Thursday, June 29, 2017

Anderlecht 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

UEFA Cup Winner: 1982-1983

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

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

RSC Anderlecht  won their first major trophy after World War II with a championship win in 1946–47. Since then, they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division. They are ranked 12th amongst all-time UEFA club competition winners. Between 1975 and 1978, they won two Cup Winners' Cup in two years.  In 1986, they won the first UEFA Cup.

Founded in 1908, the club first reached the highest level in Belgian football in 1921–22 and have been playing in the first division continuously since 1935–36 and in Europe since 1964–65. They won their first major trophy after World War II with a championship win in 1946–47. Since then, they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division. 
1976 Cup Winners' Cup Winner
GK: Henri Meert (Belgium)
Henri Meert was the goalkeeper of Sporting Anderlecht in the entire 1950s. For eight times he took home the Belgian Championship with the Mauves. He played 343 official matches (among which 312 in the first division) for the club. At the international level, he appeared 33 times in the Belgian national selection. He was born 27 August 1920 in Schaerbeek, Belgium. 

GK: Jacky Munaron (Belgium)
Jacky Munaron started with FC Dinant in 1973. In 1974, Jacky was discovered by RSC Anderlecht.  Munaron stayed in total 15 seasons in Anderlecht, from 1974 until 1989. He was four times champion with Anderlecht, won 4 times the Belgian Cup, two times the Europacup II and the UEFA-cup in 1983.  He was capped 8 times between 1982 and 1986. He went to three major tournaments as Jean-Marie Plaff's backup. He was born in 1956.
Jacky Munaron
GK: Filip De Wilde (Belgium)
During a 23-year professional career Filip De Wilde played mainly with Anderlecht, appearing in nearly 400 official games in two different spells. He started with Anderlecht as a replacement for Jacky Munaron. He also competed in Portugal and Austria. De Wilde earned 33 caps, represented Belgium for 11 years, playing for the country in three World Cups and Euro 2000.

RB: Gilbert Van Binst (Belgium)
Gilbert Van Binst was capped 15 times.  He was a part of Belgian team that finished third at Euro 1972.  He played for more than 10 seasons for R.S.C. Anderlecht. He won two UEFA Cup Winners Cup. At the end of his career, he played a single season for Toulouse FC and two more seasons with Club Brugge.  He retired in 1983.

RB: Georges Heylens (Belgium)
The rightback was one club man.  He played his entire career with Anderlecht.  He won 7 Belgian championship titles with the club. At the international level, he earned 67 Belgian team caps between 1961 and 1973.  He played all three games in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, but Belgium was eliminated in the first round. He earned his 50th cap in Mexico.  He was a part of the team that finished third at Euro 1972, the tournament put Belgium on the map.
Georges Heylens 
RB/CB: Georges Grun (Belgium)
Georges Grün played for Anderlecht in two separated stints and for Parma in between.  He earned 77 caps for Belgium.  He is most famous in his home country for scoring the away goal that qualified Belgium at the expense of their neighbours Netherlands in the 1986 World Cup qualifying rounds. Belgium would go on to a very respectable fourth-place finish. He played in three FIFA World Cups for the Belgium national football team (1986, 1990 and 1994).

CB: Hugo Broos (Belgium)
 For more than ten years he was their central defender and helped them win three European trophies: UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: (1975–76) and (1977–78), and UEFA Cup (1982–83). Between 1974 and 1986 he gained 24 caps and finishing fourth at the World Cup in Mexico in 1986. In 1983 started playing for Club Brugge. He played there for five seasons until season 1987–88. 

SW: Laurent Verbiest (Belgium)
Nicknamed "Lorenzo the Magnificent",  he started at AS Ostend before joining Anderlecht in 1960. With Belgium,  he played 23 matches2 including a famous friendly match between Belgium and Netherlands in 1964 where Belgium field a squad entirely made up of players from Anderlecht in the second half. Lorenzo died prematurely in a road accident in Ostend, on 2 February 1966, when he was not 27 years old.

CB: Morten Olsen (Denmark)
Morten Olsen was one of the greatest Danish players ever.  He captained the Danish national team in 50 games during the 1980s, and represented Denmark at the 1984 European Championship, 1986 FIFA World Cup, and 1988 European Championship.  He was named Danish Player of the Year in1983 and 1986. For his club career, he won the 1983 UEFA Cup with Anderlecht. He also played for Cercle Brugge K.S.V., Koln, etc.
Morten Olsen 
LB: Henrik Andersen (Denmark)
Andersen played eight years at Belgian club RSC Anderlecht, with whom he won the 1983 UEFA Cup. He joined Koln in 1990.  He represented Denmark in 30 matches, and scored two goals. He represented Denmark at the 1986 World Cup and the triumphant Euro 1992 tournament, where he suffered a serious knee injury, during the semi-final.

LB: Adri Van Tiggelen (Netherlands)
Van Toggelen was the starting left back at Euro 1988, where Holland won its first major international trophy.  He earned 56 caps.  He also went to the 1990 World Cup in Italy and the 1992 European Championship in Sweden. At the club level, he played mainly for Sparta Rotterdam early on in his career.  He later moved to Anderlecht and PSV.

CB/DM: Arie Haan (Netherlands)
Haan won three European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's as member of that great club team.  In 1975, he moved to Anderlecht and became a part of the club's most successful team, winning two Cup Winners' Cup.  He also joined Standard Liege and reached the Final of 1982 Cup Winners' cup Final.  He later joined PSV late in his career before playing in Hong Kong. He was a key player at both WC Finals in 1974 and 1978.  in 1978, he scored two long range goals that were considered among the best ever goals at the WC Finals.

AM/CM: Enzo Scifo (Belgium)
Enzo Scifo was among the greatest ever Belgian footballer. He was born in Belgium of Italian background. He made his name with Anderlecht, helping the team to the 1984 UEFA Cup Final.  He also played in both France and Italy.  He appeared for Belgium in the World Cups of 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998, playing sixteen games in total.  He was a star at the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990, where he scored one of the best goals of the tournament in 1990.  
Enzo Scifo
LW/CM: Ludo Coeck (Belgium)
Ludo Coeck played Berchem Sport, Anderlecht, Internazionale and Ascoli Calcio. Capped for the Belgian national team 46 times. He went to Spain 82, where he scored with a long-range free-kick against El Salvador, and at Euro 84, where he appeared as a substitute in the defeats by France and Denmark. He died in a car accident right after signing for R.W.D. Molenbeek in 1985.

AM/RW/CM: Armand Joseph Jurion (Belgium)
Jurion was an all-time great with Anderlecht. He spent most of his club career at R.S.C. Anderlecht where he won 8 championship titles and one Cup and was awarded 2 Golden Shoe.  In 1962, he led his club team to eliminate Real Madrid at the European Cup. He scored a goal in the game, earning the nickname of "Mister Europe".  He was capped 64 times. He played at 7 different positions and scored 9 times for Belgium.
Joseph Jurion 
RW/SW: Pierre Hanon (Belgium)
Pierre Hanon signed to Anderlecht in 1945 as a young player. He was first called in the first team in 1954. He played for them until 1954, where he joined Cercle Bruges KSV. Hanon was right wing, but became a libero at the end of his Anderlecht career. He also played for RAEC Mons. At the international level, he played 48 timed for Belgium.

RW: François Van der Elst (Belgium)
From 1969 to 1980 Van der Elst played for R.S.C. Anderlecht. In 1976 he was part of the 1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup-winning squad, netting twice in the final against West Ham United (4–2) and, in the following season's league, was crowned the competition's top scorer at 21 goals, as the Brussels side finished in second position. He also played for NY Cosmos and West Ham.  He was capped 44 times and went to Euro 1980.

LW: Franky Vercauteren (Belgium)
Vercauteren made his first team debut for Anderlecht in 1975. He won the five European titles with Anderlecht (two European Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Cup and two European Supercups). In 1987, he joined Nantes in France and came back to Belgium three years later to play with Molenbeek. Vercauteren played 63 times with the Belgium national team. He was part of the squad that finished fourth at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and also featured in the 1982 World Cup and at UEFA Euro 1984. 

AM: Pär Zetterberg (Sweden)
Zetterberg started his career at his local club, but after only seven game, he joined the Belgian team RSC Anderlecht. He has remained loyal to Anderlecht, except for spells at Charleroi (1991–1993) and Olympiacos F.C. (2000–2003).  He has twice been football player of the year in Belgium and won the Guldbollen as the Swedish Footballer of the Year in 1997.  His international career was limited by a row he had Tommy Söderberg. He only had 30 caps for Sweden.
Pär Zetterberg 

LW/FW: Rob Rensenbrink (Netherlands)
Rob Rensenbrink had an uneventful career in Netherlands playing an amateur side named DWS before he moved to play in Belgium.  He first played for Club Brugge, but his greatest height was with Anderlecht, where he played from 1971 to 1980.  He won two Cup Winners' Cup in 1976 and 1978.  He also played in the NASL and in France for Toulouse FC. For the national team, he earned 46 caps for Netherlands.  He was a key player as Oranje reached both World Cup Final in 1974 and 1978.
Rob Rensenbrink
FW/SS: Paul Van Himst  (Belgium)
Paul Van Himst is viewed as the greatest Belgian player of all-time. He played mainly for Anderlecht.  He won the Belgian championship 8 times, all of them with Anderlecht. He won the Golden Shoe(the Belgian Player of the Year award), a record 4 times.  For the Red Devils, he was capped 80 times between 1960 and 1974.  He put Belgium's football on the map by leading them to 3rd place at European Championship in  1972.  He also went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.
Paul Van Himst 
ST/LW: Wilfried Puis (Belgium)
Wilfried Puis won the Belgian Golden Shoe in 1964 while playing for Anderlecht. In November 1971 Puis moved to rival Club Brugge. He also played for Lokeren.  Puis was in the Belgium-Netherlands match in 1964 with 10 teammates from Anderlecht after the substitution of goalkeeper Delhasse by Jean Trappeniers. In total, he played 49 times for the national team between 1962 and 1975., He played in the 1970 World Cup.

ST: Erwin Vandenbergh (Belgium)
Between 1981 and 1991, he finished six times topscorer of the Belgian First Division, with three clubs (the first three with Lierse, the following two with Anderlecht, and the last one with Gent). In 1981, he was European topscorer with 39 goals out of 34 games. As a Belgian national team regular Vandenbergh scored a memorable victory goal against Argentina in the opening game of the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Vandenbergh also played for the French club Lille. 

ST: Joseph "Jef" Mermans (Belgium)
Joseph Mermans played much of his career at Anderlecht, with whom he won 7 Belgian Championship titles and finished top scorer of this competition 3 times. Mermans played 56 matches with the Belgium national football team, 2 of which in the 1954 FIFA World Cup. He is also the 4th top scorer ever for the Belgium national team with 27 goals.

ST: Luc Nilis  (Belgium)
Luc Nilis played for K.F.C. Winterslag, R.S.C. Anderlecht, PSV Eindhoven and Aston Villa. During his time with PSV, Nilis formed one of the deadliest partnerships in Europe with team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy, who signed for PSV in 1998. He joined Aston Villa in 2000,  but his career there was limited to a serious injury. Nilis was capped 58 times for Belgium.  He went the World Cup Finals in 1994 and 1998 as well as the European Championship in 2000, co-hosted by Belgium.
Luc Nilis 

Honorable Mention
Silvio Proto, Jean Caudron, Jean-Marie Trappeniers, Philippe Albert, Luka Peruzović, Michel De Groote, Olivier Deschacht, Johan Walem, Hippolyte Van den Bosch, Marc Degryse, Michel De Wolf, Ariel Jacobs, Jan Mulder, Arnór Guðjohnsen, Jacques Stockman.

Squad Explanation
-- Paul Van Himst is viewed as the greatest Belgian player of all-time.  Except two seasons at the end of his career, he played his entire career with Anderlecht. Rob Rensenbrink is probably the most famous player who had played for this club.  He was one of the greatest left-sided attacker.  He had an uneventful career in Netherlands, but found stardom in Belgium.  They were followed by Enzo Scifo, Morten Olsen and Ariel Haan.
-- Paul Van Himst, Enzo Scifo, François Van der Elst, Franky Vercauteren made my Belgium all-time team.
-- In the late 1970's, Anderlecht won Cup Winners' Cup in both 1976 and 1978.  I rewarded some of the players with spots on my all-time team.  They are Rob Rensenbrink, Ludo Coeck, Gilbert Van Binst, Ariel Haan, Hugo Broos,  François Van der Elst and Franky Vercauteren.
-- In 1983, Anderlecht won the UEFA Cup under manager Paul Van Himst.  Both Hugo Broos and Franky Vercauteren were parts of the team that won two Cup Winners' Cup.  Vercauteren captained that team.  Two Danes Morten Olsen and Henrik Andersen also got into this all-time team.
-- Morten Olsen never won a trophy before he joined Anderlecht. In addition to the UEFA Cup, he won three league titles here.
-- Enzo Scifo made his debut at a 17 years old in 1983.  He helped the club to reach the 1984 UEFA Cup, but they lost the penalty shootout against Tottenham Hotspurs in the Final.  
-- Anderlecht beat RealMadrid in the 1962 European Cup.  It was the club's first time that they advanced into the second round of the tournament.  Arnand Jurion scored the only goal of the first leg. 
-- Pär Zetterberg spent 11 seasons here. He was relatively unknown outside of Belgium and Sweden because he did not play much international games.  He only had 30 caps.  In Belgium, he was a well-respected player. He has won the Fair player of the year prize 6 times. 
-- Silvio Proto and Jean Caudron were the other keepers considered.  I picked the three goalkeepers who were more famous outside of Belgium due to their career with the national team.
-- Luka Peruzović and Philippe Albert have shorter careers with Anderlecht. The other centerbacks selected have much longer and decorated careers.
-- Arnór Guðjohnsen spent 7 seasons with this club.  But I only put him on honorable mention, but he might be a better choice than Luc Nilis. I need to study this again one day.
-- Joseph Mermans is Anderlecht's all-time leading goal scorer. Before he came to the club, the club never won anything. With him, Anderlecht won 7 titles.
-- In 2018, Belgium reached the semifinal of the World Cup. Thirty-five percent of the team came from Anderlecht's academy.  The players in question are Romelu Lukaku, Vincent Kompany, Leander Dendoncker, Youri Tielemans, Dries Mertens, Adnan Januzaj, Michy Batshuayi and Marouane Fellaini.  I have selected homegrown players who left a smaller club and later developed into mega stars to be onto the all-time team.  At this moment, Vincent Kompany might have a chance.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Espanyol 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

2006 Copa del Rey Winner

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

Real MadridBarcelonaValencia, Villarreal
Atletico MadridSevillaAtletic Bilbao, 
Deportivo La Coruna  Real Sociedad,
Real BetisReal ZaragozaEspanyol

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

Founded in 1900, the team plays in La Liga, the highest division of Spanish football. It has won the Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006, and reached the UEFA Cup final in 1988 and 2007. The team compete in the Derbi barceloní against FC Barcelona.

In 1906, the club folded due to financial reasons and most of the players joined the X Sporting Club. This club won the Campionat de Catalunya three times between 1906 and 1908. In 1909, this club was effectively relaunched as Club Deportivo Español, and in 1910, they adopted their present-day colours. Espanyol are one of several Spanish football clubs granted patronage by the Spanish crown and thus entitled to use Real in their names and the royal crown on their badge.
UEFA Cup 2007 Final

GK: Ricardo Zamora (Spain)
Ricardo Zamora is the first ever star goalkeeper in history of the game.  He is also remembered for a spectacular last minute save he made in the 1936 Copa de España final while playing for Real Madrid against FC Barcelona. The award for the best goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, is named in his honour and he was voted one of the greatest players of the 20th century by World Soccer magazine. He was also Spain's most capped player for 45 years.
Ricardo Zamora 

GK: Thomas N'Kono (Cameroon)
Thomas N'Kono was among the best keepers from the 1980's and probably the most famous goalkeeper from Africa.  He had over 100 caps with Cameroon.  He also went to three World Cup Finals, where he was a starter in 1982 and 1990.  Gianluigi Buffon was inspired by him and named his son Thomas after him.  He had a notable career with Espanyol in Spain.

GK: Carlos Kameni (Cameroon)
Carlos Kameni spent the vast majority of his career in Spain, mainly with Espanyol, with which he appeared in 229 official games over the course of eight La Liga seasons. He also played for Le Havre and at the time of writing, he is with Malaga. A Cameroonian international before he was 20, Kameni represented the country in two World Cups and five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

RB: Antonio Argilés (Spain)
From 1950 to 1964, Antonio Argilés played for Espanyol after joining from his hometown club Tarrassa FC.  With Tarrassa FC, he played a single season in the 1949-1950 season.  He held the appearance record (the number of games played) for Espanyol until Raul Tamudo broke it in 2008.  He still held the record for the number of minutes played for the club.  He was capped for Spain B international. He represented the Catalan regional team 4 times in the 1950's.
Antonio Argilés
RB: Cristóbal (Spain)
Cristóbal made his debut with Barcelona in the 1987-1988 season.  His career did not take off until he played for Real Oviedo and CD Logroñés.  He had a brief return to Barcelona and another stint with Oviedo. He played for Espanyol between 1995 and 2001.  He joined Paris St Germain at the end of his career.  He was capped 6 times between 1991 and 1993.

CB/RB: Ricardo Saprissa (El Salvador)
Born in El Salvador of Spanish parents, Saprissa played football with RCD Espanyol, as well as in tennis, field hockey and polo. He won Spain's football national championship with RCD Espanyol in 1928, the field hockey national championship in 1924, and the tennis national championships in 1923 and 1924. He participated with Spain at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924 and on the Spanish Davis Cup team in 1930. He moved to Costa Rica, in 1932, where he founded Deportivi Saprissa, the most successful club in Costa Rica.

SW: José Parra (Spain)
Jose Parra's spent most of his career with RCD Español where he signed with the club in 1947 from neighbouring Terrassa FC, going on to compete with the former in 12 La Liga seasons.  Parra also earned seven caps for Spain within a year. He was a part of the World Cup team in 1950. He played in 5 matches as Spain finished 4th in Brazil.

CB: Daniel Jarque (Spain)
Daniel Jarque made his La Liga debut with his hometown club Espanyol on 20 October 2002.  He helped the club to win the Copa del Rey in 2006. In 2006–07,  Jarque appeared in 14 UEFA Cup games as Espanyol reached the final. They lost on penalties to Sevilla FC.  In 2009, He was named team captain one month before his death from a heart attack, at the age of 26.  The Espanyol training ground and B-team stadium was also renamed in Jarque's memory.
Daniel Jarque
CB: Mauricio Pochettino (Argentina)
He made his professional with Newell's Old Boys in 1988. The side reached the final of the Copa Libertadores, where he scored a crucial goal away to Colombian champions América de Cali in the semi-final. He then moved to Espanyol in Spain for the 1994–95 season, helping it to the 2000 conquest of the Copa del Rey.  In 2001, Pochettino signed for Paris Saint-Germain.  Capped 20 times.  He went to the 2002 Japan/Korea.

LB: Miquel Soler (Spain)
From 1983 to 2003, Miquel Soler played in La Liga for various clubs.  He is the only player who had played for both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona and Espanyol.  His longest stint was with Espanyol and Mallocra.  He earned 9 caps with Spain and appeared at the 1988 European Championship held in West Germany.

LB: David Garcia (Spain)
David Garcia spent most of his professional career with Espanyol(1999-2011), appearing in 243 competitive games over the course of 12 La Liga seasons and winning two Copa del Rey trophies. Espanyol also reached the Final of the 2007 UEFA Cup when he played for them. He is one of the club longest serving player.  He also played Segunda División club Girona FC at the end of his career.

CM: Josep Artigas (Spain)
Josep Artigas started his career at Terrassa FC.  He then played for FC Barcelona Amateur and Girona FC.  From 1945 to 1955, he played for Espanyol, where he enjoyed the most successes.  He finished his career with Cadiz in 1956.  He was capped once in 1950 playing in an away match against Ireland. 

CM: Sergio González (Spain)
Known simply as Sergio, he was adept at both defence and playmaking, and spent nearly one decade as a professional at Deportivo de La Coruña after starting at Espanyol. Over the course of 14 La Liga seasons, he amassed totals of 418 games and 34 goals. Sergio represented the Spanish national team in the 2002 World Cup.

CM: Daniel Solsona (Spain)
Solsona played in 373 La Liga games over the course of 13 seasons in which he represented RCD Español and Valencia CF, scoring 65 goals in the process. He made his debut in the competition at only 18, featuring for the former in a 0–0 home draw against Real Sociedad on 27 September 1970.  He moved abroad at the age of 31, going  to SC Bastia and Stade Rennais F.C. in Ligue 1 interspersed with a very short spell with Racing Club de France football Colombes 92.  Solsona earned seven caps for Spain.
Daniel Solsona 
LM/LW: Crisant Bosch (Spain)
Born in 1907, Crisant Bosch played RCD Espanyol, CE Júpiter and Terrassa FC. His best years were with Espanyol whom he played 15 seasons in the club.  With them, he made his debut in 1926. He won two Spanish Cups(1929, 1940).  He was capped eight times by Spain, playing at the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy.

LW: Maxi Rodríguez (Argentina)
Maxi Rodríguez started with Newell's Old Boys.  Rodríguez arrived in Spain in 2002, playing for Espanyol and Atlético Madrid. He also spent two years with Liverpool in England.  He appeared in three straight World Cup Finals from 2006 to 2014, totalling 57 caps. He was main contributor in 2006 and 2010, scoring a thunder shot against Mexico in 2006.

AM/CM: Iván de la Peña (Spain)
Nicknamed Pequeño Buddha (Little Buddha), Iván de la Peña  started his career with Barcelona in 1995 playing alongside Ronaldo. He was billed as one of the best young Spanish players in the mid-1990's.  However, injuries limited his career. He left Barcelona in 1998 for Lazio. From 2002 to 2011, he played for Espanyol. For the national team, he was a star of Spain Under-21 in 1996, but he did not make his senior debut until 2005.
Iván de la Peña
AM: John Lauridsen (Denmark)
He won the Danish championship with Esbjerg, before playing eight years uninterrupted in La Liga, with Español and Málaga. He appeared in more than 250 official games for the former club, helping it reach the 1988 UEFA Cup Final. Lauridsen played 27 times for Denmark after making his debut in 1981, representing the nation at the Euro 1984.

FW: Jordi Lardín (Spain)
Jordi Lardín started with RCD Espanyol in the 1992–93 season and played there until 1997, where he signed with Atlético Madrid.  Lardín retired from football at age 29 in 2002 claiming to be "fed up" with the sport. He made a tentative comeback two years later, with modest CD Leganés.  Capped 3 times.

LWF/FW: José María Lavilla (Spain)
Better know as José María, he played for Real Oviedo from 1961 to 1965.  His club finished 3rd in La Liga for 1962-1963, their best ever result in history,  He joined RCD Espanyol in 1965 and retired from them in 1976.  He was a part of the famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins"(Five dolphins). He was capped 6 times for Spain between 1966 and 1967.

FW: Luis Garcia (Spain)
Luis Garcia was a youth product of Real Madrid. Over the course of nine seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 329 games and 73 goals, mainly with Espanyol, with which he won one Copa del Rey and reached the 2007 UEFA Cup Final.   He also played for Real Murcia, Mallocra and Real Zaragoza. He earned 7 caps between 2007 and 2008.

ST: Marañón (Spain)
Marañón started professionally at Real Madrid, where he played from 1968 to 1974, but his career was mainly associated with Español, where he played from 1974 to 1983. Over the course of 13 seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 308 games and 116 goals, making him Espanyol's second greatest goal scorers. Marañón played 4 times for Spain.  He went to the 1978 World Cup Finals, but without playing a game.
ST: Julia Arcas (Spain) 
From 1947 to 1958, Julia Arcas played for Espanyol.  He scored the 1000th goal for Espanyol.  In total, he scored with 86 goals for the club. He was for many years the highest scorer in the club's history, until Rafael Marañón, with 111, and then Raul Tamudo broke his record.  He never played for Spain, but he had played 3 times for Catalonia national football team and scored two goals. 

ST: José María Rodilla (Spain)
José María Rodilla began his career in 1961 playing for Real Valladolid. He played for the club until 1964. In that year he moved to RCD Espanyol, where he played until 1971. He was a part of the famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins".  In that year he moved to UE Sant Andreu, a club in which he retired in 1972.  He played once for Catalonia in 1968 and then, was capped once by Spain in 1970.

ST: Raul Tamudo (Spain)
Raul Tamudo was a club legend with Espanyol, where he played from 1997 to 2010.  He captained the side for a decade.  He won two Copa Del Rey with the club as well as reaching the Final of UEFA cup in 2007. He is their all-time leading scorer.  He also played for Real Sociedad, Rayo Vallecano Mexico's C.F. Pachuca and Sabedell FC. He picked up 13 caps for Spain between 2000 and 2007. He was a member of their 2000 silver medal winning team at the Olympics.
Raul Tamudo
Honorable Mention
Alberto Martorell (Spain), Urruti (Spain),  Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina), Constantin Gâlcă (Romania), Urbano Ortega (Spain), Joan Golobart (Spain), Alberto Lopo (Spain), Antoni Arabí (Spain), Arteaga (Spain), Carmelo Amas (Spain), Diego Orejuela (Spain), Cayetano Re (Paraguay), Marcial Pina (Spain).

Squad Explanation
-- In the 1960's, the club President Joan Vilà Reyes signed five quality young players.  They are José María, Cayetano Re, Jose Maria Rodilla, Carmelo Amas and Marcial Pina. They formed a famous frontline known as "Els 5 dofins"(Five dolphins).  Afredo Di Stefano played for Espanyol right before the formation of this young lineup.  Jose Maria Rodilla made my all-time team.
-- Raul Tamudo is probably the best player ever played for the club. He is their all-time leading scorer as well as appearance record holder.  He won two Copa Del Roy with Espanyol in 2000 and 2006 respectively.
-- Antonio Argilés was the appearance record holder until Raul Tamudo broke it.
-- Urbano Ortega and Joan Golobart nearly made the team.
-- David Garcia was one of Espanyol's longest serving players.
-- Ricardo Saprissa was chosen more for his interesting life story.  Besides being a great footballer, he also won Spain's field hockey national championship in 1924 and the national tennis doubles championship in 1923 and 1924.  He later sponsored the uniforms of a club in Costa Rica, in which the club decided to name itself after him. Deportivo Saprissa is the most successful club in its Costa Rica.
-- Iván de la Peña never lived up to his reputation with Barcelona FC, but his impact was great with Espanyol.  
-- Espanyol finished second twice at the UEFA Cup.  They lost by penalty shootout on both occasions. Thomas N'Kono, Miquel Soler, and John Lauridsen were on the 1988 team.  On the 2007 team, I have David Garcia, Ivan de la Pena, Daniel Jarque, Luis Garcia and Raul Tamudo. Pablo Zabaleta made honorable mention.  Carlos Kameni was on the team, but he only played in league matches while Gorka Iraizoz played in the UEFA Cup. Gorka Iraizoz spent his career here mainly as a backup.  His only flame was leading the club to the Final of the UEFA Cup in 2007. 
-- This group of players also won the 2006 Copa Del Rey.
-- Daniel Jarque died at the age of 26 about a month after the club named him as their new captain.  
-- Raul Tamudo was also on the 2000 Copa Del Rey winning team.  the following players selected here also played on that team: Mauricio Pochettino, Sergio and Cristobal Parralo.  They are on my all-time team.
-- Two of my goalkeepers came from Cameroon. Thomas N'Kono and Carlos Kameni are among greatest ever from Africa.
-- Alfredo Di Stefano and László Kubala also played for them at the end of their careers, but the peak of their careers were elsewhere. 
-- Ricardo Zamora began his career with the club.  He spent a significant part of his career with this club. He returned to the club after playing for Barcelona. He played for them between 1922 and 1930 before going to play for Real Madrid.  So he made the team while Alfredo Di Stefano and László Kubala did not.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Leeds United Greatest All-Time Team

Under Don Revie, Leeds United won two league championship titles
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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

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

Leeds United have won three First Division league titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup. The club has also won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s. Leeds lost the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and reached the semi-finals of the tournament's successor, the Champions League, in 2001.

The club's badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram LUFC. The club's anthem is Marching on Together. Leeds share rivalries with Manchester United, Chelsea and Millwall, as well as with local teams such as Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.

1992 League Champion
GK: Nigel Martyn (England)
Having started his career with Bristol Rovers he moved to Crystal Palace where he became the first £1million goalkeeper in British football and was a member of the Palace side that lost the 1990 Cup Final and won the Full Members Cup in 1991. Subsequently, Martyn spent six seasons at Leeds United. He went on to win 23 England caps. An ankle injury forced him to retire in 2006, following three seasons at Everton.

GK: David Harvey (Scotland)
For Leeds United, Harvey played 63 times in the 1972–73 season, and played in both the FA Cup Final and the European Cup Winners Cup Final – ending up on the losing side both times. Leeds put together a 29-match unbeaten start to the 1973–74 season, winning the League championship.  He also played in NASL for Vancouver Whitecaps.  For Scotland, he was the first choice keeper at the WC Finals in 1974.

GK: John Lukic  (England)
John Lukic played his entire career from 1978 to 2000 for both Leeds United and Arsenal, having two spells with each club, making a total of 668 league appearances and played at the highest level of English football in four separate decades. He was capped by both the England U21 and England B sides in 1990.

RB: Paul Reaney (England)
Reaney started with Leeds United under Don Revie.  He also played for Newcastle. Capped 3 times. Reaney missed the 1970 World Cup in Mexico because of an injury. He was listed as a White" player when he was an active player, but now many people considered him to be Black or mixed race, making him England's first Black international.

CB: Lucas Radebe (South Africa)
Lucas Radebe began playing in South Africa with Kaizer Chiefs, before transferring to Leeds United, where he played 200 matches for the Yorkshire side. During his spells at these clubs, he picked up the nicknames "Rhoo" and "The Chief". He became captain of Leeds United and also of the South African national team, most notably at the World Cup 2002.  He had 70 caps.  In 2000, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Lucas Radebe
CB: Jack Charlton (England)
Jack Charlton played his entire career with Leeds United mainly under Don Revie.  He was known as "Big Jack". He was the FWA Player of the Year in 1967. He is the elder brother of the Manchester United great, Bobby Charlton. They helped England to win the World Cup in 1966 and reached the semi-final of the European Championship in 1968.  He earned 35 caps for England between 1965 and 1970.

CB/ST: John Charles (Wales)
John Charles was the greatest Welsh player.  He was equally adept at centre-forward or centre-back.  He was all-time great with Leeds United, but this best part of career was with Juventus. He was Serie A's top scorer with 28 goals, and was voted player of the season as Juventus won the Scudetto. He played in Turin for five years, scoring 93 goals in 155 matches, winning the scudetto (Italian league championship) three times, and the Italian Cup twice. He was 3rd in the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) in 1959. He was never booked in his entire career.
John Charles
CB/DM: Norman Hunter  (England)
Norman Hunter was known as one of the hardest tackler ever came out of English football. His nickname was "Bites Your Leg" Hunter.  He was one of Don Revie's key players at Leeds United, forming a strong partnership with Jack Charlton. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1974.  He later played Barnsley FC and Bristol City. He won the World Cup in 1966 as an unused player.  He went to the following World Cups in Mexico, but only made a single appearance.

DM/LB: Paul Madeley (England)
Paul Madeley signed for Leeds from non-league Farsley Celtic in May 1962 and became a regular in the team from 1966 onwards. In his Leeds career, he played in every position on the pitch except goalkeeper. He was Capped 24 times.  He declined to be a stand-in player for the 1970 World Cup Finals after Paul Reaney was injured.

LB: Terry Cooper (England)
Terry Cooper was Don Revie's trusted left back at Leeds United. He played for Leeds from 1962 and 1975.  He was known for his partnership with Eddie Grey on the left flank. In 1975, he left Leeds United to join Middlesbrough, which was then managed by his teammate Jack Charlton. He had 20 caps for England between 1969 and 1974. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1970.

CM: Billy Bremner (Scotland)
Bremner was Leeds United's greatest ever player.  He was their captain when they dominated English football.  He was also named as the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1970. He was known for his rough play. He is a member of both the English Football Hall of Fame and Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He spent 1976 to 1978 at Hull City, before being appointed player-manager at Doncaster Rovers in November 1978. He was capped 50 times. He went to the WC finals in 1974.
Billy Bremner
CM: Bobby Collins (Scotland)
Bobby Collins signed with Everton, but ended up joining Celtics in 1949.  He played there for 10 years before moving to Everton.  In 1962, he signed by Don Revie at Leeds United. He helped the club to a promotion in 1964. He skippered the team as he won the FWA Player of the Year in 1965. He was capped 31 times. He attended the 1958 World Cup Finals.

CM: Gary McAllister (Scotland)
McAllister started his career at local side Motherwell before moving to Leicester City. He then went on to play for Leeds United, where he won the English league championship in 1991–92. McAllister later had spells at Coventry City and Liverpool. He won 59 caps and scoring five goals for Scotland. He spent four successful years as Scotland captain in addition to two seasons as Leeds United captain.

RM/CM: Gordon Strachan (Scotland)
Gordon Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City.  He spent 7 seasons with Aberdeen, winning two league titles and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He was capped 50 times, representing Scotland at both World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. He won the SFWA Footballer of the Year in 1979–80. In 1990, he was voted FWA Footballer of the Year, becoming the first player to win the award both in Scotland and in England.[
Gordon Strachan 
CM: David Batty (England)
David Batty is most famous for playing for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.  He won league titles with both Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers, but his role with Blackburn Riovers was limited by an injury.  He was capped for the England national football team, and representing the nation at UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup.

CM/AM: Johnny Giles (Ireland)
Giles started with Manchester United in 1957.  After winning an FA Cup winner's medal under Matt Busby, he moved to Leeds United in 1963 where he played in midfield alongside Billy Bremner under Manager Don Revie. He also played for West Bromwich Albion, where he was the player-manager. He was voted as Ireland's greatest player at the UEFA Jubilee Awards in 2004.  He was capped 59 times.  From 1973 onward, he served as their player-manager.
Johnny Giles

LW:  Harry Kewell (Australia)
In 2012, he was voted the greatest ever Australian player.  At Leeds United, he won the PFA Young Player of the year in 1999-2000.  With Mark Viduka, the team reached the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2000-2001.  At liverpool, he won the Champions League in 2005, where he started the final match.  He became the first Australian-born player to win a Champions' League medal.

LW: Eddie Gray (Scotland)
Gray was one club man with Leeds United. He was an integral member of the legendary Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s, later twice becoming the club's manager. In 2000, Gray was voted as the third Greatest Leeds United player of all time, surpassed only by his club captain, Billy Bremner (No. 1) and John Charles (No. 2).  Gray played in 12 full international games for Scotland between 1969 and 1977. 
Eddie Gray
AM: Tony Currie (England)  
Currie started with Watford in 1967.  He was transferred to Sheffield United in 1968 and went on to score 54 goals in 313 appearances and was also made captain by manager Ken Furphy in March 1974. In September 2014, as part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, he was named Sheffield United's Greatest Ever Player. In 1976,  he moved to Leeds United.  His curling shot against Southampton F.C. in 1978 won ITV's The Big Match Goal of the Season that year.  Capped 17 times.

AM/OR: Peter Lorimer (Scotland)
Peter Lorimer  had two spells with Leeds United.  His first spell was between 1962 and 1979. From 1984 to 1985. he was club captain of Leeds and holds the record as the club's youngest ever player and record goalscorer. He has been voted as the #9 greatest Leeds player of all time and voted into the Greatest Leeds United team of all time. He also played in NASL.  he represented Scotland at the 1974 World Cup Finals.
Peter Lorimer
ST: Anthony Yeboah (Ghana)
Anthony Yeboah enjoyed a successful career in Europe and was one of the best African players in the 1990's.  His most successful period was spent with Eintracht Frankfrut where he was the Bundesliga back-to-back top scorers twice in five seasons. He earned 59 caps, Despite playing with Abedi Pele, Ghana failed to qualify for the WC Finals. He is the third highest goal scoring total in the nation's history behind Abedi Pele and Asamoah Gyan.

ST: Mick Jones (England)
Mick Jones started with Sheffield United in 1963. He made his England debut in 1965 against West Germany at centre forward. In 1967, he joined Leeds United, where he became a part of Don Revie's famous side.  He retired in 1975.  He was capped three times for England between 1965 and 1970.  He was Leeds United Player of the Year: 1973–74.

ST: Lee Chapman (Englnad)
Chapman is best known for spells with Stoke City, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United. He also played for many clubs in England.  As well as this he played in both France and Norway for Chamois Niortais and Strømsgodset IF, and was capped by both the England U21 and England B teams. He also won the Football League Cup with Nottingham Forest and the league title with Leeds United in the 1991-1992 season,
Lee Chapman
ST: Mark Viduka (Australia)
Viduka started with Croatian-based club Melbourne Knights FC.  He went to Europe in 1995, where he was probably the most famous Australian playing in Europe.  He played in Croatia, Scotland and England.  In Scotland, he was the top scoring in the Scottish league and won the SPFA Player of the Season with Celtics. And then, he joined Leeds United, where the club reached the semifinal of the Champions' League.  He also played for Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

ST: Allan Clarke (England)
Earlier in his career, Allan Clarke played Walsall, Fulham and Leicester.  In 1969, he joined Leeds United, where he was a part of Don Revie's great team.  They were the dominating team in England at the time. With Leeds United, Clarke won the Fairs Cup in 1971, scoring in the final against Italy's giant Juventus.  They also reached the Final of the European Cup in 1975.  He was capped 19 times for England.  He made his debut during the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.
Allan Clarke

Honorable Mention
Tony Dorigo (England),Vinnie Jones (Wales), Jonathan Woodgate (England), Joe Jordan (Scotland), Gordon McQueen (Scotland), Lee Bowyer (England), Eric Cantona (France), Olivier Dacourt (France), Dominic Matteo (Scotland), Mel Sterland (England), Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink (Netherlands), Alan Smith (England), John Sheridan (Ireland), Gary Speed (Wales), Rio Ferdinand (England), Gary Kelly (Ireland), Tom Jennings (Scotland), Trevor Cherry (England), Albert Johanneson (South Africa), Paul Robinson (England), Gary Sprake (Wales), Mervyn Day (England), Wilf Copping (England), Lee Bowyer (England)

Squad Explanation
-- Billy Bremner, Lucas Radebe, Peter Lorimer, Johnny Giles, Eddie Grey and John Charles are undisputed selections.  They are probably Leeds United's greatest players. 
-- Leeds United's greatest period was under Don Revie. He managed the club from 1961 to 1974. Twelve players played under him are included into my team.  They are Allan Clarke, Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles, Eddie Grey, Mick Jones, Paul Madeley, Terry Cooper, Bobby Collins, Paul Reaney, Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton and David Harvey.  Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles formed a great midfield.
-- The book and the following movie "Damned United" was unfair portrayal of Don Revie and Brian Clough at Leeds United.  Revie was a great manager at Leeds United.  They were sued by various footballers at the club for historical inaccuracy.
-- Gary McAllister, David Batty, Lee Chapman and Gordon Strachan was on the historical side that won the league in 1992.  Strachan was their captain.  Eric Cantona also played in their championship-winning season and was a star of the team, but he only played a short time here.  He was mainly a star at Manchester United. So he is only on my honourable mention.  Gary Speed also missed out.
-- Under manager David O'Leary, Leeds United reached the semifinal of both UEFA Cup and the Champions' League.  Mark Viduka, Mark Kewell, Nigel Martyn and Lucas Radebe are from that generation.
-- Bobby Collins, Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner and Gordon Strachan won the FWA Player of the Year award while playing for Leeds United. Norman Hunter was the only player ever to win the PFA Player of the Year while playing for the club. Harry Kewell was the Young Player of the Year. 
-- Nigel Martyn is also the greatest Leeds United's goalkeeper ever, followed by David Harvey. David harvey had a 29 undefeated run as Leeds United won the League title in 1974.  John Lukic beat David Seaman who was homegrown to become Leeds United starting goalkeeper.  Seaman moved to went to Division 4 club Peterborough United without ever playing for the senior team. I cannot put Seaman anywhere on this team.
-- Norman Hunter, Lucas Radebe and Jack Charlton are probably Leeds' greatest defenders.  Then, I put John Charles as a defender.  So my 4 centerbacks were easily set.
-- Norman Hunter spent 15 years with the club and was named the PFA Player of the Year.  Lucas Radebe played in many positions, including as a goalkeeper here.  He also did take a paycut to remain with the club.  Many sources ranked him as one of the top five players ever played for Leeds United. John Charles needed no introduction.  I put him on defence so that I could select Lee Chapman or Mick Jones as my forwards.  Jack Charlton made 733 appearances over 21 years and scoring 96 goals for Leeds United.  He was one club man with this team.
-- The rise of Jack Charlton as a central defender led John Charles to switch to the forward position.
Jack Charlton
-- Leeds United paid  £18m for Rio Ferdinand, which was a record transfer fees for a defender.  Manchester United then paid Leeds United £29.3million for him, which also was a world record for a defender.  However, I only put him on honorable mention.  The players I selected all spent long time with the club and built a legendary status.
-- The four of them kept Wilf Copping, Vinnie Jones, Jonathan Woodgate, Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen and Rio Ferdinand off the team.  They only made honourable mentions.  
-- I took Terry Cooper over Trevor Cherry.  Cooper was more decorated while with Leeds United.  He probably had more exposure outside of England due to playing in the 1970 World Cup Finals.  England did not qualify for the World Cup Finals during Cherry's prime.  He played a single match at the Euro 1980.  So he was not rated outside of the United Kingdom.
-- Tony Dorigo was left off because of Terry Cooper and Paul Madeley. He was highly rated by Leeds United. He was Australian by birth.  My team included two other Aussies, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell.  Viduka and Kewell were teammates for club and country, but the pair was known to have a feud while at Elland Road.
-- Bobby Collins skippered Leeds to the Second Division title in 1964 and the following season, he won the FWA Player of the Year. 
-- Gordon Strachan also led the team to win the Second Division title in 1990.  A year later, Leeds United won the league title while Strachan was named FWA Player of the Year.
-- Lee Bowyer was a record signing for a teenager when he joined Leeds United, but his off-field incidents kept him from fulfilling his promises.  I put him on honorable mention.
--  Alan Smith transferred to Manchester United in 2004, whereupon manager Sir Alex Ferguson successfully converted him to a holding midfielder.  Over here, he was an attacker.  He scored over 50 goals for Leeds United.  I might have taken him as an utility player, but he did not become one until after he left. He made honorable mention.
-- Gary Speed and Albert Johanneson were kept out by Harry Kewell and Eddie Gray on the left wing. How could I not select Gary Speed? He was known to be among the greatest ever player on this team, but I felt Kewell and Gray have done more.  Kewell was Leeds' top players as they made the greatest runs in Europe.  Grey needed no introduction.  He was considered one of Leeds' greatest ever team. Albert Johanneson was frequently injured here.
Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell
-- Eric Cantona joined Leeds United in January, 1992.  He only played half of the season as they won the league title.  His second season was frustrating for him and the club.  Thus, I decided not to select him.  Instead, I took his teammate Lee Chapman.  Peter Lorimer was their all-time leading scorer.
-- Tony Yeboah only spent two seasons with Leeds United, but he scored many spectacular goals in Leeds.  He actually showed in the top 10 on many list of greatest players here, but I still felt that he was my last player selected.
-- Mick Jones and Allan Clarke formed a great partnership up front under manager Don Revie.  It was also Leeds' greatest era.  I could not select one without the other.  Of course, both would have make it on their own merits.
-- I don't really know much about Tom Jennings.  His name seldom mentioned.