Thursday, August 25, 2016

Deportivo La Coruna Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

1999-2000 La Liga Champion
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Real MadridBarcelonaValencia, Villarreal
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.

Deportivo have played their home games at the 32,660-capacity Riazor since 1944, when the stadium was built. Their traditional home kit consists of blue and white striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. The club has a long-standing rivalry with national opponents Celta de Vigo, and matches between the two sides are known as the Galician derby.

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 almost spent his entire career and 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.  His longest spells were with Deportivo la Coruna and Villareal.  He also played for Atletico Madrid 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 between 2000 and 2004.

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, Adolfo Aldana 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 (Spain)
Juan Carlos Valeron started his career with La Palmas.  He played for Mallocra and Atletico Madrid before he moving to Deprtivo La Coruna, where he would play 13 seasons between 2000 and 2013.  He was widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, but injuries had limited his career. He only played 46 times for Spain between 1998 and 2005.  He went to the 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 (Netherlands)
Roy 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 there.  For Netherlands, he was only capped 43 times, largely because he was playing at the same time as Patrick Kuivert, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, etc.  He only went to the European Championship in 2000 and 2004.
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 played 75 times for Brazil.  He 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 (Spain), Jose Luis Vara (Spain), Flávio Conceição (Brazil), Claudio Barragán (Spain), Turu Flores (Argentina), Arsenio Iglesias (Spain), Riki (Spain), Walter Pandiani (Uruguay), Sergio (Spain), Francisco Liano (Spain), Voro (Spain), Diego Colotto (Aregentina), Alberto Lopo (Spain), Antonio Bello (Spain), Lionel Scaloni (Argentina), Julio Corcuera, Oswaldo García (Argentina), Dagoberto Moll (Uruguay), Amancio Amaro (Spain), José Luis Veloso, Pahiño (Spain), Chacho (Spain).

Squad Explanation
-- Most of the players selected here played during the period in the 2000's when Deprtivo La Coruna was one of the best clubs in Spain.  They won the league title for the 1999-2000 season.  They became the second-smallest Spanish city (with a population of roughly 250,000, behind San Sebastián (home of Real Sociedad), which has a population of roughly 180,000), to have ever won La Liga. Jacques Songo'o, Noureddine Naybet, Roy Makaay, Donato, Djalminha, Victor Sanchez, Fran, Mauro Silva and Enrique Romero were on the La Liga winning team.  Basically, the same group of players plus Juan Carlos Valeron won the Copa del Roy against Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Real Madrid's on the 100th anniversary in 2002.
-- In the 1950's, Deportivo La Coruna had a good team.  They stayed in the top division for 9 straight seasons, which was an achievement. Two players selected here, namely goalkeeper Juan Acuña and striker Rafael Franco, were from that era.  They were the only players selected who played for the club before 1990's.  
-- Luis Suarez Miramontes only played one season with the club.  The same applied to Rivaldo, but he was sensational that single season. So I kept Rivaldo.  His alternative would be Albert Luque.
-- Pahino's three seasons with Deportivo La Coruna was not as good his years with Real Madrid.  He did not make the team.
-- Fabricio Coloccini's reputation was destroyed while playing with AC Milan.  He later recovered at Deportivo La Coruna. He was a good player here.  Carlos Ballestra played in the lower division for the club.

-- Amancio Amaro was better known for his career at Real Madrid than he.  He only made honourable mention. 
-- 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.  They have better name recognition.
--  Miroslav Dukic missed the peanlty that would guve Deportivo La Coruna's title, but a single play should not define a career.
-- The existence of a solid couple at the centre of the defence can be considered as a tradition at Deportivo, and its that the Galicians have enjoyed of great couples since the 1970s, starting with the combination Carlos Ballesta - Raman Pia when Depor was at Segunda, and continuing  with the couple Donato-Naybet (134 games playing together in seven seasons, a record at the club), plus the combinations between Voro-Djukic, Djukic-Ribera and Voro-Ribera, without forgetting the duo Andrade-Coloccini.
-- Filipe Luis, Joan Capdevila and Enrique Romero fought over two left back spots.  Filipe Luis was more of an upcoming player during his time.  Capdevila and Romero established themselves on the team.  So I took the two of them.
-- I took righback Luis Rekarte over Lionel Scaloni because Rekarte was more of an disputed starter during his career here.   Lionel Scaloni shared the position with Manuel Pablo and Víctor.
-- Djalminha had a much better career here than Rivaldo, but his international reputation suffered by playing in the Golden Generation of Brazilian attack midfielders. He lacked opportunites to playing  Brazil.  However, both players are selected, but Rivaldo's selection is helped by his career after Deportivo La Coruna.  He earned his name while playing for Barcelona and Brazil. 
-- Juan Carlos Valeron was one of the most underrated player of his generation.  Injuries had kept him from reaching superstardom. 
-- Bebeto won the Pichichi Trophy in 1993 as the highest goalscorer in La Liga.  However, his reputation was hurt by refusing to take a penalty on the last match against Valencia in the 1993-1994 season.  A goal would have given Deportivo La Coruna the title.  Miroslav Đukić took the penalty and failed to score; hence, the match ended with a 0–0 draw, effectively handing Barcelona the title.  However, the episode did not hurt Bebeto's status with this all-time team.
-- Roy Makaay won the European Golden Boot winner in the 2002-2003 season.   Diego Tristán was overshadowed by Makaay, but he still enjoyed a successful career, despite having problems with injuries. Makaay is their all-time leading scorer while Diego Tristan second.
-- I also came across Chacho who went to the 1934 World Cup Finals.  He scored 6 goals against Bulgaria, which is still a record for the Spanish national team. A statue of him was erected next to the Estado Riazor.  

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.  


  1. I have a lot of affection for Deportivo La Coruña.

  2. Acuna
    M.Pablo Đukić Donato Capdevila
    Sergio-Gonzalez M.Silva
    Valeron Fran
    Bebeto Djalminha
    Sergio is ranked 6th for most games with Super Depor. His DBS stats show atleast 2 outstanding seasons. Donato also rates well as a center.
    Ilian Kiriakos is another option for the left back slot.