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.

Former Yugoslavia(all republics),
Former Yugoslavia without Croatia and Serbia,
Serbia Croatia,
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
Sweden 1950

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 had 58 caps for Croatia and twice for Yugoslavia. He proved himself to be a great keeper in the 1998 World Cup 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.  Ivković moved to Sporting Clube de Portugal in 1989, and remained there for the following four seasons, rarely missing a game, although he did not collect any silverware.

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 started his with RAD back home.  He played 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 joined Fenerbahçe in Turkey. From 1995 to 2003, he was capped by Yugoslavia. He was a participant in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. 

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: 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. In 1994, Đukić missed a penalty kick in the game's last minute (eventual 0–0 draw).As a result FC Barcelona were crowned champions instead. He had 48 caps and  played at Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.
Miroslav Djukic
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: 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.  In his playing career he had three spells with Hajduk Split and also played for Cádiz in Spain and for Derby County and West Ham United in England. 

CB/LB: Sinisa Mihajlovic
Sinisa Mihajlovic was capped 63 times between 1991 and 2003 for Yugoslavia.  He won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade. In 1992, he moved to Italy and became was one of the best defender in Serie, notably played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.  With Lazio, he won UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1998–99. He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.
Sinisa Mihajlovic

CB: Faruk Hadžibegić
He was capped 61 times for Yugoslavia from 1982 to 1992.  He went to the WC Finals in 1990.  He is the second most capped Bosian player for Yugoslavian national team and and fifth overall most capped player for the Yugoslavia national football team (61 caps  During his career he played for FK Sarajevo, Real Betis, FC Sochaux and Toulouse FC.

CB: Predrag Spasic
Spasic had 31 caps between 1988 and 1991.  He represented Yugoslavia at the 1988 Summer Olympics.  He was also the starting centerback at World Cup Finals in 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 began Hadjuk Split had played in big clubs such as Juventus and Real Madrid as well as Real Betis where he played the longest.  He also played in England and Italy.
 Robert 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. He represented both Yugoslavia and Republic of Macedonia in international matches. He played in the first ever official match of Macedonia, played on 13 October 1993, against Slovenia.

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
Jugovic was a member of Red Star Belgrade that won the European Cup in 1990.  He won another one with Juventus in 1996. He also played for Sampdoria, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, LR Ahlen, AS Monaco FC and VfB Admira Wacker Mödling. He warned 41 caps. He played at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 1998 for Yugoslavia.  His total of caps were limited because of the ban on 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.
Robert Prosinecki
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.
Dragan 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.  He was a key player for winning the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League. He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.  However, his international career was limited by the FIFA ban on Yugoslavia.
Dejan 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.  He also played with Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal, West Ham and 1860 Munich.  He was a top scorer in La Liga while playing for Seville and Real Madrid.

Davor Suker

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.

ST:  Predrag Mijatović
At club level, Mijatović played for six different clubs: Budućnost Podgorica, Partizan, Valencia, Real Madrid, Fiorentina and Levante. 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.
Predrag Mijatović 

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, Meho Kodro.

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.  They destroyed Barcelona's "Dream Team" in the Final.
-- 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 been out of form for a few years.  He went on loan to Leipzig in January, 1994.  He did nt find his form there.  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.  Meho Kodro was also in form that season. So I dropped Pancev.  
-- Meho Kodro finished third in scoring in La Liga that year behind Davor Zuker.  I tried my best to look at the players based in 1994, but I still looked at  name recognition.  In 1994, Kodro was probably ahead of Boksi or Prosinecki in terms of form, but the pair was considered the best players from Yugoslavia during that period.  I decided to take them, instead of Kodro.  Many managers in the history of the WC Finals have done that before. Perhaps, I am making the same mistakes.

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 Greatest All-time 23 member team

Ignacio Kortabarria and José Ángel Iribar 1976 showing the Basque flag in 1976

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-time teams for Spanish regions: Castile and Catalonia, and Athletic BilbaoMy all time team 23 member team for Spain. 
Basque National Team
Team 
GK: Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain)
Andoni Zubizarreta represented La Roja in 4 World Cup Finals. He was at one point Spain's cap record holder.  He started with Athletic Bilboa.  He also played for Barcelona and Valencia.  He won Barcelona's first ever Champions' League in 1992.  After the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, where Barcelona lost 0–4 to A.C. Milan in the final, Zubizarreta was deemed surplus to requirements.

GK: José Ángel Iribar (Spain)
José Ángel Iribor spent his entire career with Athletic Bibao from 1962 to 1980.  He played over 600 games in a 18 year career.  He played 49 times for Spain. He was Spain's starting keeper at the 1964 European Championship as Spain won their first ever major trophy. He was also Spain's starting keeper at the World Cup Finals in 1966.

GK: Luis Arconada (Spain)
Luis Arconada  played his entire career with Real Sociedad, capturing back-to-back La liga titles from 1980 to 1982.  He was capped 68 times, helping Spain to reach the Euro 1984 Final.  His blunder, however, in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final against France. He also went to the 1978 and 1982 World Cups as well as Euro 1980. 


RB: José Orue (Spain)
José Orue 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 won one league and three Copa del Rey trophies in the 50's, including the double in the 1955–56 campaign.  He earned 3 caps for Spain.

CB:  Jacinto Quincoces (Spain)
Quincoces was one of the greatest defenders of the pre-war era. He played for Deportivo Alavés from 1920 to 1931.  From 1931 to 1942, he played for Real Madrid.  He won the first ever title for Real Madrid in 1930.  Widely considered one of the first soccer idols in Spain.  He played 25 times for Spain and went to the World Cup Finals in 1934.
Jacinto Quincoces 
CB:  Andoni Goikoetxea (Spain)
Nicknamed "The Butcher" for his style of play, Goikoetxea 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:  Jesús Garay (Spain)
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 Athletic Bilboa and then, Barcelona for another 5 seasons. He won five major titles with Athletic Bilboa. He also played a single season with CD Málaga. He had 29 caps. He was part of the squad that competed at the 1962 World Cup. 

CB: Rafael Alkorta (Spain)
Having represented Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid during a 17-year professional career, Rafael Alkorta amassed La Liga totals of 370 games and eight goals, winning three trophies with the latter club. At Real Madrid, he won two La Liga titles.  He played b54 times for Spian.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1990, 1994 and 1998 as well the European Championship in 1996.

LB:  Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1990's and early 2000's.  He won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and he also 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 straight European Cups– he played in all the finals, and totalled 31 appearances combined in those victorious campaigns.  The 1959-1960 team was considered one of the greatest ever club sides in history. 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 helped the club to finish second during the 2002–03 season. He moved to Zaragoza in 2004, but could not find any successes.   He retired in 2008, but in early 2010, he retired and joined Kitchee SC from Hong Kong, playing along side Albert Celades.  He had 28 caps and went to the World Cuo Finals in 1998.

DM: Ignacio Zoco (Spain)
Ignacio Zoco was 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 played more than 20 times with Spain, winning the 1964 European Nations' Cup and also representing the nation at the 1966 World Cup.

DM:  Didier Deschamps (France)
He was only the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He started his career with Nantes. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for both club.  He earned 103 caps and was the captain of 1998 World Cup winning team for France.

CM: Xabi Alonso  (Spain)
Xabi Alonso started with Real Sociedad.  He joined Liverpool in 2004 winning the Champions' League trophy in his first season.  In 2009, he moved to Real Madrid, winning the Champions' League again in 2014.  In 2014, he joined Bayern Munich. He was a key member of the Spanish team that won 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)
Agustín Gaínza is one of Atletico Bilboa's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao, winning 10 major titles between 1940 and 1959.  When he retired, he was the club's appearance record holder. He won 33 caps and was the captain of Spain in the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil, where they finished 4th.

FW/RW: Joseba Etxeberria (Spain)
Joseba Etxeberria started his career with Real Sociedad, but after a single season, he moved to Athletic Bilbao in 1995, breaking the transfer record for an under 18 player in Spain.  The transfer also broke off formal relationship between the two clubs. He was capped 53 times, representing his country at the 1998 World Cup,  Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.

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)
Edmundo Suárez Trabanco was known as Mundo.  He 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 between 1939 and 1950.  Capped 3 times.

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. He won 4 Copa del Rey. In 1920, Pichichi was a member of the very first Spain national team that played at the Summer Olympic Games in Belgium. He earned five senior caps during one month, his debut coming on 28 August in a 1–0 win against Denmark.

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.  Zarra signed for Athletic after playing one season for Erandio. He became a prolific goalscorer in his 15 seasons at the club, winning the Pichichi Trophy as the highest scorer in La Liga on six occasions. During his career, Zarra scored a total of 251 league goals, a Spanish record that lasted nearly six decades. His 81 goals in the Copa del Rey remains a record today .He was capped 20 times and scored 20 goals for Spain. He was a member of the 1950 World Cup team.
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, Fernando Llorente, Dani, Urrutti, Juan Alonso, Ignacio Eizaguirre, Jose Eulogio Garate, Julio Salinas, Cesar Azpilicueta. Asier del Horno, Javi Martínez, Aritz Aduriz, René Petit, Asier Illarramendi, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea.

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.  
-- Ion Andoni Goikoetxea was a forward. Andoni Goikoetxea was the centerback known for his rivalry with Diego Maradona.
-- I only brought two fullbacks.  I felt Asier del Horno and Cesar Azpilicueta have not done enough.  Instead, I selected Jose Maria Zarraga who was a key member of Real Madrid of the 1950's.  He could play as a left back.
-- Leonardo Cilaurren deserved a spot.
-- Telmo Zarra is probably the best known striker from Basque.
-- Didiner Deschamps, Diego Forlan and Gonzalo Higuain are of Basque descent. Bixente Lizarazu played for Atletico Bilboa.
-- Antoine Griezmann learned his football with Real Sociedad.  Atletico Bilboa allowed non-Basque players to learn football in the Basque region to play for them. He is eligible to play for Atletico Bilboa, but not for Basque team.  He is ineligible to play for this team.

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 Greatest All-time 23 member team


Castile is mainly considered of Castile and Leon, Castile and La Mancha, Cantabria, La Rioja and Madrid.  The region is home to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Racing de Santander, Rayo Vallecano, Getafe CF, Rayo 

This is my selection of all-time 23 member team for Castile.   The all-time 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 and one of the greatest ever played the game. He started with Real Madrid in 1999.  He won three Champions' League with Real Madrid.  For Spain, he captained Spain into winning the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.  He is capped over 150 times. 
Iker Casillas

GK: Santiago Canizares (Madrid) 
Santiago Canizares was a youth product of Real Madrid. He went to Valencia in 1998, where he led them to two Champions' league Final.  He won Ricardo Zamora Trophy: 1992–93 (shared), 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04. He received 46 caps. He went to six major international tournaments, but was mainly used as a backup, except at Euro 2000.

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.
Alvaro Arbeloa
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.  Safe for a very brief loan spell with CD Guadalajara in the third division, Calleja spent his entire 14-year professional career with Atlético Madrid. He won back-to-back Copa del rey from 1959 to 1961.  In 1962, he won the Cup Winners' Cup. He had 13 caps for Spain. Calleja helped the national side win the 1964 European Nations' Cup on home soil.

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.
Andres 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 of Real Madrid.  He spent most of his career with Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight La Liga titles and back-to-back UEFA Cups in the 1980's. He also played in Italy with Udinese.  He was capped 45 times for Spain.  He featured at the 1986 WC Finals and the Euro 1984, where Spain finished second.

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)
Michel was one of the best right wings in Spain's history.  He was a  member of Real Madrid's La Quinta del Buitre.  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.  He played in both 1986 and 1990 World Cup Finals.

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.
Francisco Gento vs Argentina

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.
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AM: Rafael Martin Vazquez (Madrid)
Rafael Martin Vazquez was 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)
Jose Luis Caminero was 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)
Raul was probably the best Spanish player in the late 1990's.  He made his professional debut at the age of 17 with Real Madrid. Her 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. He had 101 caps. He played in three World Cup Finals.
Raul
ST: Emilio Butragueño (Madrid)
Nicknamed El Buitre (The Vulture), Emilio Butragueño 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 World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990.  He scored 4 goals against the great Danish side in 1986 quarter-final.
Emilio Butragueño

Honorable Mention
Ruben Baraja (Castile and Leon), David De Gea(Madrid), Nacho (Madrid), Juan Mata (Castile and Leon), Victor (Madrid), Manuel Velzaquez (Madrid), Guti (Madrid), Alfonso (Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Madrid), Pedro Munitis (Cantabria),  Iván de la Peña (Cantabria), Iván Helguera (Cantabria), Ramon Grosso (Madrid)

Squad Explanation
--  The all-time teams of Basque and Catalonia were based on ethnicity, but this team is based on birth places.
-- Despite playing for Barcelona FC, Andres Iniesta is from the region.
-- I took Rafael Martin Vazquez over Guti, Juan Mata and Manuel Velzaquez.
-- Manuel Sanchis Sr was born in Alberique.
-- David De Gea needs to achieve more in his career before making the team.

Starting lineup