Monday, August 31, 2015

South Holland All-time 23 member team

This is my all-time 23 member team for players born in South Holland.  South Holland is the name of a province in Netherlands.  It produced second highest numbers of international players after North Holland.  It is where Rotterdam, the home of Feyenoord, is located.  The club is known for its rivalry with Ajax.  It is also the home of Sparta Rotterdam, Excelsior and ADO Den Haag.


Please also see my All-time Dutch 23 member team: here.


Team
GK Edwin Van de Sar (Voorhout)
The most capped player in Holland's history.  He was best remembered for being the Ajax keeper in 1995 that won the Champions' League and then, later for Manchester United for 6 seasons.  He won the Champions' League in 2007-2008. In between, he also played with Fulham and Juventus.


Edwin Van der Sar
GK: Ed de Goey (Gouda)
De Goey played for both Sparta Rotterdam and Feyenoord. He later spent 6 seasons with Chelsea during the pre-Roman Abramovich days, winning the Cup Winners' cup in 1998.  He went to USA 1994, starting all of Oranje's games.

GK: Eddy Treijtel (Rotterdam)
Treijtel's best years were spent at Feyenoord.  He won the UEFA Cup in 1974.  He is remembered by killing a gull with a goal kick in 1970.  He went to the WC Finals in 1974 as a backup.

RB: Harry Dénis (The Hague)
He participated in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1920.  He actually delivered the Olympic Oath during the opening ceremony of the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

RB: Ben Wijnstekers (Rotterdam)
Wijnstekers was considered among the greatest defenders in Feyenoord's history.  He was capped between 1979 and 1986.  he went to Euro 1980, but otherwise, in a period between two Golden Generations of Dutch players.

CB/RB: John Heitinga (Alp aan den Rijn)
Heitinga belonged to the same generation of Ajax players as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart.  He later played for Atletico Madrid, Everton and Fulham. He was a regular member national team from Euro 2004 to Euro 2012.  He was the starting centre-back in 2010 as Oranje reached the WC Final in South Africa.

CB: Wim Rijsbergen (Leiden)
He played for Feyenoord between 1971 and 1978.  From 1979 to 1983, he joined NY Cosmos.  He was a part of Oranje's WC team on both 1974 and 1978.

CB: Khalid Boulahrouz (Massluis)
Of Moroccan descent, he played for many clubs all over Europe with short stints everywhere.  He earned 35 caps between 2004 and 2012.

CB: Cor Veldhoen (Rotterdam)
Veldhoen spent his entire career with Feyenoord.  He earned 27 caps between 1961 and 1967.

LB: Adri Van Tiggelen (Oud-Bijerland)
Van Toggelen was the starting left back at Euro 1988, where Holland won its first major international trophy.  He earned 56 caps.  He also went to the WC in 1990 and Euro 1992.  He played mainly for Sparta Rotterdam early on in his career.  He later moved to Anderlectd and PSV.

LB/DM:  Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (Rotterdam)
He was the captain of Holland at World Cup 2010, where Holland finished second.  He played 106 times for Holland.  He won the Champions' League for Barcelona in 2005-2006. He also played with Feyenoord, Arsenal and Rangers.

CM: Wim Jansen (Rotterdam)
Jansen was a part of the great Feyenoord team of the late 1960's and early 1970's.  He formed a great midfield with Willem van Hanegem and Theo De Jong. They became the first Dutch club to win the European Cup in 1970.  He later joined Washington Diplomats and then, Ajax where he played as a libero.  He was an important of Holland's WC team in 1974.  He earned 65 caps.


Wim Jansen
CM: Kevin Strootman (Ridderkerk)
Strootman started with Sparta Rotterdam before moving to PSV after a short stop at FC Utrecht. In 2013, he moved to Roma, where he quickly established as one of the nest midfielders in Serie A.  However, a series of injuries have been affecting his career.  He went to Euro 2012, but missed the WC Finals in 2014 due to an injury.

CM: Mick Clavan (the Hague)
Calvin played for De Haag.  He earned 26 caps and participated in the 1952 Olympics.

CM/LM: Puck Van Heel (Rotterdam)
Puck Van Heel was an inside-left and left wing-half in the 1930's.  He spent his entire career with Feyenoord.  He was capped 64 times, a record until 1979.  He went to the WC finals in 1934 and 1938.
Puck Van Heel
RW: Tschen La Ling (the Hague)
With Chinese ancestry, Tschen La Ling was known for his career with Ajax and his partnership with Simon Tahamata, another player with Asian background.  He was capped 12 times for Oranje.

LW: Arie de Vroet (Oud-Beijerland)
From 1938 and 1950, he played for Feyenoord with the war in between.  After the War, he became the captain of National Team.  In 1950, he left for France and became a professional player, ending his amateur status and his career with the national team.  He played for La Havre and Rouen in France.


LW: Coen Moulijn
He was considered the best left winger in Dutch football.  He started his career with Xerxes in the 1950's.  He moved to Feyenoord in 1955.  He won the European Cup with Feyenoord in 1970. 

FW:  Faas Wilkes (Rotterdam)
He was one of the first Dutch player to play aboard.  His best stints were with Inter Milan and Valencia.  He was considered to Holland's best player until the emerge of the Golden Generation of the 1970's. He was capped 38 times scoring 35 goals.  He was Holland's all-time leading scorer until 1998.
Faas Wilkes
FW/LW: Tinus Bosseiaar (Rotterdam)
Bosseiaar is a club legend at Sparta Rotterdam. After a dispute over the national team, he joined Feyenoord.  After two seasons, he returned to Sparta Rotterdam in which Feyenoord fought a court case to keep him.  He was capped 17 times for Holland.

FW: Wim Lagendaal (Rotterdam)
Lagendaal was a part of Holland's WC team in 1934. He played for XerxesDZB.

RW/ST: Dirk Kuyt (Katwijk aan Zee)
Kuyt started as a striker, but played mainly as right wing. started his career with FC Utrecht, but the peak of his career was spent with Feyenoord, Liverpool FC and Fenerbahce. He went to WC in 2006, 2010 and 2014 as well as Euro 2008 and 2012. He played a big role in both WC Finals, where Holland finished 2nd and 3rd.

ST: Robin Van Persie (Rotterdam)
Van Persie started with Feyenoord, but spent the cream of his career playing in England for Arsenal and Manchester United. He spent 8 seasons with Arsenal, winning both PFA Player of the Year and the FWA Player of the Year in 2011-2012.  Immediately after winning the two awards, he made a controversial transfer to rival Manchester United after the season. He won the Premiership in his first season with Manchester United.  At the time of writing, he has earned 98 caps.  He was a key player for the Oranje from the WC Finals 2006 to now.


Robin Van Persie

Honorable Mention
Tim Krul, Bas Paauwe, Winston Bogarde, Mauk Weber, Peter Houtman

Squad Explanation
-- Van De Sar was a lock on the team.  I took Ed de Goey and Eddy Treijtel  over Tim Krul because the two of them had stronger ties to the province.  Krul never played for any club over there.
-- Winston Bogarde was considered. I chose Khalid Boulahrouz  over him because Boulahrouz had more international experience. Cor Veldhoen had more steady club career that was associated with the province.
-- I am a big fan of Kevin Strootman, but injuries have kept him from fulfilling his potentials.  So I almost did not take him. 

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
As usual, the formation is based on 4-3-3 used by Holland 1974.  The starting lineup is very straight forward.



Sunday, August 30, 2015

North Holland All-time 23 member team

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

This is my all-time 23 member team for players born in North Holland.  North Holland is the name of a province in Netherlands.  It is where Amsterdam, the home of AFC Ajax, is located.  The club is known for its academy.  

Please also see my All-time Dutch 23 member team: here.


Team
GK: Jan van Beveren(Amsterdam)
Considered one of the best keepers in the 1970's.  In 1970, Van Beveren joined PSV Eindhoven, where he won three Eredivisie titles, two domestic cups and the UEFA Cup in 1978. His career with the national team was cut short because of a feud with Johan Cruyff. He missed the WC Finals in 1974.

GK: Jan Jongbloed(Amsterdam)
Jongbloewd played over 700 games in Eredivisie.  Prior to the WC Finals in 1974, he was relatively unknown.  He was drafted into the national team because of a feud between Johan Cruyff and Jan van Beveren.  He became the starting keeper for both 1974 and 1978 WC Finals.

GK: Maaten Skekelenburg (Haarlem)
He was better known for his career with Ajax from 2002 and 2011. He was the backup keeper to Edwin Van de Sar during WC 2006 and Euro 2008.  He was the starting keeper as Oranje reached the WC Final in 2010.  


Maaten Skekelenburg

RB: Michael Reiziger (Amstelveen)
He was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League with Ajax in 1995.  After a brief stint with AC Milan, he moved to Barcelona in 1997.  He was capped 70 times for Holland.

RB: Bertus Caldenhove (Amsterdam)
Born in Amsterdam, Caldenhove was capped 25 times between 1935 and 1940.

CB: Ronald Koeman (Zaandam)
Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Holland 1988.  He was capped 78 times. He also won two European Cups, one each for PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.  He scored the winning goal for Barcelona's victory in 1992. The Cup was Barcelona's first ever European Cup.  In Holland, he played for the big three, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.

CB: Cor Van der Hart (Amsterdam)
He became one of the first professional player in Holland when he joined Lille in 1950.  Before that, he played for Ajax.  Widely considered one of the best Dutch defender in history.

CB:  Rinus Israel (Amsterdam)
Nicknamed "IJzeren Rinus (Iron Rinus)".  He was a part of Holland 1974 that finished second at the WC Finals in West Germany.  He won an European Cup with PSV Eindhoven.

CB/LB: Frank De Boer (Hoorm)
At one point, Frank De Boer was Oranje's most capped player. He was a part of Ajax's Champions' League winning team in 1995.  He was an important player in the late 1990's. He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.  He also played with Barcelona for 6 years. His twin brother Ronald also played with him for Oranje.

LB/SW:  Ruud Krol (Amsterdam)
One of the most important defender in Holland's history.  He helped Oranje to reach the WC Final in both 1974 and 1978.  He was a leftback at the World Cup in 1974 and switched to sweeper later in his career.  He won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He also played in Italy and the USA.


Ruud Krol
DM: Wim Jonk (Volendam)
Jon played for Ajax, Inter Milan, PSV and Sheffield Wednesday during the 1990's.  He was capped 45 times.  He is best remembered for scoring a long-range shot against Saudi Arabia at the WC Finals in 1994.  He also went to France 1998.


CM: Gerrie Muhren (Volendam)
He was a key player for Ajax when they won three straight European Cup between 1970 and 1972.  He became a cult hero with Real Madrid when he played against them. He also played club football in Spain and Hong Kong. He would have been a key player for Oranje at the WC in West Germany too, but he missed the WC Finals due to an illness in his family.  

CM: Johan Neeskens
He was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He led Holland to two second place finish at the WC Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's top scorer at the 1974 World Cup.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He also played with NY Cosmos.

DM/CB: Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany, and then, played 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world.  In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. 

RW/FW: Johnny Rep (Zaandam)
Rep was a part of Holland's Golden Generation in the 1970's.  He won three European Cup with Ajax and was a part of Holland's amazing team at the WC Finals in 1974.  He picked up 42 caps.

LW: Piet Keizer (Amsterdam)
Widely considered to be as good as Johan Cruyff while the two of them played together at Ajax, but his career was overshadowed by Cruyff.  He was a part of the glorious Ajax team in the 1970's, but only managed one appearance at the WC Finals in 1974.  In 1973, he was voted by his teammates to become Ajax's captain ahead of Cruyff.  Cruyff would leave the team a few weeks later. 

AM: Ruud Gullit (Amsterdam)
He was the iconic captain of Holland 1988.  In 1987,  he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee.  He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.  He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.

FW: Johan Cruyff  (Amsterdam)
He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974.  He was considered one of the best players in history.  He was noted for his brilliant performance at the World Cup in 1974 and winning three straight European Cups with Ajax.  He moved to Barcelona in 1973 for a world record transfer fees. 

FW: Dennis Bergkamp  (Amsterdam)
Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He helped Holland to reach the semi-final of the 1998 WC Finals in France.  His goal vs Argentina at was considered among the best ever scored in WC history.  He started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a successful career with Arsenal. 


Dennis Bergkamp

LW/FW: Rob Rensenbrink (Amsterdam)
Rensenbrink had an uneventful career in Holland before he moved to play in Belgium.  He first played for Club Brugge, but his greatest height was with Anderlecht.  He won two Cup Winners' Cup in 1976 and 1978.  For the national team, he was a key player as Oranje reached both WC Final in 1974 and 1978.

SS/FW: Ruud Geels (Haarleem)
Geels was a part of Feyenoord when they won the European Cup in 1970.  However, his best years were spent with Ajax from 1974 to 1978.  He was Eredivsie top scorer in 4 straight seasons with them. He won one more scoring title with Sparta Rotterdam.  He was a part of Holland's WC team in 1974.

ST: Kick Smit (Bloemendaal)
Smit was a member of Holland's WC team in 1934 and 1938. he scored 26 goals in 29 matches for Holland.

ST: Wim Kieff (Amsterdam)
Kiev played for Ajax in the late 1970's and then, moved to Italy in 1983.  He played for Pisa and then, Torino.  In 1987, he joined PSV  and immediately won the European Cup in 1988.  For the national team, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won Euro 1988 and participated at the WC in 1990 and Euro 1992.  He mainly used a substitute role at both Euro 1988 and the WC in 1990.

ST: Patrick Kluivert (Amsterdam)
The teenage star of the great Ajax team of 1995.  He was also a star with Barcelona.  He joined Milan in 1997, but he quickly left for Barcelona a season later.  He had a relatively successes at the club, but left for Newcastle United in 2004.  His career was never the same due to injuries.  He was an important part of the national team from 1996 to 2004.  However, his career was shortened due to various issues.
Patrick Kluivert

Honorable Mention
Eddy Peter Graafland (Amsterdam), Roel Wiersma, Arthur NumanArnold Muhren (Volendam), Rafael van der Vaart (Heemskerk), Ronald De Boer.

Squad Explanation
-- I normally brought 8 defenders to most of my all-time 23 member team, but I only selected 7 for this team.  Frank De Boer and Ruud Krol could play as centre back and left back so I do not need a backup left back.  Instead, I brought an extra attacker.
-- MarcoVan Basten was born in Utrecht.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
-- The team would try to play the 4-3-3 formation used by Holland in 1974.  
-- Bergkemp did not play on the left, but the formation required him to move around.  So I am confident that he could handle the job.
-- Muhren would have started for Holland in 1974. 






Monday, August 24, 2015

Dutch-Surinamese All-time 23 member team


Holland has a number of great soccer players who were born in Suriname or traced their ancestry to Suriname. Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard are considered among the greatest Dutch players in history.  This is my selection of the Dutch-Surinamese all-time 23 member team.

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

Holland All-Time Team

Team
GK: Stanley Menzo
Menzo spent over 10 years with Ajax.   He played mainly with PSV Eindhoven, Lierse SK and Girondins de Bordeaux, He went to the World Cup in 1990.  He was the Dutch Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990.  He spent most of his career with Ajax.

GK: Michel Vorm
Vorm started his career with FC Utrecht and played for Swansea.  He moved to Tottenham Hotspurs in 2014. He was the backup keeper at both 2010 and 2014 WC Finals.

GK: Kenneth Vermeer
Vermeer was a long term keeper for Ajax.  In 2014, he shocked the football world by joining rival Feyenoord.  At the time of writing, he received 5 caps for the national team. He is the current Dutch national team record holder for longest streak in goal without conceding in a match, having not conceded a goal since his debut in 2012. 

RB: Michael Reiziger
He was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League with Ajax in 1995.  After a brief stint with AC Milan, he moved to Barcelona in 1997.  He was capped 70 times for Holland.

RB: Mario Melchio
Melchio started with Ajax, but the peak of his career was spent with Chelsea between 1999 and 2004.  He was capped 20 times for Holland. He went to Euro 2008.

CB/RB: Ulrich Van Gobbel
Van Gobbel played for Feyenoord, Galatasaray and Southampton,  He picked up 8 caps and went to USA 1994.


DM/CB: Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany, and then, played 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world.  In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. 
Frank Rijkaard

CB: Humphrey Mijnals
Born in Suriname, he became the first Surinamese player to play for Holland.  He began his professional career in Brazil with America Futebol Clube.  He made his national team against Bulgaia in 1960.  He was remembered for clearing a ball from the goalline through a overhead kick in that match. His international career was limited due to a dispute with the Dutch FA.  He later played for the Surinamese National Team.

CB: Winston Bogarde
He won 20 caps for Holland.  He was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League in 1995.  In 1998, he joined the Dutch contingency at Barcelona.  Two seasons later, he joined Chelsea. 

LB/CB: Wilfred Bouma
He won 37 caps for Holland.  He played in three European Championship: 2004, 2008 and 2012.  From 1994 to 2005, he played for PSV.  In 2005, he moved to Aston Villa, where he had a successful career before returning to PSV.
Wilfred Bouma
DM: Edgar Davids
Nicknamed "the Pitbull", he was one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the world.  He won the European Champions' League with Ajax in 1995.  He was an important player at the WC Finals in 1998 when Holland reached the semi-final. He also spent 7 seasons with Juventus at the height of his career.

DM: Nigel De Jong
Known as tough defensive midfielder, he made his name with Ajax, Hamburger and Manchester City.  At Manchester City, he helped the club to win their first ever Premiership.  At the time of writing, he played for AC Milan. He is a regular member of the national team since 2004.  He is probably best remembered for kung-fu kicking Xabi Alonso at the WC Final in 2010.
Nigel De Jong

CM/DM/CB: Orlando Engelaar 
Vick played for Ajax between 1988 and 1993 for Ajax.  He left for Genoa in Serie A in 1993.  However, his career was affected by injuries after his departure from Ajax.  He played twice for Holland as a young player, but injuries kept him from selection.

CM/LM: Clarence Seedorf
Seedorf is the first player to win three Champion League titles with 3 different clubs. He was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League in 1995.  In 1996, he moved to Real Madrid, where he quickly established himself as a star.  He would win two Champions League title there.  He later played for both AC Milan and Inter Milan.  He was a key player for the Dutch national team.
Clarence Seedorf

RM: Aron Winter
Born in Suriname of an unique ethnic background.  He was both an Indian and Chinese descendent.  He started his career with Ajax and joined Lazio at the height of Serie A during the early 1990's.  He later played for Inter Milan.  For the national team, he was a regular member of the team and a part of the Euro 1988 winning team.  His last major tournament was the Euro 2000.

RW: Gerald Vanenburg
During the 1990's, he formed a dangerous partnership Marco Van Basten and Wim Kieft at Ajax.  He would join PSV in 1986. For the national team, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won the European Championship in 1988.  He played for Holland 42 times.

RW/SS: Gaston Taument
Taument played the vast majority of his 14-year professional career with Feyenoord, amassing Eredivisie totals of 204 games and 45 goals over the course of nine seasons., where he starred along side Regi Blinker.  He earned 15 caps.  He played for Holland at the WC in 1994 ands at Euro 1996.

LW: Bryan Roy
Roy played for Ajax in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  He went to Foggis in 1992 when Ajax decided to promote their young players.  He would join Nottingham Forrest in 1994.  He was capped 32 times and played at both Italian 1990 and USA 1994.
Bryan Roy
LW: Regi Blinker
Known for his partnership with Gaston Taument at Feyenoord.  He later played for Sheffield Wednesday and Celtic.  He picked up 3 caps for Holland.

AM: Ruud Gullit
He was the iconic captain of Holland 1988.  In 1987,  he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee.  He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.  He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.


Gullit at Euro 1988
ST: Pierre Van Hooijdonk
Van Hooijdonk played for many clubs in his career. His longest stints were with NAC Breda, Nottingham Forrest, Feyenoord and Celtic.  He played over 40 times for Holland, despite the fact that he played in the same generation as Patrick Kluivert, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Roy Makaay and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

ST: Patrick Kluivert
The teenage star of the great Ajax team of 1995.  He was also a star with Barcelona.  He joined Milan in 1997, but he quickly left for Barcelona a season later.  He had a relatively successes at the club, but left for Newcastle United in 2004.  His career was never the same due to injuries.  He was a part of the national team from 1996 to 2004.

Patrick Kluivert

ST: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
He was late bloomer where he played with smaller clubs until he moved to Portugal in 1995.  His best stint was probably in England with Leeds United and Chelsea.  He was the Premier League Golden Boot winner in both 1998-1999. 2000-2001.  He only played 23 times because of Holland loaded with forwards during the peak of his career.

Honorable Mention
Romeo Castelen, Jerry De Jong, Edson BraafheildLuciano Narsingh, Ken Monkou, Ryan Babel, Romeo Castelen, Henk Fraser, Marciano Vink.

Squad Explanation
-- Ken Monkou is uncapped.  I preferred capped players even through that does not say much about the skilled level of the players.
-- Humphrey Mijnals was selected for his historical role, but he was very good in general.
-- Jerry De Jong is probably better known as Nigel's dad.  His club career was not too impressive.
-- Marciano Vink's position is well-covered by Davids, Rijkaard and Seedorf.  His injuries really destroyed his career.  So I took Orlando Engelaar instead.
-- I did not take Romeo Castelen because there are too many wingers on the team.
-- I believe John Heitinga is not of Surinamese origin.

Starting lineup
Formation 4-4-2(diamond)
-- Van Hooijdonk mkght have picked up many caps than Hasselbaink, but Hasselbaink was a better player.
-- I dropped Rijkaard to the backline so that I could play Winter.  Besides, the other centre-backs were not too good.



Sunday, August 23, 2015

French Overseas Departments and its former colonies all-time 23 member team

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

This is my all-time 23 member team for French players born in the Overseas Departments of France or French colonies.  All the players are selected based on place of birth. 

I have also created an all-time team for France.

GK: Steve Mandanda (DR Congo)
Mandanda is a long-term starting keeper for Marseille.  He had played over 300 games for them since 2008. He served as the third keeper at the WC Finals in 2010.


Steve Mandanda


GK: Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes (Morocco)
He spent his entire career at Nantes.  He was the original starting keeper at the WC Finals in 1978, but he suffered an injury that ended his tournament.   He never played for France after that injury.

GK: Georges Lamia (Algeria)
Born in Algeria, he played for Nice and Stade Rennais.  He represented France at the 1960 European Championship.


RB: Jocelyn Angloma (Guadeloupe) 
Angloma was a member of the great Marseille team of the early 1990's.  He won the European Cup in 1993.  He later played for Valencia and reached the Champions' League Final twice. He was a member of the French team at Euro 1992 and 1996.

CB/RB: Gérard Janvion (Martinique)
Janvion played with Michel Platini for Saint-Etienne in the 1970's.  The team was considered one of the best French club sides in history. He went to the WC Finals in 1978 and 1982.

CB: Christian Lopez (Algeria)
A member of Michel Platini's Saint Etiene that dominated French football in the 1970's. Liked his club mate Gerard Janvion, He went to the WC Finals in 1978 and 1982.


CB: Raoul Diagne (French Guiana)
Born in French Guiana of Senegalese descent, he was the first Black player to be capped by France.  He earned 18 caps between 1931 and 1940.

CB:  Marius Tresor (Guadeloupe) 
Named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.  He was the French captain before Platini's arrival. He went to the World Cup in 1978 and 1982.  In 1982, he scored one of the extra time goal against West Germany at the semifinal. He also played for Olympique de Marseille and Girondins de Bordeaux.

RB/CB:  Lilian Thuram (Guadeloupe) 
Thuram is France's most capped player.  He was known for his strength, pace and stamina.  He played at the top flight in France, Italy and Spain for over 15 seasons, including ten in the Serie A with both Parma and Juventus. With France, Thuram won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and was in the runner-up squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  He scored two goals vs Croatia in the semifinal of the WC in 1998. 


Thuram vs Croatia, WC 1998



CB: Basile Boli (Ivory Coast)
Boli was a member of Marseille that won the 1993 European Cup. He scored the only goal at the Final.  He left the club in 1994.  For France, he won 456 caps and went to Euro 1992.

CB: Jean-Alain Boumsong (Cameroon)
He had played for many clubs in Europe with Auxerre, Juventus, Newcastle United, Rangers, Lyons, etc among them.  He was capped 27 times.

LB: Patrice Evra (Senegal) 
Evra began his career with Nice and made his name with Monaco, but it was in Manchester United where he became one of the best left backs in the world.  He played for the Red Devils from 2006 to 2014.  At the time of writing, he earned 66 caps and was a key player for France since 2008.  He was the captain of the national team.  At South Africa 2010, he led a player revolt against Raymond Domenech.

DM: Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia/France)
Born in New Caledonia. He moved to France as a 17 years old.  
He played for Nantes, Sampdoria (1995–97), Real Madrid (1997–2000), Middlesbrough (2000–01), Olympiakos (2001–04), Servette Genève (2004–05), Bastia (2005–06). With Real Madrid, he won the Champions League in 1998 and 2000.  He won the World Cup with France in 1998.  He was Oceania Player of the Year in 1995 and 1998.


Christian Karembeu

DM: Alexandre Villaplane (Algeria)
Villaplane was the first ever player of Northern African origin to represent France.  He captained France at the 1930 WC Finals.  During the WW Two, he helped the Nazi Germans' occupation of France and was a SS officer.  He was executed as a Nazi collaborator at the end of the War.

CM/DM: Abderrahman Mahjoub (Morocco)
Born in Morocco, he represented France at the World Cup Finals in 1954. He captained Morocco at the 1962 World Cup.  He was a long time member of Racing Club of Paris.


CM: Jean Tigana (French Sudan)
He was a member of the great French side of the 1980's.  He won the Euro 1984 playing in the famous "Magic Square". He played with Bordeaux for eight years, winning three league titles and three French Cups.


Jean Tigana
CM: Patrick Vieira (Senegal)
He is an Arsenal all-time great.  He won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.  In England. he was famous for his rivalry with Roy Keane.  With "Les Bleus", he won the WC in 1998 and European Championship in 2000.  He earned 107 caps.

LW: Laurent Robert (Reunion) 
Best remembered for his stint with Newcastle United.  He also played Paris St.Germain and Montpellier. He earned 9 caps for France.

DM: Claude Makelele (Zaire)
Michelle played for Nantes, Marseille and Celta Vigo before making a big move to Real Madrid in 2000.  Over there, he quickly established as one of the best defensive midfielder in the world.  He won every single club title available.  In 2003, he moved to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea.  he earned 71 caps for France.  He helped France to reach the Final of Germany 2006.

AM: Larbi Benbarek (Morocco)
Benbarek was the first Black player to reach stardom in Europe, earning the nick name "Black Pearl". He made his name with Stade Francasis Paris.  In 1948, he moved to Atletico Madrid, where he reached the height of his career and won two La Liga title.  

FW:  Abdelaziz Ben Tifour (Algeria)
He played for France at the 1954 World Cup Finals.  He had a notable career in the French league, especially with Nice.  He was one of the founding member of FLN Algeria national team.

ST: Rachid Mekhloufi  (Algeria)
He is the all-time leading scorer for Saint-Etienne.  He won 4 Ligue 1 titles with them in the 1960's.  Liked many French-Algerian of his generation, he was capped by France.  He later played for FLN Algeria national team and then, Algeria.

ST:  Just Fontaine (Morocco)
He is the record holder for most goals scored in a single edition of the World Cup.  He scored 13 goals in 6 matches in the 1958 WC Finals in Sweden.  He played for Stade de Reims of the 1950's.ST: Florent Malouda (French Guiana)


Just Fontaine



Honorable Mention
Serge Chiesa(Morocco), Ibrahim Ba (Senegal), Martin Djetou (Ivory Coast).

Squad Explanation
-- Both Ali Ahamada and Bernard Lama were born in France.  Zinedine Zidane was born in France so he went with the Southern France.  Luis Fernandez was born in Spain so I did not classify him into any of the regional team.  Marcel Desailly was born in Ghana and Ghana was not a former French colony.  Julien Darui was born in Luxembourg.
-- Ibrahim Ba never lived up to expectation.
-- Alexandre Villarplane is a controversial selection, I admitted.

Starting lineup
4-1-2-1-2
--Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demane started because of his experience at the WC Finals.
--  Thuram, Tresor and Evra are automatic starters.  The last defender on the starting lineup is determined by where I wanted to play Thuram.  I chose Boli over rightback Angloma..
-- Both Karembeu and Makelele played for Real Madrid.  I went for Makelele.



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