Thursday, March 15, 2018

West Asia(excluding Iran and Saudi Arabia)

UAE 1990 World Cup

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

This is all-time team for West Asia(excluding Iran and Saudi Arabia).  I have created all-time teams for both nations and an all inclusive team for West Asia.  Basically, I want to look deeper into the talented pools from the region.  Three national teams from this region have qualified for the World Cup Finals: Kuwait 1982, Iraq 1986 and UAE 1990. Qatar will host the World Cup Finals in 2022. 

Unfortunately, none of the them fared well at the World Cup Finals.  Kuwait was better known for the incident against France in 1982. A goal scored by the French was disallowed after the intervention of Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmed when he walked down to the pitch to speak to the fourth official. UAE's World Cup Finals was remembered for conceding eleven goals.  Iraq lost all three of their games in the tournament by just one goal, and would have drawn the opening game against Paraguay had the referee not disallowed a legitimate Iraqi goal.

I have also looked at East AsiaCentral AsiaSouth East Asia(ASEAN).

Kuwait World Cup 1982

GK: Ali Al-Habsi (Oman)
Ali Al-Habsi was one of the few players from the Arabian Peninsula who made it in Europe, especially he is a goalkeeper. He played over 100 games in the English league. At the time of writing, he plays for Al-Hilal FC in Saudi Arabia.   He has played for Bolten Wanderers, Wigan, Reading and Lyn Oslo. He was Wigan Athletic Player of the Year in 2011. He has been a member of the national team since he was 17 years old.  He had over 110 caps for Oman.  He won the Arab Gulf Cup in 2009.  He was Arab Goalkeeper of the Year: 2004.
Ali Al-Habsi 
GK: Ahmed Al-Tarabulsi (Kuwait)
Al-Tarabulsi is originally from Lebanon, but was granted Kuwaiti citizenship to play for Kuwait's national team. He also played for Kuwait at the 1980 Summer Olympics and the 1982 World Cup Finals. Besides playing football, he is also good in Quran recitation and won first place in International Quran Recital Competition 1986 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

GK: Muhsin Musabah (UAE)

Mushin Musabah played in all of his country's games in qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, in which UAE qualified for their first ever World Cup Finals.  He started all three games in the Finals in Italy. He was also an important player for his country's run to the final of the 1996 AFC Asian Cup. He had over 100 caps. In his club career, he played for Sharjah in UAE.

RB: Osama Hussain (Kuwait)

Osama Hussain joined Al Arabi in 1984, first he played in Al Arabi U14. After that when he grow up and reach 16 years he was able to play for Al Arabi first team.  In 1990, Luiz Felipe Scolari choose him to Kuwait national football team when he was 20. he played in The Gulf Cup, AFC Asian Cup,Olympic Games and the Asian Games. He played 95 matches with Kuwait.

RB: Khalil Allawi (Iraq)

Between 1981 and 2001, Khalil Allawi represented Iraq over 80 times. Along with his brother Karim Mohammed Allawi, he participated in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.  He scored several goals during the World Cup Qualifiers.  He also played in the 1984 Summer Olympics.  He also played for Amanat Baghdad, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Rasheed Club, etc in Iraq.

CB: Marcone (Qatar)
Born in Brazil, Marcone became a naturalised player for Qatar.  He was the captain of Qatar team at 2010 Asian Games as one of the three overage players. He started his career with Vitoria in Brazil. In 1998, he signed with Venezia in Italy, but never appeared a game due to the fact the club had too many non-EU players.  He was on loan to AC Bellinzona in Switzerland.  In July 2004, he went to play in Qatari.  He played Al-Shamal, Al-Gharafa and El Jaish SC. He started to represent Qatar in 2008.
CB: Adnan Dirjal (Iraq) 
Adnan Dirjal was one of Iraq's most famous players.  He missed the 1986 World Cup Finals because of an injury, but he represented Iraq in three Olympics: 1980, 1984, 1988.  He played with Al-Zawraa and Al-Talaba. His most successful club spell came at Al-Rasheed, the club owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, where he captained the club to three Iraqi league titles, two cups and a record three Arab Club Championships during the mid to late 80s.

CB: Rahim Karim Bdaiwi (Iraq)
Rahim Karim is one of the best defenders Iraq has ever produced. He started his career with Al-Minaa in 1965.  After making his debut for Iraq in 1969, Rahim became an important part of the national team and went on to play in 1972  and 1976 Asian Cup. He was also part of Iraq’s first ever World Cup qualification campaign in 1973.  

CB: Adel Khamis (Qatar) 
Khamis started his career with Al Gharafa in 1983, when the team was in the Qatari Second Division. He made his debut for the Qatar national team in 1984 when he was just 18 years old. He was the first Qatari footballer to play abroad, appearing for Kuwait's Qadsia from 1997 to 1998. He is the second-most capped player for Qatar with 110 caps.

LB: Bassim Abbas (Iraq)
Bassim Abbas helped Iraq to qualify for the World Youth Cup in 2000. He had over 90 caps for the Iraq senior national team.  He was best remembered as a part of the Iraqi national team that won the 2017 Asian Cup.  Iraq was the "cinderella" team of the tournament, where Iraq was a war-torn country during the Second Gulf War. He also won the West Asian Football Federation Championship in 2002. For his club career, he played in Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar and Turkey.  
Bassim Abbas
LB: Gilbert Sami (Iraq)
He played from 1955-1958 for the Assyrian Sports Club in Baghdad as a left full back and centre half. He joined Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in 1958. From 1960-1963 he represented Montakhab Al-Shurta (Police XI) and then went onto play for Aliyat Al-Shurta until 1973. With the Police teams, Gilbeert won the Iraqi Division One on five occasions, and lifted the Kas Jumhouriya (Republics Cup) twice.

DM: Ali Rehema (Iraq)
Ali Rehema  played every minute of Iraq's title-winning campaign at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. After plying his trade with Al Talaba, Al Quwa Al Jawiya and Arbil FC, Rehema earned his first international move when he joined Libyan club Al-Ahly in 2007. After spending a season with the club, he joined Al Wakra, where he continues to play to this day.

CM: Nashat Akram (Iraq) 
Nashat Akram won the 2007 Asian Cup with the Iraqi national team, winning the man of the match award in the final and being voted for the Team of the Tournament as well as finishing in third place in the AFC Footballer of the Year award in 2007. He represented Iraq at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where Iraq finished 4th. At club level, he played for Al-Shorta, Al-Shabab, Dalian Yifang, Al-Gharafa and Dutch club FC Twente. He was Iraqi Player of the Year in 2006 and 2008.
Nashat Akram
CM: Nasir Khamees (UAE)
Nasir Khamees went to the 1990 World Cup Finals along with his brother Fahd Khamees who was the captain of the team. He was known for his career with Al Wasl FC Club in Dubai, winning six league championships and the 86th President Cup. He was known as one of UAE's greatest player.

CM: Ismail Matar (UAE)
Ismail Matar was awarded the Golden Ball at the 2003 World Youth Championships after being voted the tournament's best player. He also led the UAE to their first ever trophy, the 2007 Arabian Gulf Cup. Matar scored 5 goals in 5 games, and was named player of the tournament and the top scorer. He spent most of his career with Al Wahda FC at home.

AM: Omar Abdulrahman (UAE)
Since 2011, Omar Abdulrahman is a key player for UAE. He helped UAE to finish third at the 2015 Asian Cup and won the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2013. He was the winner of Asian Footballer of the Year in 2016.  Fromm2008 to 2018,  he has only played for Al Ain FC. He helped them to reach the Final of 2016 Champions' League Final. He was the MVP of the tournament.  In August, 2018, he was sent on loan to Saudi club Al-Hilal FC.
Omar Abdulrahman 
AM/RW/LW:  Khalfan Ibrahim (Qatar)
Khalfan Ibrahim was named the Asian Player of the Year in 2006, becoming the first Qatari to win the title. He played for Al Arabi at youth level before moving to Al Sadd in 2004 on a professional contract. He is sometimes dubbed as the "Maradona of Qatar" and is also nicknamed "Khalfaninho" by his supporters in reference to Ronaldinho.

AM/CM: Youra Eshaya (Iraq)
Youra Eshaya's family moved to Baghdad to live at the Royal Air Force Station Hinaidi in 1935, where he played in the RAF Football League in Habbaniya.  In 1954, he went to play for for Bristol Rovers, becoming the first Iraqi toplay in England.  He returned home after his second season. He went on to play 75 times for the Iraqi national side including a number of games during the 1960 Olympic games.

FW: Ammo Baba (Iraq)
Ammo Baba scored the first international goal for Iraq in 1957 Pan Arab Games. After brilliant scoring record for both Iraq and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, he was offered a contract by Notts County to play for them, but he could not leave the country, due to a sudden coup led by the Iraqi General Abdul-Karim Qasim on July 14, 1958.

FW: Adnan Khamis Al-Taliyani (UAE)
Adnan Khamis Al-Taliyani was born in UAE in 1964.  He played his entire career with his hometown team Al-Shaab between 1980 to 1999.  He was capped 161 times for UAE between 1983 and 1997.  He is the all-time appearance leader for UAE, the top 10 cap leader in the world.  He scored his first goal for UAE in 1984 against Kuwait.  He went to the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. He was named UAE Player of the Century.
Adnan Khamis Al-Taliyani 
FW: Ahmed Radhi (Iraq)
Ahmed Radhi was largely recognised as Iraqi's greatest players.  He was the Asian Player of the Year in 1988.  With Iraq, he played 121 matches between 1982 and 1997.  He won 2 Arab Cups, 1 Pan-Arab Games and an Arabian Gulf Cup. He also represented Iraq in 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico and the Summer Olympics in 1988.  He also scored Iraq's only goal at the World Cup Finals in a first round match against Belgium in 1986.  He played for Al-Rasheedm in Iraq.
Ahmed Radhi

ST:  Jassem Yaqoub (Kuwait)
Jasem Yaqoub was widely considered to be Kuwait's greatest player.  From 1972 to 1982, he represented Kuwiat at the Golden period of the national team. He won the Arabian Gulf Cup in 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1982.  He went to the 1980 Summer Olympics and the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain. He also won the Asian Cup in the 1980.  He played his entire career with Qadsia SC, win ng the Kuwaiti league in 1968-69, 1970-71, 1972-73, 1974-75, 1975-76 and 1977-78 season.
Jassem Yacoub 
ST: Hussein Saeed (Iraq) 
Hussein Saeed was considered to be Iraq's greatest player.  He was their all-time leading scorer and cap record holder.  He led Iraq to the World Cup Finals in 1986, Iraq's first ever World Cup Finals.  He also won two Gulf Cups in 1979 and 1984.  He also won the MVP award in 1984.  He also won a Gold Medal in the 1982 Asian Games.  In 1975, he joined Al-Talaba where he spent all 14 years of his career, achieving three league titles and getting the top goalscorer of the league award in three seasons.
Hussein Saeed

Honorable Mention
Hamdan Al-Kamali (UAE), Fahad Khamees (UAE), Zohair Bakhit (UAE), Abdulrahim Jumaa (UAE), Younis Mahmoud (Iraq),  Faisal Al-Dakhil (Kuwait), Bashar Abdullah (Kuwait), Yusif Dokhi (Kuwait),  Fathi Kameel (Kuwait),  Wael Sulaiman (Kuwait), Jassem Al-Houwaidi (Kuwait), Faisal Ibrahim (Jordan),  Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwait), Amer Deeb (Jordan), Amer Shafi (Jordan), Abdullah Abu Zama (Jordan),  Jamal Abu Abed (Jordan), Abdelkarim Hassan (Qatar) Akram Afif (Qatar), Mansour Muftah (Qatar), Sebastián Soria (Qatar), Mubarak Aber (Qatar), Adel Khamis (Qatar), Meshal Mubarak (Qatar), Musaed Neda (Kuwait), Ahmed Salmeen (Bahrain), A'ala Hubail (Bahrain), Omar Kharbin (Syria), Abdullah Omar (Bahrain). 

Squad Explanation
-- It i difficult to compare players from different countries.  I did my best to include the best from the region.
-- All of the players were from the Persian Gulf States.  Players from Syria and Jordan only made Honorable Mention.
-- Ali Al-Habsi was one of the few players from the Arabian Peninsula who made it in Europe, especially he is a goalkeeper.
-- It is difficult to research on defenders. I am not sure if Adel Khamis (Qatar) was a centerback.
-- Dhurgham Ismail (Iraq) is one of the few Gulf State players to play in a UEFA league.  However, he is too young to be considered an all-timer.  Hamdan Al-Kamali (UAE) also played in France.
-- Youra Eshaya was one of the first from the region to play in Europe.  I gave him credit for it.  Ammo Baba also signed to play for England, but could not go.
-- Marcone had played in the Brazilian league, where almost no other players from the region has achieved.  Of course, he is Brazilian so it actually was not so impressive that he played in Brazil.  In the end, I still selected him became he represented Bahrain, making him eligible for this team.  His birthplace should not be a matter.  In 2020, I did an update.  I put Abdelkarim Hassan and Akram Afif on honorable mention.
-- I am not sure about Abdullah Omar of Bahrain.  He had a career in Europe, which is rare for players from this region. I put him as honorable mention. Omar Abdulrahman(UAE) is the Asian player of the Year in 2016.
-- Leftback Omar Kharbin (Syria) is still very young.  He led Syria to a dramatic run in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.  I put him on honorable mention.
-- Faisal Al-Dakhil (Kuwait) is the last player dropped.  I selected Ammo Baba over him.  Baba could have became the first player from the Arab Gulf to play in Europe.
-- Amer Deeb sometimes listed as Jordan's greatest player.
-- Ahmed Radhi was largely recognised as Iraqi's greatest players. I gave him credit for leading Iraq to a World Cup Finals.  Adnan Dirjal and Khalil Allawi were also on that World Cup team.
-- Jassem Yaqoub (Kuwait) was also considered to be Kuwait's greatest players.  He also led his country to a World Cup Finals.
-- UAE qualified for the 1990 World Cup Finals, but I only took Nasir Khamees,  His brother Fahad Khamees (UAE) was the captain of UAE at Italia 1990, but I only put him on honorable mention.
-- Iraq's winning of the 2007 Asian Cup was surprising and inspiring.  I honored Nashat Akram with a spot on the team.  
-- Bader Al-Mutawa has earned over 180 caps, the second highest in the world. Amer Shafi of Jordan also earned 176 caps.  They made honorable mention.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Central Asia Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturi of Russia  copied my blog team.  His entry was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2018.  I also updated mine periodically.  I looked mistakes. He kept my mistakes.  He seemed to be someone from the formerly Soviet Union.  He should know the topic much more than I do, but he still made my mistakes.  He also copied many many of my blog entriesHis 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.  

Этот блогер Артур Янтурин скопировал команду моего блога. Его запись была написана в 2020 году, но моя была загружена в 2018 году. Я также периодически обновлял свою. Я посмотрел ошибки. Он сохранил мои ошибки. Он казался кем-то из бывшего Советского Союза. Он должен знать тему гораздо больше, чем я, но он все равно делал мои ошибки. Он также скопировал многие из моих записей в блоге.

1994 Asian Games Gold Medalist

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

Central Asia is an expansive region that extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east, and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is commonly referred to as "the stans" due to the fact that the countries within the region typically have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan," which translates to "land of." Additionally, Central Asia is sometimes known as Turkestan.

With a population of approximately 70 million people, Central Asia is comprised of five republics: Kazakhstan with a population of 18 million, Kyrgyzstan with 6 million, Tajikistan with 9 million, Turkmenistan with 6 million, and Uzbekistan with 31 million inhabitants. Afghanistan, with a population of 35 million, also shares cultural and historical connections with the region. It's noteworthy that all of these countries, except Afghanistan, were previously part of the Soviet Central Asia.

In terms of football affiliations, all of the Central Asian countries, except Kazakhstan, participate in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). However, since 2002, Kazakhstan has been competing in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) as part of its football structure.

-- All  players from the Soviet era who were born in Soviet Central Asian were considered for this team.  Footballers who were not born in the area but played for clubs in the region are ineligible. They must be born there.  Ethnicity is not a consideration for this team.  Most players selected are European Slavs. 

-- For players after the breakup the Soviet Union, only players who were capped by one of the Central Asian countries are considered.  If a certain player decided to play for Russia, he is not eligible for this team, but if he played for the Soviet Union before the breakup, he is considered to be a Central Asian player.  The same applied to all nations.

GK: Yuri Pshenichnikov (Uzbekistan/USSR)
Born in Uzbekistan, Yuri Pshenichnikov played for FC Pakhtakor Tashkent from 1960 to 1967.  From 1968 to 1971, he played for CSKA Moscow.  He was the Soviet Goalkeeper of the Year in 1968. He earned 19 caps for the USSR national football team between 1966 and 1970.  He was the starting keeper at the UEFA Euro 1968, where the Soviets lost to the eventual winner Italy by a coin toss.

Yuri Pshenichnikov 
GK: Vladimir Lisitsin (Kazakhstan/USSR)
Lisitsin played twice for USSR.  He was blamed by Soviet coach Yevgeny Lyadin for the loss against East Germany in the 1964 Olympic Qualifier.  He was expelled from the team.  Forces club career, he played mainly with FC Kairat in Kazakhstan, but he also played for Dynamo Moscow and Sparktak Moscow.  He was born in Kazakhstan of Russian ethnicity.

GK: Ignatiy Nesterov (Uzbekistan)
Born in Uzbekistan of Russian ethnicity, Ignatiy Nesterov has played over 90 times for Uzbekistan.  He represented them in four editions of Asian Cup: 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2015. Before signing for Pakhtakor in 2002, Nesterov played for FK Samarqand-Dinamo.  He joined Bunyodkor in 2009 and then, now with Lokomotiv Tashkent.  With Pakhtakor and Bunyodkor, he won 10 Uzbek league titles in 11 seasons and 8 of those seasons with winning the Double.

RB: Samat Smakov (Kazakhstan)
Samat Smakov is Kazakhstan's all-time appearance record leader with 76 caps between 2000 and 2016. He was Kazakhstan FF "Best Player of the year" in 2004 and 2008. He played for many clubs in Kazakhstan.  He held FC Aktobe's club record for most Premier League appearances, before being surpassed by Yuri Logvinenko.  He also had a lengthy career with FC Kairat Almaty.  Outside of Kazakhstan, he played two seasons with FC Rostov in Russian Premier League. 
Samat Smakov 
CB: Evgeni Yarovenko (Kazakhstan/USSR)
Evgeni Yarovenko was born in Kazakhstan, Soviet Union as an ethnic Ukrainian.  He was a member of the Soviet Olympic team that won the Gold medal in 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul.  He also played twice for the senior national team in 1987. He started with Almaty club FC Kairat in Kazakhstan, where he played from 1983 to 1988.  Then he joined FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and FC Rotor Volgograd. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, he played for many clubs in Russia, Ukraine and Finland. 

CB: Valeri Glushakov (Kazakhstan/USSR)
Born in Kazakhstan under the Soviet Union, Valeri Glushakov was capped at under-21 level by the Soviet Union. In 1977, he made his debut with Spartak Moscow. He moved to Pakhtakor Tashkent FK before joining CSKA Moscow in 1980,  where he would play for them in three different stints. He played in Finland briefly after the breakup the Soviet Union.

CB: Sergeyi Nikulin (Tajikistan/USSR)
From 1969 to 1984, Nikulin played for Dynamo Moscow.  He played from 1984 to 1985 for FC Dynamo Kashira.  In total he earned 3 senior caps for the Soviet Union.  He also had 2 Olympic caps.  He won a bronze medal the 1980 Olympics.  He was named 3rd team of the Best 33 Players in the Soviet League in 1974 and 1975.  He was Champion of the Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR in 1979 as part of the Moscow team.

SW: Oleksiy Cherednyk (Tajikistan/USSR)
Born in Tajikistan of Ukrainian ethnicity while under the Soviet Union, Oleksiy Cherednyk represented the senior national team of the Soviet Union twice in 1989.  He made his debut against Bulgaria in 1989. He also won the Olympic Gold medal in 1988. At the club level, he played with Pamir Dushanbe and FC Dnipro in the Soviet Union, winning a Soviet league title in 1988.  From 1990-1993, he played with Southampton in England.  He returned to play in Ukraine in 1994 at the end of his career.  He was named second team 33 Best Players of the Soviet league in 1987 and 1988.
Oleksiy Cherednyk 
LB: Sergei Mandreko (Tajikistan/CIS)
Between 1990-1992,  he played for the Pamir Dushanbe, completing in the last two championships of the USSR (1990, 1991) and then in the championship of Tajikistan. In the summer of 1992, he moved Austrian Rapid Wien club in Austria, where he played until 1997. He also played with "Hertha Berlin and Bochum. Internationally,  he capped at senior level by CIS four times. He later also played for both Russia and Tajikistan.

LB: Vitaliy Denisov (Uzbekistan)
He is the son of Gennadi Denisov. In 2007-2013 he played for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukrainian Premier League. In 2013, he joined Lokomotiv Moscow, where he is still playing at the time of writing.  He was the Uzbekistan Player of the Year in 2013.  He was voted Best left-back of Russian Football Premier League in 2014.  He is capped 73 times for Uzbekistan.

CM: Mirjalol Qosimov (Uzbekistan)
Qosimov's club career was associated with Pakhtakor and Alania Vladikavkaz in Russia. He was the first Uzbekistani and the second Asian player to have scored in UEFA competitions. In 1995, he scored for Alania against Liverpool in the UEFA Cup. He was capped by the Soviet Union at the youth level.  From 1992 to 2005, he was capped 67 times for Uzbekistan winning the Gold Medal at the 1994 Asian Games.  He was Uzbekistan Player of the Year: in 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2004.
Mirjalol Qosimov
CM: Valeri Broshin (Turkmenistan/USSR)
During his career Valeri Broshin played for clubs such as FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and PFC CSKA Moscow. He earned 3 caps for the Soviet Union between 1987 and 1990, and participated in the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals. After the end of the Soviet Union, he received Turkmenistan citizenship in order to be eligible to play on the Turkmenistan national football team.  He earned 11 caps between 1997 and 1998.

CM Andrey Pyatnitsky (Uzbekistan/USSR/CIA/Russia)
Born in Uzbekistan, Andrey Pyatnitsky started his career with Pakhtakor Tashkent.  He played for  CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Sokol Saratov, both before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1990, he played one match for the USSR. In 1992, he played for the CIS 5 times and then for the Uzbekistan twice. Then he played for Russia and was a participant at the 1994 FIFA World Cup

CM: Odil Ahmedov (Uzbekistan)
At time of writing, Odil Ahmedov has over 80 caps and led Uzbekistan to the semifinal of the 2010 Asian Cup.  From 2006 to 2010, Odil Ahmedov played for Pakhtakor at home.  After his stunning performance at the Asian Cup in 2010, he joined Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian league, where he was their player of the year in 2011 ahead of teammate Samuel Eto'o and Yuri Zhirkov. He moved to FC Krasnodar before going to Shanghai SPIG in 2016. 
Odil Ahmedov

LW: Vassilis Hatzipanagis (Uzbekistan/Greece)
Born in Uzebekistan, USSR of Greek refugee parents, Vassilis Hatzipanagis played for the Soviet Olympic team.  He was highly rated in the Soviet Union. He returned to Greece in 1976, where he played for Greece in one single friendly march.  He was ineligible to play for Greece due to his selection to the Soviet youth team.  However, he was considered to be Greece's greatest player and was elected as Greece's UEFA Jubilee Player. In his club career, he played for Pakhtakor(USSR) and Iraklis.

AM/CM: Savvas Kofidis (Greece/Kazahtsan)
Born in modern-day Kazakhstan to Pontic Greek parents, he started his career in Iraklis in 1981 when Iraklis.  He played seven seasons before heading to Olympiacos. In 1992, he joined Aris Thessaloniki F.C., the city rivals of Iraklis, where he played until rejoining Iraklis in the 1996–97 season.  Kofidis had 67 caps with Greece.  He played all three matches at the 1994 World Cup Finals.

AM: Server Djeparov (Uzbekistan)
Server Djeparov won the Asian Footballer of the Year twice in 2008 and 2011.  Since 2002, he played over a 100 times for Uzbekistan. He was the captain of the team that reached the semifinal of the 2011 Asian Cup.  From 2001 to 2007, he played for Pakhtakor before moving abroad.  He has played for FC Seoul and Seongnam FC in South Korea as well as clubs in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kazakstan.  Server Djeparov is of Crimean Tatar and Russian descent and speaks fluent Russian.
Server Djeparov 
FW: Alexander Tarkhanov (Kazakhstan/USSR)
Born in Kazakhstan, he played for SKA-Khabarovsk while he was in the Soviet Army.  He moved to CSKA Moscow, where he played for 9 seasons and served as their captain for 4 years. From 1976 to 1983, he was capped 6 times for the Soviets.  He made his debut in 1976 against Argentina. He played in a 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier, but was not selected for the final tournament squad.

ST: Berador Abduraimov (Uzbekistan/USSR)
Berador Abduraimov is regarded as one of the best strikers and greatest football players in the history of Uzbek football. He started his career in 1960 with Pakhtakor in the Soviet Top League. In 1962, when he was only 19, Abduraimov became the Soviet Top League top goalscorer with 22 goals and Pakhtakor finished 6th the season in the league.  In the same year he became Merited Master of Sport. He also played for Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Meliorator Yangiyer. He played for the USSR at the youth level.

ST: Georgios Kostikos (Uzbetistan/Greece)
Kostikos began playing football with Pierikos in 1975, and two years later he was acquired by PAOK. He played for PAOK from 1977 to 1986, before finishing his career with Olympiacos and Diagoras. He won the 1985 Greek league title with PAOK.  Kostikos made 35 appearances and scored three goals for the Greece national football team from 1977 to 1984. He also played all three games in UEFA Euro 1980.
Georgios Kostikos
ST: Gennadi Krasnitsky (Uzbekistan/USSR)
Gennadi Krasnitsky was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan during the Soviet Union.  He played for his home town club Pakhtakor Tashkent, where he spent his entire career from 1960 to 1970. He became the first Uzbekistani player to score 100 goals in Soviet Top League to enter the Grigory Fedotov club. The club of top-scoring footballers in Uzbekistan is named after him - Gennadi Krasnitsky club, was founded in 2010. He was capped 3 times in 1961 for the Soviet Union.

RW/ST: Sergey Kvochkin (Kazakhstan/USSR)
Sergey Kvochkin was selected as the best Kazakhstani footballer in the UEFA Jubilee Awards.  He spent his entire career with FC Kairat, where he played 232 matches in the Soviet league. In 1962, Kvochkin as a member of the USSR national team went on tour in Latin America, during which he managed to score the winning goal of the Brazilian Olympic team at the legendary stadium Maracana. 

ST: Maksim Shatskikh (Uzbekistan)
Maksim Shatskikh is a Uzbek international of Russian origin. He played for Dynamo Kyiv from 1999 to 2009. He is the all-time scorer of the Ukrainian Premier League with 124 goal.  On 28 July 1999, Shatskikh became the first Asian player to score in the UEFA Champions League. He had 61 caps for Uzbekistan and played in three AFC Asian Cups for Uzbekistan, helping them to fourth place in 2011.
Maksim Shatskikh
Honorable Mention
Mikhail An (Uzbekistan/USSR), 
Vladimir Fyodorov (Uzbekistan/USSR), 
Timur Kapadze (Uzbekistan), Alexander Geynrikh (Uzbekistan), Gennadi Denisov (Uzbekistan/USSR), Odil Ahmedov (Uzbekistan), Andrei Fyodorov (Uzbekistan), Fevzi Davletov (Uzbekistan), Oleg Pashinin (Uzbekistan), Valery Kechinov (Uzbekistan/Russia), Igor Shkvyrin (Uzbekistan), Vladimir Maminov (Uzbekistan), Andrei Karpovich (Kazakhstan), Oleg Voskoboynikov (Kazakhstan),  Aleksandr Khapsalis (Kazakhstan/USSR), Kuralbek Ordabayev (Kazakhstan/USSR), Vladimir Niederhaus (Kazakhstan/USSR), Yuriy Logvinenko (Kazakhstan), Ruslan Baltiev (Kazakhstan), Sergo Kutivadze (Kazakhstan/USSR) Sergei Stukashov (Kazakhstan/USSR) Eduard Son (Kazakhstan/USSR),  Oleksiy Cherednyk (Tajikistan/USSR), Oleg Shirinbekov (Tajikistan/USSR),  Edgar Gess (Tajikistan/USSR), Nazar Petrosyan (Turkmenistan/USSR), Rashid Rakhimov (Tajikistan/Russia).

Players here are ineligible, but they are connected to the region.  So I put them on this special honorable mentions.  Please see below for details.
Roman Neustädter (Kazakhstan/Russia), Nadiem Amiri (Afghanistan/Germany), Russo (Afghanistan/Brazil), Dimitris Mavrogenidis (Uzbekistan/Greece),  Dimitris Papadopoulos (Uzbekistan/Greece).

Squad Explanation
-- In 2021, I reviewed the eligibly of the Greek diaspora in Central Asia (see below).  I made several dramatic changes to this team.  Then, in February 2022, I did a comprehensive review of the blog.  I gave a more detailed analysis of the selection process over here.
-- The Central Asian Football Association is a subgroup within the AFC. Iran is actually a member of this group, but I only included countries that were geographically and historically considered to be Central Asia.  They are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.  Kazakhstan actually played in the UEFA.  
--  Ali Daei, Ali Parvin, Khodadad Azizi, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Karim Bagheri, Ali Karimi and others would have been interesting for this team if I considered Iranian players.
-- The blog meant to be the all-time team for Central Asia, NOT the formerly Soviet Central Asia.  Afghanistan is the only country not in the former Soviet Union.  And since no player from there was selected for this team,  by default, this blog team became the All-Time Team for Soviet Central Asia. However, I am now studying the case of Nadiem Amiri (Germany).  He was born in Germany to Afghan parents.  He has been capped by Germany at the senior level.  His case would be interesting for the direction of this blog team.  At this moment, I only accepted players who were "cap-tied" to a non-Central Asia before the existence of Central Asian national teams (Please see the rules for players from the Soviet era and Greek diaspora). 
-- Russo "Adolpho Milman" played once for Brazil in 1942.  However, his birthplace had been a question mark.  He was a naturalised Brazil of Ukrainian Jewish background via Argentina.  He was born in 1915.  Some source claimed that he was born in Afghanistan, which was then a part of Russia.  He later settled down in Entre Ríos, Argentina. In his life time, he refused to discuss his birthplace, but his children said that he was born in Argentina. As of 2018, he was one of five foreign born footballers to have represent Brazil.  His case would be similar to the Greek diaspora in Central Asia.  He was playing in an era when Central Asian countries did not have their own national team. He could have been the only player born in Afghanistan for this team.  
-- All  players from the Soviet era (or before the existence of national teams from independent Soviet Central Asian republics) who were born in Soviet Central Asian were considered for this team.  Footballers who were not born in the area but played for clubs in the region are ineligible. They must be born there.  I opened to all races and ethnic groups.  Most players selected are European Slavs.  For players after the breakup the Soviet Union, only players who were capped by one of the Central Asian countries are considered.  
-- The selection procession was geared toward the Soviet Central Asian players who had played at the highest level under the Soviet Union. So there were a number of players who were capped by the Soviet Union. I did try to balance the team by giving some preference toward players who played for the independent republics in Central Asia. 
-- In 2021, I did research on Greek diaspora in Central Asia.  Of course, I knew about Vassilis Hatzipanagis. From Uzbekistan, I discovered Dimitris Mavrogenidis, Georgios Kostikos and Dimitris Papadopoulos.  Papadopoulos was a member of Greece's European Championship winning team in 2004. From Kazakhstan, I found Savvas Kofidis who played 60 times for Greece.  I was allowing Slavic player capped by the Soviet Union to be on this team.  Why couldn't I do the same for the Greek players (before the 1990's)? So I used the same criteria for the former Soviet Union and the other countries.  The Greek players from the Soviet era are eligible because the footballers in question do not have the chance to play for a Central Asian country.  After the breakup, the footballers must be cap-tied to one of the Central Asian country.  Kazakhstan-born Aleksandr Khapsalis who played for the Soviet Union was also of Greek heritage.
Savvas Kofidis 
-- I cannot find any player from Kyrgyzstan, except Peter Neustädter. 
He was an ethnic German born in Kyrgyzstan, but he was capped by Kazakhstan.  I put him on honourable mention because he spent many years playing in the Bundesliga, a club level seldom reached by players from this region.  I have no problem with his eligibility.  However, he only capped twice by Kazakhstan.  On the other hand, his son Roman Neustädter's eligibility is questionable.  He has played for Germany, but now cap-tied to Russia.  Although his father played for Kazakhstan, he himself has no connection to the country.  He was born in Ukraine of German and Russian ethnicity. So I only put him on honorable mention as a special case.
-- My former Soviet Union without Ukraine, Georgia and Russia all-time team excluded players from the Soviet Central Asia.  Yuri Pshenichnikov would have made that team.
-- Azerbaijan is located across the Caspian Sea from Soviet Central Asia, but it is not a part of the region.  I would like to include CB Anatoliy Banishevskiy.
-- I found a Russian article that ranked Yuri Pshenichnikov as the 9th greatest ever goalkeeper for the former Soviet Union.  Then, I took Vladimir Lisitsin who was capped once by the USSR.  He only played half of that match,  He later had a poor performance with the Olympic team.  Nevertheless, he was one of the few goalkeepers from Central Asia to play at the highest level.  While with Spartak Moscow, he alternated with Vladimir Maslachenko in the 1964, which was a successful season.
-- I also came across Oleg Voskoboynikov(Kazakhstan) and Kuralbek Ordabayev (Kazakhstan).
-- Valeri Sarychev also known as Shin Eui-son in Korea was selected as the greatest goalkeeper on the K League 30th Anniversary Best XI in 2013, but he only represented Tajikistan once.  I do not know the reason why he could not gain more caps. He was famous because of his association with the K League.  He also played many seasons with FC Torpedo Moscow in the Soviet Top League.  He was the Soviet Goalkeeper of the Year in 1991.  
-- Should I drop Ignatiy Nesterov for Valeri Sarychev? In the end, I kept Nesterov because he was one of the most decorated footballers from Uzbekistan.  He was more important to local football in the region than Sarychev who was only a guest player for Taijikistan.
-- Rightback Dimitris Mavrogenidis (Greece) was also born in Uzbekistan. He spent 9 seasons as a top fullback with Olympiacos.  He played 24 times for Greece, but he was from an era when Uzbekistan was independent.  He was ineligible.  
-- For righback, I took Samat Smakov who is Kazakhstan's all-time appearance record leader.  Meanwhile, Andrei Fyodorov obtained 65 caps for Uzbekistan.  He won the Russian Premier League with FC Rubin Kazan in 2008, but he appeared a few times for the club that season.  I did not think he played much in the top level.  So he only made honourable mention.
-- Leftback Sergei Mandreko played 154 matches, scored 17 goals  in the Austrian Bundesliga and another 93 mtaches in the German Bundesliga.  Vitaily Denisov was named the best left-back in the Russian Premier League.  His father was Gennadi Denisov.  Gennadi holds the all-time appearance record with Pakhtakor with 371 caps ahead of Berador Abduraimov.  He was a defender, but I was unclear of his actual position.  So I put him on honourable mention.
-- Both Oleksiy Cherednyk (Tajikistan) and Evgeni Yarovenko (Kazakhstan) had international experience with the USSR.  Cherednyk was listed as a top player during FC Dnipropetrovsk's golden years.  He won a single Soviet Top League. He was named second team 33 Best Players of the Soviet league in 1987 and 1988. He spent some unsuccessful time with Southampton and was converted to a rightback.   Evgeni Yarovenko was the captain of FC Kairat.  He made first team of 33 Best Players of the Soviet league in 1987.   The pair alternated for the Soviet Union during the 1988 Olympic Games where they won the Gold Medal.  They also played with each other in FC Dnipropetrovsk. 
Evgeni Yarovenko
-- In 2003, UEFA announced that Sergey Kvochkin was named as Kazakhstan's UEFA Jubilee Player.  However, the players' profile on UEFA website listed Evgeni Yarovenko as their winner.  The reasons for the discrepancies were not clear.
-- In 2018, I selected Oleg Pashinin and Valeri Glushakov for my central defenders.  Pashinin had a long career with Lokomotiv Moscow while Valeri Glushakov played for CSKA Moscow. Somehow, I left off Sergei Nikulin (Tajikistan/USSR). Nikulin had a very long career with Dynamo Moscow as a key player.  He was capped by the USSR over a 6 years period.  In 2022,  I replaced Oleg Pashinin with him.  
-- Yury Logvinenko had 50 Kazakhstan caps, but he did nothing much in the Russian Premier League. I did not select him.
-- Valeri Broshin and Andrey Pyatnitsky are the only players here who went to the World Cup Finals. Pyatnitsky had played for Uzbekistan in 1992, but played in the WC Finals for Russia in 1994. He was born in Uzbekistan too.  Broshin went to the 1990 World Cup Finals with the Soviet Union.  He was born in Leningrad, but he switched to play for Turkmenistan after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Both were eligible since they received caps from a Central Asian country.
-- Then, I selected three post-Soviet players from Uzbekistan. Server Djeparov is Uzbekistan's most capped players.  He was Asian Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011. Mirjalol Qosimov was regarded as one of Uzebekistan's greatest footballers.  Odil Ahmedov found successes with Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian league.
-- Vassilis Hatzipanagis was a Greek player who was born in Uzbekistan under Soviet Union before moving back to Greece.  He also played for Pakhtakor Tashkent FK.  He had played for the Olympic team for the USSR.  So he was cap-tied to the Soviet Union and was ineligible to play for Greece during his career.  By his brith right, he belongs to this team.  He is considered the greatest ever Greek player and was Greece's selection for the UEFA Jubilee Award in 2004.  I have made a special case for him and put him on my All-Time Greek team because the Greek fans probably wanted him to be on their team.  While in the Soviet Union, Vassilis Hatzipanagis was considered to be the same level as his Olympic teammate Oleg Blokhin.  He would be the greatest footballer born in the region.
-- In 2021, I dropped Ruslan Baltiev (Kazakhstan) for Hatzipanagis.  He started his career in FC Zhetysu in 1997 and moved to Kazakhstani club FC Kairat a year later.  In 2001, he moved to FC Sokol Saratov in Russia before joining FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Moscow.   He later played for FC Tobol and FC Zhemchuzhina-Sochi. He played 73 times for Kazakhstan.
-- Midfielder Savvas Kofidis was a club mate of Vassilis Hatzipanagis.  His first Greek cap was in 1982 before the existence of the national team of Kazakhstan.  He played 60 times for Greece and was a member of their WC team in 1994.  Somehow, I overlooked him in 2021 after my ruling on Greek diaspora.  In 2022, I dropped Valery Kechinov for him.  Kechinov was capped twice by Uzbekistan in 1992, but later switched to play for Russia.  I felt that Kofidis' World Cup experiences with Greece were useful for this team.
-- Rashid Rakhimov also played for Tajikistan before switching to Russia, but I only out him on honourable mentions.
-- Aleksandr Khapsalis (Kazakhstan/USSR) who played for the Soviet Union was also of Greek heritage.  He was born in Kazakhstan.
-- Before I did my reserach, Maksim Shatskikh (Uzbekistan) was the only player I heard of.  He was well-known because of his stint with Dynamo Kyiv.
-- In 2020, I dropped striker Vladimir Fyodorov (Uzbekistan/USSR) for Georgios Kostikos after I reviewed the status of Greek players born in the area. He was one of the FC Pakhtakor Tashkent players killed in the 1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision. He was only 23 years old.  For the national team, he played 18 times for the Soviet Union. He won a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.  Georgios Kostikos on the other hand had played in the Euro 1980 Finals.  He was selected to my PAOK Thessaloniki All-Time Team.
-- The club of top-scoring footballers in Uzbekistan is named after Gennadi Krasnitsky.  So I gave him a spot.
Gennadi Krasnitsky
-- Berador Abduraimov was never capped by Uzbekistan or the Soviet Union, but he was regarded one of the greatest Uzbek player.  Sergey Kvochkin also never played for Kazakhstan or USSR, but he was Kazakhstan's selection for the UEFA Jubilee Awards.  Both players were born in the region under the Soviet Union, which made them eligible.
-- ST/MF Andrei Yakubik was a Moscow-born ethnic Russian who played for Pakhtakor.  He was capped twice for the CCCP.  He is ineligible because of his birth place. Berador Abduraimov and  Gennadi Krasnitsky on the other hand were born in Uzbekistan.
-- FW Igor Shkvyrin helped Uzbekistan to win the Gold Medal at the 1994 Asian Games, which was the crowning moment for Uzbekistan.  but I selected more experienced players from the Soviet era over him. He only made honourable mention.
-- Eduard Son and Mikhail An are of Korean ethnicity. They are on my honourable mention.  Mikhail An probably deserved to be on this team, but he died young so we would never know if he was to become a superstar in the Soviet Union. He earned two caps for the Soviet Union.
-- CM/ST Nazar Petrosyan was an Armenian born in Turkmenistan.  He earned 3 Soviet caps. I also studied the profile of Sergei Stukashov (Kazakhstan/USSR).  He had 6 caps for the USSR.