|Rainer Bonhof and Mario Kempes|
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia,
Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Atletic Bilbao,
Deportivo La Coruna Real Sociedad,
Real Betis, Real Zaragoza, Espanyol
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.
Valencia is among the most successful clubs in Spain. In 1980, they won a Cup Winners' Cup. Then, in the 2000's, the team reached its Golden period. They won two La Liga titles. In 2003-2004 season, they won the Double: La Liga and the UEFA Cup. They also reached the Champions' league two years in a row. They won back-to-back Fairs Cup in 1962 and 1963.
|Kurt Jara and Salif Keita|
GK: Diego Alves (Brazil)
At the time of writing, Diego Alves earned 10 caps for Brazil. He was a backup keeper at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He started his career with Clube Atlético Mineiro. He moved to UD Almería in Spain on 24 July 2007, as the Andalusians had just achieved a first ever promotion to La Liga. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Valencia.
GK: Renan (Brazil)
Renan made his professional debut for Internacional before joining Valencia in Spain. He was a starter briefly in the 2008-2009 season until an injury sent him to the bench. He also played for Xerez. He returned to Internacional, where he was the starting goalkeeper in their 2010 Copa Libertadores victory. He later played for Goias. He represented Brazil at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
GK: Neto (Brazil)
Neto began his career with Atlético Paranaense. From 2011 to 2015, he played for Fiorentina. He joined Juventus in 2015, mainly as a back-up to starter Gianluigi Buffon, but appearing in all of the club's games in both of their victorious Coppa Italia campaigns. In 2017 he joined Valencia. Since 2010, he was a part of Brazil's player pool, but he never made his international debut until 2018. At the time of writing, he has a single cap.
RB: Jocelyn Angloma (France)
Jocelyn Angloma was a member of the great Marseille team of the early 1990's. He won the UEFA European Cup in 1993, the first ever for a French club. He later played for Valencia and reached the Champions' League Final twice. He was a member of the French team at both Euro 1992 and 1996. In 2006, Angloma came out of retirement to play for his native région, Guadeloupe, and help them qualify for the 2007 Caribbean Nations Cup.
Miguel started his career with local C.F. Estrela da Amadora as a winger in 1999. He then spent 5 seasons playing for Benfica from 2000 to 2005. He was switched from the winger position to a rightback. From 2005 to 2012, he played for Valencia. Last the international level, he was capped 59 times. He went to Euro 2004 and 2008, ands then the 2006 and 2010 World Cup Finals.
CB: Emiliano Moretti (Italy)
Moretti began his career at Lodigiani and was signed by Fiorentina in 1998. In 2004, he joined Valencia, where he won the Copa del Rey in 2007–08. In 2009, he returned to Italy where he spent four seasons with Genoa. In 2013, he joined Torino. Internationally, Moretti represented Italy at the youth levels. On 18 November 2014, at the age of 33, he became the oldest player to debut for the Italy national football team, playing as a starter in a friendly against Albania.
CB: Miroslav Djukic (Yugoslavia)
Miroslav Djukic spent 14 years of his professional career in Spain, notably for Deportivo de La Coruña and Valencia, winning six major titles for the two clubs combined. In 1994, while playing for Deportivo, Đukić missed a penalty kick in the game's last minute (eventual 0–0 draw). As a result FC Barcelona were crowned champions instead of Deportivo La Coruna. He had 48 caps and played at Euro 2000 for Yugoslavia.
CB: Mauricio Pellegrino (Argentina)
Pellegrino played for Vélez Sarsfield from 1990 to 1999, winning four Primeira División championships and the 1994 Intercontinental and Libertadores Cups. From 1999 tom 2005, he played for Valencia. He played in both Champions' League Finals in 2000 and 2001 while winning the UEFA Cup winning team in 2004. He later played for Liverpool and Alves. Internationally, he earned two caps.
CB: Roberto Ayala (Argentina)
Roberto Ayala captained Argentina for 63 times, a record. He is also the second cap record holder for Argentina with 115 caps. He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006. He was best remembered for winning the UEFA Cup with Valencia. He also played for Real Zaragoza in Spain, Milan and Napoli in Italy and River Plate in his native Argentina.
LB: Amedeo Carboni (Italy)
Amedeo Carboni played for a number of Italian clubs before joining Roma in 1990. He stayed there for 7 seasons mainly as a starter before he went to Valencia in 1997. With Valencia, his team made it to the Champions' League Finals twice and won the UEFA Cup/League Double in 2003/2004. He played 9 seasons with them. He represented Italy at the Euro 1996, where he earned two of his 18 caps for Italy.
Fábio Aurélio started with Sao Paulo in Brazil before heading to Europe. He started with Valencia in 2000. He was a part of the great side that won two La Liga and the 2003-2004 UEFA Cup. He moved to Liverpool in 2006 where he played until 2012. He returned to Brazil after his stint with Liverpool. He was called up to play for Brazil's senior team, but never made a single appearance due to injuries.
DM/RB: Rainer Bonhof (Germany)
Rainer Bonhof was the youngest member of the World Cup winning team in 1974. He assisted in Gerd Muller's winning goal at the Final. He also played at Argentina 1978 and a part of Euro 1980 winning team. He played with Borussia Mönchengladbach. He joined Valencia in 1978, which prompted the DFB to remove their ban on selecting foreign based players for the national team.
DM/CM: Éver Banega (Argentina)
Banega started his career with Boca Juniors, and signed with Valencia in 2008 where he remained for several years, appearing in 162 official games and winning the 2008 Copa del Rey. After joining Sevilla in 2014, he conquered consecutive Europa League trophies. He got his first cap in 2008, but was not selected for both 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals.
AM: Pablo Aimar (Argentina)
Aimar started his senior career at River Plate in 1996. From 2001 to 2006, he starred for Valencia, helping the club to reach the 2001 Champions' League. Then, he played Real Zaragoza for two seasons before joining Benfica. He played for them between 2008 and 2013. For Argentina, he earned 52 caps. He represented Argentina at the 1999 and 2007 editions of the Copa América, at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, and at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Jara started his career with FC Wacker Innsbruck before moving to Valencia CF in 1973. After two seasons in La Liga he joined MSV Duisburg where he spent five seasons and reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1979. After another season in Germany with FC Schalke 04, he finished his career with Grasshopper. He earned 59 caps. He was a participant at the 1978 and 1982 World Cups.
AM: Zlatko Zahovič (Slovenia)
Zahovic had 80 caps between 1992 and 2004. He is the all-time goal scorer for Slovenia. He was a key player for Slovenia when they qualified for Euro 2000 and the World Cup Finals in 2002. The best part of his club career was spent in Portugal where he played for both Porto and Benfica. He also played for Valencia, but not so successful. Nevertheless, he played in the Final of 2001 Champions League against Bayern Munich.
LW: Kily Gonzalez (Argentina)
Kily started his career with Rosario Central which he would represent in three different spells. He played for Boca Juniors before moving to Spain in 1996 where he appeared for Zaragoza and Valencia. Valencia reached the final in 2000 and 2001,He also spent three years in Italy with Inter Milan. For Argentina, he was capped 56 times. He went to the 2002 World Cup Finals.
FW/RW: Faas Wilkes (Netherlands)
Faas Wilkes was one of the first Dutch player to play aboard. In 1949, he joined Inter Milan, where he had the best of his career. He also had a great career with Valencia.. He was considered to Netherlands' best player until the emerge of the Golden Generation of the 1970's. He was capped 38 times scoring 35 goals. He was banned from the national team between 1949 and 1955 because KNVB did not select professional players. He was Netherlands' all-time leading scorer until 1998.
Adrian Ilie won 55 caps for Romania, scoring 13 goals. He played at the 1996 European Championship, 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. During his 3 years with Steaua, Ilie helped the club to 3 consecutive Romanian league titles and the 1995–96 Cupa României. In 1996, Ilie was purchased by Galatasaray. Two years later, he joined Valencia. At Valencia, he was part of a great team that went to the European Cup Final in 2000.
FW: Mario Kempes (Argentina)
Mario Kempes was the hero of Argentina's 1978 World Cup victory. He was the Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner in that Finals. He was also the South American Footballer of the Year: 1978. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1982. He played for many clubs in his career. Before his European career began, he played with Rosario Centrel. In 1976, he moved to Valencia. With Valencia, he was the league's top scorer twice, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1980.
Waldo was best known for his time at Fluminense, being top scorer in the former club's history by scoring 314 goals in 401 matches.In 1961, he joined Valencia, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1962 and 1963. He won the Pochochi Trophy in 1967. He also played one season with Hércules CF. He was capped 5 times.
ST: Claudio Lopez (Argentina)
Claudio Lopez started with Racing Club and started his European career with Valencia. He helped the club to reach the Final of the Champions' league in 2000. In 2004, Lazio paid 35 million for him, but injuries limited his career there. He also played for America in Mexico, Kansas City Wizards and Colorado Rapids in MLS. He earned 55 caps for Argentina. He played in both 1998 and 2002 World Cup Finals.
At club level, Mijatović played for six different clubs: Budućnost Podgorica, Partizan, Valencia, Real Madrid, Fiorentina and Levante. He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal against Juventus as Real Madrid won the 1998 Champions' league, its first title since 1966. He played 73 times for Yugoslavia. In 1997, Mijatović was runner-up for the Ballon d'Or, behind Ronaldo and ahead of Zinedine Zidane. He played in the 1998 World Cup Finals.
ST: Lyuboslav Penev (Bulgaria)
Penev's first professional team was CSKA Sofia. In 1989, he joined Valencia,w here he spent 6 seasons. He played a season with Atletico Madrid, where he won the Double in 1996. Later, he played with SD Compostela and Celta Vigo. Penev represented Bulgaria in 1996 European Championship in England and in the 1998 World Cup Finals. He could not take part in the 1994 World Cup, as he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
ST: Salif Keita (Mali)
Salif Keita was voted African Footballer of the Year in 1970. He found stardom almost everywhere he played. His best stints were with Saint-Étienne, Marseille, Valencia and Sporting Portugal. With AS Saint-Étienne, he won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, including the double in 1968 and 1970. He was selected by the Confederation of African Football as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.
John Carew (Norway), Johnny Rep (Netherlands), Lyuboslav Penev (Bulgaria), Héctor Núñez (Uruguay).
-- Jocelyn Angloma, Roberto Ayala, Rainer Bonhof, Amedeo Carboni, Fabio Aurelio, Mario Kempes, Fass Wilkes, Claudio Lopez and Waldo were on my Valencia All-Time team.
-- The players not on my all-time team are Miguel, Miroslav Djukic, Mauricio Pellegrino, Predrag Mijatović, Pablo Aimar, Zlatko Zahovic, Kurt Jara, Kily Gonzalez, Adrian Ilie . Of course, we have all three goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Brazil) and Renan (Brazil) and Neto (Brazil).
-- Valencia reached back-to-back Champions League Final in 2000 and 2001. Claudio Lopez, Mauricio Pellegrino, Miroslav Đukić, Pablo Aimar, Zlatko Zahovic, Adrian Ilie, Kily Gonzalez, Amedeo Carboni, Jocelyn Angloma, Fabio Aurelio and Roberto Ayala played on those teams.
-- Timo Hildebrand was very well-known during his spell with Stuttgart. His decline began with Valencia. I did not select him. Instead, I took three Brazilian goalkeepers.
-- Renan (Brazil) was mainly used as a backup, but he took over from Timo Hildebrand. Diego Alves was among the best in La Liga during his prime. He was definitely underrated.
-- Roberto Ayala helped Valencia to win the UEFA Cup in 2004. He was the Man of the Match in the Final against Marseille. Amedeo Carboni and Palbo Aimar were also selected here from that team.
-- Palbo Aimar was playing liked the next big superstar from Argentina while with Valencia. I rated him very high when he was here. Unfortunately, he gradually lost his spot to David Silva over here.
-- Faas Wilkes was the first foreign star player for the club.
-- Didier Deschamps, Ariel Ortega and Romario did not do much with Valencia.
-- Adrian Ilie formed a great attacking partnership with Argentine Claudio López. They were the top duo in Europe during their time here.
-- Salif Keita broke the racial barrier. He was not only the first Black player who played for Valencia. He was the only Black player playing in La Liga after it reopened to foreign players. He was also a fan favourite. He was known as "La perla negra de Malí (The black pearl of Mali)" there.
-- Lyuboslav Penev played 6 seasons with the club.
-- The team lacks a good wide right attacker. However, Aimar and Wilkes have played on the right side before. Johnny Rep was a famous name, but the other strikers have done more for the club.
-- Predrag Mijatović won the Spanish Player of the Year while playing for Valencia.
-- Mario Kempes spent four seasons with Valencia. He won the Pichichi Trophy in 1977 and 1978. He also won the 1980 European Cup Winners' Cup alongside Rainer Bonhof, who also made this team.
-- Waldo is Valencia 's second highest leading scorer while Mario Kempes is at third. Mario Kempes was the league's top scorer twice, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1980.