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

Team
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)
Thomas N'Kono was among the best keepers from the 1980's and probably the most famous goalkeeper from Africa.  He had over 100 caps with Cameroon.  He also went to three World Cup Finals, where he was a starter in 1982 and 1990.  Gianluigi Buffon was inspired by him and named his son Thomas after him.  He had a notable career with Espanyol in Spain.

GK: Carlos Kameni (Cameroon)
Carlos Kameni 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, Antonio Argilés played for Espanyol after joining from his hometown club Tarrassa FC.  He held the appearance record (the number of games played) for Espanyol until Raul Tamudo broke it in 2008.  He still held the record for the number of minutes played.  He was capped for Spain B international. He represented the Catalan regional team.
Antonio Argilés
RB: Cristóbal (Spain)
Cristóbal made his debut with Barcelona in the 1987-1988 season.  His career did not take off until he played for Real Oviedo and CD Logroñés.  He had a brief return to Barcelona and another stint with Oviedo. He played for Espanyol between 1995 and 2001.  He joined Paris St Germain at the end of his career.  He was 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)
Jose 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 also earned seven caps for Spain within a year. He was a part of the World Cup team in 1950. He played in 5 matches as Spain finished 4th in Brazil.

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, Miquel Soler 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.  His longest stint was with Espanyol and Mallocra.  He earned 9 caps with Spain and appeared at the 1988 European Championship held in West Germany.

LB: David Garcia (Spain)
David Garcia spent most of his professional career with Espanyol(1999-2011), appearing in 243 competitive games over the course of 12 La Liga seasons and winning two Copa del Rey trophies. Espanyol also reached the Final of the 2007 UEFA Cup when he played for them. He is one of the club longest serving player.  He also played Segunda División club Girona FC at the end of his career.

CM: Josep Artigas (Spain)
Josep Artigas started his career at Terrassa FC.  He then played for FC Barcelona Amateur and Girona FC.  From 1945 to 1955, he played for Espanyol, where he enjoyed the most successes.  He finished his career with Cadiz in 1956.  He was capped once in 1950 playing in an away match 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)
Born in 1907, Crisant Bosch played RCD Espanyol, CE Júpiter and Terrassa FC. His best years were with Espanyol whom he played 15 seasons in the club.  With them, he made his debut in 1926. He 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)
Maxi Rodríguez 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 World Cup Finals from 2006 to 2014, totalling 57 caps. He was main contributor in 2006 and 2010, scoring a thunder shot against Mexico in 2006.

AM/CM: Iván de la Peña (Spain)
Nicknamed Pequeño Buddha (Little Buddha), Iván de la Peña  started his career with Barcelona in 1995 playing alongside Ronaldo. He was billed as one of the best young Spanish players in the mid-1990's.  However, injuries limited his career. He left Barcelona in 1998 for Lazio. From 2002 to 2011, he played for Espanyol. For the national team, 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)
Jordi Lardín 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 in 2002 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)
Better know as José María, he played for Real Oviedo from 1961 to 1965.  His club finished 3rd in La Liga for 1962-1963, their best ever result in history,  He joined RCD Espanyol in 1965 and retired from them in 1976.  He was a part of the famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins". He was capped 6 times. 

FW: Luis Garcia (Spain)
Luis Garcia was a youth 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 also played for Real Murcia, Mallocra and Real Zaragoza. He earned 7 caps between 2007 and 2008.

ST: Marañón (Spain)
Marañón started professionally at Real Madrid, where he played from 1968 to 1974, 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 played 4 times for Spain.  He went to the 1978 World Cup Finals, but without playing a game.
Marañón 
ST: Julia Arcas (Spain) 
From 1947 to 1958, Julia Arcas played for Espanyol.  He scored the 1000th goal for Espanyol.  In total, he scored with 86 goals for the club. 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.  He never played for Spain, but he had played 3 times for Catalonia national football team and scored two goals. 

ST: José María Rodilla (Spain)
José María Rodilla 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. He was a part of the famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins".  In that year he moved to UE Sant Andreu, a club in which he retired in 1972.  He played once for Catalonia in 1968 and then, was capped once by Spain in 1970.

ST: Raul Tamudo (Spain)
Raul Tamudo was a club legend with Espanyol, where he played from 1997 to 2010.  He captained the side for a decade.  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 also played for Real Sociedad, Rayo Vallecano Mexico's C.F. Pachuca and Sabedell FC. He picked up 13 caps for Spain. He was a member of their 2000 silver medal winning team at the Olympics.
Raul Tamudo
Honorable Mention
Alberto Martorell, Urruti, Pablo Zabaleta, Urbano Ortega, Joan Golobart, Alberto Lopo, Antoni Arabí, Arteaga, Carmelo Amas, Diego Orejuela, Cayetano Re, Marcial Pina.

Squad Explanation
-- Urbano Ortega and Joan Golobart nearly made the team.
-- David Garcia was one of Espanyol's longest serving players.
-- Ricardo Saprissa was chosen more for his interesting life. 
-- Iván de la Peña never lived up to his reputation with Barcelona FC, but his impact was great with Espanyol.  
-- In the 1960's, the club President Joan Vilà Reyes signed five quality young players.  They are José María, Cayetano Re, Jose Maria Rodilla, Carmelo Amas and Marcial Pina. They formed a famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins"(Five dolphins).  Afredo Di Stefano played right before the formation of this young lineup.
-- Raul Tamudo is probably the best player ever played for the club.
-- Espanyol finished second twice at the UEFA Cup.  They lost by penalty shootout on both occasions. Thomas N'Kono, Miquel Soler, and John Lauridsen were on the 1988 team.  On the 2007 team, I have David Garcia, Ivan de la Pena, Luis Garcia and Raul Tamudo.  Pablo Zabaleta made honorable mention.  Carlos Kameni was on the team, but he only played in league matches while Gorka Iraizoz played in the UEFA Cup. Gorka Iraizoz spent his career here mainly as a backup.  His only flame was leading the club to the Final of the UEFA Cup in 2007.
-- Afredo Di Stefano and László Kubala also played for them at the end of their careers, but the peak of their careers were elsewhere. Ricardo Zamora began his career with the club.  He spent a significant part of his career with this club.

Formation



No comments:

Post a Comment