Sunday, September 11, 2016

Parma All-Time Team

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

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Parma was mainly a lower division club until the late 1980's. Financed by Calisto Tanzi, the club won these eight trophies between 1992 and 2002.  It won three Coppa Italia, one Supercoppa Italiana, two UEFA Cups, one European Super Cup and one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.  They were also Serie A runners-up in the 1996–97 season – and threatened the dominance of the league's established powers: Juventus, A.C. Milan and Inter Milan, the only Italian sides to have had more success in European competition than Parma.

GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Considered to be one of the greatest keeper ever.  He made his Serie A debut at the age of 17.  He earned his first cap when he was 19.  His biggest achievement must be winning the WC in 2006.  He has been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record eight time. He became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time following his transfer from Parma to Juventus in 2001.
Gianluigi Buffon

GK: Sébastien Frey (France)
Frey began his club career in France with Cannes in 1997, but later went on to spend most of his career in the Italian Serie A, playing for Internazionale, Verona, Parma, Fiorentina, and Genoa; he ended his career in 2015, after two seasons with Turkish side Bursaspor. At international level, he represented the France national football team on two occasions between 2007 and 2008 and was an unused member of the squad that took part at UEFA Euro 2008.

GK: Luca Bucci (Italy)
Bucci played for several Italian clubs throughout his career; he is mostly remembered for his successful spell with Parma, where he won an UEFA Supercup in 1993, and an UEFA Cup in 1995; he also received runners-up medals in the Coppa Italia, in the Cup Winners' Cup, and in Serie A with the club.   Capped 3 times.

RB/CB:  Lilian Thuram (Italy)
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. 
Lilian Thuram
RB: Roberto Mussi (Italy)
Mussi started in the lower divsion and noted for helping Parma to reach Serie B under Arrigo Sacchi.  In 1984, Sacchi took him to AC Milan.  In 1989, he helped to Torino to grain promoation to Serie A.  Then, in 1994, he went to Parma where he found the greatest succeseses.  He won the UEFA Cup twice.

CB: Lorenzo Minotti (Italy)
Throughout his club career, he played for Italian sides Cesena, Parma, Cagliari, Torino, and Treviso; he is mostly remembered for his successful stint with Parma.  Capped 8 times between 1994 and 1995, and was a non-playing member of the team that reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final.

CB: Ivo Cocconi (Italy)
Born in Parma, he played his entire career with Parma. He holds the record for league appearances at Parma, playing 308 times from 1950 to 1962.

CB: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
Cannavaro was capped 138 times. He was the captain and perhaps, the best Italian player of the 2006 World Cup team.  He was named the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year, and won the Ballon d'Or award in 2006 which made him the third defender to win the award. He started his career with Napoli and had spells with Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
Fabio Cannavaro
CB: Roberto Sensini (Argentina)
He started in 1986 for Newell's Old Boys before moving to Udinese.  Sensini moved to Parma in 1993, winning two UEFA Cups, two Italian Cups, and the UEFA Super Cup. He would then have a brief stint with S.S. Lazio, winning the scudetto, the Italian Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Supercoppa Italiana in his first season.  He moved back to Parma for a further year, winning another Coppa Italia in 2002, before returning to his first Italian club, Udinese, in 2002.   He played in the World Cup 1990, 1994 and 1998. In the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final Sensini conceded the disputed penalty kick from which West Germany scored their winning goal.

CB: Luigi Apolloni (Italy)
Started his career playing in Serie B and C.  He joined Parma in 1987, became a key member of the squad that guided the club from the Serie B to the top levels of European football, including triumphs in the 1991–92 Coppa Italia, a runners-up Cup Winners' Cup campaign in 1993–94, and two UEFA Cups in 1995 and 1999. Capped 15 times.  He played in USA 1994 and Euro 1996.

LB/RB: Antonio Benarrivo (Italy)
He  began his career with Brindisi in 1986, and later moved to Padova in 1989. He came to prominence during his time with Parma, joining the club in 1991; he won several domestic and European titles with the team and eventually became the club's record appearance holder in Serie A and in European competitions. He was the starting fullback at USA 1994 and remembered for winning the penalty that won the game against Nigeria.

DM: Dino Baggio (Italy)
Throughout his club career, he won the UEFA Cup three times, twice with Parma and once with Juventus.  Capped 60 times caps for Italy, and was part of the team that reached the final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup; he later played at UEFA Euro 1996, and at the 1998 World Cup.  While at Juventus, he would play alongside his unrelated namesake Roberto Baggio for two seasons, forming a notable friendship. Dino was often called "Baggio 2" or "the other Baggio" earlier on in his career, to distinguish the two players.
Dino Baggio
RW: Diego Fuser (Italy)
Fuser started his professional career with Torino in 1986. before moving to A.C. Milan in 1989.  From 1992 to 1998, he played for Lazio, winning the Coppa Italia and reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 1998, as the club's captain. After moving to Parma in 1998 he won the UEFA cup, the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup in 1999. He captained the team and won the 1999 UEFA Cup. Capped 25 times.

LM: Július Korostelev (Czechoslovakia)
Although Korostelev started his career with SK Bratislava, he played the majority of his football in Italy, with clubs such as Juventus, Atalanta, Reggina and Parma.

AM/CM: Juan Sebastián Verón (Argentina)
Son of a Estudiantes de La Plata great Juan Ramon Veron, he was also a hero at the club.  Both father and son won the Copa Libertadores for the club.  He also had an extended career in Europe, playing for Parma, Lazio, Sampdoria, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan, etc.  He was considered one of the best Argentine player of his generation, winning 73 caps.
Juan Sebastian Veron
AM: Stefano Fiore (Italy)
Fiore started out with Cosenza in 1992, before moving to Parma for a season in 1994, where he won the UEFA Cup.  He spent two seasons at Padova and Chievo, before returning to Parma again for two more seasons in 1997, where he won a double which consisted of his second UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia in 1999. He subsequently moved to Udinese, where he spent two successful seasons, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2000.  A move to Lazio ensued, where he won his second Coppa Italia in 2004, finishing as the competition's top-scorer.  He later played with Valencia, Fiorentina, Torino, Livorno, etc. Capped 38 times.  He played at Euro 2000 and 2004.

AM: Marco Osio (Italy)
In 1986 he moved at Empoli, and Parma in 1987.  Nicknamed "Il Sindaco" (The Mayor), he was a key player for the team that climbed the Italian football divisions, up from Serie C1 to the top division, Serie A, winning the Coppa Italia, and the European Cup Winners' Cup.

AM: Tomas Brolin (Sweden)
He was a star player in the early 1990's, where he helped Sweden to finish 3rd the1994 WC and reached semi-final in Euro 1992.  He played for Parma between 1990 and 1995, a period considered to be a Golden era for the club.  After an injury in 1995, he never regained form and bounced around different clubs before retiring at the age of 31.  

AM: Gianfranco Zola (Italy)
He played with Diegoi Maradona at Napoli as a young player. He played for Parma between 1993 and 1996, winning the 1995 UEFA Cup with Tomas Brolin, Fernando Couto, Faustino Asprilla and Stefano Fiore. He moved to Chelsea in 1996 and won the FWA Footballer of the Year.  He only played 35 times for Italy due to overcrowding of attack midfielders during his prime. 

FW: Faustino Asprilla (Colombia)
He was known for his wild lifestyle outside the game.  He played 57 times for Colombia between 1993 and 2001.  He went to the WC Finals in 1994 ansd 1998. He was known as one of the best attackers in Italy when he played for Parma between 1992 and 1996.  He won a Cup Winners' Cup in 1992.
Enrico Chiesa
Faustino Asprilla

ST: Enrico Chiesa (Italy)
A prolific goalscorer, Chiesa played for several Italian clubs throughout his career, winning titles with Sampdoria, Parma, and Fiorentina; he later also had spells with Lazio, Siena and Figline. He won the 1998–99 UEFA Cup with Parma, finishing the tournament as the top scorer, with 8 goals. Capped 22 times between 1996 and 2001, scoring 7 goals, and took part at UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

ST: William Bronzoni (Italy)
Bronzoni started career his in 1945 with Parma, where he played in Serie B and Serie C. He played 201 matches and scored 78 league goals, which remains a club record to this day.

ST: Adriano (Brazil)
Adriano started his career in 2000 with Flamengo.  He signed with Inter Milan.  In 2002, Parma signed a co-woneship agreement with him.  He scored 23 goals in 37 games.  he returned to Inter Milan in 2004, where he was enjoying a great performance.  However, shortly after he signed a new contract, his form dropped.  He was never the same player again.  Capped 48 times for Brazil. His fitness level was poor at the World Cup Finals in 2006.

ST: Alberto Gilardino (Italy)
With 188 Serie A goals, Gilardino is currently among the top 10 all-time scorers in Serie A history and ranks 2nd among active players after Francesco Totti.  He played for many clubs in Italy.  With Milan, he won the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, the 2007 UEFA Super Cup and the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup. Gilardino has also played for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, with whom he won the 2014 Chinese Super League.  Capped 57 times, he was the starting attacker as Italy won the World Cup in 2006.

Alberto Gilardino
ST: Hernán Crespo (Argentina)
Started with River Plate, he went on to play for many big clubs in both Italy and England.  He won three Serie A scudetti, a Copa Libertadores, a Premier League title and an Olympic Games silver medal. At international level, Crespo's career was limited by playing with Gabriel Batistuta, but he still managed to score 35 goals and is Argentina's third highest goalscorer. He played in three FIFA World Cups: 1998, 2002, 2006.

Honorable Mention
Daniele Bonera, Alessandro Melli, Gabriele Pin, Mario Stanic,
Domenico Morfeo, Marco Di Vaio, Fernando Couto.

-- I honoured the old-time William Bronzoni here.
-- I have to choose between Adriano and Mutu.  Both only spent limited time at Parma.  Mutu had a better career, but Adriano was better at Parma.
-- Juan Sebestian Veron also played one season, but he won the Double.
-- Claudio Taffarel was mainly a backup keeper.


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