Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sevilla FC Greatest All-Time Team

2014 Europa Cup
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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

Sevilla All-Time Team for Spanish Players

Sevilla All-Time Team for Foreign Players

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

Historically, Sevilla FC has its up and down.  They won the league title in 1945-1946, but they were mainly a mid-table team throughout the the 20th Century.  Then, the millennium came.  From 2005 to 2015, Sevilla won 5 of the 10 UEFA Cups/Europa Cups.  They won back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007, and then, three straight Europa Cups in 2014, 2015 and 2016.  They own the record of the most successful team in the tournament. Prior to their first UEFA Cup, they have never reached the Final of any European major tournament.

2006 UEFA Cup

GK: Andreas Palop (Spain)
Andreas Palop played with Valencia and Villarreal before going Sevilla.  As a backup keeper, he won the UEFA Cup with Valencia. As a starter, he won it twice with Sevilla in 2006 and 2007.  He moved aborad to play for Bayer Leverkusen at the end of his career in 2013. Despite being called up by Spain numerous times, he never took the field for the national team, but he was a part of the team that won European Championshp in 2008 as the third goalkeeper.
Andreas Palop
GK: José María Busto (Spain)
José María Busto started his career with the youth rank of Athlete Bilbao, but he spent 16 seasons with Sevilla. He won the league title in 1946.  He retired in 1958.  His career with the national team was limited due to Ignacio Eizaguirre, Antonio Ramallets and Carmelo Cedrún playing at the same era.

GK: Guillermo Eizaguirre (Spain)
Born in Seville and played his entire career with Sevilla FC. He made his ebut with the club before he turned 16. He represented Spain 3 times from 1935 to 1936. His chance with the team was limited because he was playing at the same time as Ricardo Zamora.  He was injured before the World Cup Finals in 1934, where he was ruled of consideration.

RB: Dani Alves (Brazil)
Dani Alves spent 6 years with Sevilla, winning two UEFA Cup's before joining Barcelona.  He only played 109 times for Brazil at the time of writing, largely because Maicon was the regular starter during his early career.  In 2016, he joined Juventus, where he played a single season.   He appeared in his fourth Champions League final as Juventus were defeated 4–1 by Real Madrid. In 2017, he joined PSG.

CB: Marcelo Campanal (Spain) 
Marcelo Campanal was known as "Campanal II" because his uncle Guillermo Campanal was better known as "Campanal I", who was the manager of Sevilla. He played for sixteen seasons at Sevilla FC between 1950 and 1966.  He later played two seasons with Deportivo La Coruna , CD Iliturgi and his final season as a professional in the Real Aviles CF.  He earned 11 caps with the national team between 1952 and 1957.
Known as Campanula II

CB: Antonio Álvarez Giráldez (Spain)
Antonio Álvarez Giráldez played with Sevilla in 1974 to 1988. He played nearly 350 matches for them. He was one of the club's most committed players.  He ranked 9th in all-time appearance record. He later played with Malaga and Granada at the end of his career. He represented Spain B team twice in 1981.

CB: Javi Navarro (Spain) 
Javi Navarro played with Valencia and Elche before joining Sevilla in 2001.  He was a part of the side that won 5 major titles, including back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007.  He was the undisputed starter. For Spain, he made his debut at age of 32 years old in 2006 against Romania, the third oldest debutante for Spain. He was capped 4 times between 2006 and 2007. He retired in 2009 after a lengthy injury.
Javi Navarro at UEFA Cup Final
CB: Pablo Blanco (Spain)
Born in 1951, Pablo Blanco was a native of Sevilla, He played 13 seasons with Sevilla FC, including spells in Segunda Division when Sevilla gained promotion.  He made his debut in the 1971-1972 season. He retired in 1984 after playing over 400 games for the club. He helped to qualify for UEFA Cup twice in the 1980's.  He was considered one of Sevilla's greatest ever and most loyal defenders.

LB: Manolo Jiménez (Spain) 
Manolo Jiménez played his entire career with Sevilla FC.  He played over 400 games.  He retired in June 1998 at the age of 34, after one year with neighbours Real Jaén in the second division.  He had a total of 15 caps for Spain.  He represented Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1990, playing two matches in the Finals.

LB: Antonio Puerta (Spain)
Antonio Puerta was a highly talented left-sided player for Sevilla. He came from their academy playing with his friend Sergio Ramos. He spent 3 years with Sevilla's first team and was a key player for their victories at the UEFA Cup.  Sadly, he died in 2007 at the age of 22 after collaping in a match against Getafe.  He earned a single cap for Spain in 2006. His number 16 has been retired by the club, but the number was used under controversial circumtance.
Antonio Puerta
CM: Enrique Lora Millan (Spain)
Enrique Lora Millan played 11 seasons with Sevilla, debuting in 1966 and retiring in 1978.  He was at one point the team's captain.  He played a single season with Recreativo de Huelva. He was capped 14 times for Spain, including while he was playing in the second division.

CM: Enrique Montero (Spain)
At tye club level, Enrique Montero Rodríguez played more 19 years in La Liga. He mainly played for Sevilla and Cadiz in Spain from 1973 to 1992.  He started in 1973 playing for Sevilla in the second division.  He joined Cadiz in 1986, where he played until 1990.  He earned 3 caps for Spain.

CM: Francisco López Alfaro (Spain)
Better known as Francisco, he first played with his hometown club Sevilla FC for 9 seasons between 1981 and 1990, and another 6 seasons with Espanyol between 1990 and 1997.  Espanyol went down to the second division for a single season during his time there. For Spain, he had 20 caps between 1982 and 1986. He went to the European Championship in 1984 and the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico for Spain. He scored his only international goal against Greece in September, 1986.
CM: Pedro Alconero  (Spain)
Pedro Alconero was an renowned player for Sevilla FC in the late 1940's and early 1950's.  He only missed 3 games in 9 seasons with Sevilla.  He won one league title in 1946, and came second twice.  At the time of his retirement, he held the record of the most appearance for Sevilla FC.  He also played for Baracaldo CF, Guadix CF and Lasesarre, He earned 3 caps.

CM: Ivan Rakitic (Croatia)
Born in Switzerland of Croatian background, Rakitic started his career with FC Basel. He played with Schalke 04 from 2007 and 2011.  Then, he moved to Sevilla in 2011.  At Sevilla, he won the Europa Cup in 2014.  He moved to Barcelona.  For Croatia, he earned 100 caps at the time of writing. He played in the midfield with Luka Modric as Croatia reached the Final of the 2018 World Cup Finals.

LW: Jose Antonio Reyes (Spain)
Jose Antonio Reyes graduated from Sevilla's academy, where he made his professional debut in 2000.  He also played for Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Espanyol and Cordoba.  He won two UEFA Europa Cup with Atletico Madrid.  He returned to Sevilla in 2012 and won three straight Europa Cup with them between 2013 and 2016.  Reyes earned 21 caps for Spain between 2003 and 2006, and represented the nation at the 2006 World Cup Finals.
Jose Antonio Reyes
RW: Jesus Navas (Spain)
Jesus Navas played from 2003 to 2013 for his mother club, Sevilla FC. He won two UEFA Cup.  In 2013, he moved to Manchester City.  He returned to Seville in 2017. He earned 35 caps for Spain at the time of writing.  He was used as a sub during the World Cup Finals in 2010 and the European Champions in 2012, where Spain won both tournaments. Early in his career, he suffered from homesickness that limited his career playing outside of his hometown.
Jesus Navas
RM: Rafa Paz (Spain)
From 1984 to 1997, Rafa Paz played for Sevilla.  He went to play inn Mexico at the end of his career where he played for Club Celaya, teaming up with ex-La Liga stars Michel, Emilio Butragueno and Hugo Sanchez.  For the Spanish national team, he had 7 caps all in 1990. He went to the 1990 World Cup Finals held in Italy, appearing in two matches.

AM/CM: Ever Banega (Argentina)
Ever Banega started his career with Boca Juniors, and signed with Valencia in 2008 where he remained for several years, appearing in 162 official games and winning the 2008 Copa del Rey. After joining Sevilla in 2014, he conquered consecutive Europa League trophies.  He was an Argentine international since 2008, but only went to his first World Cup Finals in 2018.

FW: Juan Arza (Spain)
Juan Arza Started with Alvas and Malaga before joining Sevilla in 1943.  He spent 16 seasons with Sevilla and became their all-time leading scoring with 207 goals.  He won the league in 1946, and a cup in 1948.  He was also the league's top scorer in the 1954-53 season with 29 goals.  He ended his career with Almeria. He earned 2 caps for Spain.

ST: Frederic Kanoute (Mali)
Frederic Kanoute's longest domestic club spell was with Sevilla in Spain, where he played from 2005 to 2012.  He won two UEFA Cups with them.  He was the African Player of the Year in 2007.  He was born in France.  He was capped by French youth team, but he did not received any senior callup from France. He represented Mali internationally in the senior level.  At the club level, he also played in France for Lyon, in England for West Ham and Tottenham, and in China for Beijing Guoan.
Frederic Kanoute
ST: Guillermo Campanal I (Spain)
Campanal I was considered one of the greatest player fors Sevilla FC.  He started his career with Sporting de Gijon in 1929, but joined Sevilla soon after.  With Sevilla, he started on a line called "Stuka". He played with the club from 1929 to 1946.  It was briefly interrupted by the Spanish Civil War.  He represented Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1934.  His nephew was known as "Campanal II".

ST: Luis Fabiano (Brazil)
Luis Fabiano started his career with Ponte Preta in Brazil.  He was disappointed in his first European adventure with Rennes.  He returned to Sao Paulo in Brazil and then another disappointing stint with Porto FC.  Finally, he joined Sevilla FC in 2005.  He established himself as a star and won two UEFA Cups.  He also played in China. Internationally, he played for Brazil 45 times, and he was a starter at the World Cup Finals in 2010.  

ST: Juan Araujo (Spain)
Born in 1920, Juan Araujo was a club legend with Sevilla.  He wasa youth product of Sevilla FC, but he began his career with Xerez in 1943, where he was a top scorer in the second divsion.  He retunred to Sevilla FC in 1946, where he won the league in the 1945-1946 season and the Cup in 1948(then known as the Copa del Generalisimo).  He layd over 200 games and scored over a 100 goals for Sevilla. He left Sevilla after 11 seasons and joined Cordoba in 1956. He played a single season with Xerez before retiring.
Juan Araujo
ST: Davor Suker  (Croatia)
Davoe Suker was a part of Yugoslavia's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He was capped twice for Yugoslavia.  He later played for Croatia, where he earned 69 caps.  He is their all-time leading scorer.  He is best remembered for finishing as the top scorer at the World Cup Finals in 1998, where Croatia reached the semifinal.  He also played with Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal, West Ham and 1860 Munich.  He was a top scorer in La Liga while playing for both Seville and Real Madrid.
Davor Suker

Honorable Mention
Renato, Grzegorz Krychowiak, David Castedo, Ivica Dragutinovic, Christian Poulsen,Vassilis Tsartas, Ivan Zamorano, Anton Polster, Pintinho, Hector Scotta, Alvaro Negredo, Daniel Bertoni, Bernardo Acosta Miranda, Diego Simeone, Ignacio Achucarro, Julien Escude, Pablo Alfaro, Gallego, Stéphane Mbia, Carlos Bacca, Vitolo, Francisco Sanjosé, Bri Bri, Diego Capel.

Squad Explantion
-- I honored Antonio Puerta here.  His career was very short, but he contributed to Sevilla's victory at the UEFA Cup.  He is among the best in Sevilla's history.   
-- Ivica Dragutinovic probably deserved a place on the team too.
-- Rafa Paz was the last player selected.  The team lacked players who could play on the side.  He also played many years for the club.  He deserved it for his contributions.
-- Carlos Bacca, Diego Simeone, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Christian Poulsen only played a handful of years at Sevilla.  They only made Honorable Mention.   I don't think Víctor Espárrago played enough in Sevilla too.  He played there from 1973 to 1975.
-- The team under Unai Emeryt hat won three straight Europa Cups (2014, 2015, 2016) is under represented. They were actually three different teams with different players because Sevilla was unable to hold onto their players after each victory.
-- Jose Antonio Reyes was selected because of his three straight Europa League titles.  Moreover, he was a product of the Academy.  
-- Carlos Bacca was a hero of their Europa League successe, but I have strikers who played longer than  here. 
-- Ever Banega is fundamental in two of Sevilla's victories, but he has been inconsistent in his career.  His status with Sevilla is also harmed by his transfer to Inter Milan.  However, the team lacked great playmakers.  Julio Baptista was probably better than Benega, but he did not win any major trophy with Sevilla. In end, I felt that Benega's contributions were too great.  Vassilis Tsartas was also considered. In my opinion, he was underrated.
-- Grzegorz Krychowiak also contributed to two of those victories, but his stay is very short. So he only earned honourable mention.
-- I have five strikers on the team.  The five strikers were absolute legends in the past and a few current one who contributed to their European trophies.  So I cannot find space for Vassilis Tsartas, Ivan Zamorano, Anton Polster, Pintinho, Hector Scotta, Alvaro Negredo, Daniel Bertoni and Bernardo Acosta Miranda.
-- Gallego and Carlos Marchena played their best football elsewhere.  Julien Escude and Pablo Alfaro also missed the boat.
-- Rinat Dasayev is Sevilla's most famous goalkeeper, but his prime was played elsewhere as compared the other keepers selected.
-- Bri Bri was the first Black player for the club.  He earned a cult status with the club.  The largest support group "Biris Norte 1905" are named in his honour. However, he only earned honourable mention.
-- Frederic Kanoute's partnership with Luis Fabiano was considered the greatest duo in their history.  So I took both.

The squad is a mixture of old and new.  Jose Antonio Reyes represented an ear of winning three straight Europa Cups.  

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