Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Basque Greatest All-time 23 member team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Ignacio Kortabarria and José Ángel Iribar 1976 showing the Basque flag in 1976

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

The Basque country is the homeland of the Basque people.  It consists areas that are parts of Spain and France.  The Basque footballers have been capped by many countries. Athletic Bilbao is the symbol of Basque nationalism.  It is one of the most successful clubs in Spain.  It has an unwritten rule that the club only fields Basque players.  

It comprises the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and the Northern Basque Country in France. The region is home to the Basque people (Basque: Euskaldunak), their language (Basque: Euskara), culture and traditions. The area is neither linguistically nor culturally homogeneous, and certain areas have a majority of people who do not consider themselves Basque, such as the south of Navarre

This is my All-Time 23 member team for the Basque people.  I am including overseas Basque players who were capped by other countries.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals and other major tournaments.

Basque National Team
GK: Andoni Zubizarreta (Spain)
Andoni Zubizarreta represented La Roja in 4 World Cup Finals. He was at one point Spain's cap record holder.  He started with Athletic Bilboa.  He also played for Barcelona and Valencia.  He won Barcelona's first ever Champions' League in 1992.  After the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, where Barcelona lost 0–4 to A.C. Milan in the final, Zubizarreta was deemed surplus to requirements.

GK: José Ángel Iribar (Spain)
José Ángel Iribor spent his entire career with Athletic Bibao from 1962 to 1980, except a season at the club's feeder club, CD Basconia.  He played over 600 games in a 18 year career.  For the national team, he played 49 times for Spain between 1964 and 1976. He was Spain's starting keeper at the 1964 European Championship as Spain won their first ever major trophy. He was also Spain's starting keeper at the World Cup Finals in 1966.

GK: Luis Arconada (Spain)
Luis Arconada played his entire career with Real Sociedad, capturing back-to-back La liga titles from 1980 to 1982.  He was capped 68 times, helping Spain to reach the Euro 1984 Final.  His blunder, however, in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final against France. He also went to the 1978 and 1982 World Cups as well as Euro 1980. 

RB: José Orue (Spain)
José Orue was a long-time footballer for Atletic Bilboa during the 1950's.  At the time of writing, he is their fourth most appearance record for the club. He won one league and three Copa del Rey trophies in the 50's, including the double in the 1955–56 campaign.  He earned 3 caps for Spain.

RB/CB: Jose Nasazzi (Uruguay)
He was the captain of Uruguay's legendary team that won the World Cup in 1930.   He is regarded by many as Uruguay's greatest ever football player. He was known as "El Gran Mariscal" (The Great Marshal) and had already won the gold medal at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, as well as the South American Championship in 1923, 1924 and 1926, by the time of the first World Cup.

CB:  Jacinto Quincoces (Spain)
Jacinto Quincoces was one of the greatest defenders of the pre-war era. He played for Deportivo Alavés from 1920 to 1931.  From 1931 to 1942, he played for Real Madrid.  He won the first ever title for Real Madrid in 1930.  He was widely considered one of the first soccer idols in Spain.  He played 25 times for Spain between 1928 and 1936.  He made his international debut in 1928 against Mexico.   He went to the World Cup Finals in 1934.
Jacinto Quincoces 
CB:  Andoni Goikoetxea (Spain)
Nicknamed "The Butcher" for his style of play, Goikoetxea played mainly for Atletic Bilboa, but also with Atletico Madrid.  He was a part of Javier Clemente's Bilboa team that won back-to-back league title from 1982 to 1984.  However, he was best remembered for almost ending Diego Maradona's career with a tackle in 1983.  A year later, he became the focal point of the infamous brawl between Barcelona and Atletic Bilboa at the Final of Copa del Rey.  

CB:  Jesús Garay (Spain)
Rated among the best ever centre-back to be capped for Spain, Garay went to the World Cup Finals in 1962.  He spent 10 seasons with Athletic Bilboa and then, Barcelona for another 5 seasons. He won five major titles with Athletic Bilboa. He also played a single season with CD Málaga. He had 29 caps. He was part of the squad that competed at the 1962 World Cup. 

LB:  Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1990's and early 2000's.  He won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and he also played for Atletico Bilbao. 

Bixente Lizarazu 

LB:  Agustin Aranzabal (Spain)
From 1993 to 2004, he starred for Real Sociedad. He helped the club to finish second during the 2002–03 season. He moved to Zaragoza in 2004, but could not find any successes.   He retired in 2008, but in early 2010, he retired and joined Kitchee SC from Hong Kong, playing along side Albert Celades.  He had 28 caps and went to the World Cuo Finals in 1998.

DM: Ignacio Zoco (Spain)
Ignacio Zoco was best remembered for his 12 seasons with Real Madrid. He was a member of the Ye Ye team of Real Madrid that defined an era in Spanish football.  He won the 1966 European Cup with the club.  He played more than 20 times with Spain, winning the 1964 European Nations' Cup and also representing the nation at the 1966 World Cup.

DM:  Didier Deschamps (France)
Deschamps was only the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He started his career with Nantes. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for both club.  He earned 103 caps and was the captain of 1998 World Cup winning team for France.

CM/DM/LM: Jose Maria Zarraga (Spain)
From 1951 to 1961, he played for Real Madrid.  He won 11 major trophies, including 5 straight European Cups– he played in all the finals, and totalled 31 appearances combined in those victorious campaigns.  The 1959-1960 team was considered one of the greatest ever club sides in history. He made 8 appearance with Spain and once as the captain.

CM: Xabi Alonso  (Spain)
Xabi Alonso started with Real Sociedad.  He joined Liverpool in 2004 winning the Champions' League trophy in his first season.  In 2009, he moved to Real Madrid, winning the Champions' League again in 2014.  In 2014, he joined Bayern Munich. He was a key member of the Spanish team that won the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.  His 114 caps make him the fifth most capped player in the nation's history.
Xabi Alonso
AM/RM: Gaizka Mendieta (Spain)
Gaizka Mendieta was a big star while playing for Valencia between 1993 and 2001.  He led them to back-to-back Champions' League Final in 2000 and 2001.  He moved to Lazio in 2001, but he failed to find his form.  Then, he played one season with Barcelona, where the club only finished 6th at the league.  He would also play with Middesbrough FC. He earned 40 caps. He went to Euro 2000 and the World Cup Finals in 2002.

LW: Agustin Gainza (Spain) 
Agustín Gaínza is one of Atletico Bilboa's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao, winning 10 major titles between 1940 and 1959.  When he retired, he was the club's appearance record holder. He won 33 caps and was the captain of Spain in the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil, where they finished 4th.

FW/RW: Joseba Etxeberria (Spain)
Joseba Etxeberria started his career with Real Sociedad, but after a single season, he moved to Athletic Bilbao in 1995, breaking the transfer record for an under 18 player in Spain.  The transfer also broke off formal relationship between the two clubs. He was capped 53 times, representing his country at the 1998 World Cup,  Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.

AM/ST:  Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Diego Forlan's career in Europe started slowly, but his career finally took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, winning the UEFA Europa League with the latter. He had 112 caps, leading Uruguay to the 2011 Copa America title as well the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010.
Diego Forlan
ST: Mundo (Spain)
Edmundo Suárez Trabanco was known as Mundo.  He is the highest scorer in Valencia's history and remained one of the top scorers in La Liga's history.  He started his career with Athletic Bilbao, playing a single game before the Spanish Civil War cut short his stay.  He played for Valencia after the War between 1939 and 1950.  Capped 3 times.

ST: Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi" (Spain)
The award for la Liga top-scorer is named after him.  He scored 240 goals in 170 matches for Athletic Bilbao. He won 4 Copa del Rey. In 1920, Pichichi was a member of the very first Spain national team that played at the Summer Olympic Games in Belgium. He earned five senior caps during one month, his debut coming on 28 August in a 1–0 win against Denmark.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)
Born in France of an Argentinian player Jorge Higuain, Gonzalo first starred for River Plate in Argentina.  He joined Real Madrid in 2006.  He became a fan's favourite after scoring the winning goal against Espanyol on his debut season.  He would stay with the club until 2013.  For the national team, he earned 52 caps.  He was brought into the national team after Argentina struggled to qualify for South Africa 2010.
Gonzalo Higuain
ST: Isidro Langara (Spain)
Langara was a star player with Real Oviedo before the start of the Spanish Civil War.  After the War, he became an exile playing for San Lorenzo in Argentina. He scored 110 goals in 121 games.  In 1940, he was the league's joint-top scorer. In 1943, he moved to play for Real Espana in Mexico.  He was the league's top scorer.  In 1946, he returned to Spain and played fro Real Oviedo again.

ST: Telmo Zarra (Spain)
Athletic Bilbao's greatest player.  Zarra signed for Athletic after playing one season for Erandio. He became a prolific goalscorer in his 15 seasons at the club, winning the Pichichi Trophy as the highest scorer in La Liga on six occasions. During his career, Zarra scored a total of 251 league goals, a Spanish record that lasted nearly six decades. His 81 goals in the Copa del Rey remains a record today .He was capped 20 times and scored 20 goals for Spain. He was a member of the 1950 World Cup team.
Telmo Zarra

Honorable Mention:
Ivan Campo, Aitor Karanka, Agustin Aranzabal , Jose Ramon Alexanko, Leonardo Cilaurren, Jose Mari Bakero, Estanisiao Argote, Luis Regueiro, Bata, Fernando Llorente, Dani, Urrutti, Juan Alonso, Ignacio Eizaguirre, Julen Guerrero, Jose Eulogio Garate, Julio Salinas, Cesar Azpilicueta. Asier del Horno, Javi Martínez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Aritz Aduriz, René Petit (France), Asier Illarramendi, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea, Jose Eulogio Garate, Ander Herrera, Pablo Zanaleta (Argentina), Ezequiel Garay (Argentina), Rafael Alkorta (Spain), Francisco-Gamborena.

Squad Explanation
-- Andoni Zubizarreta, Telmo Zarra, Andoni Zubizarreta, Xabi Alonso and Jacinto Quincoces were automatic selections. I also decided to select players from Basque diaspora. Didiner Deschamps, Jose Nasazzi, Diego Forlan and Gonzalo Higuain were too good to be ignored.  They were of Basque descent.  Bixente Lizarazu actually played for Atletico Bilboa. I took different approaches toward different regional teams.
-- I should create an all-Basque team without the diaspora or another one with just the diaspora.  I am not sure if I could find goalkeepers for the diaspora team.
-- The team consisted two World Cup winning captains, Didiner Deschamps and Jose Nasazzi
-- I have yet to decide if I should follow Athletic Bilbao's policy of using non-Basque footballer born or trained in the country.  Iñaki Williams is born in the Basque Country of Ghanaian parents. He is eligible to play for  Athletic Bilbao.  He is a good player, but still a long way before I put serious thought on selecting him.  Jonás Ramalho and Yuri Berchiche are two of the more famous non-Basque ethnic footballer playing for the club.  
-- Antonine Griezmann came from the youth academy of Real Sociedad, which made him eligible for Athletic Bilboa.  So I had to think deep into the issue for his elibility. If the Basque national team is a FIFA-sanctioned national team, the Basque-born players would likely played for the Basque national team.  However, Griezmann was born in France of German and Portuguese background.  No one would ever know if he would ever be entitled to a Basque passport by just spending some time in the country. Athletic Bilboa's policy is not the citizenship law of an imaginary Basque nation.  So I assumed that he probably would be playing for France even if Basque was a FIFA-sanctioned national team,
-- Basque had strength in keepers. Juan Alonso, Urrutti and Ignacio Eizaguirre were great keepers, but could not make the cut. The three goalkeepers are probably among the greatest in Spain.  Andoni Zubizarreta and José Ángel Iribar did not need introduction.  Luis Arconada's blunder in the Final of Euro 1984 hurt his reputation, but he was one of the best goalkeepers in his time. 
-- Jose Nasazzi's mother came from Basque.  I did not learn of it until November, 2019. He should be on this team.  I am sure that I left off many players with maternal side of the family being of Basque background.  I replaced Rafael Alkorta (Spain) with him.
-- Juan Usatorre was a Soviet Union central defender of Basque origin. He was born in Moscow from a family of political exiles.  In his career, he played with Torpedo Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and Dinamo Minsk.  From 1962 to 1965, he starred in Minsk.  He was capped by the USSR 10 times.  His background was interesting.
-- Jose Nasazzi would probably be a centerback in the modern football, but he is often listed as a rightback. At the time of writing, José Orue is their fourth most appearance record for the club.  I rewarded him a spot.  The fact that he played for Atletic Bilboa helped his case.  Cesar Azpilicueta had done many things in his career, but Atletic Bilboa was very important for Basque nationalismPablo Zanaleta (Argentina) probably deserved a spot too.  
-- Because of Jose Nasazzi, I only took three other central defenders and a single rightback.  Jacinto Quincoces was one of the greatest defenders of the pre-war era.  Then, I selected  Jesús Garay was among the greatest ever from Spain. Andoni Goikoetxea earned his reputation through his toughness. Ivan Campo, Aitor Karanka, Rafael Alkorta, Jose Ramon Alexanko and Ezequiel Garay did not have as famous as the three other central defenders I have selected.
--  I selected Andoni Goikoetxea, not Jon Andoni Goikoetxea.  Andoni Goikoetxea was also known for his controversial rivalry with Diego Maradona.  He broke Maradona's ankle earning the nickname "Butcher of Bilboa".  Their rivalry led to a massive brawl between the two teams in the Final of the 1984 Copa Del Rey.  Jon Andoni Goikoetxea known as as Goiko could play in various position.   He was mainly an attacker. Andoni Goikoetxea was the centerback known for his rivalry with Diego Maradona. 
-- Bixente Lizarazu (France) took over the leftback position.  I left Asier del Horno off and and I selected Jose Maria Zarraga who was a key member of Real Madrid of the 1950's.  He could play as a left back. 
-- Gaizka Mendieta, Xabi Alonso and Didier Deschamps easily took three of the midfield spots.  Jose Maria Zarraga served as the captain of Alfredo Di Stefanio's Real Madrid team, and Ignacio Zoco was among the best ever midfielders in his time. 
-- Leonardo Cilaurren, Jose Mari Bakero and Javi Martinez deserved a spot, but the players ahead of them were too good.
-- Agustín Gaínza is one of Athletic Bilbao's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao. Joseba Etxeberria was selected for his commitment to Athletic Bilbao, which is considered to be liked the real national team of Basque. 
-- Telmo Zarra is probably the best known striker from Basque.
-- The award for La Liga top-scorer was named after Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi" (Spain).
-- Fernando Llorente deserved his chances with the team. He might be more famous than Joseba Etxeberria, but Etxeberria was chosen ahead of him because he played his entire career with the two Basque clubs.  He also played 50 times for Spain. The same reason applied to Jose Eulogio Garate.
-- Diego Forlan is listed as a Basque, but Diego's bloodline came from his mother's side. Pablo Forlan is not a Basque.
Starting lineup
Basque has a number of great strikers, but Diego Forlan proved himself at the World Cup Finals, the highest stage in football.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Castile without players from Madrid Greatest All-time member team

Andres Iniesta and Juan Mata

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

Spain without Real Madrid and Barcelona players
Real MadridAtletico Madrid
Real Madrid Castilla Greatest All-Time
Real Madrid All-Time Team for Foreign Players
Real Madrid All-Time Team for Spanish players
Atletico Madrid All-Time Team for Foreign Players
Atletico Madrid All-Time Team for Spanish Players

Castile is a vaguely defined historical region of Spain. There are different conceptions and definitions of Castile, and since it lacks modern day official recognition. It is mainly considered of Castile and Leon, Castile and La Mancha, Cantabria, La Rioja and Madrid. 

This is my selection of all-time 23 member team for Castile without players from the Community of Madrid.  The all-time blog teams of AndalusiaBasqueValenican, Community , Galicia and Catalonia were based on ethnicity, but this team is based on birth places.  

Castile and Leon, Castilla La Mancha, Cantabria and Madrid has own autonomous football teams. The region is home to Real Valladolid, Albacete Balompie, Salamanca CF, Racing de Santander, Burgos, Mirandés, Numancia and Ponferradina.

GK: Abel Resino (Castile and La Mancha)
Abel Resino was nicknamed the "Cat".  He came to Atletico Madrid in 1986 from lowly CD Ciempozuelos and stayed there until 1995.  He won back-to-back Cops del rey in 1991 and 1992.  He won the Zamora Trophy in 1990-1991 season. He spent a season playing for Rayo Vallecano at the end of his career.  He earned two caps for Spain in 1991.

GK: José Manzanedo (Castile and Leon)
From 1963 to 1977, Jose Manzanedo played for Burgos. From 1977 to 1985, he played for Valencia CF.  He later played for Real Valladolid, Sabadell and Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.  He played once for the Spanish national team in 1977 against Switzerland in 2-1 away loss.  He also represented Spain in the 1976 Olympics.

GK: Dani Aranzubia (La Rioja)
Dani Aranzubia is a product of Athletic Bilbao's famed youth academy at Lezama.  From 1996 to 2000, he played for them.  In 2008, Aranzubia joined Deportivo de La Coruña. In 2011,he become the first goalkeeper in La Liga history to score from open play.  He made his only appearance for Spain in 2004, in a friendly match with Andorra.  He was Spain third choice keeper at Euro 2004.

RB: Alvaro Arbeloa (Castile and Leon)
Alvaro Arbeloa started his career with Real Madrid, but he made a name with Liverpool in England before making a return to his mother club in 2009.  He helped Real Madrid to win their 10th European Cup in 2014.  For Spain, he was mainly used as a sub during Spain's glorious run at Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, but he was their starting rightback at the 2012 European Championship.
Alvaro Arbeloa
RB: Feliciano Rivilla (Castile and Leon)
Feliciano Rivilla was an all-time great with Atletico Madrid.  He started playing football with Real Ávila CF, moving to Real Murcia at the age of 17.  In 1954, he joined Atletico Madrid, where he played until 1968. He won the European Championship in 1964 with Spain, and was a part of two WC Finals in 1962 and 1966.

CB: Gregorio Benito (Castile and La Mancha)
Gregorio 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 by Spain.

CB: Marquitos (Cantabria)
Marquitos was a member of Di Stefano's Real Madrid in the 1950's, a team widely considered to be the greatest club side.  They won five straight European Cup titles.  He scored a goal against Stade Reims at the 1956 Final. He also played for Racing de Santander, Hércules CF, Real Murcia, Calvo Sotelo and Toluca de Santander. Capped twice.

CB: Iván Helguera (Cantabria)
Helguera started in the lower division in Spain before joining Roma in 1997.  He then joined Espanyol and made a name there.  In 1999, he joined Real Madrid, where he won two Champions' League titles.  He left Real Madrid in 2007 and played one more season with Valencia.  He was capped 47 times.  He participated at Euro 2000 and 2004, and the 2002 World Cup Finals.

CB: Pablo Ibáñez (Castile and La Mancha) 
Pablo began his career with Albacete, with whom he earned promotion from the Segunda División to La Liga in 2003. A year later, he signed for Atlético Madrid where he made nearly 200 appearances over six seasons.  In 2010 he moved to England where he played for West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City.  He had 23 caps and represented his country at the 2006 World Cup.
Pablo Ibáñez
LB: Isacio Calleja (Castile and Leon)
Except for a loan spell with CD Guadalajara in the third division, Isacio Calleja spent his entire 14-year professional career with Atlético Madrid. He won back-to-back Copa del rey from 1959 to 1961.  In 1962, he won the Cup Winners' Cup. He had 13 caps for Spain. Calleja helped the national side to win the 1964 European Nations' Cup on home soil.

LB: Pachín (Cantabria)
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.

CM: Ruben Baraja (Castile and Leon) 
Baraja started his career with Real Valladolid and moved to Atletico Madrid.  Atletico Madrid relegated after the 1999-2000 season which allowed him to join Valencia and his career took off.  Forming a midfield with David Albelda, Valencia won two La Liga titles and the 2004 UEFA Cup.  He was also a part of the losing side at the Champions' league Final in 2001.  He earned 43 caps.  he played in WC 2002 and Euro 2004.
Ruben Baraja 
DM: Vicente del Bosque
Vicente del Bosque almost played his entire career with Real Madrid, except with some loan spells at the beginning of his career.  He won five league titles (1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80) and four Copa del Rey titles.  He was a part of Spain's team at the European Championship in 1980.  He later became a successful manager.

AM/CM: Andres Iniesta (Castile and La Mancha)
Andreas Iniesta scored the World Cup winning goal in 2010 that gave Spain its first ever World Cup title. At Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match for the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament. He won over 130 caps for Spain. He also won Champion' league trophies with Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta

CM/AM: Juan Mata (Castile and Leon)
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/CM: Luis del Sol (Castile and Leon)
Luis del Sol started his career with Real Betis.  He joined Real Madrid in 1960, winning an Intercontinental Cup in his first season with Real Madrid. In 1962, he was lured to play in Italy.  He later played with Juventus and then, Roma.  He was a part of Spain's Euro 1964 winning team. He also played in both 1962 and 1966 World Cup Finals.

RW: Marcos Alonso Peña (Cantabria)
Marcos Alonso made his La Liga debuts for Racing Club de Santander in 1977.  From 1979 ti 1982, he played for Atletico Madrid, where he made his name.  He then played for Barcelona between 1982 and 1987.  He earned 22 caps for Spain. He represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1984, being an unused squad member in an eventual runner-up finish.  His father was Marquitos, and his son was Marcos Alonso Mendoza.

FW/LW: José Amavisca (Cantabria)
José Amavisca played with Real Valladolid and UE Lleida before joining Real Madrid in 1994, where he formed a partnership with Iván Zamorano. He was Don Balón Award Spanish Player of the Year in 1995.  He later played for Racing de Santander and Deportivo la Coruna.  For Spain, he had 15 caps.  He was a part of the team that won the Gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. 

LW: Francisco Gento (Cantabria)
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.  In a 14-year international career, Gento earned 43 caps for Spain, playing at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966.

Francisco Gento vs Argentina

ST: Mariano Martín (Castile and Leon)
Martín joined FC Barcelona in 1939, proceeding to become one of the club's most prolific scorers. During his nine seasons at the Camp Nou, he netted 128 times in only 150 matches, including 30 in 23 contests in his fourth season, although Barça finished in third place. Martín closed out his career in 1952, after playing for Gimnàstic de Tarragona, Real Zaragoza and UE Sant Andreu.  For Spain, he was capped 3 times.

ST: Chus Pereda (Castile and Leon)
Chus Pereda began his career with Bilbao club SD Indautxu, but was rejected by Athletic Bilbao because of his birthplace. He then joined Real Madrid.  He was better known for his career with Barcelona, where he played from 1961 to 1969.   He earned 15 caps. In 1964 he helped Spain win the European Championship,

ST/FW: Cesar Rodriguez (Castile and Leon)
During his career, Cesar played mainly for Barcelona, appearing in 351 official matches and scoring 232 goals, making him the highest goalscorer in the club's history until he was passed by Lionel Messi.  He won the Pichichi Trophy for the 1948–49 season. He won five La Liga championships with the team in a total of 13 major trophies.  At the international level, César had 12 caps. He represented Spain at the 1950 World Cup. 

ST: Carlos Santilana (Cantabria)
Carlos Santilana was a star during the 1970's.  He moved to Real Madrid at the age of 19 in 1971.  He scored 352 goals and played in 778 games, a record until Manuel Sanchis broke it in the 1997-1998 season.  H is the eighth-highest top scorer of all-time in the Spanish first division, with 186 goals. He made 56 appearance for Spain.  He participated in all major tournament from Argentina 1978 to Euro 1984, helping Spain to finish second in 1984.
Carlos Santilana 
Honorable Mention
Paco Llorente (Castile and Leon), Santi Denia (Castile and La Mancha), Antonio de la Cruz (Castile and Leon), Jesús Ángel Solana (La Rioja), Alfonso Aparicio (Cantabria), Julio Cardeñosa (Castile and Leon),  Iván de la Peña (Cantabria), Quique Setién (Cantabria), Federico Saiz (Cantabria), Javier de Pedro (La Rioja), Felipe Miñambres (Castile and Leon), Sergio Asenjo (Castile and Leon), Eugenio Leal (Castile and La Mancha), Germán Gómez (Cantabria), Eusebio Sacristán (Castile and Leon), Pedro Munitis

Squad Explanation
-- In 2015, I created this blog.  The team consists of players from Castile and Leon, Castile and La Mancha, Cantabria, La Rioja and Madrid.  In 2020, I created a separated team for Community of Madrid because I felt the player pool was too big.  This blog team became the Castile All-Time team without players from the city of Madrid.
-- In November, 2021,  I did a review of the team.  I realised that several well-known footballers, namely Vicente del Bosque and Marco Alonso Pena, were missing.  So I did a comprehensive review of the team.  
-- In the future, I would try all-time for each region.  At the time of writing, only 5 players born in La Rioja have played for Spain.  Goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia was the only player selected. Javier de Pedro and Jesús Ángel Solana (La Rioja) were on my honorable mention.  I probably would only do Best XI for them.  I can easily be created an all-time team for Cantabria.
--  The all-time teams of Basque and Catalonia were based on ethnicity, but this team was based on birth places.  Frankly speaking, I do not know how to define the Castilian ethnicity.  Their culture, as well as their language, has influenced the Spanish culture to such an effect that today foreign nationals consider the Castilian language as Spanish.  Basically, almost everyone not in the other ethnic groups in Spain can be considered Castilian.  Am I right? So the task of selecting a Castilian ethnic team is almost impossible. I tried my best not to select players from other ethnicity, but the criteria was actually more opened here. Birthplace becomes the main issue. Juan Mata is also on my Asturias All-Time team.
 -- Juan Mata, Andreas Iniesta and Alvaro Arbeloa were members of the 2010 World Cup winning team.
-- Unlike Basque and Catalonia, Castile is not an official region.  It consists of several official regions in the modern Spain.  They have several autonomous football teams. Castile and Leon, Castilla La Mancha, Cantabria and Madrid have their own autonomous team.  They seemed to be less active than Basque and Catalonia.They play in the UEFA Region Cup, which is an amateur tournament. But I do not see them playing in friendlies with professional players as much as I saw with Basque and Catalonia.
-- I do not have much choice for goalkeepers. Abel Resino (Castile and La Mancha) was relatively well-known after spending many seasons with Atletico Madrid.   I took Dani Aranzubia because he at least attended a major tournament (Euro 2004). There was limited information on José Manzanedo, but I took him over Sergio Asenjo (Castile and Leon) in 2015 when I created the team.  Since 2015, Asenjo had played for Spain.  He established himself at Villarreal, but he was not the starting goalkeeper for their triumph at the 2021 Europa League.  He truly deserved a spot. In the end, I kept Dani Aranzubia because he was the only representative from La Rioja.  I did use political factor in my selections, especially the decision was difficult to make.
-- Santiago Cañizares was born in Madrid but raised in Puertollano, Castile-La Mancha.  In the end, I decided not to consider him.  If I do that for him, I might have to look in the bios of every player on my blog teams to determine their hometowns.
-- Goyo Benito, Marquitos, Iván Helguera and Pablo Ibáñez all had a lengthy career with either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid.   Except Marquitos and Goyo Benito, the other two were not considered a major star within the club at their time. Marquitos' son is Marcos Alonso Pena (also selected) and his grandson is Marco Alonso.  Marco Alonso Pena was born in Cantabria, but Marco Alonso was born in Madrid.  I also came across Alfonso Aparicio who was probably largely forgotten outside Atletico Madrid.  Santi Denia (played twice for Spain.
Iván Helguera
-- Alvaro Arbeloa and Feliciano Rivilla were well-known rightbacks at their time.   On the left, I took Isacio Calleja and Pachín. Pachín was considered one of the first all purpose defender because he could play across the backline.  He won a title every single season in Madrid.  Leftback Isaac Oceja was born in Cantabria, but he was a Basque.  Although I used birthplace as the main criteria, I also kept the issue of ethnicity on my mind when I looked at players.  However, Oceja was not dropped because of his ethnicity.  I just preferred Isacio Calleja and Pachín.  They had a more well-known career.  I did select Juan Mata for this team.  
-- I needed Vicente del Bosque's defensive presence on the midfield.  And then, I took Ruben Baraja.  Then, I looked into Eugenio Leal, Germán Gómez and Eusebio Sacristán.  Eugenio Leal was on my original team I created in 2015.  In 2021, I struggled to understand how he made the team ahead of Germán Gómez (see below).  In my opinion, their careers were very similar
-- Despite playing for Barcelona FC, Andres Iniesta is from this region. He was born in Fuentealbilla.  No one is going to question his inclusion.  Luis del Sol who starred for Real Madrid and Juventus was another undisputed selections.
Luis del Sol
-- Iván de la Peña was billed as one of Spain's top young players, but his career was unfulfilled.  He had a good career with Espanyol, but he was not getting into the team with Andres Iniesta, Juan Mata and Luis del Sol ahead of him.  The same applied to Felipe Miñambres.
-- Juan Mata came from Real Madrid youth system.  He had a fruitful career in England.  His family was from Asturias, but he was born in Burgos when his father was a professional player there. I also selected him for the Asturias all-time team. For this team, his selection is the only major issue that I have to consider.
-- On the wings, I only selected right winger Marcos Alonso Peña and left winger Francisco Gento.  Ideally, I should take Gento's nephew Paco Llorente who was a right winger.  His father-in-law was also Ramón Grosso, which made him a player from a football dynasty. But basically, he was a backup throughout the prime of his career.  José Amavisca was the Spanish Player of the Year in 1995, but it was probably his only year where he was a major star player.  Javier de Pedro also played on the left midfield.  
-- I do not think the younger fans remembered Carlos Santillana as other Real Madrid legends.  He at one point held the club's highest appearance record.  He is also the 4th all-time leading scorer behind Cristano Ronaldo, Raul and Alfredo Di Stefano.
-- César was Barcelona's all-time leading scorer until Lionel Messi broke it.  At the time of writing, Mariano Martín is the 10th top scorer for Barcelona.
-- The last spots was difficult to choose.  In the beginning, I considered taking a midfielder.  I was looking at Eugenio Leal, Germán Gómez and Eusebio Sacristán, but I have plenty of midfielders on the team.  So I looked into wide attacking players.  I narrowed it down to Pedro Munitis and José Amavisca (see above).  In the end, I took José Amavisca.  Munitis had more caps than Amavisca and played in more important matches, but Munitis did not do much while playing for the bigger clubs.  José Amavisca starred a season or two for Real Madrid. He was Spanish Player of the Year in 1995.

Starting lineup