Sunday, June 25, 2017

Espanyol Greatest All-Time Team

2006 Copa del Rey Winner

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.

Founded in 1900, the team plays in La Liga, the highest division of Spanish football. It has won the Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006, and reached the UEFA Cup final in 1988 and 2007. The team compete in the Derbi barceloní against FC Barcelona.
UEFA Cup 2007 Final

GK: Ricardo Zamora (Spain)
The first ever star goalkeeper in history.  He is also remembered for a spectacular last minute save he made in the 1936 Copa de España final while playing for Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. The award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, is named in his honour and he was voted one of the greatest players of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was also Spain's most capped player for 45 years.
Ricardo Zamora 

GK: Thomas N'Kono (Cameroon)
He was among the best keepers from the 1980's and probably the most famous goalkeeper from Africa.  He played in three WC Finals.  Gianluigi Buffon was inspired by him and named his son Thomas after him.  He had a notable career with Espanyol.

GK: Carlos Kameni (Cameroon)
He spent the vast majority of his career in Spain, mainly with Espanyol, with which he appeared in 229 official games over the course of eight La Liga seasons. He also played for Le Havre and at the time of writing, he is with Malaga. A Cameroonian international before he was 20, Kameni represented the country in two World Cups and five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

RB: Antonio Argilés (Spain)
From 1950 to 1964, he played for Espanyol.  He held the appearance record for the club.  He was capped for Spain B international.
Antonio Argilés
RB: Cristóbal (Spain)
He made his debut with Barcelona in the 1987-1988 season.  He played with Real Oviedo and CD Logroñés before going to Espanyol and PSG.  Capped 6 times between 1991 and 1993.

CB/RB: Ricardo Saprissa (El Salvador)
Born in El Salvador of Spanish parents, Saprissa played several sports, excelling at football with the team RCD Espanyol, as well as in tennis, field hockey and polo. He won Spain's football national championship with RCD Espanyol in 1928, Spain's field hockey national championship in 1924, and Spain's tennis national championships in 1923 and 1924. He participated with Spain at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and on the Spanish Davis Cup team in 1930. He moved to San José, Costa Rica, in 1932.  He was the founder of Deportivi Saprissa, the most successful club in Costa Rica.

SW: José Parra (Spain)
Parra's spent most of his career with RCD Español where he signed with the club in 1947 from neighbouring Terrassa FC, going on to compete with the former in 12 La Liga seasons.  Parra earned seven caps for Spain and he was a part of the World Cup team in 1950.

CB: Daniel Jarque (Spain)
Jarque made his La Liga debut with his hometown club on 20 October 2002.  In 2006–07,  Jarque appeared in 14 UEFA Cup games as Espanyol reached the final, lost on penalties to Sevilla FC.  In 2009, He was named team captain one month before his death from a heart attack, at the age of 26.  The Espanyol training ground and B-team stadium was also renamed in Jarque's memory.
Daniel Jarque
CB: Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina)
He made his professional with Newell's Old Boys in 1988. The side reached the final of the Copa Libertadores, where he scored a crucial goal away to Colombian champions América de Cali in the semi-final. He then moved to Espanyol in Spain for the 1994–95 season, helping it to the 2000 conquest of the Copa del Rey.  In 2001, Pochettino signed for Paris Saint-Germain.  Capped 20 times.  He went to the 2002 Japan/Korea.

LB: Miquel Soler (Spain)
From 1983 to 2003, he played in La Liga for various clubs.  He is the only player who had played for both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona and Espanyol.  He earned 9 caps with Spain and appeared at Euro 1988.

LB: David Garcia (Spain)
He spent most of his professional career with Espanyol, appearing in 243 competitive games over the course of 12 La Liga seasons and winning two Copa del Rey trophies.

CM: Josep Artigas (Spain)
From 1945 to 1955, he played for Espanyol.  He was capped once in 1950 playing against Ireland. 

CM: Sergio González (Spain)
Known simply as Sergio, he was adept at both defence and playmaking, and spent nearly one decade as a professional at Deportivo de La Coruña after starting at Espanyol. Over the course of 14 La Liga seasons, he amassed totals of 418 games and 34 goals. Sergio represented the Spanish national team in the 2002 World Cup.

CM: Daniel Solsona (Spain)
Solsona played in 373 La Liga games over the course of 13 seasons in which he represented RCD Español and Valencia CF, scoring 65 goals in the process. He made his debut in the competition at only 18, featuring for the former in a 0–0 home draw against Real Sociedad on 27 September 1970.  He moved abroad at the age of 31, going  to SC Bastia and Stade Rennais F.C. in Ligue 1 interspersed with a very short spell with Racing Club de France football Colombes 92.  Solsona earned seven caps for Spain.
Daniel Solsona 
LM/LW: Crisant Bosch (Spain)
He played  RCD Espanyol, CE Júpiter and Terrassa FC. His best years was with Espanyol whom he played 15 seasons in the club and won  two Spanish Cups(1929, 1940).  He was capped eight times by Spain, playing at the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy.

LW: Maxi Rodríguez (Argentina)
He started with Newell's Old Boys.  Rodríguez arrived in Spain in 2002,  playing for Espanyol and Atlético Madrid. He also spent two years with Liverpool in England.  He appeared in three straight WC Finals from 2006 to 2014, totalling 57 caps.

AM/CM: Iván de la Peña (Spain)
Pequeño Buddha (Little Buddha) started his career with Barcelona billed as one of the best young Spanish players in the mid-1990's.  However, injuries limited his career.  Besides Barcelona, he played for Lazio and  Espanyol. He was a star of Spain Under-21 in 1996, but he did not make his senior debut until 2005.
Iván de la Peña
AM: John Lauridsen (Denmark)
He won the Danish championship with Esbjerg, before playing eight years uninterrupted in La Liga, with Español and Málaga. He appeared in more than 250 official games for the former club, helping it reach the 1988 UEFA Cup Final. Lauridsen played 27 times for Denmark after making his debut in 1981, representing the nation at the Euro 1984.

FW: Jordi Lardín (Spain)
He started with RCD Espanyol in the 1992–93 season and played there until 1997, where he signed with Atlético Madrid.  Lardín retired from football at age 29 claiming to be "fed up" with the sport. He made a tentative comeback two years later, with modest CD Leganés.  Capped 3 times.

LWF/FW: José María Lavilla (Spain)
He played for Real Oviedo from 1961 to 1965.  He joined RCD Espanyol in 1965 and retired from them in 1976.  He was capped 6 times. 

FW: Luis Garcia (Spain)
A product of Real Madrid. Over the course of nine seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 329 games and 73 goals, mainly with Espanyol, with which he won one Copa del Rey and reached the 2007 UEFA Cup Final.  He earned 7 caps.

ST: Marañón (Spain)
He started professionally at Real Madrid, but his career was mainly associated with Español. Over the course of 13 seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 308 games and 116 goals, making him Espanyol's second greatest goal scorers. Marañón went to the 1978 World Cup Finals.
ST: Julia Arcas (Spain) 
From 1947 to 1958, he played for Espanyol.  He scored the 1000th goal for Espanyol.  He scored with 86 goals. He was for many years the highest scorer in the club's history, until Rafael Marañón, with 111, and then Raul Tamudo broke his record. 

ST: José María Rodilla (Spain)
He began his career in 1961 playing for Real Valladolid. He played for the club until 1964. In that year he moved to RCD Espanyol, where he played until 1971. In that year he moved to UE Sant Andreu, a club in which he retired in 1972.

ST: Raul Tamudo (Spain)
Tamudo was a club legend with Espanyol.  He won two Copa Del Rey with the club as well as reaching the Final of UEFA cup in 2007. He is their all-time leading scorer.  He picked up 13 caps for Spain.
Raul Tamudo
Honorable Mention
Alberto Martorell, Urruti, Pablo Zabaleta, Urbano Ortega, Joan Golobart, Alberto Lopo, Antoni Arabí, Arteaga, Carmelo Amas, Diego Orejuela.

Squad Explanation
-- Urbano Ortega and Joan Golobart nearly made the team.
-- Ricardo Saprissa was chosen more for his interesting life. 
-- Raul Tamudo is probably the best player ever played for the club.
-- Afredo Di Stefano and László Kubala also played for them at the end of their careers.


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