Monday, January 29, 2018

Venezuala Greatest All-Time Team

Copa America 2011
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

I have create all-time teams for ArgentinaBrazilUruguayPeruColombiaChileParaguay and Ecuador. This is my 23-member combined team for the two remaining South American countries: Bolivia and Venezuela.

Bolivia went to the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, and won the Copa America in 1963.  However, it was the founding of Tahuichi Academy that put Bolivia on the map.  In 1993, Bolivia armed with players from the academy became the first team to beat Brazil in  World Cup Qualifier.  They went to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.

Venezuela is the only CONMEBOL country where football is not a big sport.  It is the only country that never qualified for the WC Finals.  The national team seldom wins a match against the other team from the confederation.   However, they are making progress in recent years. At the 2011 Copa America, they finished 4th and then, a respectful 6th place at the World Cup qualifiers in 2014.

GK: Rafael Dudamel 
During his career, Dudamel played for many clubs. In Venezuela, he played for Estudiantes de Mérida, Universidad de Los Andes, El Vigía, Atlético Zulia, UA Maracaibo and Deportivo Táchira. In Colombia, he played for Atlético Huila, Independiente Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali, América de Cali, Millonarios and Cortulua  He has also played for Quilmes, of Argentina and Mamelodi Sundowns, of South Africa.  Dudamel has 56 caps and one goal for the Venezuela national football team between 1993 and 2007.

GK: Renny Vega
Vega played for the youth team of Udinese in Italy.  He then returned to Venezuela and played for various First Division clubs, including Caracas.  He played for Bursaspor and Denizlispor inTurkey, and Colo Colo in Chile.  He has played with the Venezuela national team for more than ten years, with his most successful moment being when he was a member of the historic 2011 Copa América squad that reached 4th place. 

GK: Gilberto Angelucci
Angelucci spent most of his career playing in Venezuela for a number of different teams. Between 1994 and 1998 he played in Argentina with San Lorenzo de Almagro.  A Venezuelan international since 1995, Angelucci has been capped 47 times and included 1995 and 2004 Copa América squads.

RB: David Mota
David Mota spent more than 15 seasons with Deportivo Galicia in the first division and with this club he was champion of Liga and Copa Venezuela on three occasions. He also played Copa Libertadores with the club as well as the Simón Bolívar Cup of 1971 and 1972. For the national team, he played in the World Cup Qualifiers in 1966 and 1970.

RB: Roberto Rosales 
Rosales started with Caracas at home before joining Gent in Belgium on 30 May 2007.  Rosales joined Eredivisie side Twente in 2010.  He stayed there until 2014, establishing himself as a starter. Since 2014, he has been playing for Malaga in Spain. He has been representing the national team since 2007. He has over 60 caps at the time of writing.

CB: Fernando Amorebieta
He played most of his professional career with Athletic Bilbao, appearing in 253 official games over the course of eight La Liga seasons and scoring four goals. He also played for Fulham and Middlesbrough in England, Sporting Dijon in Spain and Independiente in Argentina. Internationally, Amorebieta played for Spain as a youth, but only allowed to switch to Venezuela at senior level in 2011 after a rule change by the FIFA. He had 15 caps and played in Copa America in 2015.
Fernando Amorebieta
CB: Pedro Acosta
Acosta made 34 appearances for the senior Venezuela national football team from 1979 to 1989, including participation at the 1979 Copa América, 1983 Copa América, 1987 Copa América and 1989 Copa América. He also competed  at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.  Acosta played for Deportivo Galicia, C.S. Marítimo de Venezuela and Caracas F.C.

CB: Freddy Elie
Elie was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  He started professionally with Deportivo Galicia before moving to Deportivo Italia in 1970. In 1972, He became the first Venezuelan player to play abroad when he left for Peru. He first played for José Gálvez FBC in 1972. and then, joined Alianza Lima in 1973. He later played for Tiquire-Canaria, Portuguesa Fútbol Club and Universidad de Los Andes. He earned 20 caps between 1964 and 1977.
Freddy Elie
CB: Luis Vallenilla
Luis Vallenilla made 77 caps for Venezuela, scoring a goal. Vallenilla left the national team when arrived the coach César Farías in the charge, who not considered to the player for the qualifier games road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  For club football, he played for Trujillanos, Caracas and Mineros de Guayana.

CB: Oswaldo Vizcarrondo
At the time of writing, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo has over 80 caps.  He was a member of the 2010 Copa Team that came 4th.  For domestic football, he started with Caracas FC.  He played for Olimpia in Paraguay and America in Mexico before heading to play in France with Nantes and now with Troyes.

CB: José Manuel Rey 
During his career, Rey played mainly with Caracas Fútbol Club, also representing C.S. Marítimo de Venezuela, Club Sport Emelec (two spells), Pontevedra CF, Atlético Nacional, AEK Larnaca FC and Atlético Club Mineros de Guayana. In 1995, he had a short spell with Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain, but only appeared for the reserve team. In 2009, Rey was sent on loan to Colo-Colo in Chile by Caracas. Rey earned 115 caps and became the first player to appear 100 times for Venezuela. He also represented the nation in six Copa América tournaments.

LB: Jorge Rojas
Rojas began to establish himself as one of the nations top players while at Caracas FC. He joined Eucador's Emelec in 2003. That season, he was selected as the top foreign player in the league.  H then played for Colombian club Atlético Nacional and América de Cali, Unión Atlético Maracaibo, NY Red Bulls of the United States, Deportivo Táchira, Mineros de Guayana, Aragua and Metropolitanos.  Rojas has earned 90 caps for the Venezuela national team, making him the second most capped player in the history of Venezuelan international football as of April 2009.

DM: Miguel Vitali 
Mea Vitali started his career with Caracas FC in 1998. He has played professional football in several countries in Europe and South America, including; UE Lleida in Spain, Poggibonsi in Italy, Chacarita Juniors in Argentina and Levadiakos in Greece.  Mea Vitali has played over 80 games for the Venezuela national team, scoring one goal.

CM/DM: Leopoldo Jiménez
Jiménez played club football for a number of professional clubs in both Venezuela and abroad, including Once Caldas in Colombia, Córdoba CF in Spain, FC Alania Vladikavkaz in Russia, Aris Limassol in Cyprus, for Deportivo Chacao in Venezuela where he spent his best years.  He also played 64 times for the Venezuela between 1999 and 2005.

DM/RM/RB: Tomás Rincón 
Rincon played for UA Maracaib,  Zamora and Deportivo Táchira at home before making a name with Hamburger SVC in Germany. Between 2014 and 2017, he played for Genoa in Italy.  He moved to Juventus in 2017. At the time of writing, he plays for Torino.  He is a regular member of the national team.  In 2011, he helped Venezuala to finish 4th at Copa America.  He himself was voted Adidas' Best Player. 

CM: Gabriel Urdaneta 
Gabriel Urdaneta made 77 appearances for the Venezuela national team between 1996 and 2005, making him the third most-capped player in Venezuelan international football as of March 2008.  For club football, he played for many clubs in Venezuela and Switzerland.

AM: Luis Mendoza Benedetto
Luis Mendoza Benedetto was born in Venezuala, but spent part of his childhood in Italy. He was largely considered to be the greatest footballer from Venezuela before the 1990's. In 1961, he made his league debut as a 15 years old with Banco Agrícola y Pecuario. He played with Central Maiderense, Santo Tomas de Aquino, Deportivo Italia, Deportivo Galicia, Portuguesa, Estudiantes de Mérida and Caracas.

AM: Juan Arango 
Juan Arango is considered one of the greatest players ever from his country.  The best part of his career is probably with Mallorca in Spain, where he spent between 2004 and 2009.  He also played with  C.F. Monterrey, C.F. Pachuca, Puebla FC and Tijuana in Mexico and with Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany.  He earned 129 caps, a record in his home country. He represented the nation in six Copa América tournaments. During the 2011 Copa America, he led Venezuela to its best finish.
Juan Arango
ST: Giancarlo Maldonado
Maldonado began his footballing career in the youth teams of Montevideo club River Plate. he made his professional debut with Nacional Táchira back home.  He played for many clubs in his career.  His biggest club was probably Atlante in Mexico, where he played between 2007 and 2011. Between 2003 and 2011, he played for Venezuelan national team.  He is their all-time leading scorer.  His father also represented Venezuela.

ST: Salomón Rondón 
After starting out at Aragua, Salomón Rondón went on to spend most of his career in Spain, appearing in La Liga with Las Plames and Málaga, and in Russia with Rubin Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg. At this moment, he is with West Bromwich Albion in England.  At the time of writing, he is with Newcastle United. In 2008, he received his first cap at the age of 18.  Since then, he has earned over 60 caps.
Salomón Rondón 

ST: Ruberth Moran
His career was mainly linked with Estudiantes de Mérida at home.  Morán has played professional club football in a number of countries, including; Venezuela, Spain, Colombia, Argentina and Norway. Between 1996 and 2007, he has played 65 times for the Venezuela national team scoring 15 goals, making him the 4th all-time top scorer in the history of Venezuelan international football

ST: José Luis Dolgetta
José Luis Dolgetta began his career with Valencia Fútbol Club at home.  He played for a number of clubs, all at home in Venezuela.  Between 1993 and 1997, he played 22 times for the national team.  He had 21 caps. He was the top scorer at Copa America in 1993 with 4 goals.

ST: Antonio Ravelo 
Ravelo made his professional debut with Deportivo Español in 1958. He also played for Banco Agrícola y Pecuario, Dos Caminos Sport Club, Portuguese Sports Club and Canary Sports Union.  For the national team, he made his debut in 1962 at the IX Central American and Caribbean Games of 1962, winning the silver medal.   In 1965, he played along with his brothers against Peru at the first ever World Cup Qualifier for his country. In 1967,  he also played in Venezuela's first ever entry to the South American Championship , in which he scored two goals in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.

Honorable Mention
Leonel Vielma, Alejandro Cíchero, Miguel Echenausi, Stalin Rivas, Dani Hernández, Miku, Gabriel Cichero, Ronald Vargas. 

Squad Explanation
-- Most players on this team played from 2000's onward as Venezuela was in the backwater before that.  In fact, their first ever national team did not come until the mid-1960's.
-- Luis Mendoza is considered the greatest Venezuelan footballer before the 1990's.  Initially, I was not aware of his achievements.  I dropped Ronald Vargas and Gabriel Cichero. I also added right back David Mota.
-- I do not have any choice for fullbacks.  I need help on that. Gabriel Cichero is the only other fullback that I knew of.
- Salomón Rondón is probably the best active player from the two country at this moment. One day, he might become their greatest ever.
-- Venezuela has better players since early 2000's.  Their players are playing for clubs in the top European leagues.
-- Fernando Amorebieta switched to play for Venezuela late in his career.  He only represented Venezuela 15 times. His club career, however, was very good for players from his two countries.
-- Antonio Ravelo (Venezuala) played in the 1960's, but I have limited information on him.  I took him as a pioneer of the game from Venezuela. 
-- Tomas Rincon is able to have a career in Serie A, which is a big accomplishment for players from Venezuela.
-- José Luis Dolgetta was selected for his performance at a single tournament.  He was the top scorer at the Copa America in 1993.  For a Venezualan player, the achievement is very big, especially for the generations before the 2000's when football was not a popular sport at home.  That is a big milestone for the football history of this country.  Despite only played 21 times for the national team, he is selected.
-- I admitted not knowing Antonio Ravelo. I selected him because of being one of the stars of the first ever national team from his country.
-- I need to study further on Alejandro Cichero and Gabriel Cichero.

Starting lineup

Formation: 4-3-3


  1. Great job, waiting for Honduras and El Salvador.

  2. Well, for Alejandro Cichero also played as SB for "La Vinotinto", infact he played during the early 00'sas SB since Luis Vallenilla, Wilfredo Alvarado and José Manuel Rey were the prefered CB's back in the day.

    David Mota is considered "at least" the greatest RB from Venezuela, he played in the same generation as Antonio Ravelo.

    Here's a description of Antonio Ravelo btw:
    En Antonio Ravelo se reunieron las mejores cualidades del futbolista moderno. Polifacético jugador de condiciones extraordinarias, capaz de jugar como centro delantero, medio campista y defensa central con gran dominio de la pelota, profundidad de pases, facilidad goleadora, inteligente con visión de campo, de grandes recursos individuales y que podía tener cualquier misión en la cancha, pues se adapta a todas las exigencias y esquemas de juego.

  3. BTW, Luis Mendoza is considered to be the greatest Venezuelan player pre-Juan Arango era.

    Amorebieta IMO is not worthy to be mentioned here, i spwould replace him with Gabriel Cichero, a rather similar player who played as CB and LB.

  4. The team is prettymmuch unbalanced, there are no genuine back up in the LB, i'd insist with Gabriel Cichero as replacement for Amorebieta, Cichero played for longer time, and as you know, was the starting LB in the Venezuela squad that reached the semifinals in the 2011 CA

  5. *I'd add that if you replace Amorebieta, naturally Vizcarrondo would take his place in defense.

  6. I'd really favour Giancarlo Maldonado over Ravelo here.