Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Roma Greatest All-Time Team

2007 Supercoppa

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

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.

GK: Franco Tancredi (Italy)
Franco Tancredi  began his career with Giulianova, and later also played with Milan and Rimini, before joining Roma. He was long-time keeper for Roma winning the league in the 1982-1983 season.  He played for them between 1977 and 1990.  He is a member of the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame.  He played a single season with Torino. 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)
He 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, Roma and AC Milan. He was South American Player of the Year in 1994.   
SW: Giacomo Losi (Italy)
Nicknamed "the Heart of Roma", Giacomo Losi was considered one of the greatest player who ever played for AS Roma.  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 and went to 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.  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.  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 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, 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.  

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 and 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, he 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.  He won the bronze medal at the 1928 Olympics, and was 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. 
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)
Conti was the greatest winger in Italy's history.  He 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)
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),  he 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. 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.
Giannini "Il Principe" Giannini 
ST/FW: Marco Delvecchio (Italy)
He 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 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.  He had 26 caps for Italy from 1926 to 1932.  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, 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 debut in professional football for Genoa in 1973, winning the Serie B title during the 1975–76 season, as well as the top scoring award.  Pruzzo went to Roma in 1979, for the then record sum of 3 billions liras. Here he became famous as 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, Toninho Cerezo and Giancarlo De Sisti, Ubaldo Righetti, Ubaldo Righett, Philippe Mexes, Walter Samuel, Gabriel Batistuta, Marco Delvecchio, Rudi Voller, Abel Balbo, Rodolfo Volk, Arne Selmosson, Pedro Manfredini, Francesco Graziani, Christian Panucci, Alberto Ginulfi, Fabio Cudicini, Paolo Conti, Pierluigi Pizzaballa, Doni, Simone Perrotta, Damiano Tommasi, Toninho Cerezo and Giancarlo De Sisti.

Squad Explanation
-- After selecting 24 players, the team lacked a good left midfielder or left winger.  I was considering Zbigniew Boniek and Naim Krieziu were considered. 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.  
-- Batistuta appeared in many all-time list for AS Roma.  His impact for the 2000-01 was great.  Basically, that was his only good season. Instead, I took Montella who had a long and fruitful career with AS Roma. 
-- Because Sebcastiano could play as a centerback and a left back, I have the options of taking a left back or a centerback.  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.
-- The third keeper was between Alberto Ginulfi, Fabio Cudicini, Paolo Conti, Pierluigi Pizzaballa and Doni.  I took Cudicini because he was probably the most well-known.  
-- Roma also had too many great centre midfielders.  I took Ancelotti, Falcao, Di Bartlomei , De Rossi and Ferraris.  I have no more spot for Simone Perrotta, Damiano Tommasi, Toninho Cerezo and Giancarlo De Sisti.  All of the players deserved a space on the 25 team.
-- Naim Krieziu, Omero Losi and Arcadio Venturi were old 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.

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.  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.

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. 
Luis Arconada
GK: Lopez Alberto (Spain)
Known as Alberto, he 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)
Rekarte was the undisputed started for Real Sociedad throughout his career. 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.

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)
He 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 460 top flight contests (589 overall, 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, 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.
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. He earned two caps for the Spanish national team. His son is Agustín Aranzábal.

CM: Jesus Zamora (Spain)
Jesus Zamora played hi 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 capped 30 times.  He went to the 1980 European Champions held in Italy, and the World Cups held in Spain, towers later.
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.

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 WC in 2014.  Two years later, he led the team to reach the Final of Euro 2016.  He won the Golden Boot that year.
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 WC 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 appearerd in the 1982 World Cup Finals, he'd 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 Euro 1980 and the 1982 FIFA World Cup.  He retired after the WC 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.  Augustin Gajate was not a major player until after the back-to-back years.
-- Luis Arconada's blunder agains France at Euro 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 Xabi. 
-- Agustín Aranzábal "Gaztelu" is the father of Agustin Aranzabal. 
-- Antoine Griezmann played 140 games for the club.  The number put him among the most for a foreign player.
-- If I selected Kovacevic, I have to take Nihat 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.
-- Oscar de Paula seldom started for the club.  He was mainly used a substitute. 

-- Santiago Idigoras and Pedro Uralde should have made the team.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Deportivo La Coruna Greatest All-Time Team

1999-2000 La Liga Champion
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.

Founded in 1906,  Deprtivo La Coruna has many great players who played for them.  However, their greatest era did not come until the 1990's.  Known as "Super Dor", the club won their first La Liga title in the season 1999-2000.  They also won three Copa Del Rey's: 1995, 2000 and 2002.

GK: Juan Acuna (Spain)
Juan Acuna was one of the best Spanish keeper in his times. From 1941 to 1951, he won four Zamora trophies, tied for 2nd in the total number of awards won.  Deportivo La Coruna named one of its award after him.  He played 278 times for Deportivo La Coruna.  Internationally, he played once for Spain in 1941 in a match against Switzerland. He narrowly missed a spot on the 1950 World Cup team.
Juan Acuna
GK:  Jacques Songo'o (Cameroon)
He was voted the 6th African best keeper of the Century behind Bell and N'Kono.  He appeared in over 200 games for Deportivo La Coruna and won Ricardo Zamora award for 1995-1996.  Although he was younger than Bell and N'Kono, his international career was limited by playing behind two of the best keepers in African history.  He was on the WC team in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002.  He only started at the WC Finals in 1998.

GK: Jose Molina (Spain)
Joined Atletico Madrid in 1995, he helped the club win a Double (league and Copa del Rey) in his first year.  However, after Atletico Madrid relegated after the 1999-2000 season, he moved to Deportivo La Coruna and lasted until 2006.  He played one season with Levante.  He made his national team debut in 1996 as an outfielder because the team had used up all the subs.  He also went to Euro 1996 and 2000, and France 1998.  

RB: Manuel Pablo (Spain)
Manuel Pablo came from the Canary Islands.  He started with his hometown club Las Palmas.  He moved to Deportivo La Coruna in 1998, where he helped them to win their first ever la Liga title in 2000. He retired in 2016 at the age of 40 after over 450 games for them. He was capped 13 times for Spain between 2000 and 2004.
RB: Luis Rekarte (Spain)
Luis Rekarte started with Alves, but made his name with Real Real Sociedad.  He had a brief spell with Barcelona before joining Deportivo La Coruna in 1991.  He spent 5 seasons there. He was a member of the team that was known as "Super Depor".  He had 4 caps for Spain in 1988.  He also represented Basque county.  His brother Aitor also played for Spain.

CB:  Noureddine Naybet (Morocco)
Naybet was one of the best African defenders ever.  He played a record 115 matches for the Moroccan national team, representing the country in two World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He spent most successful period of his career with Deportivo La Coruña in Spain. He won the 1999-2000 league title with them. He was one of the best center-back in La Liga during his prime. 
Noureddine Naybet
CB: Jorge Andrade  (Portugal)
Jorge Andrade started with Estrela da Amadora and was bought by Porto FC in 2000.  After the 2002 World Cup Finals, he joined Deportivo La Coruna.  In 2007, he joined Juventus, but this spell was very unsuccessful due to injuries.  He was capped 51 times by Portugal and went to the World Cup in 2002 and the European Championship in 2004.
CB: Miroslav Dukic (Yugoslavia/Serbia)
He spent 14 years of his professional career in Spain, notably at the service of Deportivo de La Coruña and Valencia, amassing La Liga totals of 368 games and 11 goals, and winning six major titles for the two clubs combined. In 1994, Đukić missed a penalty kick in the game's last minute (eventual 0–0 draw).As a result FC Barcelona were crowned champions instead. He had 48 caps and  played at Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.
CB: Fabricio Coloccini (Argentina)
Fabricio Coloccini joined AC Milan in 1999 as a highly rated defender from Boca Juniors, but his career there was disappointing.  From 2004 to 2008, he played for Deportivo La Coruna and then, joined Newcastle United in 2008.  He made the PFA Team of the Year in 2011-12. He had 20 caps and went to the 2006 World Cup Finals.

LB: Joan Capdevila (Spain)
Joan Capedevilla 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 Capdevila
LB: Enrique Romero (Spain)
Romero played for many clubs.  After having represented Valencia CF and RCD Mallorca, never appearing in less than 30 league matches during his spell with both clubs combined, he joined Deportivo de La Coruña in 1998. With them, he won the La Liga in 1999-2000. He earned 10 caps for Spain.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2002.

CB/DM: Donato (Brazil/Spain)
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Donato began his career with America Football Club in his hometown, switching to neighbours CR Vasco da Gama in 1984. From 1988 to 2003, he played in Spain.  He started with Atletico Madrid.  He became a star with Deportivo La Coruna during the most successful period in the club's history.  They won La Liga in the 1999-2000 season. He earned 12 caps for Spain and went to Euro 1996 in England.

DM: Mauro Silva (Brazil)
Mauro Silva was a member of Brazil's World Cup winning team in 1994.  He was capped 59 times. He played for Brigantine in Brazil before joining Deportivo La Coruna in 1992.  For Deportivo La Coruna, he amassed competitive totals of 458 games and one goal over 13 La Liga seasons, winning six major titles. One of them was the La Liga title in 2000. Silva represented Brazil at the 1994 World Cup and two Copa América tournaments, winning the former tournament.
Mauro Silva
RM/CM: Victor Sanchez (Spain)
Victor Sanchez played for Real Madrid and Racing Santander before making a name with Deportivo La Coruna. He won the league title in his first season with the club.  He played for them from 1999 to 2006.  He later had a relative career in Greece. He represented Spain for 8 times.

LM: Fran (Spain)
Fran made it to Deportivo La Coruna first team in 1988. He is considered one of the greatest players for the club.  He played 17 seasons with them, winning the 1999-2000 La Liga.  He amassed more than 600 overall appearances.  He was capped 16 times. He played for Spain at Euro 2000.  His last international was against Yugoslavia over there.

LW/FW: Albert Luque (Spain)
Luque started his career with Mallorca.  From 2002 to 2005, he played for Deportivo La Corunna.  He amassed La Liga totals of 248 games and 61 goals over the course of eleven seasons. He moved to Newcastle United in 2005, but never settled down. He played 17 times for Spain.  He made his international debut in a 3–2 group stage win against South Africa at 2002 World Cup Finals. 
Two years later, Luque played at UEFA Euro 2004.

RM/CM: Adolfo Aldana (Spain)
From 1988 to 1992, he played about 100 times for Real Madrid, but used mainly as a sub.  In 1992, he joined Deportivo La Coruna, where he formed a great midfield with Fran and Mauro Silva. Aldana closed out his career with two years at RCD Espanyol. He was capped 4 times between 1993 and 1994.

AM: Juan Carlos Valeron
Juan Carlos Valeron started his career with La Palmas.  He played for Mallocra and Atletico Madrid before he moving to Depprtivo La Coruna, where he would play 13 seasons.  He was widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, but injuries had limited his career.  He played 46 times for Spain.  He went to Euro 2000, the World Cup Finals in 2002 and Euro 2004.

Juan Carlos Valeron
AM/FW: Rivaldo (Brazil)
Rivaldo was a part of the attacking trio known as "Three R's" with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho at the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He scored 5 goals in 5 games as Brazil took its 5th World Cup. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1998. He won the 1999 Ballon d' Or. He played for many clubs in his career.  He spent five years with Spanish club Barcelona.  He also played for AC Milan after the World Cup Finals in 2002.

AM: Djalminha (Brazil)
Djalminha played for many clubs in Brazil and Japan before he signed with Deportivo La Coruna in 1997.  He spent 7 seasons with the club.  He was one of the key players at the club's greatest period in history.  He later played for Club America in Mexico. He only received 17 caps due to stiff completion for his position in Brazil during his time. He lost his place on the 2002 team to Kaka, due to an ugly incident with his Deportivo coach.
FW: Javier Manjarín (Spain)
In a 14-year professional career, Javier Manjarín  played mainly for Sporting de Gijón (four seasons) and Deportivo de La Coruña (six). He also played for  Racing de Santander.  He moved to play in Mexico in his later years. He had 13 caps.  He went to the European Championship in 1996. He won a Gold medal at the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona.

ST: Diego Tristan (Spain)
Diego Tristan made his name with Mallorca.  He would have joined Real Madrid in 2000, but his deal fell. He is best known for his Deportivo de La Coruña spell, where he spent six years, but an injury in 2002 gradually affected his career.  He played for many clubs at the end of his career. He was capped 15 times. He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.

ST: Roy Makaay (Holland)
Makaay played for Vitesse and  CD Tenerife before becoming a big star with Deportivo La Coruna.  He helped them to win their first ever La Liga title in 1999-2000.  In 2002-2003, he scored 29 goals and became the European Golden Boot winner.  In 2003, he moved to Bayern Muinch.  He won two Bundesliga title.  For Holland, he was only capped 43 times, largely because he was playing at the same time as Patrick Kuivert, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, etc.
Roy Makkay
ST: Rafael Franco (Argentina)
Born in 1923, Franco played for  Newell's Old Boys, Chacarita Juniors, River Plate, Nacional and CD Marte, in Argentina before signing for Deportivo La Coruna in 1948.  Over there, he played for a line dubbed as  "Orquesta Canaria".  In Spain, he also played for Real Valladolid, Racing de Ferrol and Estoril Praia.

ST: Bebeto (Brazil) 
Bebeto is the sixth highest goalscorer for his national team.  At the 1994 World Cup, he formed a formidable strike partnership with Romário to lead Brazil to their fourth World Cup title.  His best club career was with Deportivo La Coruna, where won the Pichichi Trophy in 1993.  He played for Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Cruzeiro, Botafogo, Sevilla, Toros Neza, Kashima Antlers, and Al Ittihad.

Honorable Mention
Pedro Munitis, Jose Luis Vara, Flávio Conceição, Claudio Barragán, Turu Flores, Arsenio Iglesias, Riki, Walter Pandiani, Sergio, Francisco Liano, Voro, Diego Colotto, Alberto Lopo, Antonio Bello, Lionel Scaloni.

Squad Explanation
-- Luis Suarez Miramontes only played one season with the club.  The same applied to Rivaldo, but he was sensational that season. So I kept him.  His alternative would be Albert Luque.
-- Pahino's three season with Deportivo La Coruna was not as good his years with Real Madrid.
-- Fabricio Coloccini's reputation was destroyed with AC Milan.  He later recovered at Deportivo La Coruna. 
-- Amancio Amaro was known for his career at Real Madrid.
-- Miroslav Dukic and Naybet were the obvious choices for the centerbacks.  I considered Jorge Andrade and Fabricio Coloccini better than Voro,  Diego Colotto or Alberto Lopo.
-- Filipe Luis, Joan Capdevila and Enrique Romero fought two left back spots.  Filipe Luis was more of an upcoming player during his time.  Capdevila and Romero established themselves on the team.
Luis Rekarte over Lionel Scaloni because Rekarte was more of an disputed starter.
-- Djalminha had a much better career here than Rivaldo.  His reputation suffered by playing in the Golden Generation of Brazilian attack midfielders. Rivaldo earned his name while playing for Barcelona. 

I used a formation frequently used by Brazil throughout history.  Mauro Silva won a world cup playing liked this.  In real life, Deportvo La Coruna did not play with Valeron and Djalminha.