Thursday, August 24, 2017

Real Madrid Greatest All-Time Team Under Miguel Muñoz

Miguel Muñoz

Please also see my All-TimeTeam Index.
Real Madrid All-Time Team
Real Madrid All-Time Team Under Florentina Perez

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Real Madrid under Miguel Muñoz.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Miguel Muñoz was the coach of Real Madrid from 1960 to 1974, leading the team to two European Cup victories and nine La Liga titles.  In 1960, he led Real Madrid in the famous victory against Eintracht Frankfrut in Glasgow.  Many considered it as the greatest game ever played.  In 1966, he led the team known as Ye-Ye team as they won the 1966 European Cup.

Francisco Gento with Ye-Ye team in 1966

GK:  Rogelio Dominguez (Argentina)
Rogelio Dominguez played around the same time as Antonio Carrizo.  He earned 59 caps for Argentina.  He missed the 1958 World Cup Finals because he moved to Real Madrid in 1957, and Argentina did not select overseas-based players.  He was on Argentina's 1962 World Cup team. With Real Madrid, he won two European Cups playing alongside Alfredo Di Stefano.  Before Real Madrid, he played for Racing Club in Argentina.
Rogelio Dominguez 
GK: García Remón (Spain)
Born in Madrid, Garcia Remón was best known for his spells with Real Madrid. He then began an interesting battle for first-choice status with Miguel Ángel González which would last for the vast majority of his stay in Madrid. Remón would start from 1971 to 1973 and 1979 to 1981.  At the international level, he earned two caps for Spain.

GK: Antonio Betancort (Spain)
Antonio Betancourt played as a goalkeeper for Las Palmas before moving to Real Madrid in 1961. With Real Madrid, he had two spells with a more lengthy spell between 1963 and 1971. In between, he played for  Deportivo La Coruña. He was also capped by the Spanish national team. He went to the 1966 World Cup Finals in England as a backup to José Ángel Iribar.  

RB: Marquitos (Spain)
During his career, he played for hometown's Racing de Santander, Real Madrid, Hércules CF, Real Murcia, Calvo Sotelo and Toluca de Santander. With the Merengues, he won six La Liga championships and five European Cups: in the 1955–56 edition of the latter, he scored a rare goal as he equalized 3–3 against Stade de Reims, in an eventual 4–3 success. Capped twice.

CB: Manuel Sanchís Martínez (Spain)
Like his son, Manuel, he represented Real Madrid and Spain. They were one of only three father/son pairs to have won the European Cup/Champions League.  He played in 213 La Liga games over the course of ten seasons.  He also represented CD Condal, Real Valladolid and Córdoba CF.  An international during nearly two years, Sanchís appeared with the national team at the 1966 World Cup.
Manuel Sanchís Martínez 
CB: Ignacio Zoco (Spain)
Zoco played 12 years of his professional career with Real Madrid, appearing in more than 400 official games and winning ten major titles. He was a part of the team that won the European Cup in 1966. Zoco played more than 20 times with Spain, winning the 1964 European Nations' Cup and also representing the nation at the 1966 World Cup.

CB: Jose Santamaria (Uruguay)
Jose Santamaria was a member of Real Madrid's all-conquering team of the late 1950's.  He spent his 18-year career with Nacional and Real Madrid, winning 17 major titles the two teams combined, including four European Cups with the latter.  He was considered one of the best ever center-backs. He played for Uruguay at the 1954 WC Finals, but played for Spain 4 years later in 1958.

CB: Pedro de Felipe (Spain)
Pedro de Felipe was born in 1944,  He arrived at Real Madrid in 1964 at the age of 20, from Rayo Vallecano.  He was a part of the team that won the European Cup in 1966.  In 1972, he left for Espanyol, where he played until 1978. At the international level, he was capped once in a friendly match against Turkey in 1973 that resulted in a 0-0 draw.

CB: Benito (Spain)
Benito started as a track and field star. He signed for Real Madrid in the 1963. After two years on loan to neighbouring Rayo Vallecano, he returned to his main club, remaining there for the following 14 seasons and winning six leagues and five Spanish Cups.  He was capped 22 times between 1971 and 1978.  Span failed to qualify for any major tournament during his time.

LB: Pachín (Spain)
Pachín signed for Real Madrid in 1959 from Segunda División club CA Osasuna. Pachín left the Merengues in May 1968, having appeared in 218 competitive games and scored two goals. He won 11 major titles during his spell, including seven national championships and the 1960 and 1966 editions of the European Cup.  He earned 8 caps and played in the World Cup Finals in 1962.

DM:  Jose Pirri (Spain)
He is regarded as one of Spain's greatest player.  He had 41 caps in a career that lasted 12 years. He played in two World Cup Finals: 1966 and 1978. He played for Real Madrid for 15 years, between 1964 and 1979, winning ten Spanish league titles, four Spanish cups, and the 1966 European Cup. He was a member of the Real Madrid team that was known as the Yé-Yé team.  He also played for Granada.
 Jose Pirri 
CM: José María Zárraga (Spain)
José María Zárraga signed for Real Madrid in 1949, but made his La Liga debut in 1951.  From 1953–60, Zárraga was an important midfield unit as the Merengues won 11 major titles, including five consecutive European Cups.  He played in all the finals, and totalled 31 appearances combined in those victorious campaigns.  He earned 8 caps and served once as the captain of the national team at the last of his international appearance.

CM: Fernando Serena (Spain)
Fernando Serena played for Real Madrid for five years, and was a part of their European Cup winning squad in 1966. He scored the winning goal in the final, receiving the ball on his chest, letting it bounce in front of him before volleying it in from outside the box. He earned one cap for the Spanish National Team. Serena also played for CA Osasuna, Elche CF, and UE Sant Andreu.

CM: Luis del Sol (Spain)
Luis del Sol started with Real Betis.  In 1960, he joined Real Madrid, winning five major titles with the latter side, and earning several Ballon d'Or nominations.  In the 1962, he signed for Juventus, becoming the club's first ever Spanish player. He made a total of 292 outings in eight seasons.  Del Sol represented Spain at the 1962 and 1966 World Cups and was also part of the championship-winning squad at the 1964 European Nations' Cup.

RW/FW: Amancio Amaro (Spain)
Nicknamed "El Brujo", Amancio Amaro played outside right for Deportivo de La Coruña before joining Real Madrid in 1962.  He was considered the star of the team in the 1960's. He scored one of the most beautiful goal in European Cup history when Real Madrid lifted the title in 1966.  At the international level, he was capped 42 times for Spain. He won the 1964 European Football Championship hosted by Spain.  It was the first major international trophy in history won by Spain.
Amancio Amaro 

LW:  Francisco Gento (Spain)
Francisco Gento is regarded as one of the greatest left wings in history.  Gento began his career at Racing Santander in 1952 and moved to Real Madrid the following season. He appeared in a joint record eight European Cup finals, winning a record six, as well as winning 12 La Liga titles.  No one has won more European Cups than Francisco Gento. In a 14-year international career, Gento earned 43 caps for Spain, playing at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966.
Francisco Gento with Miguel Munoz (R)

AM: Juan Santisteban (Spain)
Juan Santisteban played with Real Madrid between 1956 and 1961. He was a part of Real Madrid that won 5 straight European Cups. He spent a season with Venezia before returning to Real Madrid.  He also played Real Betis and Baltimore Bays at the end of his career.  At the international level, he also earned 7 caps between 1957 and 1959.

AM: Manuel Velázquez (Spain)
Except 3 loan seasons to Rayo Vallecano and CD Málaga, Velázquez spent all of his 12 years in La Liga with Real Madrid. He went on to appear in 402 competitive games for his main club whilst scoring 59 goals, winning six national championships, three Copa del Rey trophies and the 1965–66 edition of the European Cup. He ended his career at the age of 35, after six months in the North American Soccer League with Toronto Metros-Croatia. Earned 10 caps.
Manuel Velázquez 

CM/AM/FW:  Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina)
The best player in the world before the emerge of Pele and Maradona. He was one of the younger member of the great River Plate in the 1940's.  In 1949, he moved to play in Colombia before moving to Europe in 1953.  He won 5 straight European Cups with Real Madrid. He was credited in turning Real Madrid into a legendary club. His international career was limited to the fact that Argentina did not select overseas players.  He played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain.
Alfredo Di Stefano

FW: Evaristo (Brazil)
Evaristo played for Madureira and Flamengo before moving to Barcelona in 1957, where he stayed until 1962. Then, in 1962, he left Barcelona for Real Madrid, where he played between the two European Cup winning teams.  He was capped by Brazil 14 times, scoring 8 goals. He also holds the record of most goals for the Brazilian national team in one single game, as he netted five times for the Seleção in a 9–0 win against Colombia in 1957.

FW: Ramon Grosso (Spain)
Grosso was home grown player from Real Madrid.  Except for  a four-month spell with Atlético Madrid, he played his entire career with Real Madrid. Even though he shared teams with the likes of Amancio Amaro, Francisco Gento or Ferenc Puskás, Grosso was team top scorer in his first two seasons. In the following years, Grosso played in several positions for Real Madrid, even being placed as goalkeeper in the Ramón de Carranza Trophy match with Boca Juniors.  Earned 14 caps.

ST: Carlos Santillana (Spain)
Carlos Santillana moved to Real Madrid from Racing de Santander in 1971 as a heir apparent to Puskus.  He played 17 seasons and over 450 matches for Real Madrid.  He won back-to-back UEFA Cup in the mid-1980's. At the international level, he had 56 caps and scored 15 goals for Spain. He represented his country in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups, as well as three European Championships: 1976, 1980 and 1984.
Carlos Santillana 
ST/FW: Ferenc Puskas  (Hungary)
Ferenc Puskas was one of the greatest footballers in history.  He scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary. He became Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup where he was named the tournament's best player.  He played with Honved at home and went to Real Madrid after the Soviet invasion.  With Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kapo, etc, Real Maadrid became the greatest club team in history.
Ferenc Puskas
Honorable Mention
José Luis Peinado, Manuel Bueno,Vicente Miera, José Araquistáin, Antonio Betancort, Jose Vicente Train, Hector Rial.

Squad Explanation
-- Alfredo di Stefino, Francisco Gento, Ferenc Puskas, Jose Pirri and Amancio Amaro are probably the obvious choices for this team.  Tht are all names that every Madrid fans would recognize. 
-- Miguel Munoz's greatest trumiph was the 1960 European Cup victory over Eintracht Frankfrut.  The team was considered to be the greatest ever club side.  Alfredo di Stefino, Francisco Gento, Ferenc Puskas, Juan Santisteban, José María Zárraga, Jose Santamaria, Marquitos and Rogelio Dominguez are selected into my side.  Miguel Munoz himself was a part of three European Cup winning team duirng this period.  He was in charge of the reserve team for a brief time before taking over the senior team.  He played with some of the players mentioned here.
-- In 1966, Munoz won his second European Cup. Ferenc Puskas and Francisco Gento were veterans on the team that won the 1966 title. The core of team consisted mainly of young Spanish players.  Many of whom were also homegrown.  The team was better known as the "Ye-Ye" team, as a reference to the Beatles' song "She Loves You".  Pachín, Pedro de Felipe, Manuel Sanchís, Pirri, Ignacio Zoco, Fernando Serena, Amancio Amaro, Ramón Grosso and Manuel Velázquez were members of the "Ye-Ye" generation. 
José Araquistáin made honorable mention.
-- Raymond Kopa left before Miguel Munoz took over the coaching job at Real Madrid.
-- Rogelio Dominguez  and García Remón are the obvious choice.  Garcia Ramon had a rivalry with Miguel Angel for their duration of their careers in Madrid, and Miguel Angel spent 18 years while Remon lasted 15 years.  But Miguel Angel did not play much under Miguel Muñoz. So the third keeper was between José Araquistáin, Antonio Betancort and Jose Vicente Train. 
-- Vicente del Bosque also played one season under him.
-- Camacho arrived after the departure of Miguel Muñoz.
-- Evaristo was better known for his career with Barcelona, but he also won two league titles with Real Madrid.
-- When Carlos Santillana joined Real Madrid, he was projected to be Fenrec Puskas' heir apparent, which was a hard act to follow.  I do not think the younger fans remembered him as well as Puskas, etc.  He is actually the 4th in both goal scoring and appearance record for Real Madrid.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Manchester United Greatest All-Team Under Sir Matt Busby

Sir Matt Busby the1968  European Cup

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Manchester United All-Time Team Under Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United All-Time Team
Manchester United Greatest All-Time Team under Sir Alex. 
Manchester United Greatest All-Time Team under Sir Busby
Manchester United All-Time team for British isles (excluding England)

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Manchester United under Sir Matt Busby.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Sir Matt Busby managed Manchester United between 1945 and 1969 and again for the second half of the 1970–71 season. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.  In a total of 25 years with the club, he won 13 trophies, including the 1968 European Cup.  During the 1950's, he built the famous Busby Babes team.  Sadly, part of that team was killed in the Munich air disaster. 
Busby Babes 1957

GK: Alex Stepney (England)
Alex Stepney played with Millwall before joining Chelsea.  He only played one game and was sold to Manchester United in 1966 to replace Harry Greg who was injured during the Munich Disaster.  Stepney helped the Red Devils to win the 1968 European Cup.  He only played once for England, largely because of playing in the same generation as Gordon Banks, Peter Bonetti, Gordon West and Ron Springett.  He was the third at the 1970 World Cup. 

GK: Harry Gregg (N.Ireland)
Gregg was Matt Busby's goalkeeper from 9 seasons.  He survived the Munich Air Disaster.  He was called a hero of the incident because he pulled out survivors from the burning plane. He was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where Northern Ireland reached the quarter-finals. He had 25 caps. H also played for Doncaster Rovers and Stoke City.

GK: Jack Crompton (England)
Jack Crompton was born in 1921 in Manchester.  He was a goalkeeper for Manchester United between 1944 and 1956. He was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 1948. It was Sir Matt Busby's first trophy at Old Trafford. He also won the league title in 1952. During the Second World War, he played as a guest for Stockport County.  He was also a long time coach at Manchester United.

RB/LB: John Carey (Ireland/N.Ireland) 
In 1949, John Carey was voted the FWA Footballer of the Year and in the same year captained the FAI XI that defeated England, becoming the first non-UK team to beat England at home. He also played and captained IFA XI. He spent most of his career with Manchester United, but also appeared as a guest player for other clubs during the war.  He was team captain from 1946 until he retired as a player in 1953.  

CB: Jackie Blanchflower (Northern Ireland)
Along with his brother Danny, Jackie Blanchflower helped Northern Ireland to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 1958. He was a member of Manchester United's "Busby Babes". He helped the club win the league title in 1956 and again in 1957. Nicknamed "Twiggy" by his teammates, he was renowned for his versatility. He survived the Munich Air Disaster, but his career was cut short. He retired in 1959 at the age of 24. He only had 12 caps between 1954 and 1958. He missed the 1958 World Cup Finals because of Munich.

CB: Allenby Chilton (England)
Chilton transferred to Manchester United in 1938. He played over 350 games until 1955.  However, his early career was cut short by the Second World War although he made guest appearances for Airdrieonians, Cardiff City, Hartlepools United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic who he helped to win the War Cup South Final in 1944. He served in the Durham Light Infantry and saw active service in the Normandy Landings also in 1944.

CB: Bill Foulkes (England)
Bill Foulkes played for Manchester United in the Busby Babes teams of the 1950s, and also in the 1960s. His favoured position was centre-half. For Manchester United, he played 688 games which places him at number 4 on the all-time list of appearances. He was one of the few injured survivor of the Munich Air Disaster. He was a part of the team that won the European Cup in 1968. He and Charlton were the only players left at the club from the time of the disaster. He was capped once for England in 1954.
Bill Foulkes 

CB/CM: David Sadler (England)
David Sadler started his career with Maidstone United, but signed a professional contract with Manchester United in 1963, helping the club win the 1965 and 1967 First Division Football League championships as well as the 1968 European Cup. He left United in 1974 after scoring 27 goals for the club to join Preston North End, who were being managed by Sadler's former team-mate Bobby Charlton. Capped 4 times.

LB:  Roger Byrne (England)
Roger Byrne was the captain of the Busby Babes from the 1955–56 season onwards.  He was discovered by Manchester United while playing for Ryder Brow Boys Club. With Manchester United, he won the league title in 1952, 1956 and 1957. He earned 33 caps with England while playing in every England's fixtures in that period, a record for England.  This remains a record.  Unfortunately, he died at the age of 28 in the Munich Air Disaster. 
Roger Byrne 
LB: Tony Dunne (Ireland)
Tony Dunne played 13 seasons with Manchester United.  He was a part of the team that won the European Cup in 1968. He later played for Bolton Wanderers and Detroit Express. At the international level, Dunne won 33 caps for the Republic of Ireland, playing for the national team from 1962 to 1975. He was Irish Footballer of the Year in 1969.

LB: Shay Brennan (Ireland)
Born in Manchester, Shay Brennan was an original Busby Babe.  He made his debut on the first game after Munich Air Disaster.   Brennan scored twice on an emotionally charged night. He was a member of the 1968 European Cup winning team. He later became a player-manager for Waterford United in Ireland.  He was capped 19 times for the Republic of Ireland.

DM: Nobby Stiles (England)
Stiles played for England for five years, winning 28 caps and scoring 1 goal. He played every minute of England's victorious 1966 FIFA World Cup campaign.  Stiles played the majority of his club career for Manchester United, spending eleven years at Old Trafford.  He won the European Cup in 1968. After retirement, he was famously known for the youth coach for Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholas, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.
Nobby Stiles
CM: Duncan Edwards (England)
Duncan Edwards was one of the Busby Babes of Manchester United.  He made his professional debut at the age of 16. He was the youngest player to play in the Football League First Division. He died in 1958 during the Munich Air Disaster at the age of 21.  Many people considered him to be  England's greatest player.  He was a dominating central midfielder of his time. For the English national team, he was capped 18 times between 1955 and 1957, scoring 5 goals.
Duncan Edwards 

CM: Pat Crerand (Scotland)
Pat Crerand started with Celtic in his native Scotland.  After six years at Celtic he moved to Manchester United in 1963 where he was a member of teams that won the English League title twice, the FA Cup and European Cup. At the international level, he also gained 16 international caps for Scotland. He was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

RW/WH: Eddie Colman (England)
Colman was one of the eight Manchester United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.  He joined Manchester United's youth team on leaving school in the summer of 1952. He became a first-team member at right-half during the 1955-56 season.  He made 108 first-team appearances for United, scoring two goals, the second of which came in the first leg of the fateful European Cup quarter-final tie against Red Star Belgrade.  

LW/RW: George Best (Northern Ireland)
George Best was considered to be one of the greatest players ever played the game.  He was voted #19 as the greatest European player by the UEFA Jublilee Poll. He was known for his "pop star" lifestyle. He was one of the "United's Trinity" that helped Manchester United to their first (and also first ever for an English club) European Cup in 1968.  He won the PWA PLayer of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or that year.
George Best with Matt Busby
LW: Albert Scanlon (England)
Albert Scanlon was one of the "Busby Babes" who survived the Munich air disaster of 1958.   Although he sustained severe injuries, he recovered and returned to the field the following season.  In 1960, he left Manchester United and continued to play league football for Newcastle United, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town. 

AM: Sir Bobby Charlton (England)
Sir Bobby was considered one of the greatest midfielders of all-time.  He was capped 106 times by England and led England to World Cup victory in 1966.  He is also England's all-time leading scorer and all-time cap leader at the time of his retirement.  He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970). For club career,  he almost played his entire career with Manchester United.  He was the hero of Manchester United's the first ever European Cup trophy in 1968. He won the Ballon D'Or in 1966.
Bobby Charlton with Busby
FW: Stan Pearson (England)
Stan Pearson was signed by Manchester United as an amateur in December 1935. He stayed with the club until 1953.  He retired in 1953 with 148 career goals.  His hat-trick against Liverpool in 1946 would be the last hat-trick by a Manchester United player against them until Dimitar Berbatov did it in 2010.  He was capped 8 times by England.

FW: David Herd (Scotland)
David Herd played for Arsenal, Manchester United, Stockport County, and Stoke City.  He was the 15th leading scorer with Arsenal, where he played from 1954 to 1962.  With Manchester United, he won the European Cup in 1968, but he did not play in the Final against Benfica.  He was capped 5 times for Scotland. His first cap was in 1958 against Wales.

FW: Denis Law (Scotland)
Denis Law spent 11 years at Manchester United, where he scored 237 goals in 404 appearances. His goals tally places him third in the club's history, behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney. He partnered George Best and Bobby Charlton at Manchester United, which was known as the "United Trinity".  It was considered to be most popular forward line in British history.  He was capped 55 times.  He managed to play in the 1974 World Cup Finals.
Denis Law
FW: Brian Kidd (England)
From Manchester United's Academy, he was promoted to first team in 1967.  He had the distinction of scoring on his 19th birthday for Manchester United in their 4–1 victory over Benfica in the 1968 European Cup Final. He all in all scored 52 times in 203 league appearances for Manchester United. He later played for Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Minnesota Strikers.  Capped twice. 

ST: Jack Rowley (England)
Rowley mainly remembered for a 17-year spell with Manchester United. He was nicknamed "The Gunner" because of his prolific goalscoring and explosive shooting, scoring 211 goals in 424 appearances for United between 1937 and 1954.  He is one of only four players in the history of Manchester United to score over 200 goals for the club.  Rowley was also capped six times for England scoring six goals, four of which came against Northern Ireland on 16 November 1949.

ST: Dennis Viollet (England)
Dennis Viollet came through the junior ranks at Manchester United and turned professional in 1950. His first game for the club came against arch-rivals Newcastle United on 11 April 1953. He was a striker, along with Tommy Taylor for the Busby Babes of the 1950s. He was a survivor of the Munich air disaster. He played twice for England, debuting in 1960 against Hungary.

ST: Tommy Taylor (England)
Tommy Taylor was one of the eight Manchester United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.  He was 8 days past his 26th birthday. He started with Barnley and moved to Manchester United in 1953.  For England, he was seen as the perfect eventual replacement for the ageing Nat Lofthouse in the England side. In all, he played 19 times for England, scoring 16 goals. He managed two hat-tricks for the England team
Tommy Taylor

Honorable Mention
Reg Allen, Ray Wood, Noel Cantwell, John Fitzpatrick, Willie Morgan, David Pegg, Billy Whelan.

Squad Explanation
-- The "Busby Babes" is the name given to the group of footballers, recruited and trained by Manchester United F.C. chief scout Joe Armstrong and assistant manager Jimmy Murphy, who progressed from the club's youth team into the first team under the management of the eponymous Matt Busby from the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. So Busby Babes were not every player who played under Sir Busby.
-- Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, Alex Stepney, John Carey, Billy Foulkes, Roger Byrne and Denis Law are also on my Manchester United All-Time team.  I also did a blog team for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United All-Time team.  It had 16 players on the Manchester United All-Time team.  So only two players on that team, namely Martin Buchan and Billy Meredith, did not oplayer either Sir Matt Busby or Sir Alex Ferguson.
-- Only four players on my Manchester United All-Time team did not play for either Sir Matt or Sir Alex.  Billy Meredith (Wales)
-- I cannot mention Sir Matt Busby's team without talking the Munich air disaster.  Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor were among the ones who died that day.  Jackie Blanchflower never played again.  Bobby Charlton, Harry Gregg, Dennis Viollet and Bill Foulkes were also on board.
-- Sir Matt led Manchester United to victory at the 1968 European Cup.  The team was known for the United Trinity (Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law).  Law missed both the semi-final and the final as a result because of an injury.  Alex Stepney, Nobby Stiles, Brian Kidd,  David Herd, Pat Crerand, Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne were on the team.  Duncan Edwards would be 30 years at the time of the Final against Benfica.
-- George Best described the 1968 European Cup victory as Sir Matt's greatest achievement in his autobiography.  He thought Sir Matt felt guilty about losing many members of his team in Munich.  
-- Three of Sir Matt Busby's players had won the Ballon d'Or.  Law won in 1964, Charlton in 1966 and Best in 1968.  Since then, only Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award while playing for United, winning in 2008
-- Duncan Edwards was widely considered England's greatest talented players.  Unfortunately, the world never knew how far he would become.
-- The team is not balanced.  I took three left backs. I never selected a team with more than 2 fullbacks on one side.
Sir Matt Busby with Roger Byrne and Duncan Edwards
I tried my best to put the best XI on the field.  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Greatest All-Time Team Under Sir Bobby Robson (club only)

UEFA Cup 1981 with Ipswich

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for players who played for Sir Bobby Robson(club players only).  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Sir Bobby Robson had a colourful career as a manager.  he first made a name with Ipswich Town, where he won the 1978 FA Cup and the 1981 UEFA Cup.  After a very successful career managing the English national team, he began a career outside of the United Kingdom.  He is probably the most successful British manager coaching in the continental Europe.   

Bobby Robson's Ipswich

GK: Vitor Baia (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
Vitor Baia was Portugal's most decorated keeper. He was one of two keepers who had won all three UEFA main club competitions.  With Porto, he won 26 titles, including the Champions League in 2004.  He played briefly with Barcelona. For Portugal, he had 80 caps.  He played in the European Championship in 1996 and 2000, and the World Cup finals in 2002.

GK: Shay Given (Ireland/Newcastle United)
Shay Given started his career with Celtic in Scotland, but made his professional debut with Blackburn Rovers.  He was remembered for playing with Newcastle United from 1997 to 2009.  He was voted into PFA Team of the Year twice, 2001-2002 and 2005-2006.  He later played for Manchester City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough F.C. and Stoke.  He earned 126 caps for Ireland. He played in the 2002 World Cup Finals and the European Championship in 2010 and 2016.

GK: Hans Van Breukelen (Holland/PSV)
Hans Van Breukelen started his career with FC Utrecht and then, he played for Nottingham Forest.  He moved to PSV in 1984, where he played until 1994.  He helped the club to win the European Cup in n1988.  For the national team, he was a fixture since 1980.  However, he did not help the Oranje to reach a major touranemt until the 1988 European Championship, where they won the first ever trophy for the national team.

RB: Joao Pinto (Portugal/Porto)
Bobby Robson said of him: "He has two hearts and four legs. It's extremely difficult to find a player like him."  He won the European Cup in 1987 with Porto.  He was one of Porto's greatest fullback.  He spent his entire professional career with Porto, winning nine leagues and the 1987 European Cup. He played 70 times for Portugal. He went to the 1986 World Cup Finals as well as the European Championship in 1984.
Joao Pinto

RB: Eric Gerets (Belgium/PSV)
Eric Gerets is considered one of the greatest European rightbacks in history. His best club career was spent with Standard de Liège and PSV Eindhoven.  He won the 1988 European Cup with PSV as their captain. He also played briefly for AC Milan and MVV Maastricht.  Gerets was capped 86 times.  He played a big role as the Red Devils finished second at the Euro 1980 and reached the semi-final of the WC 1986 Finals.

CB: Fernando Couto (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
Fernando Couto won the Double in every leagues he played in and in three different countries.  He started with Porto, and went to play in Spain and Italy. He was a member of Portugal's Golden Generation that won won the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. He earned 110 caps. He went to the 2002 World Cup Finals, and three other European Championships.

CB: Jorge Costa (Portugal/Porto)
Except at the very end of his career, Jorge Costa played his entire career with Porto, serving as its captain for a few seasons.  He won the 2003 UEFA Cup and the 2004 Champions League with them.  At the international level, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won the U-20 World Cup in 1991.  He represented Portugal at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 2002.

CB: Terry Butcher (England)
Butcher was one of England's greatest defenders. He captained the England national team, winning 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three World Cups. Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. With Ipswich, he was a part of Bobby Robson's team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981. In 1986, he joined Rangers as one of the first wave of English players playing for Graeme Souness' Rangers in the 1980's.
Terry Butcher
CB/DM: Gheorghe Popescu  (Romania/PSV/Barcelona) 
Gheorghe Popescu was perhaps the most famous Romanian defender and the second most important player during Romania's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He was Romanian Player of the Year 6 times.  He played for a string of European clubs in his career, including Barcelona where he was their captain and a four-year stint at PSV Eindhoven. In 2000, he helped Galatasaray to win the UEFA Cup, the first time ever for a Turkish club. 

CB: Russell Osman (England/Ipswich)
Russell Osman spent 11 seasons with Ipswich Town from 1976 to 1985 during the club's greatest period, winning the UEFA Cup in 1981.  He also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Southampton, Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City. Osman played senior international football for England, for whom he received eleven caps.

RB/LB: Mick Mills (England/Ipswich)
Mick Mills holds the record for appearance with Ipswich Town.  He became the captain of Ipswich in 1971, where he formed a close relationship with manager Bobby Robson.  It was Ipswich's greatest era, winning the 1978 FA Cup and the 1981 UEFA Cup. He also played with Southampton and Stoke City.  Mills was capped 42 times between 1972 and 1982.  He played both rightback and left back for England. He captained England at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  
Mick Mills
CB/LB: Kevin Beattie (England/Ipswich)
Kevin Beattie was a key player for Bobby Robson's great Ipswich side of the 1970's and early 1980's.  He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1973-1974.   He later played for Colchester United, Middlesbrough, Harwich & Parkeston, Sandvikens IF, Kongsberg IF, Nybergsund IL-Trysil and Clacton Town. He played 9 times for England between 1975 and 1977.

CM: Arnold Muhren (Holland/Ipswich)
Muhren was one of the few players who had won the European Cup (1972–73), the Cup Winners' Cup (1986–87) and the UEFA Cup (1980–81).  He first made his name by playing for Ajax with his brother Gerrie.  In 1978, he joined Ipswich, where he became one of the first Dutch players in the league.  Capped 23 times.  He was a part of the Euro 1988 winning team.  He crossed the ball to Marco Van Basten where he scored the famous volley goal in the Final against the Soviet Union.
Arnold Muhren
CM: Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona)
Pep Guardiola spent most of his career with Barcelona.  He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.   He was a part of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that the European Cup in 1992.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico.  At the international level, he was capped over 40 times by Spain from 1992 to 2001.

CM: John Wark (Scotland/Ipswich)
John Wark earned 29 caps and scoring 7 goals for Scotland. He played in the 1982 World Cup in which he scored twice.  At the club level, he was known for three spells with Ipswich and a spell with Liverpool between the first two Ipswich spells. He played with the great Ipswich side under nder manager Bobby Robson, winning the 1981 UEFA Cup.  He was the 1981 PFA Players' Player of the Year.  With Liverpool, he won two First Division league title.
John Wark(R)
LW/FW: Luis Enrique (Spain/Barcelona)
Luis Enrique started with Sporting Gijon in Spain.  He later represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Luis Enrique played for Spain in three World Cups: 1994, 1998 and 2002,  He was also a member of the Gold Medal winning team at the Summer Olympics in 1992.  At the 1994 WC Finals, he was remembered for the incident with Mauro Tassotti's elbow against Italy.

RW: Luis Figo (Portugal/Sporting CP/Barcelona)
Figo is probably one of Portugal's greatest players.  He was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year and  the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. His controversial 2000 transfer from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid set a world record fee of £37 million (€62 million).  With Real Madrid, he was the first member of the Galacticos. He won the Champions' League title in 2002. He played for Inter Milan and Sporting SP.
Luis Figo
LW: Ljuinko Drulovic (Yugoslavia/Porto)
Ljuinko Drulovic started his career at home with FK Rad. In 1992, Ljuinko Drulovic went to play for Gil Vicente in Portugal.  A year later, he joined Porto, where he won 5 straight league title.  He was also known for his partnership with Mario Jardel, who won the European Golden Shoe.  Later in his career, he joined Benfica and FK Partizan. He had 38 caps for Yugoslavia from 1996 to 2001.

AM/LW: Gary Speed (England)
Gary Speed played for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.  At one point, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League until David James surpassed by David James.  He was best remembered for winning the English league title in 1992 with Leeds United.  He made the PFA Team of the year in 1993. From 19988 to 2004, he played for Newcastle United. He was capped 85 times for Wales and served as the captain.
Gary Speed

ST:  Emil Kostadinov (Bulgaria/Porto)
Emil Kostadinov is best remembered for scoring two goals against France in the World Cup Qualfying match that helped Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in 1994.  He was capped 70 times.  He started his career with CSKA Sofia. His best stint was with Porto where he spent 4 seasons. He also played for Deportivo de La Coruña, Bayern Munich (winning the UEFA Cup with them in 1996 and scoring in the final itself), Fenerbahçe, FSV Mainz, and UANL Tigres.

ST/FW: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria/Barcelona)
Hristo Stoichkov is Bulgaria's greatest player. At the 1994 World Cup, Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the joint top goal scorer of the tournament with six goals, as well as earning the Bronze Ball award. . At Barcelona he was part of Johan Cruyff's "dream team" that won four consecutive La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League.  He also won the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

ST Romario (Brazil/PSV)
Romario helped the Seleção to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He missed the 1998 World Cup Finals because of an injury. He also went to the 1990 World Cup Finals, but did not play. He is one of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals in history. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.
ST: Alan Shearer (England/Newcastle)
Shearer is the all-time leading top-scorer for the Premiership.  In 1992, he joined Blackburn Rovers from Southampton in a record transfer. He won the Premiership for 1994-1995 season.  In 1996, he joined his home town club, Newcastle United for a world record transfer fees. He was FWA Player of the Year in 1994, and PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997.  Capped 63 caps. In 1996, he led England to the semi-final of Euro 1996 at home, winning the Golden boot award. He also played the 1998 WC Finals and Euro 2000. 

ST: Paul Mariner (England/Ipswich)
Paul Mariner started with 1973 with Plymouth Argyle.  In 1976, he joined Ipswich Town, where he would win the UEFA Cup in 1981 playing under Bobby Robson. Later, he would play for Arsenal, Portsmouth.  From 1977 to 1985, he played 35 times for England national team. He represented them at Euro 1980 and the World Cup Finals in 1982.

ST: Ronaldo (Brazil/Barcelona)
Ronaldo was widely considered among the greatest ever to have play the game.  He led Brazil to two World Cup Finals match, winning the one in 2002.  He scored 8 goals in 2002.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times.  He is the second top-scorer in WC history.  He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. His first club was Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in Brazil.

Honorable Mention
Alan Brazil (Ipswich), Paul Cooper (Ipswich), Frans Thijssen (Ipswich), Eric Gates (Ipswich), Brian Talbot (Ipswich), Jan Heintze (PSV), Gerald Vanenburg (PSV), Erwin Koeman (PSV), Iván de la Peña (Barcelona), Miguel Nadal (Barcelona), Rob Lee (Newcastle), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle), Ruud Van Nistelrooy (PSV).

Squad Explanation
-- Sir Bobby Robson is considered one of the greatest ever manager from the United Kingdom, but I feel underrated.  He is the only great British manager who succeeded at the club level in both England and continental Europe.  He also succeeded as an international manager.
-- I only considered players from Sir Bobby Robson's club team. 
-- Cheung Chi Doy (張子岱) of Hong Kong was one of Bobby Robson's first ever signings as a manager.  He spotted the player during a tour. Robson signed him for Vancouver Royals(his story here), but he never got to coach the Canadian team.  The North American Soccer League merged with NASL.  Vancouver Royals then had a new ownership and the new owner brought in Ferenc Puskas before Robson started with Vancouver Royals.
-- This team is geared toward Sir Bobby Robson's Ipswich, where his name was most likely to be associated.  However, I tried to take players from different teams. I took 7 players from Ipswich Town, I selected Mick Mills, Paul Mariner, Terry Butcher, Rusell Osman, Kevin Beattlie, Arnold Muhren and John Wark.
-- Alan Brazil and Eric Gates were some of my favourite players while growing up, but both only made my honorable mention.
-- In 1971, Robson made Mick Mills as his captain.  He was one of Robson's most important players.  Ironically, he never played for Robson's England.
-- Vitor Baia and Fernando Couto played for him at both Porto and Barcelona.  Luis Figo played for him at Sporting CP and Barcelona.
-- I am not familiar of his career with Sporting CP. Luis Figo played for Bobby Robson at Sporting CP, but I selected Figo for his career with Barcelona. I felt Figo was too talented to be ignored. He is the only player from Robson's Sporting CP who made the team.
-- Bobby Robson considered Ronaldo as the greatest ever player who played for him.  He brought Ronaldo to Barcelona.  In the 1996-1997 season, Ronaldo probably had his greatest ever seasons. Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España and European Cup Winners' Cup. Robson himself was voted European Manager of the Year for 1996–97, while Ronaldo stated, "as a trainer without doubt Robson is one of the greatest in the world" 
-- Bobby Robson also discovered Jose Mourinho who was his translator in Portugal as most football fans already knew.  In Portugal, he also discovered André Villas-Boas, who was 16 years old when he met Robson.
-- Bobby Robson was known to have issue with Romario's lifestyle while at PSV.  In his autobiography, he claimed that he knew what Romario was doing.  He only went dancing at night clubs, which was acceptable. PSV won the Eredivisie in both the 1990–91 and 1991–92 seasons.
-- Bobby Robson took Ruud Van Nistelrooy to PSV from from Heerenveen during his second stint with PSV.  He was somewhat credited with discovering the Dutchman.
-- In Robson's first home match in charge, bottom-placed Newcastle faced second bottom Sheffield Wednesday, thrashing them 8–0.