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)
He played his entire career with Real Sociedad from 1974 and 1989, 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 in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final. He also played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cup Finals.
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)
He joined Real Sociedad in 1965, helping the club to return to the First division. In 1973, he joined Real Betis.  He won nthe Copa Del Rey by stopping three penalties and scoring one himself in the penalty shootout in the Final.

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 gradually lost his starting place in the mid-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)
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 went to Italian 1990, where he scored a goal against Belgium.

CB: Augustin Gajate (Spain)
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.

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.  Larrañaga 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, where he began his career.  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.  For the national team, he had 28 caps.  He went to the WC 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)
Zamora 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 Euro 1980 and Spain 1982.
Jesus Zamora
DM/CM: Miguel Ángel Alonso (Spain)
Xabi Alonso's father.  He was a key player as Real Sociedad 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.

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 on 17 August 1992. 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)
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 and played all matches at Japan/Korea 2002.

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)
Ontoria started with Zaragoza, but 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. He was imprisoned 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", he 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.  He appearerd in the 1982 WC Finals.
Roberto Ufarte
FW: Paco Bienzobas (Spain)
Bienzobas was the first ever Pichichi Trophy winner in 1926.  He played for Real Sociedad from 1926 to 1934. He had a brief stint with Osasuna.  He was capped twice.

ST: Darko Kovačević (Yugoslavia)
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 Euro 2000 and France 1998.
Darko Kovacevic
ST: Meho Kodro (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
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)
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.  He appeared in Euro 1980 and Spain 1982.
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.


No comments:

Post a Comment