Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Real Zaragoza Greatest All-Time Team

Copa del Rey 2003-2004
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.

Real Zaragoza has spent the majority of its history in La Liga, winning the Copa del Rey six times and the 1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, amongst other trophies.

GK: Enrique Yarza (Spain)
He was the keeper of one of the best historical stages of Real Zaragoza with Los Magníficos. They won two Copa del Generalísimo(now Copa del Rey) in 1964 and 1966, and the Fairs Cup in 1964.
Enrique Yarza

GK: Andoni Cedrún (Spain)
He appeared in 351 La Liga games over the course of 17 seasons, representing mostly Zaragoza with which he won three major titles, including the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup. He started his career with Athletic Bilbao.

GK: Juanmi (Spain)
After graduating from Real Madrid B Team,  he was third-choice for Real Madrid behind Francisco Buyo and Pedro Jaro. In the 1993 off-season, Juanmi moved to Real Zaragoza as backup to veteran Andoni Cedrún. After two years as second-choice (although he did manage 27 La Liga appearances combined), he went on to become the Aragonese side's undisputed starter, being instrumental in the club's 2001 conquest of the Copa del Rey. Capped once for Spain.

RB: Alberto Belsué  (Spain)
After beginning with lowly Endesa de Andorra, Belsué joined La Liga club Real Zaragoza, where he helped to win the 1994 Copa del Rey and the following year's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.  Capped 14 times and played at Euro 1996.
Alberto Belsué

CB: Xavi Aguado (Spain)
Aguado began playing football with local CF Badalona. After two seasons at local CE Sabadell FC in the second division, he joined Real Zaragoza in La Liga for the 1990–91 campaign, quickly establishing as first-choice whilst displaying aerial ability and team leadership alike (he would be early on named club captain).

CB: Fernando Caceres (Spain)
Cáceres began at Argentinos Juniors and in 1991 was transferred to Club Atlético River Plate where he won his first title, the 1991 Apertura.  He then moved to Spain to play for Real Zaragoza, where he won the Copa del Rey in 1994 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup the following year. Cáceres returned to Argentina for a brief spell at Boca Juniors, before moving back to Spain in late 1996 and sign for Valencia CF. Aged almost 29 he joined Celta de Vigo, helping to the Galicians' La Liga and European consolidation.  Capped 22 times, he won the Copa America 1993 and went to USA 1994.
Fernando Caceres 

CB/RB: Casuco (Spain)
He played with Granada CF and then the Elche CF.  He ended up at Real Zaragoza, where he spent ten years and lived his best season as a player, becoming team captain. He helped Real Zaragoza to win the Copa Del Rey in 1985-1986.

SW/LB: José Luis Violeta  (Spain)
He played for 14 seasons at Real Zaragoza (1963-1977) as a part of the glorious era.  He was a symbol of the club. He won two Copa del Generalísimo(now Copa del Rey).
José Luis Violeta 

CB: José Manuel González (Spain)
From 1966 to 1977, he played for Real Zaragoza.  He played 303 games, the third player with most appearances. He also played with Granada.  His father played for Real Madrid.

LB: Severino Reija (Spain)
He played of the best historical sides of Real Zaragoza( Los Magníficos). They won two Copa del Generalísimo(now Copa del Rey) in 1964 and 1966, and the Fairs Cup in 1964.  He participated with the national team at the 1962 FIFA World Cup, the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

LB: Jesús Ángel Solana (Spain)
Solana was a product of Real Madrid's youth ranks. He was used regularly in five of his six seasons with the capital club's first team, as it won five La Liga titles in a row.  However, Solana would be most known for his spell at Real Zaragoza, where he won a Copa del Rey as well as the memorable 1994–95 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Arsenal.  Capped once.

CM: Juan Manuel Villa  (Spain)
He was a graduate of Real Madrid's academy. He played with Alfredo di Stefano, Puskus, etc at Real Madrid before moving to Real Zazagoza. He spent 10 seasons there.  He was a part of Spain's winning side at Euro 1964.

CM/DM: Juan Señor  (Spain)
He played mainly for Zaragoza, amassing nearly 400 official appearances in nine years. He gained more than 40 caps during the 80's, representing the nation in the 1986 World Cup Finals and one European Championship in 1984.  He scored the all important that qualified Spain to Euro 1984 Finals.
Juan Senor vs Diego Maradona

CM: Eleuterio Santos (Spain)
Santos started playing with local CD Tenerife. In March 1963 he moved to Real Zaragoza, going on to spend nine of his ten seasons with the club in La Liga and being part of an attacking frontline dubbed Los Magníficos, which also featured Canário, Carlos Lapetra, Marcelino and Juan Manuel Villa.

LW/FW: Juan Seminario (Peru)
Juan Seminario had a great career in Europe during the 1960's.  He played with Sporting CP, Real Zaragoza, FC Barcelona and Fiorentina. He became the top scorer in La Liga with 25 goals for the 1961–62 season while playing for Real Zaragoza. For Peru, he had 19 caps. He scored a hat-trick against England in 1959. 

LW/FW: Carlos Lapetra (Spain)
He spent ten of his 11 years as a professional with Zaragoza, appearing in 279 official games (62 goals) and winning three major titles with the club. Lapetra played for Spain at the 1964 European Nations' Cup and the 1966 World Cup, winning the former tournament.
Carlos Lapetra 

AM: Santiago Aragon (Spain)
Started with Real Madrid, but never settled down.  He went to Real Zaragoza.  Aragón was part of the side that won the 1995 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, having conquered the Copa del Rey the previous campaign. 

AM/CM: Gustavo Poyet (Uruguay)
Poyet began his career with short spells at Grenoble and River Plate. He then spent seven years at Real Zaragoza, with whom he won the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 1997, Poyet moved to Chelsea and helped the club win the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 2001 he moved to Tottenham Hotspur. He was also part of the Uruguay side which won the 1995 Copa América.
Gustavo Poyet 

AM/FWFrancisco Higuera (Spain)
Started with Mallorca.  He went on the play for Real Zaragoza, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1995. Capped 6 times for Spain.

FW: Jorge Valdano (Argentina)
Although he initially played for Newell's Old Boys, Alavés and Real Zaragoza, his most successful period at club level was at Real Madrid.  For Argentina, he scored four goals in the 1986 tournament, including Argentina's second goal against West Germany in the final. In total, he earned 23 caps for his nation between 1975 and 1990, scoring seven goals.
Jorge Valdano

RW/FW: Canario (Brazil)
Canário played for America Football Club (RJ) in his country. In 1959 he moved to Real Madrid and being used mainly as a backup during his three-year spell. He won the European Cup in the 1959–60 edition.  After spending the 1962–63 season with Sevilla, Canário switched to Real Zaragoza, going on to be part of an attacking frontline that was dubbed Los Magníficos (The Magnificent. He reached four Copa del Rey finals with the Aragonese during his stint, winning the tournament twice.

FW: Miguel Pardeza (Spain)
He was part of Real Madrid's generation of footballers known as Quinta del Buitre, but spent the better part of his career at Real Zaragoza. He was a key player as they won La Liga in 1987.  He was also a part of the team that won the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup. Capped 5 times.  He later played in Mexico.
Miguel Pardeza

ST: Pichi Alonso (Spain)
He moved to Real Zaragoza, playing 33 La Liga matches in every season he remained there and never netting less than 15 goals. For the 1982–83 campaign Alonso moved to FC Barcelona, He scored three goals against IFK Göteborg in the 1986 European Cup semifinals, allowing the Catalans to reach the final of the competition against FC Steaua Bucureşti in Seville, where he was one of four players that had his attempt saved by opposing goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam. Capped 3 times.

ST: Joaquín Murillo (Spain)
In 1954 joined Real Valladolid CF, where he played for three seasons. Then he ended up at Real Zaragoza team in which he scored 113 goals in 178 official matches. With 88 goals in the league, he is the top scorer in the history of Real Zaragoza and he is also the second highest scoring Catalan player in the league.

ST: Marcelino Martinez (Spain)
In 1959 he signed with Real Zaragoza from local Racing de Ferrol, going on to remain with the club until his retirement 11 years later.
During his spell with the Aragonese, Marcelino scored 117 official goals, winning three major titles, namely two Copa del Rey trophies. 

Honorable Mention
Gabriel Milito, Fernando Caceres, Luis Cuartero, Cacho Blanco, Pablo Aimar, Juan Barbas, Javier Planas, Diego Milito, Nayim, Francisco Guerri, Juan Eduardo Esnaider, Savo Milosevic, Carlos Diarte.

Squad Explanation
-- The team focused a lot on the great team that won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1995 and Los Magníficos of the 1960's.
-- Juan Seminario became the top scorer in La Liga with 25 goals for the 1961–62 season.
--  Luciano Galletti was a right wing,  The team needs one.
--  The team has too many attacking midfielders.  Aragon and Poyet were automatic selections.  I have to drop Saturnino Arrua. 
-- Nayim earned his honorable mention because of his fantastic goal vs David Season at the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup Final.


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