Saturday, September 7, 2019

All "Diego's" All-Time Team

Diego Maradona made the name very popular
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

It's Muller/Miller time
Italian Players with "I"

Diego is a Spanish given name. It derives from a re-analysis of Sant Yago (Saint James the Greater) as San Diego. 

When I looked at several lists of famous people named "Diego".  They are mainly footballers. Diego Velazquez, Diego Rivera, Diego de Almagro, etc are some of the famous "Diego's".   I actually never heard most of the non-footballing "Diego's".  In the modern football world, the name was made famous by Diego Maradona. Perhaps, many footballers were named after him. According to data from Facebook, only 1 to 1.5% of Argentine babies were named "Diego" born before the 1986 World Cup Finals.  The names jumped to 5% during the Finals.  Roughly one in 25 baby boys were named after him at that period.
Diego Godin and Diego Lugano 
GK: Diego Alves  (Brazil)
At the time of writing, Diego Alves earned 10 caps for Brazil.  He was a backup keeper at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  He started his career with Clube Atlético Mineiro. He moved to UD Almería in Spain on 24 July 2007, as the Andalusians had just achieved a first ever promotion to La Liga. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Valencia.

GK: Diego Lopez (Spain)
Lopez started from Real Madrid, but made his name first with Villareal and Sevilla.  In January, 2013, he rejoined Real Madrid after Iker Casillas suffered a serious injury.  He quickly established as the starter.  He maintained his starting status the following year, despite the return of Casillas.  He won Copa Del Rey that season as the starter while backing up Casillas in the Champions' League as Real Madrid won it.  Capped once in 2009.

GK: Diego Cavalieri (Brazil)
Cavalieri started his career at Palmeiras.  He later became a backup with Liverpool and then, Cesena.  From 2010 to 2017, he played for Fluminense. He also played for Crystal Palace and Botafogo. He has earned 3 caps for Brazil between 2012 and 2013 and was part of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup winning team.

RB: Diego Martinez (Mexico)
Martínez made his debut in the Invierno 2001 season with Necaxa.  He signed with Chivas in 2006, where he immediately became an important part of the team, but later was sent out on loan with various teams such as Morelia, Tigres, C.F. Monterrey, etc.  Between 2003 and 2009, he was capped 12 times.

RB: Diego Johannesson (Iceland)
Johannesson is the son of an Icelandic father and a Spanish mother.  Since 2014, he has played for Real Oviedo in Spain.  In 2016, he committed internationally to Iceland.  He made his international debut in 2016 against the United States.

CB: Diego Godin 
With Uruguay, he reached the World Cup semifinal in 2010 and won a Copa America in  2011.  Godín started his professional career with C.A. Cerro at the age of 17. After his good performances, he was transferred to top division powerhouse Club Nacional de Football. In 2007, Godín signed a five-year deal with La Liga side Villarreal CF. He joined Atletico Madrid in 2010. He was a key player for Atletico Madrid when they upset Real Madrid and Barcelona for the La Liga title in 2013-2014. 
Diego Godin 
CB: Diego Lugano (Uruguay)
Diego Lugano started with Libertad, Club Nacional de Football and Plaza Colonia at home before making a name with Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he won Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2005. He later played for Fenerbahçe, PSG, Malaga, West Bromwich Albion and BK Häcken.  For Uruguay, he earned nearly a 100 caps.  He captained the team for eight years, beginning in May 2006.  He captained Uruguay to Copa America's victory in 2011 and went to two World Cup Finals: 2010 and 2014.

CB: Diego Llorente (Spain)
Llorente joined Real Madrid's youth system in July 2002. In 2012, he made his senior debut with the team, but later sent to g Rayo Vallecano for the 2015-2016 season and then, Malaga for the 2017-2018 season.  In 2017, he was sold to Real Sociedad. In 2016, he received his first international callup by manager Vicente del Bosque.  He made his debut against Switzerland.  At the time of writing, he has 4 caps for Spain..
Diego Llorente 
CB: Diego Osorio (Columbia)
Osorio began his professional career in Independiente Medellín, before moving to Atlético Nacional where he would spend most of his playing career.  Osorio made 17 appearances for the senior Colombia national football team from 1991 to 1995. He also played at the 1992 Summer Olympics.  He also had some cocaine possession and trafficking criminal record.

LB: Diego Placente (Argentina)
Placente started playing professionally in 1996 with Argentinos Juniors, before moving to River Plate in 1997. He transferred to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2001, where he played until 2005. While at Leverkusen he played in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final. He also played for Celta Rigo, San Lorenzo de Almagro and Bordeaux.  He was capped 22 times.  He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.
Diego Placente 
LB: Diego Calderon (Ecuador)
From 2005 to 2012, Diego Calderon played  L.D.U. Quito.  In 2008, he was a member of the team that won the Copa Libertadores.  The following year, his team won Copa Sudamericana.  He also won Recopa Sudamericana in 2009 and 2010.  From 2011 to 2012, he was capped 5 times for Ecuador.

DM: Diego Perez (Uruguay)
From 1999 to 2003, Diego Perez played for Defensor Sporting.  he played a season with Penarol before moving to play for AS Monaco in France, where he played from 2004 to 2010.  From 2010 to 2015, he played for Bologna.  He was capped 89 times.  He went to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. He played in 4 Copa Americas, winning the 2011 edition.

DM: Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield before moving to Europe. He first joined Pisa and Sevilla before going to Atletico Madrid.  He won the Double with them in 1995-1996.  He then moved to Inter Milan, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.  In 1999, he moved to Lazio.  Again, he won the Double. For Argentina, he was capped 106 times. He won Copa America in 1991 and 1993.  He went to play in three WC Finals; 1994, 1998 and 2002. 

CM: Diego de Souza (Uruguay)
De Souza is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of Defensor Sporting. In 2009, he was chosen as the best player of the Uruguayan Primera División. He later played for Banfield for four years.  He also played for Montevideo Wanderers FC, Cerro Largo FC, etc.  He was capped 3 times for Uruguay.

LW: Diego Perotti (Argentina)
Perotti joined Spain's Sevilla FC in the summer of 2007, from Club Deportivo Morón.  He was a part of the team that won the Europa League in 2014.  Then, he played for Genoa between 2014 and 2016.  Since 2016, he plays with AS Roma.  For Argentina, he earned 5 times in 2009.  He was named in a preliminary 35-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he did not make the final cut.

LW: Diego Capel (Spain)
From 2004 to 2011, Capel played for Sevilla.  He was a part of their back-to-back UEFA Cup winning team.  He later played for Sporting CP, Genoa, Anderlecht and Extremadura.  For Spain, he earned 2 caps in 2008.  He made his debut in 2008 against Denmark.

AM: Diego Latorre (Argentina)  
Latorre was the first Argentine player to be labelled as the "New Maradona". He made his professional debut for Boca Juniors in 1987.  In 1992, he joined Fiorentina with Gabriel Batistuta after the pair helped Argentina to win the Copa America in 1991. He left for CD Tenerife in La Liga soon after. He also played for UD Salamanca, Racing Club de Avellaneda, Rosario Central, and clubs in Mexico and Guatemala before retiring in 2005. He had 6 caps.

AM: Diego (Brazil)
Diego started his career with Santos and moved to Porto in 2004.  In 2006, he moved to Werder Bremen where he was one of the best players in the Bundesliga.  In 2009, he moved to Juventus, but could not find his form.  He went on to play for various clubs.  In 2012, he was a part of Atletico Madrid that won the 2012 Europa League. At the international level, he earned 33 caps between 2004 and 2011.
AM: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
Diego Maradona was considered the second best player in history after Pele.  He won the World Cup in 1986, scoring the best goal in the history of the World Cup when he scored against England.  He also played in the WC Finals in 1982, 1990 and 1994.  For club football, he was best remembered for leading Napoli to break the dominance of the Northern Italian clubs in the Serie A.  Napoli won two league titles and a UEFA Cup.  He was also considered to be Boca Juniors' greatest player.

ST: Diego Tardelli (Brazil)
Diego Tardelli played for Sao Paulo from 2004 to 2007.  He then played for Flamengo.  From 2009 to 2011,  he played with Atlético Mineiro where he made his name.  He was the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top goalscorer in 2009 as well as winning the Arthur Friedenreich Award.  He later played overseas to play for Anzhi Makhachkala, Al-Gharafa, Shandong Luneng, etc.  From 2009 and 2017, Diego Tardelli earned 14 caps for Brazil.

ST: Diego Tristan (Spain)
Diego Tristan made his name with Mallorca.  He would have joined Real Madrid in 2000, but his deal fell. He is best known for his Deportivo de La Coruña spell, where he spent six years, but an injury in 2002 gradually affected his career.  He played for many clubs at the end of his career. He was capped 15 times. He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.
Diego Tristan 
ST: Diego Milito (Argentina) 
Diego Milito began his club career with Racing Club in 1999.  He starred at both Genoa and Real Zaragoza. He is best remembered for playing with Inter Milan. He scored 32 goals in all competitions including two goals in the 2010 Champions League Final against Bayern Munich.  It was the club's 2009–10 treble-winning season. Milito earned 25 caps for Argentina. He represented his country in two Copa América, and at the 2010 World Cup Finals.

ST: Diego Costa (Spain)
Until the age of 16, he was not playing for club football.  He joined Atletico Madrid in 2006, but did not become a star until the 2013-2014 season.  In March, 2013, he made his national debut for Brazil.  However, by summer of 2013, he decided to switch his commitment to Spain after becoming Spanish citizens, which caused a controversy in Brazil. He is believed to be the first Brazilian to turn his back against his country and play for a different national team.  In February, 2014, he made his Spanish debut and went to Brazil 2014 for Spain.
Diego Costa and Diego Simeone
ST:  Diego Forlan
Diego Forlan's career in Europe started slowly, but his career finally took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, winning the UEFA Europa League with the latter. At the international level, he had 112 caps, leading Uruguay to the 2011 Copa America title as well the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010.
Diego Forlan

Honorable Mention
Diego Herrera, Diego Laxalt (Uruguay)/

Squad Explanation
-- This blog is harder than I anticipated.  Originally, I thought it is easier with so many "Diego" footballers.  I easily came up with Diego Forlan, Diego Godin, Diego (Brazil), Diego Simeone, Diego Costa, etc.  Then, I went blank. In have to draft in younger players such as Diego Llorente.
-- This team is one of my fun ones.  I am not serious at all.
-- Diego Laxalt is too young to be considered.
-- I found many Brazilian footballers named Diego Souza. This Diego Souza  made the team while I also have Diego de Souza of Uruguay.
-- The title "New Maradona" has been given players with promise by the press and the public in Argentina.  Lionel Messi, Ariel Ortega, Carlos Tevez, Pablo Aimar, Juan Roman Riquelme, etc all were called the "New Maradona" at one point in their career.  Diego Latorre was supposed to be the first player given that title. He was also the only one with the same first name. He was not named after Maradona as he was born in 1969.  He made his professional debut in 1987.
-- I did not check if any of the players were named after Maradona.  However, all of the Argentine selected were born before Maradona played in a WC Finals.
-- Diego Tardelli was named after Marco Tardelli of Italy. 
-- Diego Costa was named after Maradona.  He had a brother named Jair who was named after Jairzinho of the 1970 World Cup Finals. 
-- Diego Calderon (Ecuador) was born in 1986 after the World Cup Finals.
-- Diego Forlan's father is a friend of Maradona.  Maradona helped him to rise funds to pay for Pablo's daughter medical bills.  Diego Forlan decided to focus on football after Maradona's help. He was born in 1979 so he was probably named after Diego Maradona.
-- Diego Johannesson has a Spanish mother.  His first name came from her, but I do not know of any connection to Maradona.

This is not a good line-up. I dropped Diego deeper than he usually played.

Friday, August 23, 2019

All-Time Team for non-football playing countries

San Marino vs Luxembourg
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

All-Time Team for Uncapped Players
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
French Algerian
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
Argentine-born players capped by other national teams
Italian diaspora
Polish diaspora
Black Portuguese Players
Afro-Brazilian Players 
Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team
Chinese Diaspora

This is the all-time team for players who came from non-football playing countries.  They are players from countries that do not have a glorious history in the sport.

The criteria for the team:

1) The players came from countries that never qualified for a World Cup Finals.  However, the continental champions are eligible. 
2) I am excluding players from Albania, Finland and Venezuela.  They never played in a World Cup Finals, but they are probably much better football nations than some of the countries excluded in this blog. 
3) I do look into "affirmative action" and of historical importance of the players as a criterion for selection.  
4) I am excluding players who are born in a good football nation and opted for their native country.  
5) I also excluded all footballers who represented youth national team for a good football country.   They have good youth training background from a good football nation.
6) I used a stricter "cap-tied".  All players who represented a good football nation are ineligible regardless of the time of the cap.  For example, Paulino Alcántara is ineligible because he represented Spain.  In other blog, he is eligible for the Philippines because he played for them before he played for Spain.  
7) The players from the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are all excluded because in an alternative history, they world have played for a good national team.  This blog is about footballers from national teams that are not good.

GK: Ali Al-Habsi (Oman)
Ali Al-Habsi was one of the few players from the Arabian Peninsula who made it in Europe, especially he is a goalkeeper.  At the time of writing, he plays for Al-Hilal FC in Saudi Arabia.   He has played for Bolten Wanderers, Wigan, Reading and Lyn Oslo. He was Wigan Athletic Player of the Year in 2011. He has been a member of the national team since he was 17 years old.  He had over 110 caps for Oman.  He won the Arab Gulf Cup in 2009.  He was Arab Goalkeeper of the Year: 2004.

GK:  Chow Chee Keong (Malaysia)
Chow Chee Keong was a Malaysian Chinese.  He earned his first senior cap as a 15 years old.  He played for Aveley F.C. in England when he was a student studying in the UK.  He also trained with West Ham. From 1966 to 1970, he was voted the best keeper in Asia for 5 straight seasons.  In 1970, he went to play in the Hong Kong league, which was the only professional league in East Asia. In Hong Kong, he played for Jardines, South China, Rangers and Tung Sing. He was voted as the AFC Goalkeeper of the Century. 
Chow Chee Keong

GK: David Chabala (Zambia)
Chabala played from 1978 to 1991 with Mufulira Wanderers in Zambia.  He was voted Zambian Sportsman of the Year in 1985 and in the 1988 season, he surprised many Zambian soccer purists by donning a striker's jersey for Wanderers, but he went on to score 5 goals. He had a brief spell in Argentina with Argentinos Juniors during the 1991/92 season but he returned to Wanderers in March 1992.  He is Zambia's most capped player, with 108 full international appearances. Chabala was instrumental in Zambia's first ever East and Central African Championship success.

RB: Rainer Hasler (Liechtenstein)
Hasler played as a right back for Grasshopper Club Zürich, FC Vaduz, Neuchâtel Xamax and Servette FC. For Servette, he spent two years as captain, where he won the 1984–85 Swiss championship and the Swiss Cup. Another major success was with Xamax reaching the UEFA Cup quarter-final in the 1981–82 season.  He was never capped by Liechtenstein as the city-state barely played any game in his era.

CB: Antoine Kombouaré (New Caledonia)
Antoine Kombouaré started his career at FC Nantes and moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1990.  With PSG, he was famous for scoring late-minute winning goals which earned him the name of "Casque d'Or", which means "Golden Helmet" in French.  He later played for Sion and Aberdeen in Scotland. 

CB/DM: Seydou Keita (Mali)
Keita started with with Olympique de Marseille.  He most notably played for Lens (five seasons) and Barcelona (four), winning 14 titles with the latter club after signing in 2008.  For Mali, he helped the under-20s finish third at the 1999 World Youth Championship in Nigeria, being named the tournament's best player. Fromm 1998 to 2015, he earned 102 caps for Mali.

CB: Louis Pilot (Luxembourg)
Pilot was selected by the Luxembourg Football Federation as the country's Golden Player - the greatest player of the last 50 years.  He started his footballing career at his home town club CS Fola Esch, before signing for Standard Liège.  he also played with Royal Antwerp and Racing Jet. Pilot also represented the national team, winning 49 caps between 1959 and 1971.

CB: Jeff Strasser (Luxembourg)
After playing for FC Metz between 1993 and 1999, Strasser moved to  Kaiserslautern and spent three seasons with the club before leaving it for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2002. He also played for RC Strasbourg, CS Fola Esch and Grasshopper. For Luxembourg, he had 98 caps.  At one point, he was their all-time leading cap record holder. He was a rare successful player from Luxembourg.
Jeff Strasser 

LB: Kaiser Kalambo (Zambia)
Kalambo played his domestic club football with Roan United, Ndola United and Ndola Lime FC.  He represented Zambia in three African Cup of Nations tournaments and was named Zambian captain in 1980, the same year in which he was voted Zambian footballer of the year.

DM: Mahamadou Diarra (Mali)
Mahamadou Diarra played with Greek club OFI Crete and Dutch club Vitesse in the Netherlands, but made his name with Lyon.  In 2006, he made a big move to Real Madrid.  He helped the Spanish giants to win the league title.  Diarra had now been a league champion for six consecutive seasons, after winning Ligue 1 with Lyon between 2002–03 and 2005–06, and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2006–07 and 2007–08.  Later, he would play for Monaco and Fulham.  With Mali, he was capped 69 times.
Mahamadou Diarra

DM: Chérif Souleymane (Guinea) 
Souleymane moved to East German as 17 years old as a student.  Over there, he played for SC Neubrandenburg in the second-tier DDR-Liga for two seasons, from 1962 to 1964. He returned to his home country and spent the rest of his playing career with top-tier Hafia FC. He was African Player of the Year in 1972.  He was a part of Guinea's great team in the 1970's.  He played in the 1968 Olympics.

DM/CM: Jorge Roldán (Guatamela)
Roldán played almost his entire career for the local team Aurora FC, being perhaps the most emblematic individual ever to represent the club. In 1972, he became the first Guatemalan footballer ever to play professionally for a club in Spain, when he joined Hércules CF.  For Guatemala, he was being part of the squad that won the 1967 CONCACAF Championship, and participating in the 1968 Olympic Games.

CM: Nasr El-Din Abbas (Sudan)
Nasr El-Din Abbas is considered to be Sudan's greatest player.  His nickname was Jaxa. He led Sudan to finish as the champion of the 1970 African Cup of Nations and also the runner-up in 1963The result was the greatest ever for the nation of Sudan.  At the club level, Nasr El-Din Abbas spent his entire career playing for Al Hilal Educational Club in Sudan between 1963 and 1976.
Nasr El-Din Abbas 
LW:  Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia)
Bwalya's career in Europe began at Cercle Brugge in Belgium. He played for PSV Eindhoven between 1989 and 1994. Then, he played for Club America in Mexico.  He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988.  From 1983 to 2004, he was capped by Zambia.  He was not on the ill-fated flight that killed almost entire Zambian national team.  

FW/AM: Japhet N’Doram (Chad)
Japbet N'Doram began his career with local Tourbillon FC in 1984, then spent three seasons in Cameroon with Tonnerre Yaoundé.  In 1990, he signed for FC Nantes in France, where he played until 1997.  At Nantes, he was known for scoring important goals for the club. He spent a year with Monaco in the 1997-1998 season. He retired after suffering an injury against Nantes. He was capped 36 times for Chad. He was nicknamed the "Wizard".

AM/FWGeorge Weah (Liberia) 
In terms of individual awards, no other African player wins more awards than him.  He was was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or in 1995.  He won African Footballer of the Year: 1989, 1994, 1995.  He was voted African Player of the Century in 1996.  He had great careers with AC Milan where he won two Serie A titles. He also played for Paris St Germaine and AS Monaco in France. In 2017, Weah was elected as the President of Liberia.
George Weah

FW:  Lee Wei Tong (Republic of China/Hong Kong)
Lee Wei Tong was born in Hong Kong, but elected to play for the Republic of China.  He went to play in 1936 Olympics, where he made a strong impression.  Some experts considered him among the best footballer in the world at the time, but limited exposure outside Asia limited his name recognition.  At home, he predominantly played for South China and helped establish the club in being the most successful team in Hong Kong history.
 Lee Wei Tong 李惠堂

FW: Petit Sory (Guinea)
Born in 1945, Petit Sory finished in 3rd place in the 1972 African Footballer of the Year awards compiled by France Football magazine. On club level he played for Hafia FC in the capital Conakry, with which he won the African Champions' Cup in 1972, 1975 and 1977. He competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics for Guinea.

FW: Patrick Appriou (Tahiti)
Patrick Appriou played for AS Dragon in Tahit, but also had a brief career in France. He played Olympique de Marseille between 1987 and 1988.  In 1996, he helped Tahit to reach the Final of Oceania Cup before losing to Australia. Tahit finished second at the tournament.

FW: Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez (Guatemala) 
Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez is the second highest goalscorer of all time in the Guatemalan league. He is widely considered to be the greatest player from his country.  He spent most of his career with Comunicaciones.  He represented his country between 1976 and 1989. He helped his country to qualify for the Olympics in 1976. He played two games in Montreal, where his team was eliminated in the first round.

ST: Mohamed Kallon (Sierra Leone)
Kallon played in many clubs before joining Inter Milan in 1995, bit he spent most of his time on loans until 2001. He played for a number of clubs before retiring in 2016. His last stuint was Kallon, a club where he was also the founder.  For Sierra Leone, he was capped 35 times.  He earned his first cap as a 15 years old and scored his first goal on his debut.

ST: Clyde Best (Bermuda)
Best was one of the first black players in First Division football in England, scoring 47 goals for West Ham United between 1968 and 1976. Best also played for Feyenoord in Holland, and in the USA for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto Blizzard and Portland Timbers of the NASL. He was capped twice for Bermuda. He was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006.

ST:  Salif Keita (Mali) 
Salif Keita was voted African Footballer of the Year in 1970.  He found stardom almost everywhere he played.  His best stints were with Saint-Étienne, Marseille, Valencia and Sporting Portugal.  With AS Saint-Étienne, he won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, including the double in 1968 and 1970. He was selected by the Confederation of African Football as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.

Honorable Mention
Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), Sotiris Kaiafas (Cyprus), Pradip Kumar Banerjee (India), Peter Thangaraj (India), Paul Moukila (Republic of Congo), Collin Benjamin (Nambia), Clifton Msiya (Malawi), Louis Pilot (Luxembourg). Ken Monkou (Suriname), Stéphane Sessègnon (Benin)?, Abraham Løkin (Faroe Island), Carmel Busuttil (Malta), Clifton Msiya (Malawi), Luciano Vassalo (Ethiopia), Mengistu Worku (Ethiopia), Yidnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia), Victor Wanyama (Kenya), Musa Otieno (Kenya), Christopher Wreh (Liberia), Bobby Chalmers (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), Victor Wanyama (Kenya).

Squad Explanation
-- The criterion for this blog is NOT very realistic.  I found a lot of holes in my own criterion.  I am trying to do my best to come up with the best team.  I also "bended" the rules for some players.  For example, the eligibility of Paulino Alcántara is explained below.
-- Despite not qualifying for a World Cup Finals, Albania, Finland and Venezuela are probably a better football nation than some of the countries not considered here.  They should not be included here. I made a judgement call on it.
-- The players' pool came from only a handful of nations.  Most of the better nations have qualified for the World Cup Finals.
-- I excluded foreign-born players who played in this non-football playing countries. In my opinion, these players were trained in a country with strong soccer roots.  
-- DR Congo as Zaire played in the 1974 World Cup Finals. I excluded Paul Bonga Bonga probably did not grow up with proper football training. Both Eusebio and Mario Coluna probably had the same constraints growing up in Mozambique.
-- George Weah made my All-African team.
-- Henri Françillon (Haiti) were also excluded because he played in the World Cup Finals.
-- The Dutch East Indies who qualified for a WC Finals is considered to be Indonesia.  All Indonesian players are excluded.
-- The Peoples' Republic of China qualified for a World Cup Finals, but the Republic of China never did.  They are now known as Chinese Taipei in sport.
-- I do not know much about David Chabala (Zambia).  So I took  Chow Chee Keong (Malaysia) who I happened to know a lot about.
-- Paulino Alcántara was born in the Philippines.  He also played football over there before he made it in Spain. He was capped by the Philippines before he played for Spain.  was in other blogs, I used the "cap-tied" or "cap first" rule.  For example, Luis Monti was listed mainly in blogs related to Argentina.  Thus, Paulino Alcántara is listed as a Filipino here.  However, he is ruled ineligible because he played for Spain.
-- Humphrey Mijnals (Suriname) started his career in Suriname, but he did play for Holland.  He was not "cap-tied" to Holland.  
-- New Caledonia produced a few footballers for France.  Suriname is also produced footballers for Holland.  Antoine Kombouaré (New Caledonia) was uncapped by both France and New Caledonia while Ken Monkou never played for Holland or Suriname.  Marama Vahirua played for French youth team. I am sure that there are uncapped players born in Suriname who also found successes in Europe.  A number of them are probably better players than the ones I selected.
-- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) and Frederic Kanoute (Mali) were born in France.
-- The goalkeeper Koldo (Andorra) was born in Spain. Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe) was born in South Africa and South Africa had qualified for a World Cup.
-- I am excluding all players from the former Soviet Union.  I considered them from the former Soviet Union, a powerful football nation.
-- It was difficult to find a leftback. Kaiser Kalambo (Zambia) supposed to be one of Zambia's greatest footballers.  Mo Camara and Adama Tamboura held down the position in Europe, but was never considered among the best ever from Africa.  Hérita Ilunga is ineligible as Zaire/DR Congo played in a WC Finals.
-- Massimo Bonini was born in San Marino who played his youth career over there.  He also chose to represent San Marino.  He played for Itlay youth team.  he is ineligible. 
-- Rainer Hasler (Liechtenstein) was uncapped because Liechtenstein hardly played any game during his career.
-- Iceland has qualified for a World Cup Finals as well as performing well at Euro 2016.  Finland, on the other hand, has not done so.  The Guðjohnsens would have made this team. 
-- Panama also qualified for the World Cup Finals. Julio and Jorge Dely Valdés are not considered.  El Salvador also qualified for the WC Finals before.  Magico Gonzalez would easily make the team.
-- France and Holland have been known to cap footballers from their colonies.  Some of the players never had formal training in Europe, but I excluded them. 
-- Israel has also qualified for the 1970 World Cup Finals.
-- Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo) played in a World Cup Finals.
-- Lee Wei Tong was born in Hong Kong and played for the Republic of China (Taiwan).  He was widely considered among the greatest footballer in Asia.  The PRC qualified for the WC Finals, but not the Republic of China (Chinese Taipei).
-- Sotiris Kaiafas (Cyprus) won the European Golden Boot in 1976, but never played outside Cyprus.  I selected other footballers who had played in a higher level. He only made honourable mention.
-- Petit Sorry (Guinea) edged out Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez (Guatemala). Story was voted among the greatest ever from Africa.
-- Ruel Fox was born in England.  He played for Montserrat. 
-- The selection of  Clyde Best (Bermuda) is controversial.  I want to spread out the selections.  I took him as a representative of the Caribbean Islands. 

I started 8 Africans.