Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nantes Greatest All-Time Team

Nantes 1994-1995 League Champion
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.

Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France wins and attained one Coupe de la Ligue victory. The club is famous for its jeu à la nantaise ("Nantes-style play"), its collective spirit, mainly advocated under coaches José Arribas, Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Raynald Denoueix and for its youth system, which has produced players such as Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps, Mickaël Landreau, Claude Makélélé, Christian Karembeu and Jérémy Toulalan.

TeamGK: Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes (France)
Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes spent his entire career at Nantes.  He was the original starting keeper at the World Cup Finals in 1978.  He played the first two matches, but he suffered an injury in the third match that ended his tournament.   He never played for France after that injury.  He had 11 caps between 1973 and 1978.

GK: Mickael Landreau (France)
From 1996 to 2006, he played for Nantes, becoming a club legend. he spent three more seasons with PSG, another three with Lille and finally with Bastia.  he won Ligue title with both Nantes and Lille.  Earned 11 caps.  He was mainly a third choice keeper.

GK: Daniel Eon (France)
He spent 1956 to 1968 with Nantes, winning a single league title.  Capped 3 times.

RB: Angel Bargas (Argentina)
Vargas started his career at Racing Club in 1965 but he moved to Chacarita Juniors in 1966. He was part of the team that won Chacarita's only Primera division title in 1969. In 1970 Bargas was awarded the Olimpia de Plata, which is given to the player of the year in Argentine football. Bargas moved to France in 1972 to play for FC Nantes, moved on to FC Metz in 1979, CS Louhans-Cuiseaux in 1981 and FC Le Puy in 1984. Capped 30 times. He went to the WC finals in 1974.

CB/RB/LB:  Maxime Bossis (France)
Maxime Bossis was a key player during France's Golden Generation of the 1980's.  He was named Footballer of the Year by France Football in 1979 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1984.  He went to the World Cup in both 1978, 1982 and 1986.  From 1985 to 1992, he held the French record of caps,  He was a star of the great Nantes team of the 1980's. He played briefly for RC Paris.

CB: Robert Budzynski (France)
Budzynski was a French player with Polosh background.  He played with Lens and Nantes in France.  Capped 11 times.  He went to the WC Finals in 1966.

CB: Nestor Fabbri (Argentina)
Fabbri started made his debut for All Boys during the 1984-85 season in the Argentine 2nd division.  In 1986 he joined first division Racing Club. In 1987 Fabbri was named Player of the Year of Argentina.  He played with Colombian América de Cali, and Atlético Lanús, before moving to Boca Juniors in 1994. Fabbri played with Boca until 1998, when he was transferred to French first division FC Nantes. With Nantes Fabbri won the 1999 and 2000 French Cups, the 1999 and 2001 Champion's Trophies, and the 2001 French Championship. In 2002, Fabbri moved to En Avant Guingamp and Estudiantes in 2003.  Capped 21 times.  He played in USA 1994.

CB: Patrice Rio (France)
He played with FC Rouen and Nantes in France.  He obtained a total number of 17 caps for France in the 1970s. He competed at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. His father, Roger, was also a French international footballer.

CB: Gabriel de Michele (France) 
Born in France, De Michele is of Italian heritage.  He started his career with Nantes. He played 387 matches in Division 1 and 7 games in the European Cuop(now known as Champions League). With Nantes, he won three French Champion Ligue titles in 1965, 1966 and 1973.  For the national team, he only played twice, but was a member of the World Cup team in 1966.

LB: William Ayache (France)
Bored in Algeria, Ayache won two league titles with Nantes.  He later played for PSG, Mariselle, bordeaux, Nice, Montpellier.  Capped 20 times. he won a Gold medal at the 1984 Olympics.  he went to Mexico 1986.

LB: Thierry Tusseau (France)
He played for Nantes and Bordeaux. He earned a total number of 22 international caps (no goals) for the French national team during the 1970s and 1980s. He was a member of the French team in the 1986 FIFA World Cup and the team that won the European Championship in 1984.  
Thierry Tusseau 

DM: Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia/France)
Born in New Caledonia, Christian Karembeu moved to France as a 17 years old.  He played for Nantes, Sampdoria, Real Madrid, Middlesbrough , Olympiakos, Servette Genève, Bastia. With Real Madrid, he won the Champions League in 1998 and 2000.  He won the World Cup with France in 1998.  He was Oceania Player of the Year in 1995 and 1998.
Christian Karembeu 

DM: Claude Makelele (France)
Michelle played  for Nantes, Marseille and Celta Vigo before making a big move to Real  Madrid in 2000.  Over there, he quickly established as one of the best  defensive midfielder in the world.  He won every single club title available.  In 2003, he moved to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea.  he earned 71 caps for France.  He helped France to reach the Final of Germany 2006.
Claude Makelele

DM: Jérémy Toulalan (France)
Toulalan started his career at hometown club Nantes and made his debut in March 2002. His performances during the 2004–05 season earned him the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and also an appearance in the Team of the Year. In May 2006, Toulalan joined Lyon on a four-year contract and helped the team win back-to-back league titles in 2007 and 2008. In June 2011, he joined Málaga. Two seasons later, he joined Monaco.  He was capped 36 times.  He went to Euro 2008.  At the WC Finals in 2010, he was one of the players punished for the strike.

CM: Henri Michel (France)
Michel played for AS Aix between 1964 and 1966. He then moved to FC Nantes where he played from 1966 until his retirement in 1982.  He was considered one of the most famous player ever with Nantes.  He won three league titles with them.  Capped 58 times.  He was better known for his role as a manager.  He took France to Mexico 1986.
Henri Michel
LW: Loïc Amisse (France)
Aims spent most of his career with Nantes. He won three league champions with them.  He later played with SCO Angers in the lower division.  Capped 12 times between 1977 and 1983.
Loic Amisse

AM: Reynald Pedros (France)
Pedros played as a left-footed attacking midfielder, formed in Nantes. He was part of the magic trio of FC Nantes with Patrice Loko and Nicolas Ouédec. He won the Ligue 1 title with Nantes in 1995. The following year he reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. His career suffered after 1996.  He played for many clubs, including Mariselle, Nastia, Napoli, Parma, Lyon, etc.  Capped 25 times.  His reputation suffered after Euro 1996, where he missed a penalty against the Czech Republic.

AM: Gilles Rampillon (France)
Rampillon played 12 seasons with Nantes from 1970 to 1982, winning three league titles. He ended his career at AS Cannes , where he played 96 games and scored 27 goals in Division 2.  Capped 3 times.

AM: José Touré (France)
Touré started his career with Nantes in 1979. He also played for Bordeaux and Monaco. He was a member of the French squad that won the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Capped 16 times.  He was injured before Mexico 1986.  He was never the same player after his injury. His father, Bako Touré, was a Malian international footballer

FW/AM: Japhet N’Doram (Chad)
N'Doram begun his career with local Tourbillon FC, then spent three seasons in Cameroon with Tonnerre Yaoundé.  In 1994, he signed for FC Nantes in France, where he played until 1997.  He spent a year with Monaco before retirement. Capped 36 times for Chad.
Japhet N’Doram 
FW: Vahid Halilhodzic (Yugoslavia)
Regarded as one of the best Yugoslav players in the 1970s and 1980s, Halilhodžić had successful playing spells with Velež Mostar, and French clubs Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in the mid-1980s. During that time earned 15 full international caps for Yugoslavia and was part of national squads who won the 1978 European Under-21 Championship and played at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
Vahid Halilhodzic

ST: Eric Pecout (France)
Picot played mainly for Nantes.  He also played for Monaco, Metz, Strasbourg, SM Caen and Tours.  he won two league title with Nantes and another one with Moncao.  Capped 6 times.

ST: Philippe Gondet (France)
Gondet started his career with Blois, but moved to Paris to study.  In 1960, Nantes signed him. He took a break serving in the French military.  He also played for Paris Red Stars.  Capped 14 times.  He played in the 1966 WC Finals.

ST: Bernard Blanchet (France)
Blanchet is the all-time leading scorer at Nantes.  He won three league titles. He joined Stade Lavallois in 1976, helping them to promotion.  Capped 17 times.

ST: Patrice Loko (France)
Once projected to be a star player in France before mental issue got to him. Playing as a striker he began his career at Nantes and then moved on to Paris Saint-Germain, where he was part of the team that won the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup.  From there he went on to play for Montpellier, Lyon, Troyes, FC Lorient and Ajaccio. He also made appearances for the French national football team, including scoring at Euro 1996 against Bulgaria.
Patrice Loko 

Honorable Mention
Mario YepesGilbert Le Chenadec, Stanislas Staho, Jean-Claude Osman, Nicolas Gillet,  Sylvain Armand, Oscar Muller, Nicolas Ouédec, Jean-Claude Suaudeau, Jean-Michel Ferri, Omar Sahnoun, Yvon Le Roux, Eric Carrière, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Jorge Burruchaga, Jacques Simon, Bruno Baronchelli.

Squad Explanation
-- I went for two older left backs.  I only put Sylvain Armand on the list of honourable mention.
-- Nantes has a few big named defensive midfielders who only spent their early career there, namely Marcel Desailly, Christian Karembeu, Claude Makelele, Didier Deschamps and Jérémy Toulalan.  I dropped two of the biggest name of the group, Deschamps and Desailly.  Their careers were too short here.
-- Patrice Loko was sensational with Nantes.  His mental illness did not reflect his ability here.


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