|El Salvador 1982|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
I already all-time teams for the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Canada or Canadian born Players,
Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora and Caribbean nations.
Here is my All-time 23 member team for Central American countries within CONCACAF that excluded players from Honduras and Costa Rica. Countries considered for this team include Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama.
At the time of writing, only El Salvador and Panama have qualified for the World Cup Finals. Guatemala won the 1967 CONCACAF Championship, but none of the team have won the Gold Cup.
|Panama World Cup 2018|
GK: Raúl Magaña (El Salvador)
He played for many clubs in El Salvador as well as clubs in Guatemala and Canada. Between 1958 and 1953, he played for FAS at home, where his career was mainly linked with. Nicknamed Araña (spider) and even El Gran Salvadoreño (the great Salvadoran), Magaña represented his country at their first ever World Cup, the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
GK: Jaime Penedo (Panama)
Penedo played with Estudiantes de Panamá F.C. , Plaza Amador and Árabe Unido. In 2005, he joined Italian club Cagliari, but did not make any first team appearances. He later played for Osasuna B in Segunda División B, in Guatemala for Municipal and for the LA Galaxy. Capped 129 times, Penedo won the golden glove at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
GK: Luis Guevara Mora (El Salvador)
After the 1982 World Cup, he moved to Spanish side Real Murcia. He also played for Platense, Atlético Marte, Once Lobos, Club Xelajú MC and Aurora FC. He is the youngest goalkeeper ever capped in the national team's history. During the qualification rounds for WC Finals in 1982, he only conceded one goal, but at the WC Finals, he sadly became the goalkeeper with the most goals scored against in a single match.
RB: Felipe Baloy (Panama)
Bailey started wit Eurokickers and Sporting 89 at home. He would move aboard at the age of 19 in 2001, playing in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. Independiente Medellín and Gremio are among the biggest clubs he had played for in his career. His longest stints are with Monterrey and Santos Laguna, both in Mexico. He has been a member of Panama national team since 2001. At the time of writing, he has over 90 caps. He is the captain of the 2018 World Cup team.
He played the entirety of his career for CSD Municipal in the Guatemalan top division, and was a part of the squad that won the 1974 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. He scored over 40 goals in his career, a relatively high number for a full back. Also a member of the Guatemala national team, he was a part of the squad that won the 1967 CONCACAF Championship, and also competed at the 1968 Olympic Games.
CB/RB: Jamie Rodriguez (El Salvador)
A defender, Rodríguez played professionally for different clubs around the world. Among these were El Salvador's Alianza F.C., Mexico's Club Léon and F.C. Atlas, and Germany's Bayer Uerdingen (now known as KFC Uerdingen 05). He also played for teams in Japan's NKK, Yokohama Flügels and Finland's KPV. Capped 30 times. He went to the WC Finals in 1982.
CB: Leonel Carcamo (El Salvador)
Leonel Cárcamo has played all of his professional career at hometown club Luis Ángel Firpo between 1985 and 2001, becoming a club legend in the process. Cárcamo made his debut for El Salvador in 1988 and has amassed a total of 84 caps in 13 years, scoring no goals.
CB: Jose Francisco Jovel (El Salvador)
Paco Jovel started playing football with the Calaveras football team in the Salvadoran second division when only 14 years old and joined Firpo in 1972. He won his only league title during a couple of seasons with Águila. He was nicknamed el Káiser because his playing style resembling that of Franz Beckenbauer. He was capped 110 times bertween 1976 and 1986. He played in the 1982 World Cup Finals for El Salvador.
|Luis Guevara Mora and Jose Francisco Jovel|
Nicknamed El Zarco, Rodríguez started his career with Salvadoran Second Division outfit Huracán in 1989 and has played professionally for Salvadoran Premier Division sides Isidro Metapán, FAS, Águila and Alianza as well as for Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas). He has earned a total of 71 caps, scoring 9 goals between 1991 and 2004.
LB: Luis Henriquez (Panama)
Nicknamed Coco, Luis Henríquez played for Sporting '89 and Arabe Unido in Panama before moving abroad to play for Colombian side Envigado. After 2 seasons back in Panama with Tauro he joined Polish giants Lech Poznań in 2007 and spent 8 years with the club. He played 92 caps for Panama between 2003 and 2016.
DM/CM: Jorge Roldán (Guatamela)
Roldán played almost his entire career for the local team Aurora FC, being perhaps the most emblematic individual ever to represent the club. In 1972, he became the first Guatemalan footballer ever to play professionally for a club in Spain, when he joined Hércules CF. For Guatemala, he was being part of the squad that won the 1967 CONCACAF Championship, and participating in the 1968 Olympic Games.
CM: Juan Francisco Barraza (El Salvador)
Juan Francisco Barraza was born in 1935. He was an all-time great in El Salvador. He made his professional debut with Dragón in1953. In 1958 he joined Águila, with whom he won several league titles. He earned 30 caps scored 13 goals for the national team in official games between 1959 and 1969.
AM/CM: Mauricio Cienfuegos (El Salvador)
Cienfuegos began his career in 1985 with Racing Junior. He also played for Soyapango, and Luís Ángel Firpo in El Salvador, for Morelia and Santos Laguna in Mexico. He joined LA Galaxy in 1996, where he stayed until 2003. He was elected to the MLS Best XI three times, in 1996, 1998, and 1999, and played in seven MLS All-Star Games. During his MLS career, Galaxy won the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 2001 U.S. Open Cup, and the 2002 MLS Cup. Capped 68 times.
Miranda played with Pipiles, Independiente de San Vicente, CD Alacranes(Atlético Marte), Uruguay de Coronado(Costa Rica), Atlético Marte, Club Sport La Libertad, Conrado Miranda, and Águila of San Miguel. He often served as a player-coach. He represented El Salvador as a captain most of the time from 1948 to 1955, during this period El Salvador won the Gold Medal at the VII Central American and Caribbean Games in 1954 in Mexico.
RW: Mauricio “Pipo” Rodríguez (El Salvador)
Mauricio “Pipo” Rodríguez began playing professionally for Atlante San Alejo in 1962. He was signed, on a one-year loan basis, by C.D. FAS. Rodriguez permanently signed and played out his soccer career at Universidad from 1963 to 1972. He scored the winning against Honduras in 1969, which might have led to the famous Football War. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1970 for El Salvador.
AM/FW: Magico Gonzalez (El Salvador)
His real name is Jorge Alberto Gonzalez. Some said that he would be ranked among the greatest players ever if he was born Brazilian or Argentine. He played for ANTEL and Independiente Nacional 1906 over the course of two seasons, before moving to Club Deportivo Fútbolistas Asociados Santanecos. He was a star at La Liga during the 1980's. He mainly played for Cadiz. He led El Salvador to the first and only World Cup Finals in 1982. He had 62 caps.
Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez is the second highest goalscorer of all time in the Guatemalan league. He is widely considered to be the greatest player from his country. He spent most of his career with Comunicaciones. He represented his country between 1976 and 1989. He helped his country to qualify for the Olympics in 1976. He played two games in Montreal, where his team was eliminated in the first round.
|Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez|
In 1987, Rommel Fernández joined CD Tenerife in Spain from Alianza, becoming the second ever player form Panama to play in Europe. In the 1989–90 campaign, he was named Best South American Player. In 1991, he joined Valencia, but only spent a year there. He ended up joining Albacete Balompié on loan. He died in a car accident at the age 27.
FW: Raul Diaz Arce (El Salvador)
He made his name with C.D. Luis Ángel Firpo, where he would go on to win the league's top scorer 3 times in a row (1993–1996). In 1996, he joined DC United. In his first season with United, he was second in the league behind Roy Lassiter. With them, he won two MLS Cups in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, he was traded to New England Revolution. From 1999, he played for many MLS clubs. Arce was capped 68 caps for El Salvador.
|Raul Diaz Arce|
Jorge is Julio Dely Valdes' twin brother. He began his professional career in 1989 in Argentina with Deportivo Paraguayo of Argentina. He is best remembered for his career with Consadole Sapporo of the J-League(Japan), where he was the top-scorer for 1993 and 1994 season. He also played in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and MLS(USA). From 1991 to 2005, he earned 48 caps.
ST: Julio Dely Valdes (Panama)
Julio Dely Valdes is considered to be Panama's greatest player. Dely Valdés began his professional career in 1987 with Deportivo Paraguayo of Argentina with his brother. He then moved to Club Nacional de Football in Uruguay. He was best-remembered for his stints with Paris Saint-Germain, Cagliari, Real Oviedo and Malaga, where he was a prolific scorer for each of them. He won the Cup Winners' Cup with PSG.
|Julio Dely Valdes|
Ruiz is probably the greatest footballer ever from Guatemala. A product of CSD Municipal's youth academy, Ruiz has played for 5 MLS clubs (Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, and D.C. United). In 2002, he was named the MLS's Most Valuable Player of the season. He played for Guatemala from 1998 to 2016. He served as the national team captain, the player with most caps, and is the all-time top scorer.
ST: Blas Perez (Panama)
Pérez began his career with Panamá Viejo in 1998. Perez played for a number of clubs all over the world. Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Mexico, UAE, USA, Canada, Bolivia and Guatemala. Since 2001, he earned over a 100 caps for Panama. Blas Perez was also named in the 2007 Gold Cup "Best XI". He also played at the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 Gold Cups and Copa América Centenario. He was a hero of Panama's World Cup Qualification for Russia 2018.
Armando Dely Valdés (Panama), Armando Cooper (Panama), Juan Carlos Plata (Guatamela), Allan Wellman (Guatamela), Martín Machón (Guatamela), José María Rivas (El Salvador), Norberto Huezo (El Salvador), Conrado Miranda (El Salvador), Ricardo Saprissa (El Salvador), Alfredo Pacheco (El Salvador), Miguel "Chocorrón" Buitrago (Nicaragua), Roger Mayorga(Nicaragua), Salvador Dubois Leiva (Nicaragua), Manuel Cuadra Serran (Nicaragua), Mauricio Cruz (Nicaragua), Pedro "Peché" Jirón (Nicaragua).
-- Although the region included Belize and Nicaragua, I only managed to select players from El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama. Both El Salvador and Panama have qualified for the World Cup Finals. Belize did not play international football until 1995.
-- All countries including Honduras and Costa Rica belonged to Central American Football Union. Copa Centroamerican is a tournament between countries in this region. The tournament has been dominated by Honduras and Costa Rica.
-- Miguel "Chocorrón" Buitrago, Roger Mayorga, Salvador Dubois Leiva, Manuel Cuadra Serran and Mauricio Cruz are some of the all-time greats I discover from Nicaragua. Pedro "Peché" Jirón is often mentioned as their greatest ever player. I have limited information on him.
-- The World Cup team of El Salvador in 1970 is under represented here.Mauricio “Pipo” Rodríguez and Raúl Magaña are the only players on this all-time team. The World Cup Qualifier between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969 led to the "Football War", a brief war between the two countries. A peace treaty was not signed until 1980. Two years later, both countries qualified to the World Cup Finals in Spain.
-- El Salvador's 1982 team included Jose Francisco Jovel, Jamie Rodriguez and Magico Gonzalez. It was not a good Finals for them.
-- Many people said that Magico Gonzalez was one of the greatest players ever played the game. Degio Maradona considered him one of the greatest ever players he has seen. If he was a Brazilian, he would have been a household names according to many who saw him playing in La Liga.
-- Federico Revuelto was the ex-President of Real Madrid. He was born in Guatemala in 1883. He also played for Real Madrid as a member of its first ever team. He never represented Guatemala.In 1916, he became the interim president of the club.
-- Raúl Díaz Arce (El Salvador) is one of my personal favourite player. I watched him while he was playing with DC United. His achievement in MLS put him on the list. Mauricio Cienfuegos was also a big MLS star during the same period.
-- A number of players from Panama might join this team after the World Cup Finals in 2018. Jaime Penedo, Felipe Baloy and Blas Perez were key players during Los Caneleros' qualifications. I selected them for their historical achievements while Armando Cooper made honourable mention.
-- Jorge Roldán is the first Guatemalan footballer ever to play professionally for a club in Spain,
-- Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez is the second highest goalscorer of all time in the Guatemalan league. He is widely considered to be the greatest player from his country before the emerge of Carlos Ruiz. Carlos Ruiz (Guatamela) was the MLS MVP in 2001, but he only made honorable mention.
-- Julio and Jorge Dely Valdés are probably the most famous players ever from this region. Liked Magico Gonzalez, they would be household names if they were from Brazil or Argentina. Their brother Armando Dely Valdés made honorable mention.-- Ricardo Saprissa was born in El Salvador, but his name is associated with Costa Rica because he was the co-founder of the club Deportivo Saprissa.
-- Blas Perez was a hero of Panama's World Cup Qualification for Russia 2018.