Saturday, January 14, 2017

Boca Juniors Greatest All-Time Team


 
2000 Intercontinental Cup

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.

Boca Juniors is also known to be the one of the most popular football clubs in South America. It has won a total of 22 international titles,with 18 recognized by FIFA and CONMEBOL. According to that, Boca is ranked fourth in the world in terms of number of internationally recognized titles, together with A.C. Milan and behind Real Madrid. Boca Juniors is also one of only eight teams to have won CONMEBOL's treble. 
2007 Copa Libertadores

Team
GK: Antonio Roma (Argentina)
Nicknamed Tarzan, Roma started his career with Ferrocarril Oeste in 1955. Together with teammate Silvio Marzolini, he joined Boca Juniors in 1959. With the club, Roma won the Argentine League of 1962, 1964, 1965, and the Campeonato Nacional 1969 and 1970. In 1969 he kept his goal clear for 783 minutes.  Capped 42 times. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1962 and 1966.

GK: Hugo Gatti (Argentina)
Nicknamed El Loco (The Madman), Gatti won three national championships, two Copa Libertadores tournaments, and one Intercontinental Cup with Boca Juniors. He would frequently leave the penalty area to function as an additional field player. He was voted Player of the Year of Argentina in 1982.  He earned 18 caps. He went to the WC Finals in 1966. 

GK: Américo Tesoriere (Argentina)
Tesoriere was an early idol of Argentina football. His debut game with the first team was in 1916 when he was only 17. He played for Boca Juniors until his retirement in 1927, except for the 1921 season when he played for Sportivo del Norte. He played a total of 184 games for Boca in all competitions. He won 14 titles with the club including 5 league titles. He was capped 38 times for La Selección and won two Copa America.

RB: Carlos Sosa  (Argentina)
Carlos Sosa started his career with Atlanta in 1939.  He joined Boca Juniors in the 1941, wherhe established as one of the best defenders of his generation.  He won two Argentine Primera División. He went to play in France for Racing Paris and Red Stars in Paris.  With Argentina, he was capped 12 times. He won two Copa Americas(1945 and 1946).

RB: Hugo Ibarra  (Argentina)
Hugo Ibarra is an icon at Boca Juniors where he has played over 200 games in three separate stints at the club and won 15 titles.  He won four Copa Libertadores: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007.  In between, he played in Porto, Monaco and Espanyol in Europe.  For Argentina, he earned 11 caps.  He participated in two Copa Americas.

SW/CB: Domingos da Guia  (Brazil)
Domingos da Guia was a star defender during the 1940's. He was among the first skilled defender to play the game. He played for several clubs, but notably with Flamengo and Corinthians, and aboard with Boca Juniors. He had 30 caps. He was a star at the 1938 World Cup Finals in France. He made the all-star team at that World cup Finals.  His son is Ademir da Guia.

CB: Roberto Mouzo (Argentina)
Roberto Mouzo played the vast majority of his career for Boca Juniors, being the all-time most appearing player for the team, with 426 matches played. Mouzo also won 6 titles with the club, including the Copa Libertadores of 1977 and 1978.  He was capped 4 times between 1974 and 1983.

CB: Ludovico Bidoglio (Argentina)
Ludovico Bidoglio was an early player for Boca Juniors.  He made his debut with the club before the club was officially named as Boca Juniors.  The club in his first match was listed as "Juventud de Boca".  He was capped 27 times, winning two Copa America in1925 and 1927 for Argentina.

CB: Julio Meléndez  (Peru)
Julio Meléndez was nicknamed "Black Diamond".  He was one of the best South American defender of his generation. He played for Boca Juniors between 1968 and 1972. He was considered one of Boca Juniors greatest players, and voted into their team of Century. He was capped 35 times. for Peru. He won the Copa America in 1975.

LB:  Silvio Marzolini (Argentina)
In 1959, Silvio Marzolini started his career with Ferro Carril Oeste. A year later, he joined Boca Juniors where he played until 1972 and became an idol. He was considered one of the greatest leftbacks in Latin American football history.  For Argentina, he had 28 caps between 1960 and 1969.  He went to the 1962 and the 1966 World Cup Finals. He made the team of the tournament in 1966.
Júlio Meléndez and Silvio Marzolini
LB: Alberto Tarantini (Argentina)
Tarantino started his career with Boca Juniors.  He played for them from 1973 and 1977.  He was the starting left back for Argentina's World Cup winning team in 1978. After the World Cup, he was signed by Birmingham City, but he failed to fit in.  He also played for Talleres de Córdoba, River Plate, and European teams SC Bastia, Toulouse and FC St. Gallen.  He also played in the 1982 World Cup Finals.


CM/DM: Antonio Rattin (Argentina)
Antonio Rattin played his entire career with Boca Juniors.  He was remembered for getting send-off against England at the World Cup Finals in 1966, in which he refused to leave the field.  This incident, and others surrounding the same game, arguably started the long-lasting rivalry between the national teams of Argentina and England.  He earned 34 caps and also went to the World Cup Finals in 1962. 
Antonio Rattin 

DM: Sebastián Battaglia (Argentina)
Sebastian Battaglia is the most decorated player in Boca Juniors' history, having won 18 titles with the club between 1998 and 2012. He won 4 Copa Libertadores and 2 Intercontinental Cups. He had two stints with Boca Juniors and a stint with Villarreal in between. He earned 10 caps.

CM: Natalio Pescia (Argentina)
Pescia was part of one of the most remembered midfield lines in the history of Boca Juniors, along with Carlos Sosa and Ernesto Lazzatti between 1943 and 1947 when Boca Juniros won the 1943 and 1944 domestic leagues, apart from one Copa Ibarguren, one Copa de Competencia Británica and two Copa Escobar-Gerona. He was capped 12 times.

CM: Rúben Suñé (Argentina)
Suñé started his career in 1967 with Boca Juniors.  In, 1971 Suñé was involved in a notorious Copa Libertadores match against Sporting Cristal where all but two of the Boca Juniors players were sent off.  Suñé played for Huracán and Unión de Santa Fe before returning to Boca Juniors in 1976. Boca then had one of the most successful periods in their history claiming two league championships, two Copa Libertadores titles and the 1977 Copa Intercontinental. Capped 6 times.

AM/CM: Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina)
Riquelme was the best Argentine player of his generation. He spent most of his career with Boca Juniors, but also had a significant spell in Spain with Villarreal. He was a club legend with Boca Juniors.  He won 4 Copa Libertadores and a single Intercontionental Cup.  With Villarreal, he reached the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2005. For Argentina, he was only capped 51 times, largely because of his row with Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
Juan Roman Riquelme
AM: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
Maradona was considered the second best player in history after Pele.  He won the World Cup in 1986, scoring the best goal in the history of the World Cup when he scored against England.  He also played in the WC Finals in 1982, 1990 and 1994.  For club football, he was best remembered for leading Napoli to break the dominance of the Northern Italian clubs in the Serie A.  Napoli won two league titles and a UEFA Cup.  He was also considered to be Boca Juniors' greatest player.
Diego Maradona
FW: Mario Boye  (Argentina)  
"El Atómico (The Atomic One)" made his debut with Boca Juniors in 1941. With Boca he won the 1943 and 1944 Argentine leagues, and was the league's top-scorer in 1946 with 24 goals.  He also played for Genoa in Italy where he became "Il Matadore" (The Killer), but returned to Argentina four seasons later.  He played for Racing and Huracán. He earned 17 caps winning 3 Copa Americas.

FW: Francisco Varallo (Argentina)
Varallo played for Argentina from 1930 to 1937. He was the youngest member of the team at the inaugural World Cup in 1930. During his career, Varallo won three leagues titles with Boca Juniors, and with 181 goals, is the club's second highest all-time leading goalscorer in the professional era.

FW: Domingo Tarasconi  (Argentina)
With 20 caps, Tarasconi won 3 Copa América with Argentina between 1922 and 1929. He also played in the 1928 Olympic games where he finished as tournament top scorer. For Boca Juniors, he won 10 titles. He scored a total of 193 goals for Boca Juniors, ranking 4th among the highest scoring players in the history of the club.

ST: Angel Rojas (Argentina)
Nicknamed Rojitas, Angel Rojas played most of his career for Boca Juniors. He played 224 games and scored 78 goals in all competitions. In his eight years with the club they won four league titles and an Argentine cup. Between 1972 and 1973 Rojas played in Peru with Municipal. He then had spells with Racing Club, Nueva Chicago, Club Atlético Lanús and Argentino de Quilmes.  He had two caps.
Angel Rojas 

ST/SS: Carlos Tevez (Argentina)
Tevez began his career with Boca Juniors, winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2003. With Manchester United, he won a Champions' League. In 2009, he joined Manchester City becoming the first player to move between the two rival clubs since Terry Cooke in 1999. He helped City win their first league title in 44 years. In 2013, he joined Juventus for £12 million and he returned to Boca Juniors in June 2015.He earned over 70 caps and appeared in two World Cup Finals.
Carlos Tevez 
ST: Roberto Cherro (Argentina)
Cherro played the majority of his career with Boca Juniors. he scored 221 goals in 305 games for the club in all competitions, making him Boca's highest scoring player until Martín Palermo broke it in 2010. Cherro won the Copa América in 1929 with the Argentina national football team. On 5 February 1933, Cherro famously scored all four goals in a 4–1 win over Uruguay.

ST: Martin Palermo(Argentina)
Palermo is Boca's all time top scorer with 236 goals and one of the most popular players ever played for the club.  He won two Copa Libertadores for them. He also played Estudiantes de La Plata, Villarreal, Real Betis, and Alavés.  However, he only played 15 times for Argentina. In 2010, he scored a 93th minute strike against Peru  that sent the team to World Cup Finals. Argentina took him to the World Cup Finals in 2010.
Martin Palermo with the 2007 Copa Libertadores

Honorable Mention  
Oscar Cordoba, Carlos Navarro Montoya, Roberto Abbondanzieri, Fernando Gago, Pedro Calomino, Delfin Benítez Cáceres, Paulo Valentim, Domingos da Guia, Walter Samuel, Oscar Ruggeri, Jorge Bermúdez, Mauricio Serna, Nicolás Burdisso, Nolberto Solanno, Ernesto Lazzatti, Marcelo Trobbiani, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jaime Sarlanga.

Squad Explanation
-- Boca Juniors has many great keepers. Roma and Gatti were obvious choices. Oscar Cordoba, Carlos Navarro Montoya and Roberto Abbondanzieri all deserved to be on the squad. Tesoriere was taken as the third keeper due to the fact that he was the first star keeper for the club.
--  Paulo Valentim was well-respected in his time, but I carried too many attackers. I took two younger attackers: Carlos Tevez and Martin Palermo.
--  Carlos Tevez won the Intercontinental Cup in 2003, which was an important era in the modern period of the club. It was an ear when European teams dominated. It put South American club football back to the map.
-- I do not know much about Pedro Calomino.
-- Diego Maradona was left off some of the all-time teams I found on the internet.  Maradona did not play many games for Boca Juniors and he won only a single title.  Yes, that counted against him, but Maradona is Maradona.  His name is in the hearts of every Boca Juniors fan. 
-- The four Copa Liberradores winning teams in 2000's are under represented in this team. Mauricio Serna, Oscar Cordoba, Walter Samuel and Jorge Bermúdez deserved a spot. I selected Hugo Ibarra and Sebastián Battaglia for their contributions to this era. Carlos Terez, Juan Roman Riquelme and Martin Palermo also won some of the cups in that era.
-- The teams that won the back-to-back Copa Libertadores in 1977 and 1978 are more underrepresented. Hugo Gatti, Roberto Mouzo and Alberto Tarantini are the only players I have selected.
-- Despite the fact that Da Guia is the most famous defender on the team, he was actually the last defender that I selected.  Da Guia only played two seasons with Boca Junior. Oscar Ruggeri, Walter Samuel and Jorge Bermúdez won more trophies and contributed more to the successes of the clubs than he did.  I really could not decide for a long time. In the end, I took him simply because he was the best defender on the list.

Formation
I do not think this is a working formation.  Riquelme and Maradona probably cannot play on the same field, but I cannot drop either of them.  Da Guia got the start, despite the fact that he was the last defender I selected on the team.

  

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