Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AS Roma Greatest All-Time Team

1982-1983 Scudetto winner
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

AC MilanJuventusInter Milan,
AS Roma All-Time Team for Italian Players
AS Roma All-Time Team for Foreign Players

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

AS Roma have won Serie A three times, first in 1941–42 then in 1982–83 and again in 2000–01, as well as winning nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. On the European stage Roma won an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960–61, coming close to European Cup victory in 1983–84 (lost the one-legged final played at home against Liverpool), and finishing as runners-up in the UEFA Cup for 1990–91 (two-legged aggregate defeat against Internazionale). Therefore, Roma is the fourth Italian club by major honours won, behind Juventus, Milan and Inter, and it is considered one of the Seven Sisters of Italian football.
2007 Supercoppa
GK: Franco Tancredi (Italy)
Franco Tancredi  began his career with Giulianova, and later also played with Milan and Rimini, before joining Roma in 1977. He was long-time keeper for Roma. He played for them between 1977 and 1990, winning the league in the 1982-1983 season.   He is a member of the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame.  He played a single season with Torino before retiring.  He was capped 12 times.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1986. 
Franco Tancredi

GK: Guido Masetti (Italy)
Born in Verona, Italy, Guido Masetti played for Hellas Verona and AS Roma from 1926 to 1943.  For the Italian national team, he was merely used as a stand-in for Gianpiero Combi and Aldo Olivieri. He had two caps.  Masetti was a part of the teams that won two World Cups in 1934 and 1938 without playing in any of the matches.

GK: Fabio Cudicini (Italy)
Fabio Cudicini  played Udinese, Roma, AC Milan and Brescia.  He was remembered for his two stints with AC Milan. Between 1967 and 1972, he played for AC Milan. He helped Milan to win the 1969 European Cup. Before Milan, he played for Roma and Udinese.  He won the Inter-Cities Fair Cup with Roma.  He was playing in the same generation as Dino Zoff, Lozenzo Buffon and Enrico Albertosi.  He was uncapped.

RB: Francesco Rocca (Italy)  
Francesco Rocca played his entire career with AS Roma.   He played 18 games for the Italy national football team from 1974 to 1976.  He retired at the age of 26 because of a serious injury. He was nicknamed "Kawasaki"(Japanese motorcycle brand) for his pace and work rate.  He is a member of AS Roma's Hall of Fame.  

RB: Cafu (Brazil)
Cafu is the all-time cap record holder for Brazil with 142.  He is the only man to play in three World Cup Finals, winning in 1994 and 2002.  He was the captain of the national team as they won the World Cup in 2002.  With Brazil, he also took part in four editions of the Copa América, winning the title twice, in 1997 and 1999. He played with Sao Paulo,  Real Zaragoza, Juventude, Roma, Palmeiras and AC Milan. He was South American Player of the Year in 1994.  
SW: Giacomo Losi (Italy)
Giacomo Losi was considered one of the greatest player who ever played for AS Roma.  He earned his nickname "the Heart of Roma", during a match against Sampdoria in which Losi kept playing despite being injured. He later scored the winning goal from a corner kick. He held Roma's all-time appearance record until Francesco Totti broke it in 2007.  He won Inter-Cities fairs Cup in 1960-61.  For Italy, he was capped 11 times.  Two of his caps came at the 1962 World Cup Finals.
Gaicomo Losi
CB: Sergio Santarini (Italy)
Sergio Santarini played for Rimini, Internazionale, Roma, and Catanzaro.  He spent 13 seasons with AS Roma, where he made his name.  He won three Italian Cups in 1969, 1980 and 1981.  At the international level, he had two caps for Italy in 1971 and 1974.  He was elected into Roma's Hall of Flame in 2015.

CB: Aldair (Brazil)
Aldair played for Flamengo before heading to Europe.  He started with Benfica, but he was widely remembered for his 13 seasons with Roma.  He was a member of the scudetto winning team in 2001. He was nicknamed "Pluto" by Roma fans.  The club retired his #6 jersey for 10 seasons.  For the national team, he had 80 caps.  He was a key member of the great defensive unit of the World Cup winning team in 1994.   In addition, he also played in the World Cup Finals 1990 and 1998.

LB/CB: Sebcastiano Nela (Italy)
Sebcastiano Nela could play as a left back, rightback and sweeper.  He began his career with Genoa in 1978.  He joined Roma in 1981 from Geona.  He was a part of the great team that won the Serie A title in 1982-83 and 3 Italian Cups.  He later played briefly for Napoli. Nela was capped 5 times for Italy and went to the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  

LB: Vincent Candela (France)
For his club career, Vincent Candela played with Toulouse  and Guingamp before moving to A.S. Roma in 1997.  He won one scudetto with Roma, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana, in 2001. He later played for Bolton Wanderers, Udinese, Siena and Messina. Internationally, he was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He had 40 caps.

LB: Amedeo Carboni (Italy)
Carboni played for a number of Italian clubs before joining Roma in 1990. He stayed there for 7 seasons mainly as a starter before he went to Valencia in 1997.  With Valencia, his team made it to the Champions' League Finals twice, but lost on both occasions.  He won the UEFA Cup/League Double in 2003/2004.  He played 9 seasons with them.  He represented Italy at Euro 1996, where he earned two of his 18 caps for Italy.

DM: Daniele De Rossi (Italy)  
At the time of writing, Daniele De Rossi  has played his entire career with Roma.  De Rossi inherited the captaincy of Roma at the start of the 2017–18 season following the retirement of Francesco Totti.  He was an important player for Italy since making his national debut in 2004.  He went to every major international tournaments.  He had 117 caps after his retirement from the national team in 2017. He was a member of the 2006 World Cup winning team.  He was Italian Footballer of the Year in 2009. 
Daniele De Rossi
DM: Attilio Ferraris (Italy) 
Ferraris played 10 seasons (254 games, 2 goals) in the Serie A, for A.S. Roma, S.S. Lazio and A.S. Bari.  Ferraris had 28 caps between 1926 and 1935.  He won the bronze medal at the 1928 Olympics, and was a part of the World Cup winning team of 1934, being named to the tournament's All-Star Team for his performances.

CM: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy)
Carlos Ancelotti began his career with Parma, but he made his name with AS Roma. He won the Serie A title in 1982-1983 and 4 Italian Cup's.  In 1987, he joined AC Milan and became a part of the team that won two European Cups.  The team is considered one of the greatest club sides in history.  He was capped 26 times.  He narrowly missed the WC Finals in 1982, but went to Mexico 1986 and 1990.

AM/CM: Agostino Di Bartlomei (Italy)
With Roma, Di Bartlomei formed a midfield partnership with Falcao in the mid-1980's.  He was a part of the great team that won the Serie A title in 1982-83 and 3 Italian Cups.  He is considered to be one of the greatest footballers in Roma's history.  However, he was uncapped.  In 1984, he moved A.C. Milan. After three seasons he left Milan and his career fizzled out after playing for Cesena and Salernitana.  He is a member of the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame.
Agostino Di Bartlomei
CM: Falcao (Brazil)
At one point, Falcao was the world's highest paid footballer.  He played with Internacional at home before becoming the star of Roma in the 1980's, winning the Serie A in 1982-83. In 1985, he returned home and played for Sao Paulo. For the national team, he was a key player for the fantastic Brazilian of Spain 1982.  He won the Silver Ball in Spain. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1986.
RW: Bruno Conti (Italy)
Bruno Conti was the greatest winger in Italy's history.  He was a star player as Italy won the World Cup in 1982 and also took part at the 1986 World Cup Finals. Except with two loan spells with Genoa, he played his entire career with AS Roma. The season after the World Cup Finals in 1982, he helped Roma to win the league title.  He also led them to the 1984 European Cup Final but were defeated on penalties by Liverpool.

RW: Alcides Ghiggia (Uruguay)
Alcides Ghiggia played for the national sides of both Uruguay and Italy during his career.  He was known for scoring the winning goal against Brazil in the 1950 World Cup Finals that sealed the World Cup for Uruguay.  The match was known as the "Maracanazo".    He also played for the club sides of the Peñarol and Danubio in Uruguay and A.S. Roma and A.C. Milan in Italy.

AM/LM: Francesco Totti (Italy)
Totti was the long serving captain of Roma and perhaps the greatest ever player for the club.  He brought the scudetti back to Roma in 2001 after a 20 year drought.  He was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for 2000 and 2001. He won the European Golden Boot award in 2006-2007.  A 2006 World Cup winner and Euro 2000 finalist with Italy, Totti was selected in the All-Star team for both tournaments; he also represented his country at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. 
Francesco Totti
AM: Giuseppe Giannini (Italy)
Nicknamed "Il Principe" (The Prince),  Giuseppe Giannini  was a symbol of Roma before the emerge of FrancescoTotti.  He played for AS Roma between 1982 and 1996. After AS Roma, he played in Austria for Sturm Graz, and for Napoli and Lecce in Italy. At the international level, Giannini was capped 47 times for Italy between 1986 and 1991, scoring 6 goals. He represented Italy at both Euro 1988 and the 1990 World Cup Finals hosted by Italy.
Giannini "Il Principe" Giannini 
ST/FW: Marco Delvecchio (Italy)
Marco Delvecchio started with Inter Milan, but went through several clubs before settling with AS Roma in 1995.  He played 10 seasons winning the 2000-2001 league there.  At the international level, he represented Italy on 22 occasions between 1998 and 2004, scoring 4 goals, taking part at UEFA Euro 2000, reaching the final of the tournament, in which he scored, and at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

ST: Fulvio Bernardini (Italy)
Fulvio Bernardini played Lazio and and Inter Milan before spending 9 seasons with Roma.  At the end of his career, he played for M.A.T.E.R.  He had 26 caps for Italy from 1926 to 1932 at the international level.  He was a member of the 1928 Italian Olympic team that won a bronze medal.  He was one of the first players elected to Roma's Hall of Flame. 

ST: Vincenzo Montella (Italy) 
Montella played for Italian clubs Empoli, Genoa, Sampdoria and Roma, and also had a spell on loan in England with Fulham. His best years were spent with Roma, where he scored many, important goals, despite having conflicts with Coach Fabio Capello.  He won won the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana during the 2000–01 season. For Italy, he went to Euro 2000 and the WC Finals in 2002, but saw limited action. 

ST: Amadeo Amadei (Italy)
Known as the "Eight King of Rome",  Amadei made his Serie A debut in 1937 as a 15 years old.  He became the youngest ever scorer a week later when he scored against A.S. Lucchese Libertas 1905, a record still held today.  He won the Serie A in 1941-42.  He also played for Atlanta, Inter Milan and Napoli.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1950.  

ST: Roberto Pruzzo (Italy)
Pruzzo made his senior debut for Genoa in 1973, winning the Serie B title during the 1975–76 season, as well as the top scoring award.  He went to Roma in 1979, for the then record sum of 3 billions liras. He became one of the most effective Italian strikers of the 1980s, winning one scudetto during the 1982–83 season, and four Italian Cups in 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1986. He also won the Serie A top scorer award three times, in 1981, 1982, and 1986.  For Italy, he was capped 6 times and went to Euro 1980.
Roberto Pruzzo

Honorable Mention
Simone Perrotta, Damiano Tommasi, Ubaldo Righett, Philippe Mexes, Walter Samuel, Gabriel Batistuta, Rudi Voller, Abel Balbo, Rodolfo Volk, Arne Selmosson, Pedro Manfredini, Francesco Graziani, Christian Panucci, Alberto Ginulfi, Paolo Conti, Pierluigi Pizzaballa, Doni, Mario De Michel, Giorgio Carpi, Arcadio Venturi, .

Squad Explanation
-- In recent years, AS Roma had three loyal players who spent most of their prime career with them.  In the modern era, it is difficult to keep players on the same team for a club liked AS Roma. They are Giuseppe Giannini, Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi.  Bruno Conti also played his entire career with AS Rom, except for a loan deal.
-- AS Roma won the 1982-1983 scudetto.  It was an era when the best players in the world joined Serie A.  Falcao, Agostino Di Bartlomei, Roberto Pruzzo, Bruno Conti, Franco Tancredi, Carlo Ancelotti, Giuseppe Giannini and Sebcastiano Nela. Toninho Cerezo just missed out on this all-time team.  Giuseppe Giannini was a young player on the team. 
-- Pietro Vierchowod was also on that scudetto winning team, but it was his only season with AS Roma.
-- The code of the team reached the 1984 European Cup Final before losing to Liverpool.
-- AS Roma won another Serie A title in the 2000-2001 season.  Francisco Totti, Vincenzo Montella, Marco Delvecchio, Cafu, Aldair and Vincent Candela made my all-time team.
-- Gabriel Batistuta appeared in many all-time list for AS Roma. His impact for the 2000-01 scudetto was great.  He was their top scorer. However, that was his only good season with the club. Instead, I took his teammate Vincenzo Montella and Marco Delvecchio who had long and fruitful careers with AS Roma. 
-- Amedeo Amadei and goalkeeper Guido Masetti helped AS Roma to win its first Serie A title in 1942.  Guido Masetti was considered to be one of the strongest goalkeepers in 1930s and 1940s, but he was behind Gianpiero Combi and Aldo Olivieri on the national team. He won two World Cups in 1934 and 1938 without playing in any of the matches.
-- The third keeper was between Alberto Ginulfi, Fabio Cudicini, Paolo Conti, Pierluigi Pizzaballa and Doni.  I took Fabio Cudicini because he was probably the most well-known.  
-- After selecting 24 players, the team lacked a good left midfielder or left winger.  I was considering Zbigniew Boniek and Naim Krieziu. Boniek only played briefly for the club and was not in his prime.  It would be hard to select him over an all-time great.  Naim Krieziu seldom got mention on any all-time team.  In the end, I took Marco Delvecchio who had played as a left wing forward.  He got ahead of other Roma attacking legends such as Gabriel Batistuta and Pedro Manfredini.
-- Roma had many great strikers.  I could not take Gabriel Batistuta, Rudi Voller, Abel Balbo, Rodolfo Volk, Arne Selmosson, Pedro Manfredini and Francesco Graziani.  
-- Rodolfo Volk who played between 1928 and 1933 should be on the team, but I did not have the space.
-- Roberto Pruzzo is the second all-time highest scorer after Franisco Totti.
-- Because Sebcastiano could play as a centerback and a left back, I have the options of taking a left back or a centerback for the last defensive player.  For centerbacks, I was looking at Ubaldo Righett, Philippe Mexes and Walter Samuel.  In the end, I took a left back, Amedeo Carboni.
-- I took Cafu over Christian Panucci.  Cafu is among the greatest rightback ever played the game.
-- Roma also had too many great central midfielders.  I took Carlos Ancelotti, Falcao, Agostino Di Bartlomei , Daniele De Rossi and Attilio Ferraris.  I have no more spot for Simone Perrotta, Damiano Tommasi and Toninho Cerezo.  All of the players deserved a space on the 25 team.
-- Agostino Di Bartlomei is one of AS Roma's greatest players.  
-- Naim Krieziu, Omero Losi and Arcadio Venturi were older players whom I knew very little.

Fabio Cudicini was the most famous keeper, but Guido Masetti and Tancredi were more identified with the club. De Rossi earned his starting position over Ancelotti.  I reunited Falcao with Di Bartlomei.  Then, I tried to use two playmakers up front and Pruzzo as the lone striker.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Real Sociedad Greatest All-Time Team

La Liga Champion 1980-1981

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

Real MadridBarcelonaValencia,
Atletico MadridSevillaAtletic Bilbao, 
Deportivo La Coruna  Real Sociedad,
Real BetisReal ZaragozaEspanyol

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

Also known "La Real", Real Sociedad was a founding member of La Liga back in the 1920's.  Its longest spell in the top flight was for 40 seasons, from 1967 to 2007. Their best period was in the early 1980's when they won back-to-back league titles in 1981 and 1982.  They were also known for the Basque derby against its neighbour Atlethic Bilbao.  Please see my All-time Basque 23-member team here.  

Traditionally the club followed a policy (similar to that of its rival Athletic) of signing only Basque players, before signing Republic of Ireland forward John Aldridge in 1989. While a strong Basque contingent has been retained among its players, nowadays both non-Basque Spaniards and foreign players are represented at the club. 
1987 Copa Del Rey

GK: Luis Arconada (Spain)
Luis Arconada was born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa. He 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 final of the 1984 European Championship.  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. 
Luis Arconada
GK: Lopez Alberto (Spain)
Known as Alberto, Lopez Alberto was  the undisputed started for La Real from 1992 to 2002. He shared the position with Sander Westervel until 2006.  He joined Real Valladolid in Segunda División on a one-year deal in 2006. In 2006–07, he helped the side return to the top flight after a three-year absence, while also collecting a Ricardo Zamora Trophy – 36 matches, 29 goals.

GK: Jose Ramon Esnaola (Spain)
Jose Ramon Esnaola joined Real Sociedad in 1965, helping the club to return to the First division in his first season.  In 1973, he joined Real Betis.  He won the 1977 Copa Del Rey by stopping three penalties and scoring one himself in the penalty shootout in the Final. It was his only trophy. He played with Real Betis until 1985.

RB: Aitor López Rekarte (Spain)
Aitor Lopez Rekarte was the undisputed started for Real Sociedad throughout his career, where he played from 1997 to 2007. He was named captain at one point.  In July 2007, López Rekarte switched to newly promoted UD Almería, but appeared scarcely throughout the season. He joined second division side SD Eibar. He had one cap with Spain in 2004.  

CB: Ignacio Kortabarria (Spain) 
He spent his entire career with Real Sociedad. He was a key defender and the club's captain as Real Sociedad won back-to-back La Liga champion in the 1980's.  He received 4 caps.  On 5 December 1976, before a game against Athletic Bilbao, Kortabarria and the opposing captain, José Ángel Iribar, carried out the Ikurriña, the Basque flag, and placed it ceremonially on the centre-circle. This was the first public display of the flag since the death of Francisco Franco, but it was still illegal.
Ignacio Kortabarria and José Ángel Iribar 1976 showing the Basque flag in 1976
CB: Alberto Gorriz (Spain) 
Alberto Gorriz played his entire career with Real Sociedad, winning back-to-back la Liga titles in the 1980's.  He earned 12 caps with Spain.  He made his national debut at the age of 30.  He went to the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy, where he scored a goal against Belgium. He was known for his partnership with Agustín Gajate.

CB: Augustin Gajate (Spain) 
Augustin Gajate spent his entire career with Real Sociedad, where he started in 1977, but did not play much until after the back-to-back La Liga winning years.  He formed a famous partnership with Gorriz in the 1980's. He retired in 1992.  He was never capped at the senior level for Sopain, but he represented Spain at the 1980 Olympics.

CB/DM: Jon Andoni Larranaga  (Spain)
Larranaga rose throught the academy at Real Sociedad.  He was a rarely used player at Real Sociedad's 1980-1981 La Liga wining campaign.  He was the starter the following campaign as Real Sociedad won the league again.  He retired at 36 at the end of 1993–94, having played in 589 overall games(only behind Alberto Górriz). He is the only player of the league-winning sides to have played in the club's two grounds: Atotxa and Anoeta.

LB:  Agustin Aranzabal (Spain)
From 1993 to 2004, Agustin Aranzabal 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 unretired in 2008, but in early 2010, he retired and joined Kitchee SC from Hong Kong, playing along side Albert Celades.  At the international level, he had 28 caps and went to the World Cup Finals in 1998 and Euro 2000.
Agustin Aranzabal
DM: Agustín Aranzábal "Gaztelu"  (Spain)  
Gaztelu played his entire career with Real Sociedad.  He helped them to gain promotion in 1967 and was also a part of the team that won the 1980-1981 league title.  He was the only player who were on both teams. At the internationa level, he earned two caps for the Spanish national team. His son is Agustín Aranzábal.

CM: Jesus Zamora (Spain)
Jesus Zamora played his entire career with Real Sociedad.  He was the hero of the 1980-1981 La Liga winning campaignHe scored a last minute goal that clinched the league title at the last game of the season.  He was also known for his partnership with Jesús María Satrústegui. For Spain, he was capped 30 times between 1978 and 1982.  He went to the 1980 European Champions held in Italy, and 1982 the World Cups held in Spain.
Jesus Zamora
DM/CM: Miguel Ángel Alonso (Spain)  
Miguel Ángel Alonso is Xabi Alonso's father.  He was a key player as Real Sociedad as they won back-to-back league titles in the 1980's.  He joined Barcelona FC in 1982 after the World Cup Finals in Spain.  He earned 20 caps between 1980 and 1982.  He retired from the national team after the World Cup Finals held in Spain. He retired at the end of the World Cup Finals from international duty.

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/RW: Valeri Karpin (Russia)
Karpin scored Russia's first ever goal after the breakup of the Soviet Union, in a 2–0 win against Mexico in1992. Karin had 72 caps.  He played for Russia at the 1994 World Cup, Euro 96, and the 2002 World Cup. At club level, Karpin has played for Fakel Voronezh (1989), Spartak Moscow (1990–94), Real Sociedad (1994–96 and 2002–05), Valencia CF (1996–97), and Celta Vigo (1997–2002). He retired at the end of the 2004–05 season with Real Sociedad.

LM: Javier de Pedro (Spain)
Javier de Pedro was a product of Real Sociedad's youth system. From 1993 to 2004, he played for Real Sociedad.  In his late career, he played for many clubs, including Blackburn Rovers, Perugia, etc.  He was capped 12 times for Spain, and played all matches at the 2002 World Cup Finals co-hosted by Japan and Korea as a starter.

LW: Txiki Begiristain (Spain)
Txiki started his career with Real Sociedad. He was their hero as the club won the Cop del Rey in 1987.  In 1987-1988, the club came second in both league and cup.  He joined Barcelona the following season along with Bakero and Rekarte. He became a key player for Barcelona's Dream Team in the 1990's. He was capped 22 times.  He represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1988 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
CM/AM: Sebastián Ontoria (Spain)
Sebastian Ontoria started with Zaragoza and played briefly there, before he joined Real Sociedad in 1941, where he was converted to a forward and eventually became its captain. He earned a singe cap for Spain in 1950 on an away match against Portugal. He was imprisoned for 2 years after the Spanish Civil War.

AM: Jose Mari Bakero (Spain) 
Bakero was a member of Real Sociedad that won back-to-back La Liga champion in the 1980's.  In 1987-1988, the club came second in both league and cup.  He joined Barcelona the following season. He became a key player for Barcelona's Dream Team in the 1990's. He played with barcelona until 1997.  He was a part of the team that won the European Cup in 1992.

FW: Antoine Griezmann (France)
The Frenchman joined Real Sociedad's youth academy and made , his senior debut in 2009.  He moved to Atletico Madrid in 2014 helping the club to reach the Champions' league final in 2016.  At the time of writing, he was capped 49 times for France.  He made his mark at the World Cup in 2014.  Two years later, he led the team to reach the Final of Euro 2016.  He won the Golden Boot that year. He was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 2018.
Antoine Griezmann
FW: Nihat Kahveci  (Turkey)
Started with Besiktas in Turkey and joined Real Sociedad in 2002.  He formed a famous partnership with Darko Kovacevic there.  However, his club career was limited by an injury.  He earmed 69 caps for Turkey.  He was only used once at the World Cup Finals in 2002.  However, he was the hero of Turkey during the Euro 2008, where he scored two goals in a dramatic win over the Czech Republic.

FW: Roberto Lopez Ufarte (Spain)
Nicknamed "Little Devil", Roberto Lopez Ufarte was considered among the best player ever from Real Sociedad. He was a key player as Real Sociedad won back-to-back league titles in the 1980's. He later played for Atletico Madrid and Real Betis.  He was capped 15 times between 1977 and 1982.  He appeared in the 1982 World Cup Finals, held in Spain.
Roberto Ufarte
FW: Paco Bienzobas (Spain)
Born in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Bienzobas arrived at local Real Sociedad at the age of 17, from amateurs Unión Deportiva de San Sebastián  He played for Real Sociedad from 1926 to 1934. Bienzobas was the first ever Pichichi Trophy winner in 1926.  He had a brief stint with Osasuna during the Spanish Civil War.  He was capped twice.

ST: Darko Kovačević (Yugoslavia)
Darko Kovačević started his career with Proleter and Red Star Belgrade.  After a disastrous season with Sheffield Wednesday, he made a name with Real Sociedad from 1996 to 1999.  He played for Juventus and Lazio before returing to La Real in 2001. He was capped 59 times for YugoslaviaHe went to European Championship in 2000 and the World Cup Finals in 1998.
Darko Kovacevic
ST: Meho Kodro (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Meho Kodro started with FC Velez Mostar back home, but he left for Spain because the war in Yugoslavia. He joined Real Sociedad in 1991.  He was second in Pichichi Trophy in 1994-1995. He moved to Barcelona the following year.  His stint lasted a single season. He earned two caps for Yugoslavia and 13 more for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ST: Jesús María Satrústegui (Spain)
Jesús María Satrústegui was known for his partnership with Jesus Zamora.  He was a key player as Real Sociedad won back-to-back league titles in the 1980's. He was La Real's all-time leading scorer.  He was capped 32 times for Spain.  He represented his country at the European Championship in 1980 and the 1982 FIFA World Cup.  He retired from the national team after the World Cup Finals alongside Jesus Zamora.
Jesus Maria Satrustegui

Honorable Mention
Lorenzo Juarros, Mikel Aranburu, Jose Antonio PikabeaMiguel Ángel FuentesAndoni Imaz, Santiago IdigorasXabi Prieto, Iñigo Idiakez, Andoni Elizondo, Oscar de Paula. 

Squad Explaination
-- Real Sociedad won back-to-back league titles in 1981 and 1982, which was the club's biggest achievements.  I selected 10 players from the titles-winning team.  They are Luis Arconada, Roberto Lopez Ufarte, Jose Mari Bakero, Miguel Ángel Alonso, Jesus Zamora , Agustín Aranzábal "Gaztelu", Jon Andoni Larranaga, Augustin Gajate, Alberto Gorriz, Ignacio Kortabarria and Jesús María Satrústegui. Both Jon Andoni Larranaga and Augustin Gajate were not major players until after the back-to-back years.  Some of the players also won the 1987 Copa Del Rey. Txik who came after La Liga winni g years was a member of the 1987 team.
-- Luis Arconada's blunder against France at the European Championship in 1984 hurt his reputation. He was actually one of the greatest keepers in the 1980's.  
-- Lopez Alberto played well in the 1990's, helping the club top finish second in La Liga.
-- Miguel Ángel Alonso is the father of Xabi Alonso and Mikel Alonso.  Mikel was less known than his younger brother Xabi. The brothers were on the same team briefly.  
-- Xabi Alonso only played for them between 2000 and 2004. However, he was the captain of the side that finished second place in the 2002–03 season.  He was also of homegrown.
-- Agustín Aranzábal "Gaztelu" is the father of Agustin Aranzabal. Both made the team.
-- Valeri Karpin was a rare star player from the Soviet Union in the 2000's.
-- Antoine Griezmann played 140 games for the club.  The number put him among the most for a foreign player.  I admitted that his inclusion into the team is a big question mark.
-- If I selected Darko Kovacevic, I have to take Nihat Kahveci as well. They were known for their partnership. In defence, Augustin Gajate and Alberto Gorriz also formed a famous partnership.  So both of them also got selected together.
-- From the 1980's, Jesús María Satrústegui was known for his partnership with Jesus Zamora. Jesus Zamora scored a last second goal that gave Real Sociedad the 1980-1982 La Liga title. Both were legends of the club.
-- Oscar de Paula seldom started for the club.  He was mainly used a substitute who scored a lot of goals after coming off the bench. I put him on honourable mention.
-- Paco Bienzobas was the first ever Pichichi Trophy winner in 1926.
-- Santiago Idigoras and Pedro Uralde should have made the team, but I did not have the space.  Both were from the glorious team of the early 1980's.
-- In 1988, Jose Mari Bakero and Txiki moved together to Barcelona. They played for Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team". Their contributions were not factors in their selection here.  Luis Lopez Repartee joined Barcelona on the same deal. Meho Kodro would also join Barcelona in 1994.  Both Jose Mari Bakero and Txiki were still with them at the time.