Sunday, August 28, 2016

Real Sociedad 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.  

GK: Luis Arconada
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 Euro 1984 Final.  His blunder in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final.
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.

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.  He had one cap with Spain in 2004.
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 joined Real Sociedad in 1977, but did not play much until after the back-to-back La Liga winning years.  He formed a partnership with Gorriz.
CB: Ignacio Kortabarria (Spain)
He was a key defender 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.

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.

LB:  Agustin Aranzabal (Spain)
From 1993 to 2004, he starred for Real Sociedad.  He moved to Zaragoza in 2004.  He had 28 caps.
Agustin Aranzabal

DM: Agustín Aranzábal "Gaztelu"  (Spain)
Gaztelu played his entire career with Real Sociedad.  he helped them to gain promotion in 1967 and again was a part of the team that won the 1980-1981 league title.  He was the only player who did that. he earned two caps.

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)
He scored Russia's first goal after the breakup of the Soviet Union, in a 2–0 win against Mexico on 17 August 1992. Karpin played for Russia at the 1994 World Cup, Euro 96, and the 2002 World Cup. 

LM: Javier de Pedro (Spain)
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)
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.

CM/AM: Sebastián Ontoria (Spain)
Started with Zaragoza, but joined Real Sociedad in 1941, where he eventually became its captain. He earned a singe cap for Spain in 1950.

AM: Jose Mari Bakero (Spain)
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 34 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 there.
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. 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 partner 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,

Squad Explaination
-- 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.
-- Oscar de Paula mainly used a sub 

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


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