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, Jose Eulogio Garate.

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.  He joined Porto after leaving 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)
Feliciano Rivilla was an all-time great with Atletico Madrid.  He started playing football with Real Ávila CF, moving to Real Murcia at the age of 17.  In 1954, he joined Atletico Madrid, where he played until 1968. 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 Spain'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 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. He also played for Racing de Santander, Hércules CF, Real Murcia, Calvo Sotelo and Toluca de Santander. Capped twice.

LB: Isacio Calleja (Castile and Leon)
Except for a loan spell with CD Guadalajara in the third division, he 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 to 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)
Iniesta scored the WC winning goal in 2010 that gave Spain its first ever WC title. At Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament. He also won Champion' league trophies with Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta
AM/CM: Luis del Sol (Castile and Leon)
Luis del Sol started his career with Real Betis.  He joined Real Madrid in 1960, winning an Intercontinental Cup in his first season with Real Madrid. In 1962, he was lured to play in Italy.  He later played with Juventus and then, Roma.  He was a part of Spain's Euro 1964 winning team. He also played in both 1962 and 1966 World Cup Finals.

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)
Juan Antonio Señor played mainly for Zaragoza, amassing nearly 400 official appearances in nine years. He gained more than 40 caps during the 80's, representing the nation in the 1986 World Cup Finals and one European Championship in 1984.  He scored the all important that qualified Spain to Euro 1984 Finals.

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.
.
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 had 21 caps and went to USA 1994. 

ST: Santilana (Cantabria)
Santilana was a star during the 1970's.  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, helping Sopain to finish second in 1984.

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. he is very close of getting the third keeper spot.

Starting lineup







Friday, September 4, 2015

Catalonia Greatest All-time 23 member team



Catalonia is known for its football teams, Barcelona and Espanyol. This is my selection of an all-time 23 member team for Catalan players.  I excluded guest players who played for Catalan XI.

My all-time 23 member team for Spain is here.   Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.


Team
GK: Ricardo Zamora (Spain)
The first ever star goalkeeper in history.  He is also remembered for a spectacular last minute save he made in the 1936 Copa de España final while playing for Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. The award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, is named in his honour and he was voted one of the greatest players of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was also Spain's most capped player for 45 years.

GK: Antoni Ramallets (Spain)
Antoni Ramallets was the starting keepers of Barcelona in the 1950's.  He played alongside with Laszio Kubalal and Luis Suarez.  He won 6 La liga titles in an era that was known to be dominated by Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.  Ramallets played 35 games for Spain during 11 years, making his debut against Chile on 29 June 1950, during the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

GK: Victor Valdes (Spain)
Victor Valdes spent most of his career with Barcelona. With them, he won three Champions' league title.  For the national team, he only managed 20 caps due to playing behind Iker Casillas during the prime of his career. He was part of the Spanish squads that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, despite not playing in either tournament.

RB: Albert Ferrer (Spain)
Ferrer represented the nation in two World Cups and at the 1992 Olympic Games, winning the latter tournament. He was a part of Barcelona's Dream Team in the 1990's. He won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. After Louis van Gaal took over, Barcelona gradually signed more Dutch players and his places were uncertain.  He left for Chelsea.

CB: Carlos Puyol (Spain)
As an one-club man, Carlos Puyol served as the long-time team captain for his only club Barcelona after taking over from Luis Enrique in August 2004, and went on to appear in 593 official games for the club and win 20 major titles. He won the World Cup in 2014 and the European Championship in 2008.
Carlos Puyol 
CB: Gerard Pique (Spain)
Pique started his career with Barcelona's academy, but left for Manchester Uniued. In England, he was seldom used by the team.  he returned to Spain in 2006 with Zaragoza.  He gradually became a good defender in La Liga.  At the time of writing, he has been capped over 90 times.  His grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, is a former vice-president of Barcelona.

CB: Joan Segarra (Spain)
Joan Segarra played for Barcelona from1949 to 1964.  He was a part of the great Barcelona team of the 1950's. They finally reached the 1961 European Cup Final, but losing to Benfica.  It would take Barcelona 31 more years before finally winning the Cup.  For the national team, he had 25 caps.

CB: Ferran Olivella (Spain)
Olivella was capped 18 times for Spain, but better remembered for being the captain of Spain that won the European Championship in 1964. He was unused sub at the World Cup Finals in 1966. For club football, he played his entire career with Barcelona. He also won Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

LB: Joan Capdevila (Spain)
Joan Capedevila started his career with Espanyol.  He later played for Atletico Madrid, Deportivo la Coruna, Villarreal and Benfica.  He was capped 60 times for Spain, in a period where Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship. He was their disputed starting leftback in that era. He also played for Catalonia.
Joan Capdevilla 
LB: Sergi (Spain)
Sergio was promoted to Barcelona's first time in 1993. He helped them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1997.  He later played for Atletico Madrid before retiring in 2005. He was capped 56 times for the Spanish national team. He went to two World Cup Finals and two European Championships.

DM: Sergio Busquets (Spain)
He did the dirty work in the midfield during Spain's glorious run at the WC in 2010.  For his club career, he played for Barcelona.  He is probably for his racist against Marcelo during an El Classico game.

DM: Pep Guardiola (Spain)
He won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for Spain, winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1992, and later appeared at the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.

DM: Marti Verges (Spain)
Verges was a part of Barcelona's great team of the 1950's.  He won three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1955–58, 1958–60, 1965–66, coincidently in the same years that Real Madrid won the European Cup.  He was capped 12 times.

CM: Mariano Gonzalvo (Spain)
Gozalvo was a member of Barcelona's team in the 1950's, in an era before the emerge of Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.  He won 5 league titles.  For the national team, he was capped 16 times.

CM: Gerald Lopez (Spain)
Lopez was a star for Valencia.  He helped them to reach the Champions' league Final in 2000 against Real Madrid, the first time where two clubs from the same country reaching the Final together.  After losing 3-0 to Real Madrid, he joined Barcelona, but injuries cut short his career with the club.

AM: Josep Samitier (Spain)
Smatter played for Barcelona between 1919 and 1932. He is the club's all time third top goalscorer.  He joined Real Madrid in 1932 and then, Nice in France.  In 1920, Samitier was also a member of the first ever Spanish national squad. The squad won the silver medal at the 1920 Olympic Games. He subsequently made 21 appearances and scored 2 goals for Spain.

AM./CM: Xavi (Spain)
Xavi was perhaps one of greatest playmakers of his generation.  He won everything in football.  Xavi has won 31 trophies, only surpassed by Andrés Iniesta as the most successful Spanish player in history.  He had 133 caps and was a part of the team that won the  2010 World Cup and two European Championship in between.
Xavi
RW: Estanislau Basora (Spain)
Basora was considered of the Barcelona's greatest players.  He was a member of Barcelona's team in the 1950's, in an era before the emerge of Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.   He was capped 22 times for Spain. He went to the World Cup Final in 1950.

RW: Carles Rexach (Spain)
Carlos Rexach was known for his partnership with Johan Cruyff at Barcelona.  He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1979.  For the national team, he was capped 15 times. He went to the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina.

LW: Luis Garcia (Spain)
Garcia played for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid before moving to Liverpool in 2004. He won the 2005 Champions' League under Rafael Benitez after going down 3-0 at half time against AC Milan. It was marked as one of the greatest comeback in history.  He was capped 20 times for Spain.

AM/SS: Cesc Fabregas (Spain)

Cesc was lured to play for Arsenal's academy in 2003.  He made his first time debut as a teenager. he helped Arsenal to reach the Champions' league Final in 2005.  He retuned to Spain in 2011 with Barcelona, but returned to England in 2014.  He was a part of Spain that won the WC in 2010 and two European Championships.

ST: Raul Tamudo (Spain)
Raul Tamudo was a club legend with Espanyol.  He won two Copa Del Rey with the club as well as reaching the Final of UEFA cup in 2007. He is their all-time leading scorer.  He picked up 13 caps for Spain. He was a member of their 2000 silver medal winning team at the Olympics.
Raul Tamudo 
ST/LW: Eduard Manchón (Spain)
Between 1950 and 1957 he scored 88 goals in 201 games for Barcelona, where he witnessed one of his most successful periods in his career. Together with László Kubala, César and Estanislau Basora, he formed one of the most dangerous front-lines in the club's history. He belonged to the legendary "Five Cups-Barça" side, which won all five possible trophies in 1952.

ST: Eric Cantona (France)
Cantona played for various clubs in France before moving to England in 1992.  He first joined Leeds United and was lured away to Manchester United. He is widely considered to be Manchester United's greatest player in the Premiership era.  For the national team, he was limited to 45 caps because of fightings with different coaches and suspension by the incident with a Crystal Palace fan.
Eric Cantona

Honorable Mention
José Parra Martínez, Albert Celades, Vicente Piera, Bojan Krkić, Albert Luque, Jordi Cruyff, René Llense, Josep Escolà, Ramón Calderé, Sergio García, Gabri, Jordi Alba.

Squad Explanation
-- Catalonia has used non-Catalonian guest players such as Johan Cruyff, Hristo Stoichkov, Alfredo Di Stéfano, etc.  However, I only selected Catalan players for this team.
-- At the time of writing, I still selected Sergi over Jordi Alba.
-- Jordi Cruyff's mother is from Catalonia.
-- I do not know the ethnic background of Paulino Alcántara (Spain/the Philippines).  He was all-time great with Barcelona.
-- Eric Cantona's mother is Catalonian. His grandfather fought in the Spanish Civil War.
-- Luis Suarez Miramontes and Andres Iniesta are not Catalans, despite being all-time greats with Barcelona FC.  They had played for the Catalonia national team as guest players.
-- Eric Cantona is only footballer who is on the team and never played for Spain. René Llense of France made honourable mention.

Starting lineup