Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Chelsea All-Time Team for English players

Joe Cole, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard

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

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton,
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds United, Leicester City.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Chelsea's English players. The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship. They then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The club's greatest period of success has come during the last two decades; winning 17 major trophies, and 21 in total, since 1997. Chelsea have won five national league titles, seven FA Cups, five League Cups and four FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League,[6] and one of four clubs, and the only British club, to have won all three main UEFA club competitions.
Ron Harris and Peter Osgood

GK: Peter Bonetti 
Nicknamed as "the Cat", Bonetti was a legend at Chelsea. His finest moment came in the Final of the FA Cup in 1970 where his heroic play helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup. He was the FWA Player of the Year runner-up that year.  However, he only earned 7 caps for England.  his career was limited by playing with Gordon Banks at the same time.  He was Banks' backup in the World Cup 1966.

GK: Vic Woodley
Woodley signed for Chelsea in 1931, making his debut the same year. Woodley was a member of the glamorous Chelsea side of the 1930s, playing alongside the likes of Hughie Gallacher, Alex Jackson and Alec Cheyne. Woodley won nineteen caps for England - all consecutive, a record at the time - and in an era when there was stiff competition from Harry Hibbs, George Tweedy and Frank Swift. 
Vic Woodley
GK: Kevin Hitchcock 
Hitchcock joined Nottingham Forest in 1983, but spent time on loan to Mansfield Tow,  helping the club to promotion from the Fourth Division in 1986. He joined Chelsea in 1988. He remained at Chelsea until 2001. Bad luck with injuries left him stuck behind numerous other goalkeepers in the pecking order which was one of the main reasons for him making so few appearances in all that time at the club.

RB: Peter Sillett 
Peter Sillet was the son of Charlie Sillett, a fullback who also played for Southampton.  He played with Southampton until 1953 when he joined Chelsea along with his brother John. He was the club's highest scoring defender until John Terry broke the record.  He won the League title in the 1954-1955 season.   He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958.

RB: David Webb
Webb played for Leyton Orient, Southampton, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers, Leicester City, Derby County, A.F.C. Bournemouth and Torquay UnitedIt was with Chelsea that Webb really made his name in football, in particular for his role in Chelsea's win in the 1970 FA Cup final against Leeds United and  the European Cup Winners Cup. 

CB: Gary Cahill
Cahill joined Burnley on a season-long loan, where he performed well before returning to make his Aston Villa debut. He played with Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers before Cahill signed for Chelsea in 2012.  He won the UEFA Champions League in his debut season. Cahill is an England international with over 60 caps and went the World Cups of 2014 and 2018, and the  European Championship in 2012 and 2014.
Gary Cahill
CB: Colin Pates
Pates began his career with Chelsea, making his debut as an 18-year-old in 1979. He remained with Chelsea through the turbulent early 1980s and as club captain led the side to promotion in 1983–84. He was surprisingly sold to Charlton Athletic in 1988.  He later played with Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion.

CB: Ron Harris 
Known by the nickname "Chopper", he played for Chelsea between 1961 and 1980. Harris is widely regarded as one of the toughest defenders of his era.   He captained Chelsea as it won the FA Cup in 1970.  Then, he helped Chelsea to win the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later in 1971, Chelsea's first ever trophy in Europe.  He finally left Chelsea in 1980 to become a player-coach at Brentford.

CB: John Terry 
John Terry is a top centre-back of his generation and was the captain for Chelsea during most of his Chelsea's rise to the top of English football starting in the season 2004-2005.  He won 4 Premiership titles and the Champions League in 2012.  Terry was named PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2005. For England, he earned 78 caps for England.  However, his career was overshadowed by several controversies.
John Terry
LB: Ashley Cole 
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation.  He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 World Cup Finals.  He is also England's most-capped full-back in history.  He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea in 2006.  In 2014, he moved to AS Roma in Italy.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea.  

LB: Graeme Le Saux
Le Sauxmoved to England and debuted for Chelsea in 1989. He left joined Blackburn Rovers in 1993 and was part of their 1994–95 Premier League winning team. His return to Chelsea in 1997 in a £5 million transfer made him the most expensive defender in English football. He then played for Southampton. He played 36 times for England, starting all four England games at the 1998 World Cup Finals.

DM: Dennis Wise 
In a career spanning over 20 years, Wise played for Wimbledon, Leicester City, Millwall, Southampton, Coventry City and, most notably, Chelsea. He was known as the most successful captain at Chelsea before the emerge of John Terry.  He captained Chelsea as they won two FA Cups, two League Cups and an UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Despite his successes at club level, he only earned 21 caps for England.
Denis Wise
DM/RB: John Hollins
his father, grandfather and three brothers were all professional footballers as well.  His brother Dave, played international football for Wales. From 1963 to 1975, he played for Chelsea. He later played for Arsenal. He made 714 First Division appearances, an English top division record for an outfield player and second only to goalkeeper Peter Shilton.  He was only capped once.

CM: Terry Venables 
From 1960 to 1966, Vernables played for Chelsea.  He then moved to Tottenham Hotspurs and later, Queens Park Rangers.  Venables held the distinction of being the only footballer to play for England at schoolboy, youth, amateur, Under-23, and for the full international team.  He only played twice for the senior side in 1964.  He was named a list of 33 players for the 1966 World Cup.

CM: Ray Wilkins 
Ray Wilkins enjoyed success at various clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, Milan, Queens Park Rangers, and Rangers. He was remembered for winning the FA Cup in 1983 for Manchester United.  From 1976 to 1986, he was an important player for England, earning 84 caps.  He played in both 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.

CM: Frank Lampard 
Lampard was the all-time leading scorer for Chelsea.  he started his career with West Ham before joining Chelsea in 2001.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 and 3 Preimership with Chelsea.  He was runner-up at FIFA Player of the Year in 2015.  In 2014, he made a controversial move to Manchester City through a loan deal from NY City FC.  For England, he was a key player from 1999 and 2014.  The Lampard-Gerrard debate was a hot topic  throughout his career with England.
Frank Lampard
RW: Clive Walker
Walker began his career with Chelsea, playing in the same side as the likes of Ray Wilkins. He mainly played in the Second Division for most of his time there.  In 1979, Chelsea sent him on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League. He also played for  Chelsea, Sunderland, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion.

RW/LW: Joe Cole
Cole started his career with West Ham United.  He later spent seven seasons at Chelsea.  In 2010, he joined Liverpool, who a year later loaned him to Lille. After a season in France, he returned to Liverpool before re-joining West Ham in  2013. He also played for Aston Villa and Coventry City.  Cole played 56 times for England. He was selected for England at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups and Euro 2004.

LW: Frank Blunstone
Blunestone signed professional terms with hometown Crewe in early 1952.  He was signed by Chelsea manager Ted Drake for £7,500 a year later while still doing national service.  He helped Chelsea to win the 1954–55  First Division title, though he continued to juggle appearances for Chelsea with his national service.  He was capped 5 times.

FW/CB: Roy Bentley 
Started with Newcastle United, Roy Bentley joined Chelsea in 1948.  He played 367 games for Chelsea and captained the club to their first League Championship in the 1954-55 season. He also won 12 caps for the England national side. He played at the World Cup Finals in 1950, including the 1-0 loss against the United States.

ST/SS: Jimmy Greaves 
Jimmy Greaves was the top scorer in the English league for 6 seasons. He started his career with Chelsea, but alo played with AC Milan and spent 9 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  With them, he won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the UEFA Cup in 1963.  He was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966.  However, he lost his starting position after suffering an injury against France. Geoff Hurst replaced him.
Jimmy Greaves
LW/ST: Bobby Tambling 
He was Chelsea's all-time top scorer for 47 years, with 202 goals in all competitions until Frank Lampard surpassed this total on 11 May 2013. Tambling remains Chelsea's all-time top scorer in league competition with 164 goals. After enjoying a successful career in the Football League during the 1960s and early 1970s, Tambling moved to Ireland. He subsequently played for several Irish clubs.  Capped 3 times. 

ST: George Hilsdon 
In 1906, Hilsdon joined Chelsea on £4 a week wages. He scored  six goals in an FA Cup tie with Worksop Town, a club record which remains unequalled.  He was the first Chelsea player to score 100 goals, and ended his time there with 108 from 164 games. He is currently the club's 9th highest goal scorer of all time.  He also played for West Ham.

ST: Peter Osgood 
Osgood was a legend with Chelsea.  He helped them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.  Despite his successes with Chelsea, he only earned 4 caps.  Sir Ramsey is rumoured to dislike him for his playboy lifestyle.   He was a member of the 1970 World Cup squad, making two appearances against Czechoslovakia and Romania as a substitute. Near the end of his career, he played for Southampton, Norwich, Philadelphia Fury and a return to Chelsea.

ST Kerry Dixon 
After spells with Chesham United, Dunstable and Reading in the lower division, he signed with Chelsea in 1983, which was then in the 2nd division. He led them to first division in his first season.  For Chelsea, his 193 goals across all competitions made him their third-highest goalscorer of all time.  Dixon scored four goals in eight international appearances for England and represented the nation at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
Kerry Dixon 

Honorable Mention
Ken Armstrong, William Foulke, Jack Harrow, Marvin Hinton, Micky Droy, John Bumstead, Jimmy Windridge, Peter Houseman, Alan Hudson, Dick Spence, Eric Parsons, George Mills, Ian Hutchisson, Ken Shellito, Gary Locke, Tony Dorigo, Stan Willemse, Tommy Lawton, Daniel Sturridge, Glen Johnson.

Squad Explaination
-- John Terry, Kerry Dixion, Peter Osgood, Ron Harris, Jimmy Greaves, Roy Bentley, Frank Lampard, Dennis Wise, Ashley Cole Peter Sillett and Peter Bonetti are on my All-Time Team for Chelsea.
-- Gary Cahill, Ashely Cole and Frank Lampard won the Champions' League in 2012. 
-- Dennis Wise captained Chelsea in winning the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final.
-- The 1971 Cup Winners' Team had a much stronger English presense. Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, John Hollins, David Webb and Peter Osgood played in the Final.
-- Alan Hudson was also on that 1971 team.  He was probably the best player left off the squad. The emerge of Dennis Wise, Frank Lampard and Ray Wilkins took him out of this team.  John Hollins could play in muilti positions.  I was choosing between him and Venables. 
-- Apart from Peter Bonetti, the other English keepers are not so well-known.  All the starters during the Premiership era were foreigners. I took Vic Woodley who held an early record for the English national team. A British newspaper also voted him as Chelsea's greatest English keeper ahead of Bonetti. He also kept Scotland's John Jackson from starting in Chelsea.
-- Goalkeeper Kevin Hitchcock had a lengthy career with Chelsea, but mainly spent on the bench due to injuries.  
-- Goalkeeper Dave Beasant was well-known due to Wimbledon's 1988 shock FA Cup victory and playing for England.
-- William Foulke only played a short time at the club, but was more known as a crowd puller. He was the club's first ever keeper so I gave him the third spot.
-- Ashley Cole and Graeme Le Saux are easy choice for leftbacks. Australian-born Tony Dorigo and Stan Willemse made honorable.
--David Webb edged out Glen Johnson, Ken Shellito and Gary Locke.  Injuries derailed Shellito's career.  He was playing in the lower division.  John Hollins also played rightback. 
-- Ken Armstrong made honorable mention.  He played for England before playing for New Zealand.
-- I marked down Dick Spence and Eric Parsons to be included in the team, but in the end, I had no space.
-- George Hilsdon is the first Chelsea player to score over 100 goals for the club.
-- Chelsea spent a lot of money on Tommy Lawton, but while his output was good, Chelsea did not do well with him and he only stayed a short time. He only made honorable mention.
-- Daniel Sturridge departed to Liverpool too early.

Joe Cole or Jimmy Greaves should also start.  The back four is the same as my All-Time Team for Chelsea.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Chelsea All-Time Team for foreign players

Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli winning the Cup Winners' Cup

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

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton,
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds United, Leicester City.

Chelsea All-Time Team for English Players

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Chelsea's froeign plaers.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship. They then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The club's greatest period of success has come during the last two decades; winning 17 major trophies, and 21 in total, since 1997. Chelsea have won five national league titles, seven FA Cups, five League Cups and four FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, and the only British club, to have won all three main UEFA club competitions.

Nils Middelboe (Denmark) who was born in Sweden was the first foreign player for Chelsea.  From 1908 to 1922, he played for Chelsea. It was the signing of Ruud Gullit that changed the history of the club.  Under manager Gianluca Vialli, Chelsea
 became the first English side fielded the entire squad of foreigners.

Juan Mata and Ed Hazard
GK: Petr Cech  (the Czech Republic)
Cech  is best remembered for being Chelsea's undisputred starting keeper from 2004 to 2014.  He won almost everything in club football.  He is considered among the greatest of his era.  He also played for Sparta Prague, Rennes and Arsenal. For Czech Republic, he is the most capped player in the history of the Czech team, with 124 caps, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 European Championships. 

GK: Ed de Goey (Holland)
De Goey played for both Sparta Rotterdam and Feyenoord. He later spent 6 seasons with Chelsea during the pre-Roman Abramovich days, winning the Cup Winners' cup in 1998.  He had 31 caps for the Dutch national team. He went to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the 1994, starting all of Oranje's games.  He was a member of the WC squad in 1998 and European Championship of 1996 and 2000.

GK: Carlo Cudicini (Italy)
Cudicini started in Italy, but struggled to start any game. In 1999, he joined Chelsea where he was voted Chelsea's Player of the Year for the 2001–02 season and remained first choice until Petr Čech was signed in 2004. Cudicini joined local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2009. In 2013, Cudicini signed for Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, where he played the final season of his career.

RB: Branislav Ivanović (Serbia)
Ivanović began his career with FK Srem. He later played with OFK Beograd and Lokomotiv Moscow. In January 2008, he joined Chelsea.  He won nine major honours with Chelsea, including the Champions League and the Europa League. He is only five foreign players to appear in over 300 matches for the club. He has the most appearances for the Serbian national team in its history, having played 105 matches. He went to 2010 and 2018 World Cup.
Branislav Ivanović 
RB: Dan Petrescu (Romania)
Dan Petrescu is famous for having played for Steaua Bucharest in the 1989 European Cup Final, and winning the Cup Winners' Cup and Super Cup with  Chelsea. He also received 95 caps for Romania.  He went to the World Cup team in 1994 and 1998, and European Championship in 1996 and 2000. At the 1998 World Cup Finals, Petrescu raced past his Chelsea teammate Graeme Le Saux and scored the winning goal against England, which put them in the Group standing.

SW: Ruud Gullit (Holland)
Gullit was the iconic captain of Holland 1988.  In 1987,  he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee.  He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.  He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.
Ruud Gullit 
CB: Frank Leboeuf (France)
Frank Leboeuf was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He was mainly a backup behind Laurent Blanc, but played at the WC Final against Brazil. For his club career, his best stint was perhaps with Chelsea. With Chelsea, he won two FA Cups, one League Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup.

CB: David Luiz (Brazil)
David Luiz started his career with Vitoria and then, joined Benfica. In 2011, he joined Chelsea, where he became a star player.  Later, he played two seasons with PSG before rejoining Chelsea in 2016.  With Chelsea, he won the Champions League during the 2011–12 season.  From 2010, he played more than 50 times for Brazil.  He played in the 2014 World Cup Finals, where he captained the Seleção in their 7–1 defeat to Germany.

CB: Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal)
Ricardo Carvalho was the hero of Porto's Champions' League winning team in 2004.  He then played 6 seasons with Chelsea.  He also played for Real Madrid.  Jose Mourinho was his manager at the three clubs. He also played for Monaco and Shanghai SIPG. He was capped 76 times. He helped Portugal to reach the Final of Euro 2004 at home and the semifinal of the World Cup Finals in 2006. He was a part of Portugal's Euro 2016 winning team.
Ricardo Carvalho 
CB/DM:  Marcel Desailly (France)
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's.  He played 116 times for France, winning the WC in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year.

LB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
A youth product of Osasuna, he spent three seasons in La Liga before switching to Marseille, winning four major honours with the French club. In the summer of 2012, he moved to Chelsea, winning the Europa League in his first season and a domestic double two years later.  From 2013, he played over 25 times.  he went to 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals.

DM: N'Golo Kanté (France)
Kante played in France before. he joined Leicester City in 2015 winning the Premier League in his only season there. The following year, he joined Chelsea, winning the league again in his first season. He also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year and became the first outfield player to win back-to-back English league titles with different clubs since Eric Cantona in 1990's. He was a key player as France won the 2018 World Cup Finals.

DM: Claude Makelele (France)
Claude Makelele played  for Nantes, Marseille and Celta Vigo before making a big move to Real Madrid in 2000.  Over there, he quickly established as one of the best  defensive midfielder in the world.  He won every single club title available.  In 2003, he moved to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea.  he earned 71 caps for France.  He helped France to reach the Final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Claude Makelele 
CM:  Michael Essien  (Ghana)
Michael Essien was one of the best central midfielders in the world during his prime. He first became a star while playing for Lyon.  Then, he moved to Chelsea.  Over there, he won a Champions' league, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups.  He also played with Real Madrid, AC Milan and Panathinaikos. Essien earned 58 caps in total.  He had represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. Essien has also represented Ghana at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

CM: Roberto Di Matteo (Italy)
Born in Switzerland of Italian parents, Roberto Di Matteo started with Swiss clubs Schaffhausen, Zürich and Aarau before joining Lazio in 1993 and Chelsea in 1996. Di Matteo's goal in the 1997 was the fastest ever scored in the FA Cup final.  He also won the Cup Winners' Cup. He was capped 34 times for Italy, scoring two goals, and played in Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.

AM/CM: Michael Ballack (Germany)
Born in East Germany, Michael Ballack was the best German player of his generation. first made his name with Bayer Leverkusen, helping them to the Final of the Champions' League in 2002. On the same summer, he helped Germany reaching the Final of Japan/Korea 2002.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the WC Finals.  he also played for Chelsea before his retirement.

CM/AM: Juan Mata (Spain)
Juan Mata was a youth academy player for Real Madrid, but he started with Valencia in 2007.  From 2011 to 2014, he played for Chelsea, where he was a major star for the team.  After a fallout with Jose Mourinho, he moved to Manchester United.  Ironically, they would reunite again at Old Trafford. For Spain, he was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship two years later.

AM: Gianfranco Zola (Italy)
Gianfranco Zola played with Diegoi Maradona at Napoli as a young player. He played for Parma between 1993 and 1996, winning the 1995 UEFA Cup with Tomas Brolin, Fernando Couto, Faustino Asprilla and Stefano Fiore. He moved to Chelsea in 1996 and won the FWA Footballer of the Year.  His transfer to Chelsea started a wave of foreign players heading over to England. For the national team, he only played 35 times for Italy due to overcrowding of attack midfielders during his prime. 
Gianfranco Zola
AM/FW: Eden Hazard (Belgium)
At the time of writing, Eden Hazard has already earned 100 caps and led Belgium to the semi-final of the World Cup in 2018.  He played for Lille in France for 8 years. He signed with Chelsea in June 2012, where he won two Europa League in 2012 and 2019. He won both FWA and PFA Player of the Year for the 2014-2015 season in England.  In 2019, he joined Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard 
FW/RW: Willian (Brazil)
Willian started his career at Corinthians, before joining Shakhtar in August 2007.  He won the UEFA Cup in 2009. In 2013, he briefly signed for Anzhi Makhachkala before joining Chelsea for £30 million, winning the Premier League and League Cup in his second season in England. He made his debut for Brazil in 2011 and represented the country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 Copa América and the Copa América Centenario.
RW/LW/FW: Arjen Robben (Holland)
Arjen Robben was an important player for Bayern Munich's dominance in Europe as they reached three Champions' League Finals in 4 years, winning the one in 2013.  He also played with Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSV Eindhoven at the club level.  For Holland, he had 96 caps between 2003 and 2017.  He helped Holland to reach the Final of the 2010 World Cup Finals and then, four years later the semi-final of the World Cup in Brazil.  

FW: Gianluca Vialli (Italy)
He first made his name with Sampdoria, helping them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1990.  In 1992, he made a world record breaking transfer to Juventus.  In 1996, he helped Juventus to win their first ever Champions' League.  He went to Euro 1988, where he was named in the team of tournament.  However, at Italia 1990, he lost his starting spot. After the WC Finals, he forced him out of the national team. 

ST: Eidur Gudjohnsen (Iceland)
Eidur Gudjohnsen is probably the best known footballer from Iceland.  He made his national debut as a 17 years old when he came in as a substitute for his father against Estonia in 1996.  The pair is the only father and son to have played in the same international match.  He was probably known for his career with Chelsea and Barcelona. He won a Champions League title with Barcelona. He played 88 times for Iceland.  He played for Iceland at Euro 2016 as a veteran player.

ST: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was late bloomer where he played with smaller clubs until he moved to Portugal in 1995.  His best stint was probably in England with Leeds United and Chelsea.  He was the Premier League Golden Boot winner in both 1998-1999. 2000-2001.  He only played 23 times because of Holland loaded with forwards during the peak of his career.

ST: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) 
Didier Drogba was voted African Footballer of the Year twice; 2006 and 2009.  He is probably Ivory Coast's greatest ever player. The best part of his career was spent with Chelsea.  He won the Champions' League for 20011-12. He also finished the top scorer in the Premiership twice.  He also played in France, MLS and China. For his country, he led Ivory Coast to the World Cup Finals in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He was also their all-time leading scorer.
Didier Drogba

Honorable Mention
Nils Middelboe (Denmark), Florent Malouda (France), Tore Andre Flo (Norway), Nicolas Anelka (France), Diego Costa (Brazil/Spain), Fernando Torres (Spain), Albert Ferrer (Spain), Paulo Ferreira (Portugal), Arjen Robben (Holland), Gustavo Poyet (Uruguay), William Gallas (France), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Nemanja Matić (Serbia), Ramires (Brazil), Petar Borota (Yugoslavia), Ken Monkou (Holland), Frank Sinclair (Jamaica), Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Cesc Fàbregas (Spain), Pedro (Spain), Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast).

Squad Explanation
-- Petr Cech, Ed de Goey, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, Ricardo Carvalho and Marcel Desailly made my All-Time Team for Chelsea.
-- I took Carlo Cudicini (Italy) over Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) who is a much more famous player. Cudicini has a longer career with Chelsea.
-- The signing of Ruud Gullit in 1995 changed the history of the club.  He opened the door for foreign players at the club. He was best known for playing as a libero, a position where he actually started in his career.
-- Vialli was the hero of the FA Cup in 1997.  It was Chelsea's first trophy over 25 years.  It was a big moment in the history of the club.
-- Nils Middelboe (Denmark) who was born in Sweden was the first foreign player for Chelsea.  From 1908 to 1922, he played for Chelsea.
-- Petar Borota was an early foreign player for Chelsea.  He played as a goalkeeper in the 1980's.
-- Derek Smethurst was the first South African to win a European championship when Chelsea won the 1970–71 European Cup Winners' Cup. However, his time with the club was short.
-- Frank Sinclair was not a foreign player, but he represented Jamaica, which made him cap-tied to Jamaica. He made honorable mention here.
-- On the other hand, Ken Armstrong was capped by England before he played for New Zealand.  I used the first cap-tied rule for dual national player in this type of blog tea,. He was considered "English".
-- I selected David Luiz  over William Gallas for the last spot.
-- Paulo Ferreira and Albert Ferrer was left off because of Dan Petrescu and Branislav Ivanović. 
-- The leftback option is more difficult since Ashley Cole and Graeme Le Saux held the position during the influx of foeigners into the English league. Celestine Babayaro is the only regular forergn leftback.  Jose Mourinho used rightback Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side and he held onto his own. He kept Filipe Luis out of the lineup.  Marcos Alonso also did not hold the position. I took the rightback Azpilicueta as my only leftback because he is becoming a club legend.  It might be a mistake not to take Babayaro.
-- The team is overloaded with midfielders.  
-- Kante won the FWA and PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2016–17.  Eden Hazard also won both award. Zola only won the FWA award.
-- I have too many strikers.  So I dropped Gustavo Poyet and Tore Andre Flo.  They were last two players dropped. Their stats with Chelsea were very similar. Instead, I went for a pair of wide players, Willian and Arjen Robben.
-- Arjen Robben was injury prone during his era with Chelsea.  However, he was among Chelsea's best players when they won the back-to-back Premiership.  It was Chelsea's ever league title since the 1950's.  Althrough we probably need a left wing in Florent Malouda (France), Robben could also play on the left.
-- Didier Deschamps, George Weah and Andriy Shevchenko came at the end of their careers.  


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Italian Players' surname ending with an "i"

Paulo Rossi and Romeo Benetti

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Italian diaspora
Southern ItalyCentral Italy,
Northern Italy(excluding Lombardy)Lombardy
Italy after 1982Italy between 1938 and 1982.
It's Muller/Miller time

This is my selection of  an All-Time Team for players' surname ending with an "i". The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

A large number of Italian surnames end in i, due to the medieval Italian habit of identifying families by the name of the ancestors in the plural (which have an -i suffix in Italian). For instance, Filippo from the Ormanno family (gli Ormanni) would be called "signor Filippo degli Ormanni" ("Mr. Filippo of the Ormannos"). In time, the middle possessive portion ("of the") was dropped, but surnames became permanently pluralized and never referred to in the singular, even for a single person. Filippo Ormanno would therefore be known as Filippo Ormanni.

Surnames ending in -o come from southern Italy, but names ending in -a or -i generally come from the north.
Filippo Inzaghi, Christian Vieri and Francesco Totti 
GK: Giampiero Combi
Combi won the 1934 WC with Italy.  He was considered one of the best in the world during his time.  He spent his entire career with Juventus.  He played 351 games in Serie A, winning five titles – in 1926 (having conceded only 18 goals during the season), 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934 as part of the first golden age of the club with a record of five championship victories in a row, a feat known as Il Quinquennio d'Oro (The Golden Quinquennium).

GK:  Enrico Albertosi 
Enrico Albertosi was one of the best keepers in his generations.  He played with Fiorentina that won Cup Winners' Cup in 1961.  Then, he moved to Calgary in 1968, where he played with Luigi Riva and won a scudetti with Caligari in 1970.  He later transferred to A.C. Milan in 1974, where he won yet another Serie A title and Coppa Italia.  For Azzurri, he was a part of Italy's European Championship team in 1968.  He went to the both 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals.

GK: Giuliano Sarti 
Giuliano Sarti had done well in European football.  In 1960-61, he helped Fiorentina to win the Cup Winners' Cup.  In 1963, he joined Inter Milan and became the starting keeper of La Grande Inter under Helenio Herrera.  He won back-to-back European Cup with them in 1964 and 1965. After leaving Inter in 1968, he later spent the 1968–69 season with Juventus as a back-up. Between 1958 and 1967, he only had 8 caps with the Italian national team.
Giuliano Sarti 
RB: Tarcisio Burgnich 
Throughout his career, Burgnich played for Udinese, Juventus, Palermo, Internazionale, and Napoli; although he won titles with both Juventus and Napoli, he is best known for his time with Inter Milan, where he was a member of manager Helenio Herrera's Grande Inter side.  He also participated and won the Euro 1968 with Italy. 

RB: Mauro Tassotti 
After making his Serie A debut with Lazio, he went on to play with Milan for 17 years. He won 17 major titles with Milan, including five Serie A championships and three UEFA Champions League tournaments, reaching five finals in total.  He was a part of both Arrigo Sacchi's and Fabio Capello's AC Milan.  He also went to the WC in 1994, where Italy came second.

SW:  Franco Baresi
Baresi was considered Italy's greatest libero.  He was capped 82 times.  He led the Azzurri to the semifinal of the World Cup in 1990 and then, the Final in 1994.  However, he missed most of the tournament in 1994.  He was a part of the 1982 World Cup winning team, but he did not play a single match.  He was the captain of AC Milan for 15 years, where he won three European Cups and 6 Serie A titles.  This team was considered one of the greatest club side of all-time.

CB/RB: Giuseppe Bergomi
Giuseppe Bergomi was one of Inter Milan's greatest defender, winning one scudetto and three UEFA Cups with them.  He played his entire career with Inter Milan between 1979 and 1999.  He held the record of most appearance in the UEFA Cup. Bergomi won the World Cup in 1982 and appeared in the 1986, 1990  and 1998 World Cup Finals. He was capped 81 times between 1982 and 1998.
Giuseppe Bergomi
CB: Riccardo Ferri 
Riccardo Ferri spent most of his career with Inter Milan.  With them, he won two UEFA Cups in 1991 and 1994, and a Serie A title in 1989.  He had 45 caps.  He played at the 1988 European Championship and the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. Between 1994 and 1996, he played with Sampdoria along side his former Inter Milan teammate Walter Zenga. 

SW: Armando Picchi 
He was the captain of La Garnde Inter.  The team was transformed when Helenio Herrera moved him to the libero position during the 1961-1962 season and a legendary team was born.  He was often credited of changing how the position was played. He was capped 12 times by the Azzurri, but he was left out of the 1966 World Cup team and an injury prevented him from playing at the European Championship of 1968, in which Italy won.

LB: Giacinto Facchetti
Until the emerge of Paolo Maldini, Giacinto Facchetti was considered to be Italy's greatest left back. He spent his entire career with Inter Milan from 1960 to 1978.  He was the star wingback of La Grande Inter where they won back-to-back European Cups in the 1960's.  He was capped 94 times and also won the Euro 1968 with Italy. He played in 1966, 1970 and 1974 World Cup Finals.
Giacinto Facchetti

LB: Paolo Maldini
He was considered the greatest leftback of all-time.  He won 26 trophies in his 25 year career with AC Milan, including 5 Champions' league trophies. With the Azzurri, Maldini took part in three European Championships, and four World Cups. Although he did not win a tournament with the Italian National team, he reached the finals of the 1994 World Cup in the US and Euro 2000, and the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy and Euro 1988 in West Germany, and was elected into the all-star teams for each of these tournaments, in addition to the Euro 96 all-star team.  He was capped 126 times for Italy. 
Paolo Maldini
DM/CM: Marco Tardelli
He played at the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina and the 1980 European Football Championship at home.  He was the unsung hero of Italy's 1982 WC winning team.  He was capped 81 times.  He also won all the three major European competitions with Juventus. He also played for Pisa, Como, Inter Milan and St.Gallen of Switzerland.

DM:  Romeo Benetti
At international level, he represented the Italy national football team on 55 occasions between 1971 and 1980, and took part at the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1980, achieving fourth-place finishes in the latter two tournaments. He is best remembered for his 5 seasons with AC Milan, winning a Cup Winners' Cup.

CM: Demetrio Albertini 
Demetrio Albertini was the deep-lying playmaker of the great AC Milan team of the 1990's.  He won 5 league titles in the 1990's and the Champions' League title in 1994. At the end of his career, he played for Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Barcelona. At the international level, he played for his country 79 times.  He went to the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, Euro 96, and Euro 2000. He was voted into the team of tournament at Euro 2000.

CM/AM:  Giancarlo Antognoni
He was Fiorentina's greatest ever player .  He was a key player for Italy's WC winning team in 1982, but he missed the Final because of an injury.  He was capped 73 times for the Azzurri.  His career started in the Italian Serie D with the club of Asti Ma.Co.Bi., when he was only sixteen. In 1972, he joined Fiorentina. Because of his loyalty with his club, he never won anything at the club level.  He holds the record for the most appearances in Serie A for Fiorentina, with 341 appearances.

AM/LM: Francesco Totti 
Totti was the long serving captain of Roma and perhaps the greatest ever player for the club.  Roma won the Serie A in 2001 after a 20 year drought.  He was named the Italian Footballer of the Year for 2000 and 2001. He won the European Golden Boot award in 2006-2007.  A 2006 World Cup winner and Euro 2000 finalist with Italy, Totti was selected in the All-Star team for both tournaments; he also represented his country at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. 
Francesco Totti 
RW/LW: Bruno Conti 
Conti was the greatest winger in Italy's history.  He had 47 caps. He won the World Cup in 1982 and also took part at the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  Except with two loan spells with Genoa, he played his entire career with AS Roma. The season after the World Cup Finals in 1982, he helped Roma to win the league title.  He also led them to the 1984 European Cup Final but were defeated on penalties by Liverpool.

RW/FW: Giampiero Boniperti 
Giampiero Boniperti played his entire career with Juventus where he played from 1946 to 1961.  He was known for playing alongside John Charles and Omar Sivori. He was the highest goalscorer in Juventus' history for more than 40 years, until his record was broken by Alessandro Del Piero. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1950 and 1954.  He was capped 38 times and served as captain 24 times.  

LW: Roberto Donadoni 
Roberto Donadoni was one of Italy's greatest wingers.  He was a vital part of AC Milan's squad under both Sacchi and Capello, winning six Serie A titles, three European Cups, four Italian Supercups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his time at Milan. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1990 and 1994. At the end of his career, he played briefly in MLS and Saudi Arabia.
Roberto Donadoni

FW: Alessandro Altobelli 
Alessandro Altobelli played for Latina and Brescia before joining Inter Milan in 1977, where he became a star at the club.  He scored over 200 goals for them.  He also spent a season with Juventus in the 1988-1989 season before joining Brescia.  For the Italian national team, he had 61 caps. He was best-remembered for scoring a goal against West Germany at the World Cup Final in 1982. He also played in the 1986 World Cup Finals.
Alessandro Altobelli 
ST: Filippo Inzaghi 
Inzaghi is one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time, fifth in Italy, with 313 goals scored in official matches. He is currently the fourth-highest goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals.  With AC Milan, he won  two UEFA Champions League titles (2003, 2007).  he made his national team debut in 1997.  He went to all major tournaments from 1998 to 2006.  He won the World Cup in 2006, but only played in one match.

ST: Christian Vieri 
Christian Vieri was born in Italy, but grew up in Australia.  At the club level, he played for 12 clubs in his career.  He played in Italy, Spain and France. He was the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 1999. He became the most expensive player in the world when Inter Milan signed him from Lazio.  For the national team, he made his debut in 1997 and played in his last game in 2006.  He won the Silver in France 1998.  He missed out on the 2006 World Cup team, where Italy won the World Cup.

ST: Paolo Rossi
Rossi was the hero of Italy's WC winning team in 1982, notably for scoring a hattrick against Brazil in Spain, and went on to win the Golden boot. He was also the European player of the Year in 1982 because of his performance at the WC Finals. His club career was associated with Juventus.  He was a part of the great Juventus team of the 1980's.  He won the 1985 European Cup as Juventus' second top scorer.  He also went to the 1978 World Cup Finals.
Paolo Rossi

Honorable Mention
Antonio Cabrini, Gabriel Oriali, Giacomo Bulgarelli, Agostino Di Bartolomei, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Renzo De Vecchi, Francesco Graziani, Toto Schillaci, Alfredo Foni, Roberto Mancini, Giovanni Ferrari, Giancarlo Di Sisti, Aldo Campatelli, Gianluca Vialli.

Squad Explanation
-- This is a fun team.  I also did an all-time team for Muller/Miller  surnames.
-- Giampiero Combi, Giacinto Facchetti and Paulo Maldini. Paulo Rossi, Bruno Conti, Giancarlo Antognoni, Romero Benetti, Marco Tardelli and Giuseppe Bergomi are on my Italy All Time Team.
-- All of "Oriundo"'s are listed with their first national team they capped for.  Luis Monti and Raimondo Orsi probably deserved a place on this team. Omar Sívori's greatness was for Juventus, not the Azzurri.  Mauro Camoranesi never played for Argentina.  He is eligible for this team. He made my honorable mention.
-- The team is relatively very young.  I did not select a single player from the World Cup winning teams in the 1930's.  Instead, I have players from the 1990's as well as the World Cup winning team of 1982 and 2006.
-- Antonio Cabrini again failed to get into this team because of Giacinto Facchetti and Paulo Maldini.
-- Daniele De Rossi and Gabriel Oriali have done enough in his career for a spot, but I do not have space. Instead, I selected Demetrio Albertini because I needed a deep lying playmaker. He probably deserved a spot. 
-- I always thought that Francisco Totti was underrated.
-- Paolo Rossi was a good player, but he was not probably the greatest Italian forward of all-time.  However, he brought the World Cup home with great individual effert.  He deserved a spot.
-- Alessandro Altobelli, Christian Vieri and Filippo Inzaghi are the other strikers. Gianluca Vialli missed out.
-- Giampiero Boniperti could also play wide.  He edged out Vialli.
-- Francesco Totti is underrated. His loyalty to AS Roma secured him a place in the history of the game, but he also did not win many trophies.  In the 2005-2006 season, he was playing wonderfully until he was injured. At the 2006 WC Finals, he was not at his best.  Nevertheless, he won a World Cup.  
-- The same applied to Giancarlo Antognoni.  He was injured in the Final against West Germany at the1982 World Cup Finals.  His tournament was overshadowed by other players, but he was still a key part of the team.  Liked Totti, his club career was limited by his loyalty.

Giancarlo Antognoni got the start over Totti, but I am happy to replace him with Totti.  Bergomi should be a better fit with Baresi than Picchi. The midfield, however, is weak defensive with only Tardelli.

This formation based upon Italy from 1978 to 1982.  Antognoni did not play much in the 1982 World Cup Finals. Donadoni was more of a traditional winger than a wing-forward.