Sunday, December 18, 2016

Canada or Canadian-born Greatest All-time 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

Canada at Mexico 1986

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

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for players born or capped by Canada.  I am including players who chose to represent other countries. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.  I also created a Canada All-Time team.

Canada's most significant achievements are winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup and winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Canada also won a gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics. Until 2022, the 1986 World Cup was their only successful qualification campaign in their history.  Canada finally qualified for the 2022 World Cup Finals.
Canada's Gold Cup victory
GK: Joe Kennaway (Scotland, but also played for Canada)
Born in Canada.  He played in the American Soccer League between 1927 and 1931.  He moved to Scotland and joined Celtics in 1931.  He made 295 total appearances.  He represented Canada once in 1926.  In 1933, Kennaway represented Scotland to play against Austria.  Due to objections from other Home Nations, he never played for Scotland again.

GK: Craig Forrest 
Craig Forrest spent 12 years with Ipswich Town.  He also played with Chelsea and West Ham United, whilst also spending time on loan in the Football League with Colchester United. He was capped 56 times. He was voted the MVP of the 2000 Gold Cup as Canada won their first major international tournament.  He is considered Canada's greatest goalkeepers.

GK: Yassine Bounou "Bono" (Morocco)
"Bono" spent most of his career in Spain, making over 100 La Liga appearances for Girona and Sevilla.  In 2020, he joined Sevilla.  He made some important saves as Sevilla won the European League in the 2019-2020 season in which he was named in the Europa League Squad of the Season.  He also won the La Liga Zamora Trophy in the 2021–22 season.   He was eligible to represent Canada or Morocco, but sicen 2013m he has represented Morocco.  

RB: Frank Yallop 
Frank Yallop played in the Premiership before moving to play in MLS in 1996.  He spent 13 seasons with Ipswich Town and a brief loan move to Blackburn rovers.  With Ipswich Town, he relegated to the seond divsion im 1986.  In 1992, he helped the club to gain to First Divison. He played with Tampa Bay Mutiny between 1996 and 1998.  He capped 52 times for Canada from 1990 and 1997.
Frank Yallop 
RB: Robert Iarusci
In 2012, he was named to the all-time Canada XI men's team. He began his NASL career with Toronto Metros-Croatia. At the end of the 1977 season, he joined the New York Cosmos. They won consecutive Soccer Bowls. He was traded in the Spring of '79 to the Washington Diplomats and played there two seasons. Iarusci returned to the Cosmos to play 1981 through '83, and finished with the San Diego Sockers. He had 22 caps.

CB/DM: Bob Lenarduzzi
Lenarduzzi began his career with Reading in England. He then joined Vancouver Whitecaps in 1974 in the team's first season. He played 11 seasons for Vancouver until the league folded in 1984. Lenarduzzi holds the record for most games played in the league, with 312. Lenarduzzi played all eleven positions during his tenure with the team. He was also voted NASL North American player of the year in 1978.  The Whitecaps won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship in 1979. Earned 47 caps and went to Mexico 1986.

CB: Jason de Vos 
He is considered to be Canada's greatest center-back.  He captained Canada as it won the Gold cup in 2000.  He made the Gold cup all-tournament team in 2000 and 2002.  He spent most of his career in the UK, playing for Dundee United, Wigan Atletic and Ipswich Town. In 2012 as part of the Canadian Soccer Association's centennial celebration, he was named to the all-time Canada XI men's team.

CB: Randy Samuel

Samuel started his career with the Edmonton Eagles and Vancouver Whitecaps, before joining PSV Eindhoven in 1985. Playing just five Eredivisie games for PSV, he moved on to FC Volendam in 1987, becoming a key member of the team until he moved on to league rivals Fortuna Sittard in 1990.   He later played for Port Vale , Harstad IL(Norway),Vancouver 86ers, the Hampton Roads Mariners, and the Montreal Impact. He went to Mexico 1986 for Canada.

McKenna played three seasons (the first two in the reserves) with German Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus before joining Hearts in Scotland in 2001.  Between 2005 and 2007, he again played for Engerie Cottbus before joining Koln.  He played for them between 2007 and 2014.  For Canada, he was capped 63 times between 2000 and 2012.  He was indicted to Canada Football Hall of Flame in 2019.

Davies was the first player born in the 2000s to play in a Major League Soccer match. Davies joined Bayern in January 2019 from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC on a contract lasting for a then-MLS record transfer fee.  Davies was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for 2019–20.[6] In that season he also was part of the team winning the continental treble after Bayern won the Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League and the DFB-Pokal.
Alphonso Davis
LB: Bruce Wilson 
Considered to be Canada's greatest player. He captained Canada at the WC Finals in 1986.  He was capped 50 times. He played for the Vancouver Whitecaps from 1974 to 1977, the Chicago Sting in 1978 and 1979, the New York Cosmos in 1980, and the Toronto Blizzard from 1981 to 1984. He was a six-time all-star selection, including three first-team selections (Vancouver in '77, Chicago in '79, Toronto in '84).

In 1980, the Edmonton Drillers of the North American Soccer League signed Sweeney. He spent three seasons with the Drillers before moving to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the 1983 season. While he began the 1984 season with the Whitecaps, he was traded to the Golden Bay Earthquakes. The NASL folded at the end of the 1984 season. He continued to play indoor soccer.  He was capped 61 times and went to Mexico 1986.

CM/RB: Atiba Hutchison 
Atiba Hutchison was six-time Canadian Player of the year in 2010 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He was Danish Super Liga Player of the Year in 2010.  He was a central midfielder or a right wingback. Between 2010 and 2013, he played for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie. At the time of writing, he plays for Beşiktaş J.K. From 2003, he played over 103 times for Canada.  He was the oldest player at the 2022 World Cup Finals.
Atiba Hutchinson 
CM: Jonathan de Guzman (Nethertlands)
Jonathan De Guzmán is the brother of Julian. He progressed through the Feyenoord Academy, making his first team debut in 2005. In 2010 de Guzmán signed with RCD Mallorca following a free transfer. The following summer, he went to Villarreal.  He later played for Swansea, Napoli and Frankfrut.  Born in Canada, he became a Dutch citizen in 2008.  He played for Netherlands youth side.  In 2013, he finally received his first senior cap.  He played at the World Cup Finals in 2014.

CM/DMJulian de Guzman 
Julian de Guzman is one of the most successful Canadian player in Europe.  He is best remembered for Deportivo La Coruna between 2005 and 2009.  He was voted their best player for the 2007-2008 season. He also had a remarkable career with Hanover 96. For the national team, he is capped 76 times at the time of writing.  He was the MVP for the 2007 Gold Cup.

CM: Owen Hargreaves (England)
Born in Canada, Hargreaves began his career with Bayern Munich. He spent 7 years there, winning the Champions League. He joined Manchester United in 2007, winning the Premier League and Champions League in his first season.  He was capped by Wales on the youth level, but played for England as a senior.  In 2001, he became the first English international who never lived in England.  He played in the WC Finals of 2002 and 2006, and the Euro 2004.
Owen Hargreaves
LW: John van 't Schip (Netherlands)
Born in Canada, Van 't Schip began his career in the Jong Ajax youth academy. He would spend the next 11 seasons with the club. During this period he became league champion in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1990, and cup champion in 1983, 1986 and 1987. He also helped Ajax win the 1987 European Cup Winners' Cup and the 1992 UEFA Cup. After Ajax's UEFA Cup victory, he was bought by Italian team Genoa, where he played four seasons.

FW/AM:  Dwayne De Rosario
He played for the Toronto Lynx, FSV Zwickau and Richmond Kickers early in his career. He came to prominence in the 2000s playing for the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, NY Red Bulls and D.C. United. A four-time MLS Cup champion, he also won the 2011 MLS MVP award. He is the sixth-leading scorer in MLS history with 104 goals.  He was capped 81 times.  He was a part of the team that won the Gold Cup.
Dwayne De Rosario
FW:  John Catliff
Catliff was an All-American at Harvard.  He was a Canadian Soccer League star, scoring the second most goals of anyone in the League's six-year history with 69 goals in total. He played with Calgary Kickers. He then spent the next six seasons with the Vancouver 86ers, who became the CSL champions in 4 consecutive seasons from 1988 through 1991. He was capped 44 times.  He missed Mexico 1986 through an injury.

FW/WF: Tomasz Radzinski 
He played youth football in Poland and Germany before moving to Canada.   He began his career in Canada before he returned to Europe, joining Germinal Ekeren in Belgium in 1994. From there he eventually signed for Anderlecht. At Everton, Radziński scored 25 times in 91 Premiership outings before requesting a transfer, eventually securing a three-year deal with Fulham F.C. worth £1.75 million.  He played 46 times for Canada.
Tomasz Radzinski 
ST:  Dale Mitchell
Mitchell began his career with the Vancouver Whitecaps (1977, 1978), then played for the Portland Timbers (1979 to 1982) and for the Montreal Manic (1983). He was an original player with the Vancouver 86ers of the Canadian Soccer League and APSL for whom he scored 37 goals during seasons from 1988 to 1990 and 1992 to 1994. He was with the Toronto Blizzard for the 1991 season. Capped 55 times.  He played in Mexico 1986.

David made his professional debut with Gent in 2018.  Two years later, he joined French side Lille, where he aided in winning one Ligue 1 title and one Trophée des Champions. In 2019, David was named the male Canada Soccer Player of the Year.  He picked his first senuor cap in 2018.  He was the Golden Boot winner in the 2019 Gold Cup.  He went to play in the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar.

FW:  Alex Bunbury
Born in Guyana, Bunbury started playing professionally in Canada. In 1993, after an unassuming season for West Ham United, he moved to Portugal's C.S. Marítimo, going on to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer in the Primeira Liga with 59 goals. In his second season, he won the Foreign Player of the Year award, and he scored a career-best 15 goals in the 1998–99 campaign. In early 1999, he joined Kansas City Wizards of MLS. Capped 65 times for Canada.
Alex Bunbury
Honorable Mention
Asmir Begovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Paul Dolan, Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri, Pat Onstad, Paul Stalteri 
Lydon Hooper, Paul James, Mark Watson, Colin Miller, Norm McLeod, Wes McLeod, Nick Dasovic, Carlo Corazzin, Colin Miller, Mike Stojanović, Ian Bridge, Paul James, Jim Brennan, Simeon Jackson, Sam Lenarduzzi, Stephen Eustaquio, Lee Wilson,  Jimmy Douglas, Fred Whittaker, Geordie Campbell, Dave Turner, Errol Crossan, Mark Chung(USA), Daniel Fernandes (Portugal), Ricardo Ferreira (Portugal), John Little (Scotland), Alan Mannus (Northern Ireland), John Kerr Jr (USA), Jimmy Nicholl (Northern Ireland), Emilio Reuben, (Argentina) Jonathan Osorio, Paul Peschisolido, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Fikayo Tomori (England), Edward Parry (England).

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in 2016. In June, 2023, I did an intensive review of the team.  I toyed with the idea of dropping the Canadian-born players who were capped by the other national team.  In the end, I decided to keep this team because I did not want to waste the effect I put on my research.  But Canada deserved an All-Time team of Canadian players only.  
-- As titled, all players were born in Canada or capped by Canada.
-- In 2012, the Canadian Soccer Association announced it greatest ever Best XI as part of their 100th anniversary.  The team was as followed: Craig Forest, Robert Iarusci, Randy Samuel, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Mike Sweeney, Dale Mitchell, Atiba Hutchinson, Dwayne De Rosario, John Catliff and Alex Bunbury.
-- On the same year, the Soccer Hall of Fame in honour of Canadian Soccer Association’s centenary celebrations created two All-Time Best XI in 50 years: a team of XI from 1912-1962 and a team of XI from 1963-2012.  The 1912-1962 team consisted of Joe Kennaway, Geordie Campbell, Jack Cowan, Fred Dierden, Trevor Harvey, Dickie Stobbart, Errol Crossan, Gogie Stewart, Doug McMahon, Dave Turner.  From 1963 to 2012, they had following players: Craig Forrest, Frank Yallop, Robert Iarusci, Randy Samuel, Bruce Wilson, Nick Dasovic, Mike Sweeney, Les Wilson, Colin Miller, Alex Bunbury and Tomasz Radzinski
 -- IFFHS selected the following players as their All-Time Best XI for Canada.  They were  Craig Forrest, Bob Lenarduzzi, Robert Iarusci, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Paul Stalteri, Atiba Hutchinson, Julian de Guzmán, Alphonso Davies, Tomasz Radzinski and Dale Mitchell.  Only six of their players on Canada's greatest ever Best XI. They were Craig Forrest, Robert Iarusci, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Atiba Hutchinson and Dale Mitchell. 
-- This generation of Canadian national team is their greatest ever.  In 2022, Canada qualified for the first World Cup Finals since 1986.  Atiba Hutchinson and Alphonso Davies were already on this team.  I added Jonathan David in 2023.   Cyle Larin, Stephen Eustaquio, Jonathan Osorio and Tajon Buchanan made honorable mentions.   Yassine Bounou who represented Morocco in Qatar was born in Montreal.  His family returned to Morocco when he was 3 years old.  Canada did inquiry about his service before he opted for Morocco.
World Cup 2022
-- Dwayne De Rosario, Craig Forest, Kevin McKenna, Jason de Vos, Tomasz Radzinski and Alex Bunbury were on the 2000 Gold Cup winning team.  Seven other players made the honourable mention: Pat Onstad, Richard Hastings, Paul Stalteri, Mark Watson, Nick Dasovic, Paul Peschisolido and Carlo Corazzin.
-- Bob Lenarduzzi, Bruce Wilson, Mike Sweeney, Randy Samuel and Dale Mitchell went to the 1986 WC Finals in Mexico. John Catliff missed the tournament because of an injury.  He contributed during the World Cup Qualifiers.
--Fred Whittaker, Geordie Campbell and Dave Turner played before the War.  Whittaker played for Notts County in 1946. Errol Crossan also played in England during the 1950's.  They only made honourable mentions.
-- Craig Forest was chosen to be the greatest ever by both the Canadian FA and IFFHS.  Joe Kennaway was a pioneer in Canada's football history.  He was capped by both Scotland and Canada.
Craig Forrest
-- In 2016, I selected Asmir Begović who had a storied career in England.  However, Yassine Bounou has emerged by 2023. He made some important saves as Sevilla won the European League in the 2019-2020 season in which he was named in the Europa League Squad of the Season.  He also won the La Liga Zamora Trophy in the 2021–22 season.  Of course, he was a hero of Morocco's run in the 2022 World Cup Finals.  He is now a bigger star than any of the goalkeepers mentioned.  He has done more than Begovic.
-- Paul Dolan was probably the 2nd best ever Canadian-capped goalkeeper.  He was followed by Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri and Pat Onstad. 
-- Daniel Fernandes was born in Canada. He was capped twice by Portugal between 2007 and 2009 as a goalkeeper. 
-- The Begović family fled the Bosnian War to Germany and moved Canada when Asmir was 10 years old. He grew up in Canada and played for their youth team before switching to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior team. He helped Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the WC in 2014.  Professionally, he started with Portsmouth. He spent most of his career with Stoke City in England. He was used as a backup for Chelsea.
-- Randy Samuel and Jason de Vos were selected by Canadian FA for their Best Ever XI team. Bob Lenarduzzi holds the record for most games played in NASL.   At the beginning of the 1978 season, he moved to midfield and becoming the first Canadian to be named North American “Player of the Year” in the NASL.  He actually played every position in football, including a 45 minute stint as a goalkeeper.
-- Kevin McKenna was a part of the 2000 Gold Cup team and had a successful club career in Europe.  Fikayo Tomori might take his spot in the future. He switched his international commitment to England after representing Canada at the youth level.  He played his first senior game in 2019. As of 2023, he is projected to have a career with them. He is an interesting prospect for this blog in the future.
-- In the first game of the 2000–01 Bundesliga season, Kevin McKenna and Paul Stalteri simultaneously became the first Canadian to play in the Bundesliga in a match between McKenna's Engerie Cottbus and Stalteri's Werder Bremen.
-- Jimmy Nicholl (Northern Ireland) who was born in Canada went to the World Cup Finals in 1986, the same tournament where Canada qualified.  But I decided to go with two Canadian rightbacks. Robert Iarusci is named by Canadian FA as its rightback as their All-Time Best XI.  Frank Yallop belonged to Ipswich Football Hall of Flame. He was probably the most famous Canadian defender in the last 20 years.  He also played as a central defender. Atiba Hutchinson also started his career as a rightback so I had three players capable playing in this position. So I had no space for Paul Stalteri who was at one point Canada's most capped player.   He could also play as a midfielder.  Geordie Campbell supposed to be a right-sided defender too.  He had a single cap in 1925.
-- In June, 2021, I edited the team.  Alphonso Davies replaced Paul Peschisolido on the team even he was only 20 years old at the time.  He has done more than most Canadians in club football.  He helped Bayern Munich to win the Champions' League in 2020. Only Hargreaves has done more.  The other leftback was Bruce Wilson who might also be Canada's greatest ever players.  In NASL, he was a six-time all-star selection, including three first-team selections (Vancouver in 1977, Chicago in 1979, Toronto in 1984).  He once was the most capped Canadian player.
Bruce Wilson
-- Atiba Hutchinson was six-time Canadian Player of the year in 2010 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  He was probably one of Canada's greatest players before the current Golden Generation.  In 2022, he was the oldest player in the World Cup Finals.  For club football, he was known as  ‘Spiderman’, ‘Perfect Machine’, or ‘The Octopus’ in Besiktas.
-- Owen Hargreaves (England) had successful European club careers that none of the Canadian national team players could match.  He won the Champions' league with Bayern Munich.  He was the first English player selected by the national team who never played for an English club.  He later played for Manchester United.  Sometimes, he was listed as Canada's greatest player by various media outlet despite playing for England. internationally.  I did not see them saying the same about John van 't Schip.  Because of that, I decided to add Canadian-born players who were capped by non-Canadian team to this blog team. 
-- Scott Arfield spent many seasons with Glasgow Rangers, but he had limited international experience.  I preferred the de Guzman brothers.  Julian and Jonathan de Guzman are brothers and represented different countries. Jonathan chose to represent Netherlands, and was a part of their 2014 World Cup team.  Julian had a long career with Deportivo La Coruna.  
-- Stephen Eustaquio is also emerging in Porto at the time of writing.  
-- Mike Sweeney was selected by Canada Soccer Association for their All-Time team.  Paul Stalteri was also well-respected, but I saw him as a fullback(please see above).  At one point, he was Canada's all-time cap record holder with 84 caps.  He was a member of Canada's Gold Cup winning team in 2000. He played over 150 times for Werder Bremen winning the Bundesliga in 2003-2004. He also played for Tottenham Hotspurs, Fulham and Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He was elected into Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.
-- Nick Dasovic also got mentioned frequently.  Was he better than the players I have selected? He might be the best midfielder not selected on this team.
-- Manchester-born Les Wilson was an utility player.  He played in The Football League for Bristol City, Norwich City, and most notably Wolverhampton Wanderers, one of the first North American-trained players to do so in the 1960's.  I considered him being a pioneer of the game for Canada.  But I put him on honorable mention.
-- Mark Chung was born in Toronto to Chinese Jamaican parents. His family moved from Toronto to Florida when he was twelve. He was one of the best players in MLS during the mid-1990's. He made my honorable mention.
-- Steve Nash's brother Martin was capped 38 times for Canada.  It is a fun fact.  He was a midfielder.  Steve Nash was also an renowned footballer himself before focusing on basketball.  Their father was a professional footballer.
-- I do not have a natural right-sided attacker.  Errol Crossan was uncapped.  He played as a right winger.  He played a significant role in Norwich's 1959 FA Cup run, when the team from the Third Division reached the semifinal, beating Manchester United along the way. He was selected into Norwich Hall of Flame.  I only put him on. honorable mentions.  Tajon Buchanan might one day become considered, but he needed to do more.  He is a right-sided attacker, but also plays as a wing-back.  He probably could play as an attack midfielder.  Tomasz Radzinski could operate as a wing-forward on both sides of the field.
-- The left side was more famous than the right.  John van 't Schip (Netherlands) was a member of the Dutch national team that won the European Championship. He was probably the most famous Canadian-born player before the emerge of Owen Hargreaves. He grew up in British Columbia before returning to the Netherlands.  I did not need Junior Hoilett because the team had John van 't Schip and Alphonso Davis.
John van 't Schip
-- Dwayne De Rosario won many individual awards while in MLS, including the MVP award in 2011 and six times MLS Best XI.  He was selected as the 25 greatest players in MLS's history in 2020.
-- Carlo Corazzin led Canada to the victory at the 2000 Gold Cup, but he only made honourable mention. The same applied to Cyle Larin who is Canada's all-time leading scorer at the moment (2023).  The forwards who made this team were John Catliff, Dwayne De Rosario, Dale Mitchell, Alex Bunbury, and Tomaz Radzinski.  They were all big names in Canadian football. Four of them were selected by the Canadian FA as their Best XI.  Both Radzinski and Peschisolido had one of the most successful club career for a Canadian international player.  Peschisolido also could not make the team because Canada was overloaded with talented players whose careers were on par with each other. 
-- Tomasz Radzinski spent a long career in the Premiership with Everton and Fulham. Alex Burnley was Portugal's Foreign Player of the Year in the 1994-1995 season.
-- Emilio Reuben was a Canadian-born player who played in the South America during the 1930's.  I do not know much about him.
With Independiente de Avellaneda, he played with Arsenio Erico , Vicente de la Mata, Antonio Sastre and Fernando Bello.  He seemed to be a strong candidate.
-- Landon Donovan's father was born in Canada, but Landon was born in the USA.  He is not Canadian. I don't think he should be included in this blog.
-- Bryan Cristante who was on Italy's Euro 2020 winning team has a Canadian passport through his father.  However, he is not born in Canada.  He is not on my honorable mention.
-- In 2016, I took Edward Parry.  Born in Canada, he played 3 times for England in 1882. He scored once. He was captain (and goal-scorer) of the Old Carthusians team which won the 1881 FA Cup Final.   He was the first overseas-born captain of an FA Cup winning team. In 2023, I dropped him for Jonathan David.  I felt that I preferred David over a player from the 19th Century whom we did not know much.
-- As of 2023, Jonathan David is 23 years old, but he already earned the reputation of one of the next strikers in the world.  No Canadian forward can claim that.
Jonathan David
I took a gamble and start Jonathan David.  Tomasz Radzinski might be the only player who could play wide on the right.  The left side is strong with Bruce Wilson sitting on the bench.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

French-Born Players Capped by other national teams

Anthony Lopes and Guerreiro won the Euro 2016 after beating France in Paris
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Players born in the Overeseas Department and former French Colonies
French Black Players
Parisian nation team in World Cup 2018
Argentine-born players capped by other national teams
German-born players capped by other national Teams
Brazilian players capped by other national teams
English born players capped by other national teams

I have created blog entries for Brazilian-born players, Argentine-born players and German-born who were capped by other countries.  This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for French-born players capped by other country.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals. 

Due to its colonial past, France is becoming an ever-more-multiethnic society.  Many sons of immigrants decided to represent the national teams of their motherland.  At the 2014 World Cup, there were 25 French-born players representing other countries — 16 alone for Algeria. That's not only enough to field another full team for France, but also five more players than are actually on the French team, Les Bleus, in Brazil. 

In Euro 2016, Medhi Benatia, Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have helped France.  Instead, they lost to Portugal that consisted three French-born players, Adrien Silva, Anthony Lopes and Raphaël Guerreiro on their team.

Two years later, 52 footballers at the 2018 World Cup Finals were born in France.  Two members of France' team was not born in France.  Between 2002 and 2018, about 216 French-born footballers went to the World Cup Finals.  On those same World Cup Finals, France featured 12 World Cup team members born outside of France.  French-born players are the highest numbers of all players born in the last 5 World Cups.

GK: Anthony Lopes (Portugal)
Anthony Lopes came through the ranks with Olympique Lyonnais in France and made his professional debut in 2013.  At the time of writing, it is only club.  He made his first team debut in 2011.  Born in France of a Portuguese father, he chose to play for Portugal internationally.  He played for their youth team and then, the senior national team.  He was the backup keeper for the Euro 2016 winning team and the World Cup team in 2018.

GK: Raïs M'Bolhi (Algeria)
M'Bolhi was born in Paris, France to a Congolese father and Algerian mother. He started playing football (soccer) for RCF Paris. Then, he joined Olympique de Marseille, though he never made a league appearance before his release in January 2006. He played in Turkey, Bulgaria, the USA, Russia, etc. He was capped by France at the youth level before switching to Algeria.  He played in both WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.

GK: Édouard Mendy (Senegal)
Born in France, Edouard Mendy has played for Senegal since 2018.  He initially joined up with Guinea Bissau in honour of his fatherHe started his professional career at AS Cherbourg.  Later, he played for Reims and Rennes.  In 2020, he joined Chelsea.  In his first season, he helped the club to win the Champions' League.  He was the first African keeper to start in the Final since Bruce Grobbelaar in 1985.  

RB: Guy Demel  (Ivory Coast)
Demel started his career in France with Nîmes Olympique before joining English club Arsenal in 2000. He then played in Germany for ten years, signing for Borussia Dortmund in 2001 and then Hamburger SV in 2005. He also played with West Ham United and Dundee United. Demel was born in France but represented Ivory Coast making 35 appearances. He was in the Ivorian squad for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

CB: Kalidou Koulibal (Senegal)
Kalidou Koulibal played with Metz and Ghent before making a move to Napoli.  He played for the U-20 French side. However, in early September 2015, Koulibaly changed federations and joined the Senegal national football team, despite the interest to call him for Les Bleus from Didier Deschamps. In 2014, he moved to Napoli, where he became a star player. 

CB: Medhi Benatia (Morocco) 
Born in France of Moroccan and Algerian roots, Medhi Benatia chose to play for Morocco. He first made a name with Udinese and then, AS Roma, where he was considered a top defender in the Serie A.  In the summer of 2014, he joined Bayern Munich.  In 2016, he returned to Italy to play for Juventus.  Since 2008, he has been representing Morocco.  He was a part of the team that went to the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.
Medhi Benatia
CB: Noureddine Kourichi (Algeria)
Born in France, Noureddine Kourichi chose to represent Algeria. Between 1980 and 1985, he had 30 caps for Algeria. He played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals. He played in 5 out of six games in those Finals.  For club football, he played with Valenciennes, Girondines Bordeaux and Lille in France.  

CB: Abdoulaye Méïté (Ivory Coast)
Born in France, Abdoulaye Méïté was capped 46 times for Ivory Coast.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006. He played across Europe for various clubs.  His longest career was with Olympique de Marseille, where he played between 2000 and 2006.  He also played in England for Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.  

LB:  Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)
Benoît Assou-Ekotto was born in France of Cameroonian heritage. He chose to represent Cameroon in football after rejecting callus by the French youth team.  He was capped 24 times between 2009 and 2014, He was a member of Cameroon's World Cup team in 2010 and 2014.  He started his career with Lens.  He had played 7 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He also played for Queen's Park Rangers, St. Etienne and FC Metz.    
Benoît Assou-Ekotto 
LB: Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal)
Born in France, Raphaël Guerreiro began his career at Caen, signing in 2013 with Lorient where he made his Ligue 1 debut. In June 2016, he joined Borussia Dortmund. Guerreiro represented Portugal at under-21 and senior level, first appearing for the latter in 2014. He was part of their squad at Euro 2016, winning the tournament.

CM/DM: Mohamed "Momo" Sissoko (Mali)
Momo Sissoko began his professional career with Valencia in Spain.  He would play for Liverpool, PSG, Juventus, Forientina and Shanghai Shenhua. Born in France, he was capped by Mali between 2003 and 2013. He is the nephew of Salif Keita, and the uncle of Seydou Keita. At the end of his career, he played  club football in India, China, Mexico and Hong Kong.

CM/DM: Petit (Portugal)
Born in France, Peit's full name was Armando Gonçalves Teixeira, he received the moniker Petit because of his small frame, and also because he was born in France. He moved back to Portugal when he was young.  He made his name with Boavista FC before joining Benfica in 2002. He also played for Koln in Germany.  He was capped 58 times. He was also a member of the national team that reached the final at the Euro 2004, hosted by Portugal.  He also went to the World Cup in 2006 and Euro 2008.
CM/DM: Tobias Linderoth (Sweden)
Tobias Linderoth began his career in Sweden and Norway. In 2001, he joined Everton in the English Preimer League. Later, he played for  Copenhagen and Galatasaray.  Linderoth was a midfield dynamo on the Swedish national team, where he also served as the vice-captain. Tobias played for Sweden in the European Championship of both 2004 and 2008, as well as in the 2002 and 2006  World Cup tournaments. He was born in France while his father Anders Linderoth was playing football there.
Tobias Linderoth
AM/CM: Dušan Maravić (Yugoslavia)
Born in France, his family moved back to Yugoslavia after the War. In 1958, aged 19 he became a member of Yugoslavian giants Red Star Belgrade. In six years with Red Star,  Maravić appeared in 232 official matches, scoring 82 goals. He was capped 7 times. After winning the gold Olympic medal, he was allowed to go abroad. He played for Racing Paris until 1969 when he shortly moved to OFK Beograd, and then proceed to Venezuelan Deportivo Italia.

AM/RW: Mustapha Hadji (Morocco)
Mustapha Hadji grew up in France, but chose to represent Morocco in 1993. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1994 and 1998.  After the World Cuo Finals in 1998, he won the African Player of the Year award that year.  He was named the 50th greatest African player of all time by African football expert Ed Dove. Professionally, he played for many clubs mainly in Spain and England. He had stints with Nancy, Sporting SP, Deportivo La Coruna, Coventry, Aston Villa, etc.
Mustapha Hadji
RW: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
Born in France, Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester from La Harve in 2014.  He helped Leicester Town to win the Premiership in 2015-2016.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year as he helped Leicester City win the Premier League.  In 2018, he joined Manchester City. For the national team, he was eligible to play for France. He was selected to play for Algeria at Brazil 2014, but only played in one match. 
Riyad Mahrez 
LW/FW: Istvan Nyers (Hungary)
Istvan Nyers was of the same age as the members of the Mighty Magyars, but he was not a member of them.  He was capped twice by Hungary between 1945 and 1946. Born in France of Hungarian immigrants, he moved back to Hungary and played for various clubs in Eastern Europe.  He joined Inter Milan in 1948, where he won two Serie A titles and finished as the top scorer of the league.

LW: Andre Ayew (Ghana)
Ayew is the son of Abedi Pele.  He began his career in Ghana, playing for Nania. In 2005, he signed with his father's former club, Marseille. He made over 200 appearances and winning consecutive Trophée des champions and Coupe de la Ligues in both 2010 and 2011. He also played for Swansea. In 2011 Ayew was named the BBC African Footballer of the Year and Ghanaian Footballer of the Year. He represented Ghana at the WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.

LW/AM: Joseph-Desire Job (Cameroon)
Job played for Lens and Lyons in France. After starting his career in France, Job moved to English team Middlesbrough, where he spent six years and is most remembered for scoring one of the two goals in the 2004 League Cup Final, where Middlesbrough won their first ever trophy. He also played for clubs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Belgium. Whilst playing for Saudi club Al-Ittihad, he won the 2005 AFC Champions League and scored in the final.

FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
He began his career at Milan, who loaned him to four French clubs before he joined Saint-Étienne permanently in 2011. After winning the 2013 Coupe de la Ligue Final, he joined Dortmund, where he has twice won the DFL-Supercup in 2013 and 2014. Despite playing once for France Under-21, Aubameyang made his senior international debut for Gabon in 2009, and has represented them at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2012 Olympics. He is the African Player of the Year of 2015.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
ST: Frederic Kanoute  (Mali)
Frederic Kanoute won two UEFA Cups while playing for Sevilla in Spain.  He was African Player of the Year in 2007.  He was born in France.  He was capped by French youth team, but he did not received any senior callup from France. He represented Mali internationally in the senior level.  He also played in France for Lyon, in England for West Ham and Tottenham, and in China for Beijing Guoan.
Frederic Kanoute 
ST: Felice Borel (Italy)
Borel was born in Nice, France. During his career, he played for Juventus and cross-city rivals Torino in Serie A and, in Serie B, for Alessandria, and finally for S.S.C. Napoli. He scored 157 goals for Juventus, winning three Serie A titles. He is currently Juventus's sixth highest goal scorer.  At the international level, he was capped 3 times. He was a part of the 1934 World Cup winning team.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)
Higuain first starred for River Plate in Argentina.  He joined Real Madrid in 2006.  He would stay with the club until 2013.  Higuain later played with Napoli and Juventus.  In the 2015–16 season, he scored 36 league goals, winning the Capocannoniere title and equalling Gino Rossetti's 87-year-old record for goals in an Italian top-flight season. 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 

Honorable Mention
Jacques Fatton(Switzerland), Adrien Silva (Portugal), Madjid Bougherra (Algeria), Mamadou Samassa(Mali), Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria), Demba Ba (Senegal), Jordan Ayew (Ghana), Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria), Ludovic Obraniak (Poland), Jan Michaelsen (Denmark), Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé (Cameroon),  Moussa Sow (Senegal), Lamine Sané (Senegal), Ali Ahamada (Comoria), Erwin Vandendaele (Belgium), Sanjin Prcić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sanel Jahić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Nicolas Pépé (Ivory Coast), Marouane Chamakh (Morocco), Armando Álvarez (France), Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé (Cameroon), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon), Matthieu Dossevi (Togo), Mamadou Samassa (Mali), Younès Belhanda (Morocco), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Central African Republic), Édouard Mendy (Senegal), Loïc Négo (Hungary), Aymeric Laporte (Spain), Armando Álvarez (Spain), Cyrille Regis (England), David Regis (USA), Romain Saïss (Morocco).

Squad Explanation
-- This blog post is based on birth place. 
-- All French-born players who were capped by France in the senior level and later switched to another national team are not selected. France did not lose those players. So I am excluding a lot of French-AlgeriansMany of them who was capped by France switched to play for Algeria after its independence from France.
-- Tobias Linderoth is the son of Swedish football coach Anders Linderoth.  Tobias was born in France during Anders' spell at Marseille. His selection to this team is based upon his birth place.
-- Gonzalo Higuaín was born in France while his Argentine father Jorge was playing club football there.  He left France at the age of ten months and does not speak French, but retains French citizenship in addition to his Argentine nationality.   Early in his career, he was undecided to play for Argentina or France. 
-- Liked Higuain, David Trezeguet was the son of an Argentine footballer playing in France.  He grew up in Argentina, but he chose to play for France. So he is ineligible. 
-- The father of the Ayew brothers is Abedi Pele.  So they played for Ghana and they are Ghanians, but again this blog was about the place of birth.  So they are eligible.
-- Raphaël Guerreiro, Adrien Silva and Anthony Lopes were members of the Portuguese national team that beat France in the Final of Euro 2016 held in France.  Raphaël Guerreiro and Anthony Lopes are on this team while Adrien Silva made honorable mention.
-- Felice Borel is the only player who won a World Cup eligible for this team. Born in France, Felice Borel was capped by Italy.  He never played for France, making him eligible.  He was the Serie A Top-scorer: 1932–33 (29 goals), 1933–34 (31 goals).  He was a part of the Italian national team that won the 1934 World Cup.  He must be the first French-born player to have won the World Cup.
-- Mustapha Hadji who was eligible for France chose to play for Morocco in 1993 before France was eliminated by Bulgaria in the World Cup Qualifiers.  He did not know that France won't be going to the 1994 World Cup Finals when he earned his first cap for Morocco.  His decision had not nothing to do with France's elimination from the World Cup Finals. If he chose to play for France, Hadji might make an impact during France's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  
-- In 2002, Senegal beat France 1-0 at the World Cup Finals.  France would suffer a first round exit.  Most of the players were based in France.  However, only two players Sylvain N'Diaye and Habib Beye were born in France.
--  Riyad Mahrez helped Leicester Town to win the Premiership in 2015-2016.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year that year.  He could have a strong career with France.  Perhaps, he would have been a World Cup winner in 2018.
-- Mamadou Samassa played for Mali.  The other keepers all went to a World Cup Finals or an European Championship.
-- István Nyers was the son of a Hungarian miner working in France.  Raymond Kopa had a similar background, but he played for France.  So he is ineligible while Nyers is on this team.
-- I only brought 10 defenders so that I can bring Joseph-Desire Job.
-- I chose two leftbacks out of Raphaël Guerreiro, Faouzi Ghoulam, and Benoît Assou-Ekotto.
-- Leroy Sané was born in Germany, which made him ineligible for this team.  His father Souleyman Sané grew up in France and met Leroy's mother who was German while serving in the French army stationed in Germany.  He played for Senegal internationally.
-- None of the players were professional footballers who were naturalised because of playing club football in their adopted country.  Brazilian players capped by other national teams were mainly naturalised players.
-- In 2021, I replaced goalkeeper Charles Itandje with Édouard Mendy.
Born in France, Charles Itandje was capped by France at the youth level, but chose to represent Cameroon at the senior level.  He was their starting keeper at 2014 World Cup Finals. He started with Lens in 2001.  In 2007, he moved to Liverpool, but did not find playing time. Since 2009. he has been playing in the Greek and Turkish league. Mendy on the other hand helped Chelsea to win the 2021 Champions' League.  He established himself as Chelsea;s first choice in which Itandje failed to do so in a major club.
-- Cyrille Regis was born in French Guiana, which was a French oversea department.