Monday, January 29, 2018

Venezuala Greatest All-Time Team

Copa America 2011
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

ArgentinaBrazilUruguayPeruColombiaChileParaguay and Ecuador. 

Venezuela is the only CONMEBOL country where football is not a big sport.  It is the only country that never qualified for the WC Finals.  The national team seldom wins a match against the other team from the confederation.   However, they are making progress in recent years. At the 2011 Copa America, they finished 4th and then, a respectful 6th place at the World Cup qualifiers in 2014.

This is my all-time team for Venezuela. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

GK: Rafael Dudamel 
During his career, Dudamel played for many clubs. In Venezuela, he played for Estudiantes de Mérida, Universidad de Los Andes, El Vigía, Atlético Zulia, UA Maracaibo and Deportivo Táchira. In Colombia, he played for Atlético Huila, Independiente Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali, América de Cali, Millonarios and Cortulua  He has also played for Quilmes, of Argentina and Mamelodi Sundowns, of South Africa.  Dudamel has 56 caps and one goal for the Venezuela national football team between 1993 and 2007.

GK: Renny Vega
Vega played for the youth team of Udinese in Italy.  He then returned to Venezuela and played for various First Division clubs, including Caracas.  He played for Bursaspor and Denizlispor inTurkey, and Colo Colo in Chile.  He has played with the Venezuela national team for more than ten years, with his most successful moment being when he was a member of the historic 2011 Copa América squad that reached 4th place. 

GK: Gilberto Angelucci
Angelucci spent most of his career playing in Venezuela for a number of different teams. Between 1994 and 1998 he played in Argentina with San Lorenzo de Almagro.  A Venezuelan international since 1995, Angelucci has been capped 47 times and included 1995 and 2004 Copa América squads.

RB: David Mota
David Mota spent more than 15 seasons with Deportivo Galicia in the first division and with this club he was champion of Liga and Copa Venezuela on three occasions. He also played Copa Libertadores with the club as well as the Simón Bolívar Cup of 1971 and 1972. For the national team, he played in the World Cup Qualifiers in 1966 and 1970.

RB: Roberto Rosales 
Rosales started with Caracas at home before joining Gent in Belgium on 30 May 2007.  Rosales joined Eredivisie side Twente in 2010.  He stayed there until 2014, establishing himself as a starter. Since 2014, he has been playing for Malaga in Spain. He has been representing the national team since 2007. He has over 60 caps at the time of writing.

CB: Fernando Amorebieta
He played most of his professional career with Athletic Bilbao, appearing in 253 official games over the course of eight La Liga seasons and scoring four goals. He also played for Fulham and Middlesbrough in England, Sporting Dijon in Spain and Independiente in Argentina. Internationally, Amorebieta played for Spain as a youth, but only allowed to switch to Venezuela at senior level in 2011 after a rule change by the FIFA. He had 15 caps and played in Copa America in 2015.
Fernando Amorebieta
CB: Pedro Acosta
Acosta made 34 appearances for the senior Venezuela national football team from 1979 to 1989, including participation at the 1979 Copa América, 1983 Copa América, 1987 Copa América and 1989 Copa América. He also competed  at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.  Acosta played for Deportivo Galicia, C.S. Marítimo de Venezuela and Caracas F.C.

CB: Freddy Elie
Elie was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  He started professionally with Deportivo Galicia before moving to Deportivo Italia in 1970. In 1972, He became the first Venezuelan player to play abroad when he left for Peru. He first played for José Gálvez FBC in 1972. and then, joined Alianza Lima in 1973. He later played for Tiquire-Canaria, Portuguesa Fútbol Club and Universidad de Los Andes. He earned 20 caps between 1964 and 1977.
Freddy Elie
CB: Luis Vallenilla
Luis Vallenilla made 77 caps for Venezuela, scoring a goal. Vallenilla left the national team when arrived the coach César Farías in the charge, who not considered to the player for the qualifier games road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  For club football, he played for Trujillanos, Caracas and Mineros de Guayana.

CB: Oswaldo Vizcarrondo
At the time of writing, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo has over 80 caps.  He was a member of the 2010 Copa Team that came 4th.  For domestic football, he started with Caracas FC.  He played for Olimpia in Paraguay and America in Mexico before heading to play in France with Nantes and now with Troyes.

CB: José Manuel Rey 
During his career, Rey played mainly with Caracas Fútbol Club, also representing C.S. Marítimo de Venezuela, Club Sport Emelec (two spells), Pontevedra CF, Atlético Nacional, AEK Larnaca FC and Atlético Club Mineros de Guayana. In 1995, he had a short spell with Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain, but only appeared for the reserve team. In 2009, Rey was sent on loan to Colo-Colo in Chile by Caracas. Rey earned 115 caps and became the first player to appear 100 times for Venezuela. He also represented the nation in six Copa América tournaments.

LB: Jorge Rojas
Rojas began to establish himself as one of the nations top players while at Caracas FC. He joined Eucador's Emelec in 2003. That season, he was selected as the top foreign player in the league.  H then played for Colombian club Atlético Nacional and América de Cali, Unión Atlético Maracaibo, NY Red Bulls of the United States, Deportivo Táchira, Mineros de Guayana, Aragua and Metropolitanos.  Rojas has earned 90 caps for the Venezuela national team, making him the second most capped player in the history of Venezuelan international football as of April 2009.

DM: Miguel Vitali 
Mea Vitali started his career with Caracas FC in 1998. He has played professional football in several countries in Europe and South America, including; UE Lleida in Spain, Poggibonsi in Italy, Chacarita Juniors in Argentina and Levadiakos in Greece.  Mea Vitali has played over 80 games for the Venezuela national team, scoring one goal.

CM/DM: Leopoldo Jiménez
Jiménez played club football for a number of professional clubs in both Venezuela and abroad, including Once Caldas in Colombia, Córdoba CF in Spain, FC Alania Vladikavkaz in Russia, Aris Limassol in Cyprus, for Deportivo Chacao in Venezuela where he spent his best years.  He also played 64 times for the Venezuela between 1999 and 2005.

DM/RM/RB: Tomás Rincón 
Rincon played for UA Maracaib,  Zamora and Deportivo Táchira at home before making a name with Hamburger SVC in Germany. Between 2014 and 2017, he played for Genoa in Italy.  He moved to Juventus in 2017. At the time of writing, he plays for Torino.  He is a regular member of the national team.  In 2011, he helped Venezuala to finish 4th at Copa America.  He himself was voted Adidas' Best Player. 

CM: Gabriel Urdaneta 
Gabriel Urdaneta made 77 appearances for the Venezuela national team between 1996 and 2005, making him the third most-capped player in Venezuelan international football as of March 2008.  For club football, he played for many clubs in Venezuela and Switzerland.

AM: Luis Mendoza Benedetto
Luis Mendoza Benedetto was born in Venezuala, but spent part of his childhood in Italy. He was largely considered to be the greatest footballer from Venezuela before the 1990's. In 1961, he made his league debut as a 15 years old with Banco Agrícola y Pecuario. He played with Central Maiderense, Santo Tomas de Aquino, Deportivo Italia, Deportivo Galicia, Portuguesa, Estudiantes de Mérida and Caracas.

AM: Juan Arango 
Juan Arango is considered one of the greatest players ever from his country.  The best part of his career is probably with Mallorca in Spain, where he spent between 2004 and 2009.  He also played with  C.F. Monterrey, C.F. Pachuca, Puebla FC and Tijuana in Mexico and with Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany.  He earned 129 caps, a record in his home country. He represented the nation in six Copa América tournaments. During the 2011 Copa America, he led Venezuela to its best finish.
Juan Arango
ST: Giancarlo Maldonado
Maldonado began his footballing career in the youth teams of Montevideo club River Plate. he made his professional debut with Nacional Táchira back home.  He played for many clubs in his career.  His biggest club was probably Atlante in Mexico, where he played between 2007 and 2011. Between 2003 and 2011, he played for Venezuelan national team.  He is their all-time leading scorer.  His father also represented Venezuela.

ST: Salomón Rondón 
After starting out at Aragua, Salomón Rondón went on to spend most of his career in Spain, appearing in La Liga with Las Plames and Málaga, and in Russia with Rubin Kazan and Zenit St Petersburg.  Then, he played with West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United. He now played for Dalian Yifang. In 2008, he received his first cap at the age of 18.  Since then, he has earned over 80 caps.
Salomón Rondón 

ST: Ruberth Moran
His career was mainly linked with Estudiantes de Mérida at home.  Morán has played professional club football in a number of countries, including; Venezuela, Spain, Colombia, Argentina and Norway. Between 1996 and 2007, he has played 65 times for the Venezuela national team scoring 15 goals, making him the 4th all-time top scorer in the history of Venezuelan international football

ST: José Luis Dolgetta
José Luis Dolgetta began his career with Valencia Fútbol Club at home.  He played for a number of clubs, all at home in Venezuela.  Between 1993 and 1997, he played 22 times for the national team.  He had 21 caps. He was the top scorer at Copa America in 1993 with 4 goals.

ST: Antonio Ravelo 
Ravelo made his professional debut with Deportivo Español in 1958. He also played for Banco Agrícola y Pecuario, Dos Caminos Sport Club, Portuguese Sports Club and Canary Sports Union.  For the national team, he made his debut in 1962 at the IX Central American and Caribbean Games of 1962, winning the silver medal.   In 1965, he played along with his brothers against Peru at the first ever World Cup Qualifier for his country. In 1967,  he also played in Venezuela's first ever entry to the South American Championship , in which he scored two goals in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.
Antonio Ravelo 

Honorable Mention
Leonel Vielma, Alejandro Cíchero, Miguel Echenausi, Stalin Rivas, Dani Hernández, Miku, Gabriel Cichero, Ronald Vargas, Jeffrén Suárez.

Squad Explanation
-- Most players on this team played from 2000's onward as Venezuela was in the backwater before that.  In fact, their first ever national team did not come until the mid-1960's.
-- Juan Arango is considered one of the greatest players ever from his country.  He was a star player in La Liga with Mallocra and in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  With 129 caps, he is Venezuala's cap leader.
-- Luis Mendoza is considered the greatest Venezuelan footballer before the 1990's.  Initially, I was not aware of his achievements.  I dropped Ronald Vargas and Gabriel Cichero. I also added right back David Mota.
-- I do not have any choice for fullbacks.  I need help on that. Gabriel Cichero is the only other fullback that I knew of.
-- Salomón Rondón is probably the best active player from here at this moment. One day, he might become their greatest ever.  He is their all-time leading scorer.
-- Venezuela has better players since early 2000's.  Their players are playing for clubs in the top European leagues.
-- Fernando Amorebieta switched to play for Venezuela late in his career.  He only represented Venezuela 15 times. His club career, however, was very good for players from this countries.
-- Antonio Ravelo (Venezuala) played in the 1960's, but I have limited information on him.  I took him as a pioneer of the game from Venezuela. 
-- Tomas Rincon is able to have a career in Serie A, which is a big accomplishment for players from Venezuela.
-- José Luis Dolgetta was selected for his performance at a single tournament.  He was the top scorer at the Copa America in 1993.  For a Venezualan player, the achievement is very big, especially for the generations before the 2000's when football was not a popular sport at home.  That is a big milestone for the football history of this country.  Despite only played 21 times for the national team, he is selected.
-- I admitted not knowing Antonio Ravelo. I selected him because of being one of the stars of the first ever national team from his country.
-- I need to study further on Alejandro Cichero and Gabriel Cichero.

Starting lineup

Formation: 4-3-3

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bolivia Greatest All-Time Team

World Cup Finals 1994

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

South America without Brazil and Argentina.

Bolivia went to the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, and won the Copa America in 1963.  In 1930, Bolivia was one of the teams invited to the inaugural edition of the World Cup, held in Uruguay. Drawn in Group 2 of the 1930 World Cup, Bolivia lost both its games 4–0, first to Yugoslavia at the Estadio Parque Central, and then to Brazil in the Estadio Centenario

However, it was the founding of Tahuichi Academy that put Bolivia on the map.  In 1993, Bolivia armed with players from the academy became the first team to beat Brazil in a World Cup Qualifier.  They went to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.  Bolivia also participated in one FIFA Confederations Cup at 1999 in Mexico, their fourth FIFA tournament they have played.

This is my all-time team for Bolivia. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  
Copa America winner, 1963

GK: Carlos Trucco
Born in Argentina, Carlos Truce played for a number of clubs in Argentina before moving to play for Destroyers, Oriente Petrolero and Boliva in Bolivia.  He also played in Colombia and Mexico.  He had 51 caps for Bolivia.  He started playing for Bolivian national team in 1989 and was their starting goalkeeper at the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA, Bolivia's first ever World Cup Finals since 1950.

GK: Vicente Arraya
Born in 1922, Vincente Arraya was one of Bolivia's top players in the 1950's.  He was capped 8 times for the national team of Bolivia. He played for Bolivia in the 1950 FIFA World Cup. For his club career, he also played for Ferroviario La Paz, and 8 matches for Club Atlético Atlanta of Argentina, in the 1944-45 season. He was the first Bolivian player to play in the Argentina First Division. 
Vicente Arraya (3rd left)
GK: Jesús Bermúdez
Jesús Bermúdez was Bolivia's starting goalkeeper at the 1930 World Cup Finals. He also played in the South American Championship of 1926 and 1927. For his club career, he played for Oruro Royal, whose Estadio Jesús Bermúdez stadium is named after him. He also  played for Club San Jose. He died at the age of 42.

RB: Miguel Rimba 
Rimba made three appearances in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and was part of the squad that reached the final of the Copa América in 1997.  He played the majority of his club career for Bolívar where he won six Bolivian league titles (1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997). Towards the end of his career he played in Argentina with Atlético Tucumán, he then had short spells with Oriente Petrolero, Real Santa Cruz and Aurora before his retirement in 2003.
CB/DM/RB: Luis Cristaldo 
Born in Argentina, Luis Cristaldo moved to Bolivia at the age of 15.  He played for Oriente Petrolero and Boliva in Bolivia before moving to play in Spain for Sporting de Gijon.  From 2001 to 2006, he played for the Strongest. He also played in Argentina and Paraguay. For the national team, he was capped 93 times.  He went to 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.  He was at one point Bolivia's national team record cap holder alongside Marco Sandy with 93 caps.
Luis Cristaldo 
CB: Óscar Carmelo Sánchez  
Sanchez  began his professional career with The Strongest in 1991. In 1997, he was transferred to Argentine club Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy. He moved to Independiente in the winter of 1998. On his return to Bolivia in 2000, he would spend two more periods with The Strongest, and one with Bolívar.  He was capped 78 times by Bolivia and scored 6 goals, between 1994 and 2007.  He was not a member of the 1994 WC team.

CB: Ronald Raldes
Raldes started his career with Club Destroyers in 1998, the following year he joined Oriente Petrolero, where he played for them in two different stints. Raldes played Argentine club Rosario Central between 2004 and 2008.  He also played in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Mexico. He had 99 caps since 2001. Raldes was captain of the Bolivian squad for the 2015 Copa América in Chile. 

CB: Juan Pena  
Juan Pena was capped 85 times for Bolivia and was a member of the Golden Generation that qualified for the 1994 World Cup Finals in 1994.  He spent 14 seasons playing for clubs in Spain, most notably with Valladolid for 9 seasons. He also played for Villarreal and Celta before moving to play in the MLS with DC United in 2010.

LB: Marco Sandy 
Marco Sandy belonged to the Golden Generation that qualified for the 1994 World Cup Finals in the United States. He was a part of the team that finished runner-up at the 1997 Copa America. He earned 93 caps. On club level he spent the majority of his career with Bolívar, apart from three spells abroad with Real Valladolid of Spain playing alongside his countryman Juan Pena, Gimnasia de Jujuy of Argentina and Tampico Madero of Mexico.
Marco Sandy 
CM: Carlos Fernando Borja 
At club level Borja was a one club man playing his entire club career for Bolívar, where he won eleven Bolivian league titles. He played in more than 530 games, and scored 129 league goals for Bolívar making him the 3rd highest goalscorer in the history of the club.He was capped 88 times between 1979 and 1995, including three matches at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

DM/CMWilfredo Camacho
Wilfredo Camacho started his career with Deportivo Municipal in Bolivia. In 1962,  he joined his compatriot Ramiro Blacut in the Argentine club Ferrocarril Oeste. He only remained there for only a season.  In 1964, he joined Once Caldas at home. He would return to play for Deportivo Municipalto at the end of his career. At the international level, he earned 27 caps, helping Bolivia to win the South American Championship in 1963. It was Bolivia's greatest honour in international football.
Wilfredo Camacho
CM/DM: Carlos Fernando Borja 
At the club level, Melgar started his career with Blooming before moving to Argentina, where he played for both Boca Juniors(1985-1988) and River Plate(1988-1989).  He also played for Bolívar, Oriente Petrolero and Real Santa Cruz in Bolivia, as well as Everton (VdM) and Cobreloa in Chile. Hewas capped 89 times and went to the WC Finals in 1994.  His tally of 89 caps was a national record until January 31, 2002

CM: Erwin Sanchez  
Nicknamed "Platini", Erwin Sanchez was among the greatest Bolivian players.  He was a graduate of Tahuichi Academy. He became the first Bolivian to join an European club when he signed for Benfica in 1990.  However, his career did not take off until he joined Portugal's Boavista in 1992.  He helped them to win the league title in 2001.  For the national team, he earned over 50 caps. He was an important player as Bolivia qualified for the World Cup  Finals in 1994.
Erwin Sanchez
AM: Carlos Aragonés 
Carlos Aragonés started his career in 1976 with Bolívar. Aragonés moved to Brazil in 1981 to play for Palmeiras. He moved to Coritiba in 1984, without successes.  He returned to Bolivia in 1985 and joined Destroyers.  He played 31 games for the Bolivia national team between 1977 and 1981, scoring 15 goals.  He is the third-placed Bolivia national teams all-time goalscorer.

AM: Julio César Baldivieso 
Nicknamed "El Emperador",  Baldivieso began his career playing for Wilstermann in 1987.  He joined Bolívar in 1992.  Later, he played around the world with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina, Yokohama Marinos in Japan, Barcelona Sporting Club and Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador, Cobreloa in Chile, Al-Nasr in Saudi Arabia, Al-Wakra in Qatar and Caracas in Venezuela. Towards the end of his career he returned to Bolivia and played for The Strongest.  He had 85 caps and went to the WC Finals in 1994.

AM: Marco Etcheverry 
Marco Etcheverry was one of the best ever Bolivian player and one of the best players to have played in MLS. He was an important player as Bolivia beat Brazil in 1993 and qualified for their first World Cup Finals in 1994.  He was capped 71 times between 1989 and 2003.  For his professionbal career, he played in Spain, Colombia and Chile before he moved to MLS in 1996 where he was considered one of the greatest ever to play in the league. He won 3 MLS Cups with DC United.
Marco Etcheverry
AM: Erwin Romero
Nicknamed Chichi, Romero was a gifted midfield playmaker noted for his vision and ball control. Some of the clubs he played for include Oriente Petrolero, Quilmes, Blooming and Bolívar. Romero played for Bolivia in four World Cup qualifying campaigns- 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990 as well as the 1979 and 1983 Copa América tournaments.

FW: Mario Alborta
Mario Alborta started playing football for Universitario de La Paz in 1920's.  From 1925 to 1939, he played for Bolívar. For international football, he went to 1926 and 1927 South American Championship.  He scored a goal against Argentia in the 1927 edition.  In 1930, he went to the World Cup Finals, held in Uruguay. Bolivia was eliminated after playing two games.

RW/FW: Ramiro Blacut 
Blacut was the hero of Copa America winning team of 1963, where he also won the Player of the Tournament. He played 23 times for Bolivia. between 1963 and 1972. During his career, he represented Club Bolívar and The Strongest as well as Argentine club Ferro Carril Oeste from 1963 to 1965. In addition, in 1965-66 he played with Bayern Munich. He was the first Bolivian to play in Europe. 

ST: Jaime Moreno
Jaime Moreno began his career at Club Blooming and then played for Colombia's Independiente Santa Fe before becoming the first Bolivian to play in the English Premier League.  He spent two seasons with the English club Middlesbrough.  In 1996, he joined DC United, playing with countryman Marco Etcheverry.  He spent 15 seasons in MLS, becoming its all-time leading scorer.  With DC United, he won 4 MLS Cups. From 1991 to 2008, Moreno played 75 matches for the Bolivia.
Jaime Moreno
ST: Joaquín Botero
He is the all-time record Bolivia national team's goalscorer and was the top goalscorer in world football in the 2002 season, with 49 goals scored for Club Bolívar.  In 2003, he played overseas.  In his career, he played for UNAM of Mexico, San Lorenzo of Argentina, Deportivo Táchira of Venezuela, Correcaminos UAT of Mexico and Al Arabi of Kuwait. He had 48 caps between 1999 and 2009. 

ST: Maximo Alcoer   
With the national team of Bolivia, Maximo Alcoer won the 1963 South American Championship and scored the winning goal versus Brazil in Bolivia's final match of the tournament in Cochabamba. He earned a total of 22 caps, scoring 13 goals. Alcócer played for Club Union Maestranza, Club Wilstermann and Club Aurora. 

ST: Victor Agustin Ugarte 
Victor Agustin Ugarte spent most of his career with Club Bolívar but he had a short spell with Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro in 1958 where he became the first Bolivian to play in the Argentine Primera. He also played for Once Caldas in Colombia.  He scored 16 goals in 45 caps for Bolivia, making him their second all-time top goalscorer. He helped his country to win the 1963 Copa America. The victory was the greatest achievement in Bolivia's football history.
Victor Agustin Ugarte 
Honorable Mention
Gustavo Quinteros, Francisco Takeo, Silvio Rojas, Mario Alborta, Jose Bustamante, Alberto Acha, Marcelo Martins.

Squad Explanation
-- Bolivia's greatest generation is from the 1990's, where they qualified the World Cup Finals in 1994.  Bolivia became the first team to beat Brazil in the South American qualifiers while playing them in La Paz.  Then, in 1997, Bolivia hosted the Copa America, where they reached the Final before losing to Brazil, a team that featured Ronaldo.  Up until the Final, Bolivia won every single matches.
-- From that generation, I had the following players on my all-time team: Marco Etcheverry, Carlos Trucco, Jamie Moreno, Juan Pena,  Oscar Sanchez, Luis Cristaldo, Miguel Rimba, Marco Sandy, Julio César Baldivieso, Erwin Sanchez, Carlos Fernando Borja, José Milton Melgar and Carlos Fernando Borja.  Most of the players came from the Tahuichi Academy.
-- Marco Etcheverry is one of the most underrated players in South America.  He showed brilliance in helping Bolivia to qualify for the 1994 World Cup Finals, but his exposure in the World Cup Finals was very limited.  He only played a short time in the World Cup Finals. Later, injuries cut his career short in Europe.  He spent the prime of his career playing in the MLS.  If he had better exposure outside the MLS, he might be rated much higher.
--Jamie Moreno played with Marco Etcheverry at DC United.  He does not get onto many all-time list for Bolivia.  However, he had played in Premiership and was one of the best ever players in MLS.  He has outdone many Bolivian players in his club career. I saw plenty of him while I was living in Washington, DC.
-- Erwin Sanchez perhaps had the best career in Europe for Bolivians.  His nickname was "Platini".  Julio César Baldivieso also held a long career outside Bolivia.
-- Ronald Raldes is Bolivia's all-time cap holder while Joaquín Botero is Bolivia's all-time leading scorer.  They are the only players selected from the generation after the 1990's.
-- I do not know much about Mario Alborta.  His name came up in my research.  He played in the 1920's.  He went to the 1930 World Cup Finals, but I have no idea why his name was brought up.
-- Ramiro Blacut (Bolivia) went to play in Germany during the 1960's, which was considered a big move for a Bolivian in that era. He also won the South American Championship in 1963, Bolivia's greatest achievement in football. He won the Player of the Tournament award. Wilfredo Camacho, Victor Agustin Ugarte and Maximo Alcoer made my all-time team.
-- Bolivia's 1950 World Cup team is unknown to me. Jose Bustamante and Alberto Acha are two names that I came upon. I put them as honourable mentions.  Goalkeeper Vicente Arraya made my team.  He is also the first Bolivian to play in the Argentinian league.
-- Bolivia also went to the 1930 World Cup Finals.  I knew very little about them.  I took Mario Alborta, but I actually do not know much about him.  Jesús Bermúdez who was their goalkeeper also made this team.

Starting lineup

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ecuador Greatest All-Time Team

Ecuador WC Finals 2002

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

South America without Brazil and Argentina.

Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2014. Their best performance came in 2006 when they advanced to the Round of 16, eventually eliminated by England. They are one of two countries in South America not to have won the Copa América, the other being Venezuela. Their best performance in the continental tournament was fourth in 1959 and 1993, both times on home soil.  Discarding an invitation to participate in the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay, their first participation in a World Cup qualifying campaign was in the 1962 campaign. 

This is my all-time team for Eucador. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

GK: Jose Cevallos 
Jose Cevallos spent most of his career with Barcelona (Ecuador), but his best club moment probably came during his career with LDU Quito when he saved three penalties and led his club to vitcory at the 2008 Copa Libertadoes.  He was capped 89 times and went to the World Cup Finals in 2002, where he was a star player for Ecuador.

GK: Pablo Ansaldo 
Pablo Ansaldo is one of the greatest goalkeeper in Ecuador's history. He was capped 23 times.  He played for Barcelona(Ecuador) from 1954 to 1966.  He then spent a single season with Manta Sport. He was capped 23 times.  He was seriously injured in a World Cup Qualifier for the Finals in 1966.

GK: Alfredo Bonnard 
Born in Guayaquil, 1931, Alfredo Bonnard first represented Ecuador in 1953 in a match against Peru.  He was capped 20 times. He was selected as the best keeper at the 1953 South American Championship followed by Adolfo Riquelme from Paraguay He also played in 1955, 1957 and 1959.

RB: Ulises De L Cruz 
Ulises De L Cruz played 101 times for Ecuador between and 1995 and 2010, and was selected for two World Cup tournaments(2006 and 2010).  He spent his club career at Deportivo Quito, Barcelona SC, Aucas, Cruzeiro, Hibernian, Aston Villa, Reading and Birmingham City.

CB: Ivan Hurtado 
At the time of writing, Ivan Hurtado is Ecuador's all-time cap record holder.  He is also the most capped South American player and sixth in the world.  He had 168 caps between 1992 and 2014. He was once the captain of the national team. He was a key player for both World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006.  For his club career, he had played for clubs in Ecuador, Mexico, Qatar, Spain and Colombia. He started his career with Emelec.
Ivan Hurtado 
CB: Vicente Lecaro 
Vicente Lecaro was a star player with Barcelona(Ecuador) in the 1960's.  He was voted as one of their greatest players. He played 14 seasons for the club between 1957 and 1971. With them, Lecaro was champion of Guayaquil in the years 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1967; while in 1960, 1963, 1966, and 1970 he was national champion. He never played outside Ecuador.

CB: Holger Quinonez 
Holger Quinonez was capped 50 times for Ecuador between 1984 and 1999.  He represented the country in five Copa América tournaments. He featured in seven FIFA World Cup qualification matches.  He was voted once as the best centre back in South America.  He played with for Barcelona Sporting Club (Ecuador),  Brazil's CR Vasco da Gama, Club Sport Emelec, C.F. União in Portugal, Deportivo Pereira from Colombia and Deportivo Quito.

CB: Giovanny Espinoza 
His nickname is La Sombra, which translates as "the shadow", because of his size, he creates large shadows. He earned over 90 caps and attended both 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals. He was known for his partnership with Ivan Hurtado.  They played 67 times as partner, a world record. He started his career with LDU Quito. He also played in Holland, England and Brazil. 

DF: Luciano Macías
Luciano Macías made his debut in 1953 with Barcelona (Ecuador). He served as the captain of Barcelona (Ecuador) from 1961 to 1971. He also had a brief career with Emelec (Ecuador), Español de Zulia (Venezuela) and Miami Gatos(USA). He retired in 1973 after playing for Miami Gatos. He was capped 23 times by the national team of Ecuador. He scored two international goals for them. He played in 3 Copa Americas Cups and 3 World Cup Qualifiers
Luciano Macías (L) and Alberto Spencer (R)
LB:  Luis Capurro
Luis Capurro began his career in Patria De Esmeraldas in 1978. He also played for Barcelona SC, Emelec, Patria de Guayaquil, Milagro Sport, Filanbanco, LDU Quito, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay and Racing Club of Argentina under Alfio Basile.  Capurro won two Ecuadorian league titles, in 1994 with Emelec and in 1997 with Barcelona SC. He had 100 caps between 1985 and 2003.

LB: Neicer Reasco
Reasco began his professional club career playing for L.D.U. Quito for seven years. After the 2006 World Cup, he joined São Paulo in Brazil for a two-year contract, the only non-Brazilian on the team. In mid-2008, he rejoined his first club. He competed at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He was named as part of Ecuador's squad for the 2007 and 2011 Copa América.

DM: Segundo Castillo 
Castillo started his career with Quito's Club Deportivo Espoli.  He then moved across the capital to one of Ecuador's most successful sides Club Deportivo El Nacional. In 2006, he moved abroad, joining Red Star Belgrade. In 2008 Castillo joined English Premier League club Everton on a year-long loan deal.  He also played for  Wolverhampton Wanderers, Pachuca, etc.

DM: Alfonso Obregon 
Alfonso Obregon spent most of his career with LDU Quito, where he won 5 Serie A titles and the 2008 Copa Libertadores.  He has made over 300 appearances and captained the team for a number of years before ceding the position to Patricio Urrutia.He also played for Espoli and Delfin. He was capped 58 times between 1995 and 2004.  He made his debut against Bolivia in 1995. He participated in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea. He played in Copa America of 2001 and 2004.
Alfonso Obregon 
AM/RW: Édison Méndez,
Édison Méndez is the second-most capped player for his country.  He had 111 caps. Méndez began his career with Sociedad Deportivo Quito of his native Ecuador. After the World Cup Finals in 2002, he moved aboard.  He played in Mexico and Brazil as well as PSV in Holland. In March 2007, he became the first Ecuadorian to score in the UEFA Champions League by getting the only goal in the round of 16 match against Arsenal.

AM/CM: José Villafuerte
Villafuerte spent almost his entire career with El Nacional through the 1970s and 1980s, winning 7 championships in 10 years. At the end of his career, he played for CD Filanbanco. During this period, he was also a key player for Ecuador, though the national side saw little success during in World Cup qualifiers and the Copa America this period. 

AM: Alex Aguinaga 
Alex Aguinaga is considered one of the greatest players ever from Ecuador.  He was at one point the all-time cap record holder for his country, helping them to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 2002.  He first made his name with Deportivo Quito at home before moving to Mexico's Necaxa in 1989. He would spent 13 years with the club, becoming one of the best players in the Mexican league. In 1999 , Necaxa won the CONCACAF Champions Cup title and participated in the first edition of the FIFA Club World Cup where Aguinaga scored 2 goals.
Alex Aguinaga 
FW: Polo Carrera  
Polo Carrera played 20 times for Ecuador between 1966 and 1983. At the club level, he played for LDU Quito at home.  He was the all-time top goalscorer in the Copa Libertadores tournament for LDU Quito with 12 goals, until surpassed by Patricio Urrutia. He played briefly in Brazil for Fluminense FC and Barcelona (Ecuador). In 1968, he moved to Penarol , but moved to River Plate of Uruguay in 1970.  

RW/FW: Washington Munoz 
Washington Munoz was nicknamed El Chanfle.  He was the greatest right-wing shot in the history of Ecuadorian football and without a doubt one of the best in South America. He was a star for Barcelona (Ecuador) in the 1960's. He won 4 league titles between 1962 and 1977. He is the top scorer in the history of the Barcelona Sporting Club of Ecuador with 101 official goals. At the international level, he played 16 times for Ecuador between 1965 and 1973.  He scored 6 international goals.
Washington Munoz 
RW: Antonio Valencia  
Antonio Valencia is probably the most successful Ecuadorean player ever played in Europe.  He first made his name with El Nacional at home before moving to Europe. He first played in Spain with Villarreal and Recreativo. And then, he found success with Wigan in England.  In 2009, he secured a big move to Manchester United and voted into the PFA team of the year for the season 2009-2010.  Since 2004, he has been a regular member of the national team.  He earned 98 caps at the time of writing.
Antonio Valencia  
FW: Ítalo Estupiñán
Estupiñán began playing football for Club Social y Deportivo Macará and made his Ecuadorian Serie A debut at age 17. He would also play for Club Deportivo El Nacional and Club Sport Emelec in Ecuador's top division. He played several seasons in the Primera División de México with Deportivo Toluca F.C., Club América, Atlético Campesinos and Puebla F.C., winning the league with Toluca in 1974–75 and with Puebla in 1982–83.

FW: Jorge Bolanos  
Jorge Bolanos was widely considered the second best Ecuadorian player ever after Alberto Spencer. He spent most of his career with Emelec. He spent a year on loan with River Plate in Argentina, but playing in the minor league.  He also played for America Quito, Barcelona of Guayaquil and Miami Gatos in the USA. He was capped 22 times, making his debut against Argentina in 1960.  

ST: Agustín Delgado
Delgado is the all-time top scorer for the Ecuadorian national team with 31 goals in 71 games. He played in both 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals. Delgado's first goal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup was also the first goal for the Ecuadorian team in a World Cup. He played professional club football in Ecuador, Mexico and England for club such as Necaxa and Southampton. His career in Ecuador was largely associated with Barcelona.

ST: Alberto Spencer 
Alberto Spencer was known as "Cabeza Mágica" (Spanish for magic head).  He is still the all-time leading scorer in the Copa Libertadores' history.  He is considered one of South America's greatest strikers. He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol. He was elected the 20th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2004.  He also played for Everest and Barcelona at home.
Alberto Spencer

Honorable Mention
Kléber Fajardo, Walter Ayoví, José Balseca, Carlos Torres Garcés, Enrique Raymondi, Ermen Benítez, Cleber Chala, Carlos Alberto Raffo, Enner Valencia.

Squad Explanation
-- Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2014.  Half of this all-time team played in one or more of those World Cup Finals.  Alex Aguinaga is the greatest player from this generation. Antonio Valencia, Jose Cevallos, Ulises De L Cruz, Neicer Reasco,  Alfonso Obregon, Édison Méndez, Giovanny Espinoza,  Ivan Hurtado and Agustín Delgado are also from that period.
-- I have limited information on Alfredo Bonnard. Some said that he is the greatest goalkeeper from Ecuador. He was a hero of the 1953 Copa America even Ecuador finished last in the tournament. Pablo Ansaldo who played roughly around the same time also made the team.
-- In the 1960's, Ecuador has a strong side.  It featured Washington Muñoz and Alberto Spencer, Vicente Lecaro and Jorge Bolaños. They made this team.  Enrique Raymondi and Carlos Alberto Raffo  made honorable mention. In 1965, they almost qualified for the World Cup Finals.  They forced a playoff match to determine a spot in England.
-- Ecuador has a weak record in the Copa Ameica.  They only finished in the top four twice in the history of the tournament in 1959 and 1993.  Both tournaments were hosted by Ecuador.  In 1959, there were only 5 team.
-- For leftback,  I selected Luis Capurro and Neicer Reasco over Walter Ayoví who has over 100 caps.
-- I need a defensive midfielder. So Segundo Castillo was selected over more offensive-minded players.
-- Giovanny Espinoza and Ivan Hurtado together hold the international record for the longest unbroken pairing in the position of centre half (centerback) – they have played the last 65 games together, dating back to 1999. Both made the team.
-- El Nacional dominated domestic football in the 1970's.  I selected José Villafuerte from that era onto this team. Ermine Benítez also made honourable mention.
-- Alberto Spencer is considered to be the greatest footballer from Ecuador.  He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol.
-- Jorge Bolanos is sometimes listed among the greatest players from Ecuador. He is relatively unknown outside Ecuador.  He played in the 1960's and 1970's.  I have problems researching him. I have a question mar on his career in the NASL.  He was listed as a player for Miami Toros in 1977, but the club did not exist in 1977. It became Fort Lauderdale Strikers that year. His name was not listed anywhere on the roster of any NASL team.-- Antonio Valencia has a successful career in the Premiership. Manchester United is probably the biggest club that Ecuadorian footballers had ever played for in the Champions' league era.
-- Antonio Valencia is probably the most successful Ecuadorean player ever played in Europe.  He spent 10 seasons with Manchester United.
-- Álex Aguinaga is probably Ecuador's greatest player in the modern era, but his exposure to the world was limited by playing clib football in Mexico.  His jersey Number 7 retired by Necaxa as a recognition to his contribution to the club.
-- Augestino Delgado is the all-time top scorer for the Ecuadorian national team with 31 goals in 71 games.
-- I do not know about Carlos Alberto Raffo, but he was the top scorer at the 1963 Copa America. It appeared that he was a naturalized player from Argentina. I put him on honorable mention for now.