still take him to USA 1994 based on his name recognition.
--  Darko Pancev had out of form for a few years.  He went on loan to Leipzig.  Mijatović  and Zuker were in top shape that season.  Boksic was a star the season before.  He helped Marseille to win the Champions' League in 1993 and finished fourth at Ballon d' Or in 1993.  He was out of form in 1993-94 season, but he was still a big name as compared to Pancev.  So I dropped Pancev.  

Starting lineup




-- Bilic was voted the best centerback in Bundesliga at the conclusion of 1993-1994 season.
-- I opted to start two, younger midfielders.  Boban just won the Champions' League with Milan in 1994.  Jugovic was a top player in Italy as well.  I picked them over Katanec.
-- Sinisa Mihajlovic was out of form that season. 
-- Zuker was the second top-scorer at La Liga while Boksic was out of form with Lazio and scored only 4 goals that season.  


Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Basque All-time 23 member team


Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

The Basque country is the homeland of the Basque people.  It consists areas that are parts of Spain and France.  The Basque footballers have been capped by many countries. Athletic Bilbao is the symbol of Basque nationalism.  It is one of the most successful clubs in Spain.  It has an unwritten rule that the club only fields Basque players.  This is my All-Time 23 member team for the Basque people.  I am including Basque players who were capped by other countries.  

 

I have also created all-teams for Castile and CataloniaMy all team 23 member team for Spain is here.

 

Team 
GK: Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain)
Represented La Roja in 4 World Cup Finals. He was at one point Spain's cap record holder.  He won Barcelona's first ever Champions' League in 1992.

GK: José Ángel Iribar
Iribor spent his entire career with Athletic Bibao.  He played over 600 games in a 18 year career.  He was Spain's starting keeper at the European Championship as Spain won their first ever major trophy.

GK: Luis Arconada
He played his entire career with Real Sociedad, capturing back-to-back La lira titles from 1980 to 1982.  He was capped 68 times, helping Spain to reach the Euro 1984 Final.  His blunder in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final.


RB: José Orue
He was a long-time footballer for Atletic Bilboa during the 1950's.  At the time of writing, he is their fourth most appearance record for the club. He earned 3 caps for Spain.


CB:  Andoni Goikoetxea
Nicknamed "The Butcher" for his style of play, Goikoetxea.  He played mainly for Atletic Bilboa, but also with Atletico Madrid.  He was a part of Javier Clemente's Bilboa team that won back-to-back league title from 1982 to 1984.  However, he was best remembered for almost ending Diego Maradona's career with a tackle in 1983.  A year later, he became the focal point of the infamous brawl between Barcelona and Atletic Bilboa at the Final of Copa del Rey.  

CB:  Jacinto Quincoces
One of the greatest defenders of the pre-war era.. He won the first ever title for Real Madrid in 1930.

CB:  Jesús Garay
Rated among the best ever centre-back to be capped for Spain, Garay went to the WC Finals in 1962.  He spent 10 seasons with Atletic Bilboa and then, Barcelona.

CB: Rafael Alkorta
Alkorta played for Atletic Bilboa and Real Madrid.  At Real Madrid, he won two La Liga titles.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990, 1994 and 1998.

LB:  Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1998 and 2000.  He was also a star at Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and played for Atletico Bilbao.



Bixente Lizarazu 
DM/LB: Jose Maria Zarraga (Spain)
From 1951 to 1961, he played for Real Madrid.  He won 11 major trophies, including 5 European Cups.  He played in the Finals.  he made 8 appearance with Spain and once as the captain.

LB:  Agustin Aranzabal (Spain)
From 1993 to 2004, he starred for Real Sociedad.  He moved to Zaragoza in 2004.  He had 28 caps.

DM: Ignacio Zoco (Spain)
Best remembered for his 12 seasons with Real Madrid. He was a member of the Ye Ye team of Real Madrid that defined an era in Spanish football.  He won the 1966 European Cup with the club.  He was capped 20 times for Spain, winning Euro 1964.

DM:  Didier Deschamps (France)
He was only the second captain in history to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for each club.

CM: Xabi Alonso  (Spain)
Xabi Alonso started with Real Sociedad.  He won Champions' League trophies with both Liverpool and Real Madrid.  He was a key member of the Spanish team that the WC and two European Championships.  His 114 caps make him the fifth most capped player in the nation's history.

Xabi Alonso

AM/RM: Gaizka Mendieta (Spain)
Mendieta was a big star while playing for Valencia between 1993 and 2001.  He led them to back-to-back Champions' League Final in 2000 and 2001.  He moved to Lazio in 2001, but he failed to find his form.  Then, he played one season with Barcelona, where the club only ranked 6th.  He would also play with Middesbrough FC. He earned 40 caps.

LW: Agustin Gainza (Spain)
He spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao, winning 10 major titles.  He won 33 caps and was the captain of Spain in the WC 1950, where they finished 4th.

FW/RW: Joseba Etxeberria (Spain)
Etxeberria started his career with Real Sociedad, but moved to Athletic Bilbao in 1995, breaking the transfer record for an under 18 player in Spain.  He was capped 53 times.

AM/ST:  Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
His career in Europe started slowly.  He played poorly for Manchester United, but his career took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010, where Uruguay finished 4th.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.
Diego Forlan


ST: Mundo (Spain)
Mundo is the highest scorer in Valencia's history and remained one of the top scorers in La Liga's history.  He started his career with Athletic Bilbao, playing a single game before the Spanish Civil War cut short his stay.  He played for Valencia after the War.

ST: Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi" (Spain)
The award for la Liga top-scorer is named after him.  He scored 240 goals in 170 matches for Athletic Bilbao.


ST: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)
Born in France of an Argentinian player Jorge Higuain, Gonzalo first starred for River Plate in Argentina.  He joined Real Madrid in 2006.  He became a fan's favourite after scoring the winning goal against Espanyol on his debut season.  He would stay with the club until 2013.  For the national team, he earned 52 caps.  He was brought into the national team after Argentina struggled to qualify for South Africa 2010.


Gonzalo Higuain
ST: Isidro Langara (Spain)
Langara was a star player with Real Oviedo before the start of the Spanish Civil War.  After the War, he became an exile playing for San Lorenzo in Argentina. He scored 110 goals in 121 games.  In 1940, he was the league's joint-top scorer. In 1943, he moved to p=lay for Real Espana in Mexico.  He was the league's top scorer.  In 1946, he returned to Spain and played fro Real Oviedo again.

ST: Telmo Zarra (Spain)
Athletic Bilbao's greatest player.  He won the Pichichi award 6 times. He owned many scoring records in Spain.  He was capped 20 times and scored 20 goals for Spain.


Telmo Zarra


Honorable Mention:
Ivan Campo, Aitor Karanka, Agustin Aranzabal Jose Ramon Alexanko, Leonardo Cilaurren, Jose Mari Bakero, Estanisiao Argote, Luis Regueiro, Bata, Javi Martinez, Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Llorente, Dani, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea,  Urrutti  Alonso, Ignacio Eizaguirre, Jose Eulogio Garate, Julio Salinas, Cesar Azpilicueta. Asier del Horno, Agustín Gaínza.

Squad Explanation
-- Basque has a strength in keepers. Juan Alonso, Urrutti and Ignacio Eizaguirre were great keepers, but could not make the cut.
-- Joseba Etxeberria was selected for his commitment to Atletico Bilboa, which is considered to be liked the real national team of Basque.
-- I only brought two fullbacks.  I felt Asier del Horno and Cesar Azpilicueta have not done enough.  Instead, I selected Jose Maria Zarraga was a key member of Real Madrid of the 1950's.  He could play as a left back.
-- Leonardo Cilaurren deserved a spot.

Starting lineup
Basque has a number of great strikers, but Diego Forlan proved himself at the WC Finals, the highest stage in football.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Castile All-time 23 member team

Castile is mainly considered of Castile and Leon, Castile and La Mancha, Cantabria, La Rioja and Madrid.  This is my selection of all-time 23 member team for Castile.   The all-teams of Basque and Catalonia were based on ethnicity, but this team is based on birth places.

My all team 23 member team for Spain is here.  Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Team 

 GK: Iker Casillas (Madrid)
Iker Casillas is Spain's most decorated goalkeeper. He won three Champions' League with Real Madrid.  For Spain, he captained Spain into winning the WC in 2010 and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.  He is capped over 150 times. 

Iker Casillas

GK: Santiago Canizares (Madrid) 
He was a youth product of Real Madrid, but mainly used as a backup during his senior career.  He went to Valencia in 1998, where he led them to two Champions' league Final.  He received 46 caps.

GK: Pepe Reina (Madrid)
Reina first became a star at Villarreal when he helped the club to reach the Champions' league for the first time in history.  A year later, he joined Liverpool FC. At Liverpool FC, he won three Premier League Golden Glove. He was a part of Spain at World Cup 2010, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, but served as a backup to Iker Casillas.

RB: Feliciano Rivilla (Castile and Leon)
Rivilla was an all-time great with Atletico Madrid.  He won the European Championship in 1964 with Spain, and was a part of two WC Finals in 1962 and 1966.

RB: Alvaro Arbeloa (Castile and Leon)
He started his career with Real Madrid, but he made a name with Liverpool before making a return to his mother club in 2009.  He helped the club to win their 10th European Cup in 2014.  For Spain, he was mainly used as a sub during Spoain's glorious run at Euro2008 and the WC in 2010, but he was their starting rightback at Euro 2010.

CB: Gregorio Benito (Castile and La Mancha)
Benito started as a track and field star. He signed for Real Madrid in the 1963. After two years on loan to neighbouring Rayo Vallecano, he returned to his main club, remaining there for the following 14 seasons and winning six leagues and five Spanish Cups.  He was capped 22 times by Spain.

CB: Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo (Madrid)
His father was an all-time great at Real Madrid, winning the 1966 European Cup with the Ye-Ye team.  Manuel Sanchis Jr himself was a member of La Quinta del Buitre and spent his entire career with Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight La Liga titles and two UEFA Cups in the 1980's.  Then, in the late 1990's, he was a member of another great Real Madrid team.  He won two more Champions' League trophies. He won 48 caps, and went to the WC Finals in 1990 and Euro 1988.

CB: Marquitos (Cantabria)
Marquitos was a member of Di Stefano's Real Madrid in the 1950's, a team widely considered to be the greatest club side.  they won five straight European Cup titles.  He scored a goal against Stade Reims at the 1956 Final.

LB: Isacio Calleja (Castile and Leon)
Calleja is a long term member of Atletico Madrid.  He won back-to-back Copa del rey from 1959 to 1961.  In 1962, he won the Cup Winners' Cup.

CM: Miguel Munoz (Madrid)
Munoz spent most of his career with Real Madrid.  He was the captain of the Real Madrid team in the 1950's.  He won three European Cups before becoming the coach of Real Madrid, where he won two more European Cups, making Real Madrid the greatest club in history.

CM: Andres Iniesta (Castile and La Mancha)
At the time of writing, Iniesta plays his entire career with Barcelona.  He is best remembered for scoring the WC winning goal at the 2010 WC Final in South Africa.


Iniesta

AM/CM: Luis del Sol (Castile and Leon)
Del Sol started his career with Real Betis, but won a European Cup the year in his first season with Real Madrid. In 1962, he was lured to play in Italy.  He first played with Juventus and then, Roma.  He was a part of Spain's Euro 1964 winning team.

DM/SW: Ricardo Gallego (Madrid)
Born in Madrid, he was a member of La Quinta del Buitre and spent his entire career with Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight La Liga titles and two UEFA Cups in the 1980's. He also played in Italy with Udinese.  He was capped 45 times.

DM: Juan Antonio Senor (Madrid)
He played mainly for Zaragoza in the 1980's. He won a Copa del rey in 1986.  He was a member of the Euro 1984 team, which Spain finished second. He was capped 41 times.

RM: Michel (Madrid)
He was one of the best right wing in Spain's history.  He was a member of La Quinta del Buitre and spent his entire career with Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight La Liga titles and two UEFA Cups in the 1980's. He was a fixture for the national team in that period.  He won 66 caps.  

LW: Francisco Gento (Cantabria)
He is regarded as one of the greatest left wings in history.  Gento began his career at Racing Santander in 1952 and moved to Real Madrid the following season. He appeared in a joint record eight European Cup finals, winning a record six, as well as winning 12 La Liga titles.  In a 14-year international career, Gento earned 43 caps for Spain, playing at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966.

LW/FW: Joaquin Peiro (Madrid)
Peiro is a legend at Atletic Madrid.  He starred as his hometown club won back-to-back Copa del Rey from 1959 to 1961 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1962. In 1962, he moved to play for Torino.  Then, in 1964, he joined Inter Milan and won the European Cup in 1965.  He later played and captained Roma.
.
AM: Rafael Martin Vazquez (Madrid)
One of the most underrated attack midfielder in Spanish football.  He was a member of La Quinta del Buitre, winning 5 straight La Liga title and back-to-back UEFA Cup with Real Madrid.  In 1990, he joined Torino in Italy and Marseille in 1992.  He had 38 caps.

AM: Jose Luis Caminero (Madrid)
A product of Real Madrid'as academy.  He played for Real Valladolid from 1989 to 1993.  Then, he moved to Atletico Madrid, winning the Double in the 1985-1996 season.  He was the Spanish Player of the Year that season.  He went to USA 1994. 

ST: Santilana (Cantabria)
He moved to Real Madrid at the age of 19 in 1971.  He scored 352 goals and played in 778 games, a record until Manuel Sanchis broke it in the 1997-1998 season.  He made 56 appearance for Spain.  He participated in all major tournament from Argentina 1978 to Euro1984.

ST: Fernando Torres (Madrid)
Torres started his career with Atletico Madrid in 2001, where he became the captain at age 19. In 2007, he moved to Liverpool FC and became a big star in England.  In 2011, Chelsea allegedly broke the British transfer record to buy him.  He was a part of the Champions' league winning team in 2012.  For the national team, he was a part of the generation that won the WC in 2010 and two European Championships.  At Euro 2012, he was the top-scorer.


Fernando Torres


ST: Raul (Madrid)
He was probably the best Spanish player in the late 1990's.  He won 3 Champions' League trophies with Real Madrid in 1998, 2000 and 2002.  He moved to Germany in 2010 and played with Schalke 04 He is the fourth highest goal scorer in the history of La Liga with 228 goals. 


Raul


ST: Emilio Butragueño (Madrid)
Nicknamed El Buitre (The Vulture), he was a member of the legendary Quinta del Buitre of Real Madrid, along with Manolo Sanchís, Rafael Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza. That team won 5 straight La Liga and two UEFA Cups from 1985 to 1990.  He went to the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990.  He scored 4 goals against the great Danish side in 1986 quarter-final.

Honorable Mention
Ruben Baraja (Castile and Leon), David De Gea(Madrid), Juan Mata, VictorManuel Velzaquez (Madrid), Guti, Alfonso.

Squad Explanation
-- Manuel Sanchis Sr was born in Alberique.
-- David De Gea needs to achieve more in his career before making the team.

Starting lineup







Friday, September 4, 2015

Catalonia All-time 23 member team


Catalonia is known for its football teams, Barcelona and Espanyol. This is my selection of an all-time 23 member team for Catalan players.  I excluded guest players who played for Catalan XI.

My all-time 23 member team for Spain is here.   Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.


Team
GK: Ricardo Zamora (Spain)
The first ever star goalkeeper in history.  He is also remembered for a spectacular last minute save he made in the 1936 Copa de España final while playing for Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. The award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, is named in his honour and he was voted one of the greatest players of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was also Spain's most capped player for 45 years.

GK: Antoni Ramallets (Spain)
He was the starting keepers of Barcelona in the 1950's.  He played with Laszio Kubalal and Luis Suarez.  He won 6 La lira titles in an era that was known to be dominated by Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.

GK: Victor Valdes (Spain)
Valdes spent most of his career with Barcelona. he won three Champions' league title.  For the national team, he only managed 20 caps due to playing behind Iker Casillas.

RB: Albert Ferrer (Spain)
Ferrer played mainly for Barcelona, but also for Chelsea. He was a member of Cruyff's Dream Team. After Louis van Gaal took over, Barcelona gradually signed more Dutch players and his places were uncertain.  He left for Chelsea.

CB: Carlos Puyol (Spain)
Carlos Puyol is the captain of Barcelona that dominated club football in recent years.  He won the WC in 2014 and the European Championship in 2008.


Carlos Puyol


CB: Gerard Pique (Spain)
He started his career with Barcelona's academy, but left for Manchester Uniued. In England, he was seldom used by the team.  he returned to Spain in 2006 with Zaragoza.  He gradually became a good defender in La Liga.  At the time of writing, he has been capped over 70 times.

CB: Joan Segarra (Spain)
He was a part of the great Barcelona team of the 1950's.  They finally reached the 1961 European Cup Final, but losing to Benfica.  It would take Barcelona 31 years before winning the Cup.

CB: Ferran Olivella (Spain)
Olivella was capped 18 times for Spain, but better remembered for being the captain of Spain that won Euro 1964. He also won Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

LB: Joan Capdevilla
Capedevilla started his career with Espanyol.  He later played for Atletico Madrid, Deportivo la Coruna, Villarreal and Benfica.  He was capped 60 times for Spain, in a period where Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship.


Joan Capdevilla


LB: Sergi (Spain)
Sergio was promoted to Barcelona's first time in 1993. He helped them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1997.  He was capped 56 times.

DM: Sergio Busquets (Spain)
He did the dirty work in the midfield during Spain's glorious run at the WC in 2010.  For his club career, he played for Barcelona.  He is probably for his racist against Marcelo during an El Classico game.

DM: Pep Guardiola (Spain)
He was key player for Barcelona's Dream Team.  He won 47 caps.  He is better remembered for being the coach of Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.  After a feud with the club, he left for Bayern Munich.

RM/CM/RB: Gabri
From 1999 to 2006, he played for Barcelona.  He went to Ajax in 2006.  He was capped twice.

DM: Marti Verges (Spain)
Verges was a part of Barcelona's great team of the 1950's.  He won three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, coincidently in the same years that Real Madrid won the European Cup.  He was capped 12 times.

CM: Mariano Gonzalvo (Spain)
Gozalvo was a member of Barcelona's team in the 1950's, in an era before the emerge Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.  He won 5 league titles.  For the national team, he was capped 16 times.

CM: Gerald Lopez (Spain)
Lopez was a star for Valencia.  He helped them to reach the Champions' league Final in 2000 against Real Madrid, the first time where two clubs from the same country reaching the Final together.  After losing 3-0 to Real Madrid, he joined Barcelona, but injuries cut short his career with the club.

AM./CM: Xavi

Perhaps, Xavi is one of greatest playmakers of his generation.  He won everything in football, including the Champions' League, the World Cup and the European Championship. He has won more trophies than any other Spanish player in history.

RW: Estanislau Basora (Spain)
Basora was considered of the Barcelona's greatest players.  He was a member of Barcelona's team in the 1950's, in an era before the emerge Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.   He was capped 22 times for Spain.

RW: Carles Rexach (Spain)
Known for his partnership with Johan Cruyff at Barcelona.  He won the Cup Winners' cup in 1979.  He was capped 15 times.

LW: Luis Garcia (Spain)
Garcia played for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid before moving to Liverpool in 2004. He won the 2005 Cahmpions' League under Rafael Benitez after going down 3-0 at half time against AC Milan. It was marked as one of the greatest comeback in history.  He was capped 20 times for Spain.

AM/SS: Cesc Fabregas (Spain)

Cesc was lured to play for Arsenal's academy in 2003.  He made his first time debut as a teenager. he helped Arsenal to reach the Champions' league Final in 2005.  He retuned to Spain in 2011 with Barcelona, but returned to England in 2014.  He was a part of Spain that won the WC in 2010 and two European Championships.

ST: Raul Tamudo
Tamudo was a club legend with Espanyol.  He won two Copa Del Rey with the club as well as reaching the Final of UEFA cup in 2007. He is their all-time leading scorer.  He picked up 13 caps for Spain.

Raul Tamudo

ST:  Paulino Alcántara (Spain/the Philippines)
Born in the Philippines of a half-Spanish, half-Filipino, he made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player to play or score for the club. He also scored 100 goals in 69 matches, making him the club's highest goalscorer. He was selected for the Philippine national football team in 1917 and represented his country at the Far Eastern Championship Games.  In 1921. he was selected to play for Spain.  he scored 6 goals in 5 games for Spain.

ST: Eric Cantona (France)
Cantona played for various clubs in France before moving to England in 1992 and became the star player of the league. He first joined Leeds United and was lured away to Manchester United. He is widely considered to be Manchester United's greatest player in the Premiership era.  For the national team, he was limited to 45 caps because of fightings with different coaches and suspension by the incident with a Crystal Palace fan. He was replaced by Zinedine Zidane at the national team.

Eric Cantona


Squad Explanation
-- Eric Cantona's mother is Catalonian. His grandfather fought in the Spanish Civil War.
-- Luis Suarez Miramontes and Andres Iniesta are not Catalans.

Starting lineup