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.  

Larbi Benbarek 

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
--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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