Sunday, February 22, 2015

North Rhine-Westphalia Greatest all-team 23-member team

Wolfgang Overath and Gunter Netzer

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
East German Players after 1990
German Americans/American Germans
German Turks 
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Germany All-Time Team After Beckenbauer
Germany All-Time Team before 1972

North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state in Germany.  It was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province (North Rhine), and the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.

It is the home of many current and former Bundesliga clubs such as MSV Duisburg, VfL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld,Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04 Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and  FC Koln. 
Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels
GK: Toni Schumacher 
Toni Schumacher was the goalkeeper for the German national team throughout the 1980's, winning the European Championship in 1980.  He led West Germany to the Final at both 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals, losing on both occasions.  However, he was remembered for an ugly incident against Patrick Battiston during the semifinal of Spain 1982.  His club career was associated with Koln.
Toni Schumacher   
Neuer established as Germany's number 1 before the World Cup Finals in 2010.  Since then, he has been considered one of the best keeper in the world. He helped Germany winning their 4th World Cup in 2014. In 2014, Neuer finished third in the voting, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award.  He started with Schalke 04, but moved to rival Bayern Munich in 2010. He is the second most expensive keeper of all-time.
GK: Toni Turek 
Between 1950 and 1954, Toni Turek played 20 games for the German national team.  He was the starting keeper for West Germany at World Cup Finals in 1954, where the Germans won their first World Cup.  The Final was an upset against Hungary and the match was known as the "Miracle of Bern".  His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.

RB: Berti Vogts
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”, Vogts was one of the greatest rightback in German history.  He won 5 Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Cups with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He had 95 caps, winning both the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championshipmin 1972. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the WC Final in 1974. 

RB: Paul Janes
The DFB list Paul Janes in the top 20 best German footballers of all time.  He is known as one of the best fullback in the world before the War. He went to two World Cup Finals in 1934 and 1938. He was a member of the Breslau Eleven that beat Denmark 8:0 in Breslau in 1937. His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.   

CB: Willi Schulz
Willi Schulz was one of the best center-backs in the world during the 1960's.  He played 66 times for West Germany between 1959 and 1970. He was the starting sweeper in the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.  He also went to the World Cup Finals 4 years later in Mexico, but was injured.  Helmut Schon preferred Beckenbauer as a midfielder while he played as a sweeper. He started with Schalke 04 in 1960.  From 1965 to 1973, he played for Hamburger SV.
Willi Schulz
CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
In his prime, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was considered one of the best leftbacks in the world.  He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two WC winning tournaments.  He was remembered one of the first German to star in Italy.  He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and As Roma.  He won the European Cup in 1969.
SW: Bernard Dietz
Dietz played 53 times for the West German national team.  He was the captain of the team that won the European Championship in 1980.  He also went to European Championship 4 years before in 1976  as well as the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina.  For his club career, he played for Duisburg and Schalke 04.
CB: Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels came through the Bayern Munich youth system, but only made one appearance with the senior team.  He signed with Borussia Dortmund in 2009 after a loan spell. Over there, he established himself among the best centerbacks in the world.  In 2016, he made a dramatic return to Bayern Munich.  For Germany, he was a part of the 2014 World Cup winning team, where he was voted into the team of tournament.

LB: Horst-Dieter Hottges
Horst-Dieter Hottges started his entire career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, but found successes with Werder Bremen.  He went to World cup Finals in 1966 and 1974 and the European Championship in 1972 .  He played in the WC Finals in 1974, but he lost his starting position after West Germany lost to East Germany at the Finals in 1974.

LB:  Erich Juskowiak
Erich Juskowiak made his national team debut in 1951, but did not go to the 1954 World Cup Finals in Switzerland.  However, he  was the starting leftback for the West German national team at Sweden 1958 four years later.  He also became the first German player to be sent off in a World Cup Finals match over there while playing in the semifinal against host Sweden.
Gunter Netzer was the star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the World Cup in 1974.  His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England.  He later joined Real Madrid in 1973 and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's in a period dominated by Real Madrid. He was known for his pop star lifestyle during his playing career.
Gunter Netzer
CM: Horst Szymaniak 
Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958 and 1962.  He played for SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Calcio Catania, F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Varese 1910, and Tasmania 1900 Berlin. He joined Inter Milan in 1962 at a time when Serie A clubs seldom signed German players.

DM/RB: Rainer Bonhof
He was the youngest member of the World Cup winning team in 1974.  He assisted in Gerd Muller's winning goal at the Final.  He also played at Argentina 1978 and a part of Euro 1980 winning team.  He played with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He joined Valencia in 1978, which prompted the DFB to remove their ban on selecting foreign based players for the national team. 

CM: Fritz Szepan
Fritz Szepan is one of Germany's greatest midfielders and perhaps, the best German player before the War.  He played in both 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.  In 1938, Szepan was named captain of the "Unified Germany" team shortly after the Anschluss. He played his entire career with Schalke 04.  He was voted as the club's greatest ever player.
LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974  World Cup, where he kept Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  In addition to 1974 World Cup Finals, he also went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals. He spent all of his career with Koln.

AM/LW: Marco Reus 
In 2009, Reus began his career with Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach. He became one of Europe's brightest young player.  In 2012, he joined Borussia Dortmund, his hometown club. Since 2011, Reus established himself as a regular member of Joachim Löw's national team, but he missed both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship through injuries.  He was a member of the team at the World Cup Finals in 2018.

RW:  Helmut Rahn
Rahn was known as "Der Boss" (English: "The Boss") because of his on-field leadership and occasionally also as "The Cannon from Essen".  He was considered one of the best ever German winger.  His club career was associated with Rot-Weiss Essen.  Capped 40 times.  He was a star of the 1954 WC team.  He scored the winning goal in the final vs Hungary. He also went to the WC Finals in 1958.

LW:  Hans Schafer  
Hans Schafer played for 1. FC Köln between 1948 and 1965. He also played for the West Germany, earning 39 caps and scoring 15 goals. He played in three World Cups, in 1954, 1958, and 1962, earning a winner's medal in 1954 and scoring a total of seven goals. Between 1957 and 1962, Schäfer captained Germany 16 times. He was German Player of the Year in 1963. He spent all of his career with Koln.
Hans Schafer
FW: Klaus Allofs
Klaus Allofs made his name with Fortuna Düsseldorf, where he was the Bundesliga top-scorer in 1978-1979, winning two German Cup with them.  He later joined Koln, Olympique de Marseille, Bordeaux and Werder Bremen.  He was the top scorer at Euro 1980, where West Germany was the champion.  He played at Euro 1984 and Mexico 1986.

ST/LW:  Jupp Heynckes
He was the third highest goal scorer in Bundesliga's history.  He spent most of his career with Borussia Mönchengladbach and was part of their glorious team in the early 1970's. He won Euro 1972 and the WC in 1974.  He played the first two matches at West Germany 1974, but suffered an injury and missed the rest of the tournament.

ST: Horst Hrubesch
Horst Hrubesch was a part of West German national team player pool throughout the 1980's.  He was known as one of the most powerful header of the ball in the game.  He was known for his partnership with Manfield Kaltz who was one of the best crossers in the game.  Together, they won the European Cup in 1983 with Hamburger.

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was one of the best players in the world during the 1980's.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1980 and was part of the squad that finished runner-up at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He was a young star in Argentina 1978.  He spent the best parts of his club career with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Honorable Mention
Jens Lehmann, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Norbert Nigbur, Hans Tikowski, Stefan Klos, Thomas Helme, Frank Mill, Torsten Frings, Reinhold Münzenberg, Ernst Kuzorra, Leroy Sane, Marc Reus, Illkay Gundogan, Julian Draxler, Fritz Herkenrath.

Squad Explanation 
--  Basically, I just looked into the birthplace of the more famous German players.  I probably missed many players.
-- Seventeen players from this team have won either the World Cup or the European Champion.  It would be difficult for the younger players to break into this team.
-- Jens Lehmann deserved to be on this team, but Toni Turek and Manuel Neuer have won a World Cup for Germany while Toni Schumacher was among the greatest ever German keepers.  I also have Fritz Herkenrath, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Norbert Nigbur, Hans Tikowski and Stefan Klos on the players' pool.
-- The rightback position is very strong with Berti Vogts and Paul Janes. I also took Rainer Bonhof who also played the rightback position.
-- Karl-Heinz Schnellinger could also play as a leftback.  So I have three leftbacks in this position.
-- Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  
-- West Germany usually did not start Gunther Netzer and Wolfgang Overath together. At the 1974 World Cup Finals, West Germany used Rainer Bonhof to partner Overath in the Final.
-- Borussia Dortmund is the most successful club over here.  However, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus are the only two players selected on this team who is considered to be all-timer from the club.
-- Hans Schafer, Wolfgang Overath, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Klaus Allofs and Toni Schumacher played for FC Koln.
-- Goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was also known as Toni Schumacher.  He played for Koln between 1972 and 1987. He was the famous German goalkeeper starting at the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. Anton Schumacher was a goalkeeper for Koln between 1960 and 1968.  He was also known as "Toni Schumacher".  He played with another "Harold", Haraldo Konopka around the same time.  To avoid confusion, he earned the nickname "Toni", but would prove to be more confusing later in the club's history.  Anton Schumacher was also born in Goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was also known as Toni Schumacher.  He played for Koln between 1972 and 1987. He was the famous German goalkeeper starting at the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. Anton Schumacher was a goalkeeper for Koln between 1960 and 1968.  He was also known as "Toni Schumacher".  He played with another "Harold", Haraldo Konopka around the same time.  To avoid confusion, he earned the nickname "Toni", but would prove to be more confusing later in the club's history.  Andoni Schumacher was also born in North Rhine-Westphalia.
-- Borussia Mönchengladbach's great team from the 1970's was known as "Die Fohlen".  Bertie Vogts, Gunter Netzer and Jupp Heynckes were on that team.
-- Helmut Rahn and Hans Schafer were two wingers at the 1954 World Cup Final.  Schafer assisted on the decisive goal scored by Rahn.  Both were considered among the best ever wingers from Germany.
-- Marco Reus's national team career was affected by injuries.  I selected him because he was a hero of two local clubs.  While Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach were considered rivals, they have more serious rivalry with other clubs.  So I do not see Reus' career as an issue.
-- Three out of the four forwards selected here were heros of West Germany' Euro 1980 winning team.  Klaus Allofs, Karl-Heinz Rummenuigge and Horst Hrubech started in the Final against Belgium.
-- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge needed no introduction.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981 and was widely considered among the greatest ever for West Germany and Bayern Munich.
-- Horst Hrubesch was known as one of the greatest header of the ball in the game.  He was the hero of West Germany's Euro 1980 winning team.
-- Manfred Burgsmuller was born in Essen.  He is considered to be a local hero being a star with Borussia Dortmund.  But he only made honorable mention. He did not play enough for the national team.  I selected more international players over him.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-4-2
  • Willi Schulz and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger were both sweepers.
  • Several defenders are possible starters.  Paul Janes and Mats Hummels could have started.
  • West Germany did not start Overath and Netzer on the field together, but I would try it here. 
  • I have better attackers than Horst Hrubesch, but he is an out and out striker.  He probably would form a better partnership with Rummenigge.
  • Schafer could replace Overath.  He is a better winger and might fit Hrubesch.

Formation II: 4-3-3
  • The team has depth. I can be flexible in its formation.  Hrubesch is the target man with Schafer and Rummenigge on each side of the flank. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bavaria Greatest all-team 23-member team

Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller

Bavaria is the home of FC Bayern Munich, 1. FC Nuremberg, FC Augsburg and TSV 1860 München.  If there were an All-Time World Cup, Bavaria could create a team that is as good as any country in the world and this would be 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich (its capital and largest city and also the third largest city in Germany[4]), Nuremberg and Augsburg.

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
North Rhine-Westphalia
East German Players after 1990
German Americans/American Germans
German Turks 
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Germany All-Time Team After Beckenbauer
Gerd and Thomas Muller

GK: Sepp Maier
Nicknamed "The cat from Anzing", Maier was considered one of the greatest goalkeeper ever in the 1970's. He had 95 caps for West Germany, winning the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup at home in 1974. For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich. He also won three straight European Cups for Bayern Munich.  He was German Footballer of the Year: 1975, 1977, 1978.

GK: Hans Jakob 
Jakob was the goalkeeper for Germany at World Cup Finals in 1934 and 1938.  Jakob was a member of the famous "Breslau Elf" that defeated Denmark 8–0 in 1937.  For his club career, He played over 1000 games as goalkeeper for SSV Jahn Regensburg, and also for FC Bayern Munich from 1942 to 1945.  He was also a track and field star.

GK: Raimond Aumann
Aumann started his career was a backup to  Jean-Marie Pfaff at Bayern Munich.  In 1988, he became the starter after Pfaff left the club. In 1994, he played a season in Turkey for Beşiktaş J.K.  He had played 4 times for West Germany.  He went to Italia 1990 as the backup keeper as West Germany won its third World Cup.

RB:  Stefan Reuter
Stefan Reuter played 69 times for Germany between 1987 and 1998.  He was Germany's Golden Generation in the 1990's that won the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  He played with FC Nürnberg, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. He won the Champions' League in 1996 with Borussia Dortmund.

RB/CB:  Markus Babbel
Markus Babbel was capped 51 times, scoring one goal for Germany.  He was a part of the Euro 1996 winning team.  He played for Bayern Munich, Hamburger SV, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers.  Babbel also played for his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the European Championship in 2000.

SW/CM: Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer was one of the best ever player in history.  Known as Der Kaiser, he was credited with revolutionizing the sweeper position.  He was twice selected European Footballer of the Year. Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  At the club level, he won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He also played for Hamburger and NY Cosmos.

CB: Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck
Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck was the center-back for both West Germany and Bayern Munich during the 1970's.  Between 1971 and 1978, he played 44 times for West Germany.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.  He was a one club man for Bayern Munich, where he won three straight European Cup.
Klaus Augenthaler played his entire career with with FC Bayern Munich. He won seven Bundesliga titles.  He was voted as one of greatest players in Bayern Munich's history.  For West Germany, he was the starting sweeper for West Germany as they won the Would Cup in 1990.  He also went to the World Cup Finals 4 years earlier in Mexico.

RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team. He had 113 caps for Germany from 2004 to 2014.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich, except for a two year loan spell with VfB Stuttgart. He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga on the same year.  He is a member of Bayern Munich's Hall of Fame.
Philipp Lahm

LB/CM: Paul Breitner 
Breitner was the first player to score a goal at two different WC Final match.  From 1971 to 1982, he had 48 caps for West Germany. He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, a the World Cup in 1974. He spent most of his career with Bayern Muinch and went to play for Real Madrid in Spain.  During his club career, Breitner won seven National Championships with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as well as the German Cup (1971, 1982) and Spanish Cups (1975). 

DM/CB: Ludwig Goldbrunner
Ludwig Goldbrunner went to the World Cup Finals in 1938 for Germany.  He became known in 1937 as one of the "Breslau-Elf" (Breslau Eleven) players, after they thrashed Denmark with an 8:0 score.  He spent his entire career with Bayern Munich, winning the German title in 1932.  He was considered to be one of Bayern's greatest players. 

Throughout his career, Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Manchester City.  He played 59 times for Germany between 1997 and 2006, and represented his nation in two World Cups and two European Championships, reaching the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final. 
Haller was one of the best midfielders in the world in the 1960's.  In 1966, he helped West Germany to reach the World Cup Final in 1966, forming one of the best midfield of the tournament.  He also went to Chile in 1962 and Mexico in 1970.  He started with Augsburg.  He was also known for his stints in Italy, playing for Bologna and Juventus.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was an important player for both club and country.  He was capped 121 times. He went to three European Championships and as many World Cups, including their victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Schweinsteiger is the youth product of Bayern Munich.  He won the 2013 Champions' league title with Bayern Munich. Late in his career, he played for Manchester United and Chicago Fire.

Hitzlsperger started his career for Aston Villa in England, before returning to Germany to play for Stuttgart, where he played between 2005 and 2010 and won the Bundesliga in 2007. He also played for Lazio, West Ham United, Wolfsburg and Everton. He earned 52 caps.  He appeared at the 2006 World Cup Finals and then, two years at the Euro 2008.  After his retirement, he came out as gay, the highest-profile male footballer to do so.

Ernst Lehner played for Germany in the 1934 World Cup and the 1938 World Cup. In total, he made 65 appearances and scored 31 goals for the national team. Lehner was a member of the Breslau Eleven that beat Denmark 8–0 in Breslau in 1937. His specialty was corner kicks; gaining a reputation for often trying (and succeeding) to convert them directly. 

Schuster was the star of the Euro 1980 winning team, but disagreed with the German Football Association and seldom played for West Germany after the tournament.  He was a star at La Liga in the 1980's, playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. He was the first player to have won the Spanish Cup for the big three. He later played for Bayer Leverkusen.

CM: Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus was known for captaining the West German team in winning the World Cup in 1990.  He was the European Player of the Year and the first ever World Player of the year in 1990. He played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He also won the Euro 1980 in Italy, and played in the 1984, 1988, and 2000 European Championships.
Lothar Matthaus
AM: Felix Magath
Felix Magath was the son of an American GI and a German woman.  He played for Hamburger between 1976 and 1986, winning the European Cup in 1983. He was a part of the great West German national team of the 1980's, winning the Euro 1980.  He also played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals. 82 and Mexico 1986. He had 43 caps between 1977 and 1986.

FW: Mario Gotze
Mario Gotze scored the winning goal at the Final of the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil against Argentina.  He started his career with Borussia Dortmund, where he played under manager Jurgen Klopp.  In 2013, he moved to Bayern Munich and became the most expensive German player ever.  He returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

FW: Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller made his professional debut the season before the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa with Bayern Munich.   In South Africa, he won the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament.  Between the two World Cup Finals, Bayern Munich won one Champions' league and went to the Final two other times.  At Brazil 2014, he won Silver Boot by scoring 5 goals, but he faile to score at the World Cup Finals four years later in Russia.

ST: Karl-Heinz Riedle
Riedle was a key member of the Die Mannschaft in the 1990's.  He won the World Cup  in 1990, and went to Euro 1992 and USA 1994.  He was known as the backup strikers to Jurgen Klinsmann and Rudi Voller.  His club career was best remembered playing for Lazio and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund. 

ST: Gerd Muller
"Der Bomber" was widely considered to be the greatest striker in history. He scored 68 goals in 62 matches for Die Mannschaft.   He scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearance, mostly with Bayern Muinch.   He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. At the international level, he played over 60 times for West Germany.  He won the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972. He was the European Player of the Year in 1970.  He also played in the NASL at the end of his career.
Gerd Muller

Honorable Mention
Holger Badstuber, Hans Pflügler, Lars Bender.

Squad Explanation
-- The criteria for selection is based upon the birth place of the players.
-- With Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, Sepp Maier, Lother Matthaus, Philipp Lahm, Paul Breitner, Helmut Haller, etc, this team is as good as some of the best all-time teams in the world. 
-- Three players have won the Ballon d'Or.  They are Franz Beckenbauer, Lother Matthaus and Gerd Muller.
-- Gerd Muller and Thomas Muller were World Cup Golden Boot winners while Helmut Haller finished seccond in 1966.  The team also consisted of three World Cup winning captains, namely Franz Beckenbauer(1974), Lother Matthaus (1990) and Philipp Lahm (2014).
-- Most players selected have played for Bayern Munich. Only six players never played for their senior team. They are Karl-Heinz Riedle, Felix Magath, Bernd Schuster, Helmut Haller, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Ernst Lehner.  Hitzlsperger played for their youth team.
-- Not all Bayern Munich's German greats were born in the region.  For example, Karl Heinz Rummenigge was born in North Rhine-Westphalia. Toni Kroos who was born in East Germany spent his youth career with Bayern Munich.  
-- TSV 1860 München is not represented here.  Not a single player has played for them. FC Augsburg has a much stronger presence. Helmut Haller and Karl-Heinz Riedle played for them.
-- Fourteen of the players selected had won the World Cup for Germany.  Only 6 players did not win either a World Cup or an European Championship.
-- The backbone of the 1974 World Cup winning team came from the region.  Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Gerd Muller were important players while Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck contributed.  
-- In 1990, Lothar Matthaus was the captain of the World Cup winning team.  Stefan Reuter and Klaus Augenthaler were on the starting lineup.  Karl-Heinz Riedle was an important player coming off the bench.
-- In 2014, Bavarian players agains played a significant role.  Philipp Lahm was their captain while Bastian Schweinsteiger was a veteran player on the team. Thomas Muller was their top scorer. Mario Gotze scored the World Cup winning goal in the Final.  
-- The team has too many central midfielders. I have Bernd Schuster, Lother Matthaus, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dietmar Hamann and Helmut Haller.  Ludwig Goldbrunner, Franz Beckenbauer and Paul Breitner also played there.
-- Franz Beckenbauer spent most of his national team career playing as a central midfielder.  He was a central midfielder in the World Cup Finals of 1966 and 1970.  West German manager Helmut Schön did not want to use him in the sweeper position. I have a blog post explaining his position here.  .




Sunday, February 8, 2015

Italian diaspora Greatest All-time 23 member team

Dunga vs Maradona
Italy saw a large-scale migration of its people away from Italy in the period Between the unification of Italy in 1861 and the rise of Italian Fascism during the 1920s, as well as one last wave can be observed after the end of World War II.  Today, Italian diaspora is one of largest in the world.  Some of the greatest footballers are overseas Italians. There are 20 World Cup Finals at the time of writing.  Five of them were lifted by captains who are of Italian descent (1930, 1958, 1978, 1986 and 1994).   Italy won four more (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006).

This is my All-time 23 Italian Diaspora team.  I have excluded all Oriundo players because those players have been capped by Italy and the Italian national team did not "lose" them.

Please also look at my all-time Italy team here and my All-Time Team Index.

Southern ItalyCentral Italy.
Northern Italy(excluding Lombardy)Lombardy
Italy after 1982Italy between 1938 and 1982.

GK: Peter Bonetti (England)
Nicknamed as "the Cat", Peter Bonetti was a legend at Chelsea. His finest moment came in the Final of the FA Cup in 1970 where his heroic play helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup. He was the FWA Player of the Year runner-up that year.  However, he only earned 7 caps for England.  his career was limited by playing with Gordon Banks at the same time.  He was Banks' backup in the World Cup 1966.
GK: Rogerio Ceni (Brazil)
Roger Ceni is known as the goalkeeper who was known as a dead-ball specialist and scored a lot of goals.  He is recognized as the highest scorer in history for a goalkeeper.  He is a long-term keeper for Sao Paulo.  With them, he won two Copa Libertadores: 1993, 2005.  For Brazil, he had 16 caps.  He went to two World Cup Finals (2002 and 2006) as a backup.

GK Roque Maspoli (Uruguay)
Maspoli began playing in the youth ranks of Club Nacional de Football. He would make his Uruguayan Primera División debut with Liverpool de Montevideo in 1939. After one season with Liverpool, he joined C.A. Peñarol. He would spend the rest of his playing career with Peñarol, winning six Primera titles with the club. He was Uruguay's keeper at the World Cup in 1950, where they won it by breaking the hearts of the Brazilians.
RB:  Javier Zanetti (Argentina)
He was the starting rightback for Inter Milan for almost 20 years.  He served as their captain from 1999, earning him the nickname "Il Capitano" (The Captain).  He held all kind of appearance records in Italy.  He widely considered to be Argentina's best ever rightback.  He holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team and played in the 1996 Olympic tournament, five Copa América tournaments and two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.

RB: Severino Minelli (Switzerland)
Minelli was considered one of the best European rightbacks in history.  He played 80 times for Switzerland.  He played in the 1934 and 1938 WC Finals.  In 1938, Switzerland knocked out Germany, a team boosted by additional Austrian players in the first round. For his club career, he played for FC Zurich, Grasshopper and Serviette FC.  

RB/CB: Jose Nasazzi (Uruguay)
He was the captain of Uruguay's legendary team that won the World Cup in 1930.   He is regarded by many as Uruguay's greatest ever football player. He was known as "El Gran Mariscal" (The Great Marshal) and had already won the gold medal at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, as well as the South American Championship in 1923, 1924 and 1926, by the time of the first World Cup.

CB: Daniel Passarella (Argentina)
Daniel Passarella was one of the best center-backs ever played the game.  He captained Argentina when it won the World Cup in 1978. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1982, but he was forced into have a non-playing role in 1986 after a row with Diego Maradona. He was also known for scoring over 140 goals in his career, very high for a defender. His career was associated with River Plate. He also played for Fiorentina and Inter Milan in Italy.
Daniel Passarella 
CB: Roberto Perfumo (Argentina)
Nicknamed El Mariscal, Perfumo is considered as one of the best Argentine defenders ever. At club level, Perfumo played for Racing, River Plate and Brazilian team Cruzeiro. He was a legend with Racing Club in Argentina winning the Primera title, the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup.  He was considered their greatest player. He had 37 caps.  He played in 1966 and 1974 WC Finals. 

CB: Oscar Ruggeri (Argentina)
Oscar Ruggeri played in 3 World Cup Finals, winning the one in 1986 and finishing second in 1990. He was La Liga Foreign Player of the Year in 1989 and South American Player of the Year in 1991. He played for both River Plate and Boca Juniors as well as Real Madrid in Spain. He also had career with Vélez Sarsfield, San Lorenzo, etc.

LB: Silvio Marzolini (Argentina)
In 1959, Silvio Marzolini started his career with Ferro Carril Oeste. A year later, he joined Boca Juniors where he played until 1972 and became an idol. He was considered one of the greatest leftbacks in Latin American football history.  For Argentina, he had 28 caps between 1960 and 1969.  He went to the 1962 and the 1966 World Cup Finals.

LB:  Alberto Tarantini (Argentina)
Alberto Tarantini had 61 caps between 1974 and 1982. He was the starting leftback for Argentina in 1978 and 1982, where Argentina won their first WC in 1978.  He was infamously known for his career in England where he only lasted 28 matches. He played for River Plate, Boca Juniors and Talleres de Córdoba, River Plate, and European teams SC Bastia, Toulouse and FC St. Gallen.

DM: Nestor Rossi (Argentina)
One of Argentina's greatest defensive midfielders.  Nicknamed "Pipo", he started his career at River Plate, playing from 1945 to 1949, and then again from 1955 to 1958, winning a total of 5 Argentine leagues. He also won 6 more with Millonarios in Colombia. He played in the 1958 World Cup Finals and was a part of their 1957 Copa America winning team.

DM: Dunga (Brazil)
Dunga's bluecollar and defensive style of football symbolized a new era in Brazil's football during the 1990's.  He played 91 times for Brazil.  He was the captain of Brazil's World Cup winning team in 1994. He also went to Italia 1990 and France 1998.  He is one of onlytwo men to have played in a World Cup, Olympic Games, Confederations Cup and continental championship final. He played in Brazil, Japan, Italy and Germany in his club career. 
CM: Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina)
Cambiasso has won 23 official titles (as of the end of 2011), being the Argentine footballer with most honours in history, one more than Alfredo Di Stéfano. The majority of his titles were won during his ten seasons at Inter Milan, including the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. He won 52 caps for Argentina, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup.

DM: Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield. 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/AM/FW:  Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina)
The best player in the world before the emerge of Pele and Maradona. He was one of the younger member of the great River Plate in the 1940's.  In 1949, he moved to play in Colombia before moving to Europe in 1953.  He won 5 straight European Cups with Real Madrid. He was credited in turning Real Madrid into a legendary club. His international career was limited to the fact that Argentina did not select overseas players.  He played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain.

AM: Enzo Scifo (Belgium)  
Born in Belgium of Italian background,  Enzo Scifo made his name with Anderlecht, helping the team to the 1984 UEFA Cup Final.  He also played in both France and Italy at the club level.  He was capped over 80 times between 1984 and 1998.  He appeared for Belgium in the World Cups of 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998, playing sixteen games in total.  He was a star at the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990, where he scored one of the best goals of the tournament in 1990.  
Enzo Scifo 
LW/M: Rivelino (Brazil)
Rivelino is considered to be one of the greatest left-sided midfielder ever.  His signature move was the "flip-flap". He was a member of Brazil's great 1970 team and also played in the 1974 team.  He had 92 caps for Brazil.  He started his career with Corinthians, but in one of the club's worst period in history. He moved to Fluminense in 1974, forming a great team with Carlos Alberto.  He also played for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia.

RW/FW: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
At time of writing, Messi won 4 World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or.  In 2016, he was convicted for 21 months in jail for tax fraudDespite his tax evasion conviction and fraud with his charities, he is considered a clean-cut player.  Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. 

AM: Michel Platini (France)
Michel Platini is one of the greatest footballers of all time.  He played 72 times for France, He scored 9 of France's 14 goals as they won the European Championship in 1984 at home.  It was probably the greatest individual performance in a tournament.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  With Juventus, he won the European Cup in 1985, the first ever for the club. He started with Nancy and was a member of the famous team with AS Saint-Etienne.
Michel Platini 
AM:  Enzo Francescoli (Uruguay)
Enzo Francescoli is known as "the Prince". He was Uruguay's most capped outfield player.  He was a big fan favorite in River Plate where he won Copa Libertadores in 1996.  He also played in France and Italy. With Uruguay, he won three Copa America's in 1983, 1987 and 1995, where he was voted the best player in two of the tournaments.  He played in two World Cup Finals.  He was also South America Player of the Year in 1984 and 1995. 
Enzo Francescoli 
AM: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
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.
Diego Maradona 

ST:  Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina)
Gabriel Batistuta is the current top-scorer for Argentina.  He first gained international recognition when Argentina won the Copa America in 1991 where he finished as the top scorer. He earned a move to Fiorentina spending the next 9 seasons there while becoming their all-time leading scorer.  In 2000, he moved to Roma and won the scudetto in his first season. He went to the WC Finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Gabriel Batistuta 

Honorable Mention 
Paul Caligiuri (USA), Tony Meola (USA), Miguel Brindisi (Argentima), Nestor Sensini (Argentina), Ciriaco Sforza (Switzerland), Tony Cascarino (Ireland), Hilderaldo Bellini (Brazil), Roger Piantoni (France).

Squad Explanation
-- I have excluded all Oriundo players because those players have been capped by Italy and the Italian national team did not "lose" them. Omar Sivori, Luis Monti, etc are ineligible. Alfredo Di Stefano played for Spain, but Italy.  He is eligible.
-- Tony Cascarino (Ireland) turned out that he was adopte, would make him ineligible for Ireland.  His father was not Italian, I supposed.  Nevertheless, he has an Italian surname and that it all mattered to me. He made honourable mention.
-- It is estimated up to 25 million Argentines have some degree of Italian descent (up to 62.5% of the total population).  Therefore, almost all of the great Argentinian footballers are Italians.  Daniel Passarella, Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Roberto Perfumo, Gabriel Batistuta, Nestor Rossi, Oscar Ruggeri, Lionel Messi, Silvio Marzolini, Alberto Tarantini and Javier Zanetti are on my Argentina All-Time team.  Diego Simeone made my honorable mention.
-- Four World Cup winning captains are selected. They are José Nasazzi, Dunga, Passarella and Maradona. Hilderaldo Bellini  would have been the fifth one, but he only made honourable mention here.  Italy also won 4 World Cup with 4 different captains.  At the time of writing, there are 21 World Cup captain, which meant 9 of the 20 captains are of Italian heritage.
-- Hilderaldo Bellini lost out to Oscar Ruggeri, Daniel Passarella, José Nasazzi and Roberto Perfumo.
-- Severino Minelli was one of the best right backs in the world during the 1930's. He is from Küsnacht, near Zurich.  It is not an Italian speaking part of the region.
-- Peter Bonetti's parents are actually Italian-Swiss.  They are from Ticino, an Italian-speaking region in Switzerland.
-- Alfredo Di Stefano's father came from Sicily.  His mother was half-French and half-Irish.
-- Michel Platini's father came from Agrate Conturbia, Piedmont, not far from Turin, where he played for Juventus.
-- Dunga's full name was Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri.  He is also of German descent.  
-- Rivelino's family origibally came from Macchiagodena in Southern Italy.
-- The Honorable mention should be longer. I am sure that I am missing someone with Italian blood from maternal side of the family.
-- I only selected a single striker, which is very unrealistic.  But who can I leave out for another striker? Enzo Francescoli, Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stefano, Michel Platini and Lionel Messi got ahead of any striker.  I supposed that there might be a space if I take out Enzo Scifo.