Friday, August 23, 2019

All-Time Team for non-football playing countries

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

San Marino vs Luxembourg
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

All-Time Team for Uncapped Players
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
French Algerian
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
Argentine-born players capped by other national teams
Italian diaspora
Polish diaspora
Black Portuguese Players
Afro-Brazilian Players 
Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team
Chinese Diaspora

This is the all-time team for players who came from non-football playing countries.  They are players from countries that do not have a glorious history in the sport.

The criteria for the team:

1) The players came from countries that never qualified for a World Cup Finals.  However, the continental champions are eligible. 
2) I am excluding players from Albania, Finland and Venezuela.  They never played in a World Cup Finals, but they are probably much better football nations than some of the countries excluded in this blog. Besides, Finland and Albania have qualified for the European Championship.
3) I do look into "affirmative action" and of historical importance of the players as a criterion for selection.  
4) I am excluding players who are born in a good football nation and opted for their native country.  
5) I also excluded all footballers who represented youth national team for a good football country.   They have good youth training background from a good football nation.
6) I used a stricter "cap-tied".  All players who represented a good football nation are ineligible regardless of the time of the cap.  For example, Paulino Alcántara is ineligible because he represented Spain.  In other blog, he is eligible for the Philippines because he played for them before he played for Spain.  
7) The players from the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are all excluded because in an alternative history, they world have played for a good national team.  This blog is about footballers from national teams that are not good.

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.  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.

GK:  Chow Chee Keong (Malaysia)
Chow Chee Keong was a Malaysian Chinese.  He earned his first senior cap as a 15 years old.  He played for Aveley F.C. in England when he was a student studying in the UK.  He also trained with West Ham. From 1966 to 1970, he was voted the best keeper in Asia for 5 straight seasons.  In 1970, he went to play in the Hong Kong league, which was the only professional league in East Asia. In Hong Kong, he played for Jardines, South China, Rangers and Tung Sing. He was voted as the AFC Goalkeeper of the Century. 
Chow Chee Keong

GK: David Chabala (Zambia)
Chabala played from 1978 to 1991 with Mufulira Wanderers in Zambia.  He was voted Zambian Sportsman of the Year in 1985 and in the 1988 season, he surprised many Zambian soccer purists by donning a striker's jersey for Wanderers, but he went on to score 5 goals. He had a brief spell in Argentina with Argentinos Juniors during the 1991/92 season but he returned to Wanderers in March 1992.  He is Zambia's most capped player, with 108 full international appearances. Chabala was instrumental in Zambia's first ever East and Central African Championship success.

RB: Rainer Hasler (Liechtenstein)
Hasler played as a right back for Grasshopper Club Zürich, FC Vaduz, Neuchâtel Xamax and Servette FC. For Servette, he spent two years as captain, where he won the 1984–85 Swiss championship and the Swiss Cup. Another major success was with Xamax reaching the UEFA Cup quarter-final in the 1981–82 season.  He was never capped by Liechtenstein as the city-state barely played any game in his era.

CB: Antoine Kombouaré (New Caledonia)
Antoine Kombouaré started his career at FC Nantes and moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1990.  With PSG, he was famous for scoring late-minute winning goals which earned him the name of "Casque d'Or", which means "Golden Helmet" in French.  He later played for Sion and Aberdeen in Scotland. 

CB/DM: Seydou Keita (Mali)
Keita started with with Olympique de Marseille.  He most notably played for Lens (five seasons) and Barcelona (four), winning 14 titles with the latter club after signing in 2008.  For Mali, he helped the under-20s finish third at the 1999 World Youth Championship in Nigeria, being named the tournament's best player. Fromm 1998 to 2015, he earned 102 caps for Mali.

CB: Louis Pilot (Luxembourg)
Pilot was selected by the Luxembourg Football Federation as the country's Golden Player - the greatest player of the last 50 years.  He started his footballing career at his home town club CS Fola Esch, before signing for Standard Liège.  he also played with Royal Antwerp and Racing Jet. Pilot also represented the national team, winning 49 caps between 1959 and 1971.

CB: Jeff Strasser (Luxembourg)
After playing for FC Metz between 1993 and 1999, Strasser moved to  Kaiserslautern and spent three seasons with the club before leaving it for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2002. He also played for RC Strasbourg, CS Fola Esch and Grasshopper. For Luxembourg, he had 98 caps.  At one point, he was their all-time leading cap record holder. He was a rare successful player from Luxembourg.
Jeff Strasser 

LB: Kaiser Kalambo (Zambia)
Kalambo played his domestic club football with Roan United, Ndola United and Ndola Lime FC.  He represented Zambia in three African Cup of Nations tournaments and was named Zambian captain in 1980, the same year in which he was voted Zambian footballer of the year.

DM: Mahamadou Diarra (Mali)
Mahamadou Diarra played with Greek club OFI Crete and Dutch club Vitesse in the Netherlands, but made his name with Lyon.  In 2006, he made a big move to Real Madrid.  He helped the Spanish giants to win the league title.  Diarra had now been a league champion for six consecutive seasons, after winning Ligue 1 with Lyon between 2002–03 and 2005–06, and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2006–07 and 2007–08.  Later, he would play for Monaco and Fulham.  With Mali, he was capped 69 times.
Mahamadou Diarra

DM: Chérif Souleymane (Guinea) 
Souleymane moved to East German as 17 years old as a student.  Over there, he played for SC Neubrandenburg in the second-tier DDR-Liga for two seasons, from 1962 to 1964. He returned to his home country and spent the rest of his playing career with top-tier Hafia FC. He was African Player of the Year in 1972.  He was a part of Guinea's great team in the 1970's.  He played in the 1968 Olympics.

DM/CM: Jorge Roldán (Guatamela)
Roldán played almost his entire career for the local team Aurora FC, being perhaps the most emblematic individual ever to represent the club. In 1972, he became the first Guatemalan footballer ever to play professionally for a club in Spain, when he joined Hércules CF.  For Guatemala, he was being part of the squad that won the 1967 CONCACAF Championship, and participating in the 1968 Olympic Games.

CM: Nasr El-Din Abbas (Sudan)
Nasr El-Din Abbas is considered to be Sudan's greatest player.  His nickname was Jaxa. He led Sudan to finish as the champion of the 1970 African Cup of Nations and also the runner-up in 1963The result was the greatest ever for the nation of Sudan.  At the club level, Nasr El-Din Abbas spent his entire career playing for Al Hilal Educational Club in Sudan between 1963 and 1976.
Nasr El-Din Abbas 
LW:  Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia)
Bwalya's career in Europe began at Cercle Brugge in Belgium. He played for PSV Eindhoven between 1989 and 1994. Then, he played for Club America in Mexico.  He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988.  From 1983 to 2004, he was capped by Zambia.  He was not on the ill-fated flight that killed almost entire Zambian national team.  

FW/AM: Japhet N’Doram (Chad)
Japbet N'Doram began his career with local Tourbillon FC in 1984, then spent three seasons in Cameroon with Tonnerre Yaoundé.  In 1990, he signed for FC Nantes in France, where he played until 1997.  At Nantes, he was known for scoring important goals for the club. He spent a year with Monaco in the 1997-1998 season. He retired after suffering an injury against Nantes. He was capped 36 times for Chad. He was nicknamed the "Wizard".

AM/FWGeorge Weah (Liberia) 
In terms of individual awards, no other African player wins more awards than him.  He was was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or in 1995.  He won African Footballer of the Year: 1989, 1994, 1995.  He was voted African Player of the Century in 1996.  He had great careers with AC Milan where he won two Serie A titles. He also played for Paris St Germaine and AS Monaco in France. In 2017, Weah was elected as the President of Liberia.
George Weah

FW:  Lee Wei Tong (Republic of China/Hong Kong)
Lee Wei Tong was born in Hong Kong, but elected to play for the Republic of China.  He went to play in 1936 Olympics, where he made a strong impression.  Some experts considered him among the best footballer in the world at the time, but limited exposure outside Asia limited his name recognition.  At home, he predominantly played for South China and helped establish the club in being the most successful team in Hong Kong history.
 Lee Wei Tong 李惠堂

FW: Petit Sory (Guinea)
Born in 1945, Petit Sory finished in 3rd place in the 1972 African Footballer of the Year awards compiled by France Football magazine. On club level he played for Hafia FC in the capital Conakry, with which he won the African Champions' Cup in 1972, 1975 and 1977. He competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics for Guinea.

FW: Patrick Appriou (Tahiti)
Patrick Appriou played for AS Dragon in Tahit, but also had a brief career in France. He played Olympique de Marseille between 1987 and 1988.  In 1996, he helped Tahit to reach the Final of Oceania Cup before losing to Australia. Tahit finished second at the tournament.

FW: Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez (Guatemala) 
Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez is the second highest goalscorer of all time in the Guatemalan league. He is widely considered to be the greatest player from his country.  He spent most of his career with Comunicaciones.  He represented his country between 1976 and 1989. He helped his country to qualify for the Olympics in 1976. He played two games in Montreal, where his team was eliminated in the first round.

ST: Mohamed Kallon (Sierra Leone)
Kallon played in many clubs before joining Inter Milan in 1995, bit he spent most of his time on loans until 2001. He played for a number of clubs before retiring in 2016. His last stuint was Kallon, a club where he was also the founder.  For Sierra Leone, he was capped 35 times.  He earned his first cap as a 15 years old and scored his first goal on his debut.

ST: Clyde Best (Bermuda)
Best was one of the first black players in First Division football in England, scoring 47 goals for West Ham United between 1968 and 1976. Best also played for Feyenoord in Holland, and in the USA for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto Blizzard and Portland Timbers of the NASL. He was capped twice for Bermuda. He was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006.

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.

Honorable Mention
Peter Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), Sotiris Kaiafas (Cyprus), Pradip Kumar Banerjee (India), Peter Thangaraj (India), Paul Moukila (Republic of Congo), Collin Benjamin (Nambia), Clifton Msiya (Malawi), Louis Pilot (Luxembourg). Ken Monkou (Suriname), Stéphane Sessègnon (Benin)?, Abraham Løkin (Faroe Island), Carmel Busuttil (Malta), Clifton Msiya (Malawi), Luciano Vassalo (Ethiopia), Mengistu Worku (Ethiopia), Yidnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia), Victor Wanyama (Kenya), Musa Otieno (Kenya), Christopher Wreh (Liberia), Bobby Chalmers (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), Victor Wanyama (Kenya).

Squad Explanation
-- The criterion for this blog is NOT very realistic.  I found a lot of holes in my own criterion.  I am trying to do my best to come up with the best team.  I also "bended" the rules for some players.  For example, the eligibility of Paulino Alcántara is explained below.
-- I also made a lot of judgement call.
-- Despite not qualifying for a World Cup Finals, Albania, Finland and Venezuela are probably a better football nation than some of the countries not considered here.  So i am excluding those countries.  I made a judgement call on it.  Furthermore, Finland and Albania have qualified for the European Championship.
-- The players' pool came from only a handful of nations.  Most of the better nations have qualified for the World Cup Finals.
-- I excluded foreign-born players who became citizens of  these non-football playing countries. In my opinion, these players were trained in a country with strong soccer roots.  
-- DR Congo as Zaire played in the 1974 World Cup Finals. I excluded Paul Bonga Bonga.  He  probably did not grow up with proper football training. Both Eusebio and Mario Coluna probably had the same constraints growing up in Mozambique.  Again, I excluded them.
-- George Weah made my All-African team.
-- Henri Françillon (Haiti) were also excluded because he played in the World Cup Finals.
-- The Dutch East Indies who qualified for a WC Finals is considered to be Indonesia.  All Indonesian players are excluded.
-- I do not know much about goalkeeper David Chabala (Zambia).  So I took  Chow Chee Keong (Malaysia) who I happened to know a lot about.
-- Paulino Alcántara was born in the Philippines.  He also played football over there before he made it in Spain. He was capped by the Philippines before he played for Spain.  was in other blogs, I used the "cap-tied" or "cap first" rule.  For example, Luis Monti was listed mainly in blogs related to Argentina.  Thus, Paulino Alcántara is listed as a Filipino here.  However, he is ruled ineligible because he played for Spain.
-- Humphrey Mijnals (Suriname) started his career in Suriname, but he did play for Netherlands.  He is ineligible.
-- New Caledonia produced a few footballers for France.  Suriname is also produced footballers for Holland.  Antoine Kombouaré (New Caledonia) was uncapped by both France and New Caledonia while Ken Monkou never played for Holland or Suriname.  Marama Vahirua played for French youth team. I am sure that there are uncapped players born in Suriname who also found successes in Europe.  A number of them are probably better players than the ones I selected.
-- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) and Frederic Kanoute (Mali) were born in France.
-- The goalkeeper Koldo (Andorra) was born in Spain. Bruce Grobbelaar (Zimbabwe) was born in South Africa and South Africa had qualified for a World Cup.
-- I am excluding all players from the former Soviet Union.  I considered them from the former Soviet Union, a powerful football nation.
-- It was difficult to find a leftback. Kaiser Kalambo (Zambia) supposed to be one of Zambia's greatest footballers.  Mo Camara and Adama Tamboura held down the position in Europe, but was never considered among the best ever from Africa.  Hérita Ilunga is ineligible as Zaire/DR Congo played in a WC Finals.
-- Massimo Bonini was born in San Marino who played his youth career over there.  He also chose to represent San Marino.  He played for Itlay youth team.  he is ineligible. 
-- Rainer Hasler (Liechtenstein) was uncapped because Liechtenstein hardly played any game during his career.
-- Iceland has qualified for a World Cup Finals as well as performing well at Euro 2016.  Finland, on the other hand, has not done so.  The Guðjohnsens would have made this team. 
-- Panama also qualified for the World Cup Finals. Julio and Jorge Dely Valdés are not considered.  El Salvador also qualified for the WC Finals before.  Magico Gonzalez would easily make the team.
-- France and Holland have been known to cap footballers from their colonies.  Some of the players never had formal training in Europe, but I excluded them. 
-- Israel has also qualified for the 1970 World Cup Finals.
-- Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo) played in a World Cup Finals.
-- Lee Wei Tong was born in Hong Kong and played for the Republic of China (Taiwan).  He was widely considered among the greatest footballer in Asia.  The Peoples' Republic of China qualified for a World Cup Finals, but the Republic of China never did.  They are now known as Chinese Taipei in sport.The PRC qualified for the WC Finals, but not the Republic of China (Chinese Taipei).
-- Sotiris Kaiafas (Cyprus) won the European Golden Boot in 1976, but never played outside Cyprus.  I do not know his level outside his own country.  I selected other footballers who had played in a higher level. He only made honourable mention.
-- Petit Sorry (Guinea) edged out Oscar "Conejo" Sánchez (Guatemala). Story was voted among the greatest ever from Africa.
-- Ruel Fox was born in England.  He played for Montserrat.  So I excluded him.
-- The selection of  Clyde Best (Bermuda) is controversial.  I want to spread out the selections.  I took him as a representative of the Caribbean Islands. 

I started 8 Africans. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Spain All-Time Team without Real Madrid and Barcelona

David Silva and Fernando Torres 

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

Until recent years, the Spanish national team did not do well in the international tournaments.  They won Euro 1964 and reached the Final of Euro 1984, but they failed to go past the quarterfinal of any other tournament.  Then, in 2008, they won Euro 2008, South Africa 2010 and Euro 2012, becoming the first nation to win three straight major tournaments.  The Spanish domestic football, however, is dominated by two major clubs.  At the time of writing, Real Madrid and Barcelona have won more La Liga titles combined than the rest of the clubs in Spain.  Most of the top Spanish players in the last 50 years spent time playing for either clubs. Only two players from my Spain Greatest All-Time Team did not play for either Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are Rafael  Aranzadi "Pichichi" and Telmo Zarra, both from Atlethe Bilbao and Basque.

This is my all-time team for Spain without players from Real Madrid and Barcelona.  If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

GK: Luis Arconada 
Luis Arconada played his entire career with Real Sociedad, capturing back-to-back La Liga titles from 1980 to 1982.   he also helped them to o a semifinal run in the European Cup. He was capped 68 times, helping Spain to reach the final of the European Championship.  His blunder, however, in the Final caused Spain to lose in that Final against France. He also went to the 1978 and 1982 World Cups as well as Euro 1980. 
Luis Arconada 
GK: José Ángel Iribar 
José Ángel Iribor spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao from 1962 to 1980, except a season at the club's feeder club, CD Basconia.  He played over 600 games in a 18 year career.  For the national team, he played 49 times for Spain between 1964 and 1976. He was Spain's starting keeper at the 1964 European Championship as Spain won their first ever major trophy. He was also Spain's starting keeper at the World Cup Finals in 1966.

GK: Ignacio Eizaguirre   
Ignacio Eizaguirre started his career after the Spanish Civil War with Real Sociedad.  He played one season and moved to Valencia in 1940.  He won three La Liga and two Ricardo Zamora trophies for being the best goalkeeper of the season. He was the starting keeper at the WC finals in 1950.

RB: Feliciano Rivilla 
Feliciano Rivilla was an all-time great with Atletico Madrid.  He started playing football with Real Ávila CF, moving to Real Murcia at the age of 17.  In 1954, he joined Atletico Madrid, where he played until 1968. For Spain, he won the European Championship in 1964 with Spain as a starter, and was a part of two World Cup Finals in 1962 and 1966.

CB:  Andoni Goikoetxea 
Nicknamed "The Butcher" for his brutal style of play, Andoni Goikoetxea played mainly for Athletic Bilboa, but also with Atletico Madrid.  He was a part of Javier Clemente's Bilboa team that won back-to-back league title from 1982 to 1984.  However, he was best remembered for his feud with Diego Maradona.  he almost ended Maradona's career with a tackle in 1983.  A year later, he became the focal point of the infamous brawl between Barcelona and Athletic Bilboa at the Final of Copa del Rey.
Andoni Goikoetxea 
CB: Carlos Marchena 
Carlos Marchena played for Benfica, Sevilla, Valencia, Villareal and Deportivo La Coruna. His peak came with Valencia, where he won the Double in 2002-2003 season.  For the national team, he had 69 caps.  He was a starter at European Championship in 2008 where Spain won its first major trophy since 1964. He also played at Euro 2004 and two World Cup Finals.

CB/DM: Javi Martínez
In 2006, Javi Martinez joined Atletico Bilboa.   In 2012, he signed with Bayern Munich for €40 million, going on to win seven consecutive Bundesliga titles as well as the 2013 Champions League. A Spain international since 2010, Martínez was a member of the squads that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, and also played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

From 1949 to 1958, Antonio Puchades played for his hometown Valencia, his only club. He won the only league title in his debut season, but he only played 4 games that season.  For Spain, he received 23 caps between 1949 and 1954, and went to the 1950 World Cup Finals, starting every game. Spain finished 4th in Brazil. He was born in 1925.

LB: Isacio Calleja 
Calleja is a long term member of Atletico Madrid.  Safe for a very brief loan spell with CD Guadalajara in the third division, Calleja spent his entire 14-year professional career with Atlético Madrid. He won back-to-back Copa del rey from 1959 to 1961.  In 1962, he won the Cup Winners' Cup. He had 13 caps for Spain. Calleja helped the national side win the 1964 European Nations' Cup on home soil.

LB: Joan Capdevila 
At the club level, Joan Capedevila started his career with Espanyol in 1998.  He later played for Atletico Madrid, Deportivo la Coruna, Villarreal and Benfica.  The peak of his career was with Deportivo la Coruna and Villarreal. He was capped 60 times for Spain, in a period where Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship. He was their disputed starting leftback in that era.
Joan Capdevila 
DM: Belauste
Known for his physical size, Belauste was an early star of Athletic Bilbao and Spain.  He captained Spain to win a silver medal at the 1920 Olympics, but he almost did not pick up his medal because he was a Basque nationalist.  In the match against Sweden, he reportedly shouted "¡A mí el pelotón, Sabino, que los arrollo!".  That was credited for earning the nickname "Spanish Fury" for the national team.

DM: Marcos Senna
Before 2002, Marcos Senna played for various clubs in Brazil.  In 2002, he joined Villarreal in La Liga.  He stayed there until 2013.  He helped the club to reach the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2006.  Born in Brazil, he became a Spanish citizen in 2006 and played for Spain internationally.  He went to the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany.  He also helped Spain to win the European Championship in 2008 as a starting defensive midfielder.
DM/CM: David Albelda 
Except for two loan spells, David Albelda played his entire career with Valencia.  He was the heart and soul of the team that won two legaue title, an UEFA Cup and two runnerup medals at the Champions' league.  He was known for his midfield partnership with Ruben Baraja. He also served as their captain from 2001.  He was capped 51 times for Spain. He went to two World Cup Finals and a single European Championship.  He narrowly missed the European Championship in 2008, where Spain won their first major trophy since 1964.

AM: Julen Guerrero
In 1992, he made his debut with Athletic Bilbao. where he scored 28 goals in his first season.  He was awarded the New Spanish Player of the Year by El País in 1993, and won the Spanish Footballer of the Year by both Don Balón and El País the following year. However, his form dropped after 1997-1998 season.  In 1993, when still only 19, Guerrero made his debut for Spain. He went on to play 41 games and score 13 goals. He went to the 1994 and 1998 World Cup Finals, and Euro 1996.

AM/LM: David Silva 
David Silva became a starter at Valencia in 2006 which forced Palbo Aimar to leave the club.  In 2010, he joined Manchester City helping the club to win their first Preimership in over 40 years. For Spain, he had over 120 caps from 2006 onward.  He was a key player throughout the period as Spain won the "triple crown": two European Championship and a World Cup.  He also represented Spain at every major tournament from 2008 onward.

AM: Juan Carlos Valeron
Juan Carlos Valeron started his career with La Palmas.  He played for Mallocra and Atletico Madrid before he moving to Deportivo La Coruna, where he would play 13 seasons between 2000 and 2013.  He was widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, but injuries had limited his career. He only played 46 times for Spain between 1998 and 2005.  He went to the Euro 2000, the World Cup Finals in 2002 and Euro 2004.
Juan Carlos Valeron
RW: Jose Ufarte 
Born in Spain, but Jose Ufarte moved to Brazil as a child.  He started with Flamengo and Corinthians in Brazil before he returned home and signed with Atletico Madrid He played on the great Atletico Madrid side of the 1960's.  He later played with Racing Santander.  He earned 16 caps.  Ufarte represented Spain at the 1966 World Cup in England.

LW/FW: Joaquin Peiro 
Joaquin Peiro is a legend at Atletico Madrid.  He starred as his hometown club won back-to-back Copa del Rey from 1959 to 1961 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1962. In 1962, he moved to play for Torino in Italy.  Then, in 1964, he joined Inter Milan and won the European Cup in 1965 as a member "la Grande Inter".  He later played and captained Roma. He had 12 caps in a 10 year period.

LW: Agustin Gainza 
Agustín Gaínza is one of Atletico Bilboa's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with Athletic Bilbao, winning 10 major titles between 1940 and 1959.  When he retired, he was the club's appearance record holder. He won 33 caps and was the captain of Spain in the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil, where they finished 4th.

Fernando Torres started his career with Atletico Madrid in 2001, where he became the captain at age 19. In 2007, he moved to Liverpool FC and became a big star in England.  In 2011, Chelsea allegedly broke the British transfer record to buy him.  He was a part of the Champions' league winning team in 2012.  For the national team, he was a part of the generation that won the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships (2008 and 2012).  At Euro 2012, he was the top-scorer.
Fernando Torres 
ST: Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi"
The award for la Liga top-scorer is named after him.  He scored 240 goals in 170 matches for Athletic Bilbao. He won 4 Copa del Rey. In 1920, Pichichi was a member of the very first Spain national team that played at the Summer Olympic Games in Belgium. He earned five senior caps during one month, his debut coming on 28 August in a 1–0 win against Denmark.

ST: Isidro Langara 
Langara was a star player with Real Oviedo before the start of the Spanish Civil War.  After the War, he became an exile playing for San Lorenzo in Argentina. He scored 110 goals in 121 games.  In 1940, he was the league's joint-top scorer. In 1943, he moved to play for Real Espana in Mexico.  He was the league's top scorer.  In 1946, he returned to Spain and played fro Real Oviedo again.

ST: Telmo Zarra
Telmo Zarra is probably Athletic Bilbao's greatest player.  Zarra signed for Athletic after playing one season for Erandio. He became a prolific goalscorer in his 15 seasons at the club, winning the Pichichi Trophy as the highest scorer in La Liga on six occasions. During his career, Zarra scored a total of 251 league goals, a Spanish record that lasted nearly six decades. His 81 goals in the Copa del Rey remains a record today .He was capped 20 times and scored 20 goals for Spain. He was a member of the 1950 World Cup team.
Telmo Zarra
Honorable Mention
Andrés Palop, Carlos Lapetra, Joseba Etxeberria, Manuel Pablo,
Fernando Llorente, Gabi, Joaquín, Mundo, José Parra, Jesús Navas, Juan Arza, Diego Tristan, Diego Costa, Donato, Isacio Calleja, Santi Cazorla, Raul Tamudo, José Orue, César Azpilicueta, Antonio Biosca, Nacho Monreal, Alberto Górri, Rubén Baraja,Vicente Rodríguez, Jesus Navas.

Squad Explanation
-- Only two players from my Spain Greatest All-Time Team did not play for either Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are Rafael  Aranzadi "Pichichi" and Telmo Zarra.  Fernando Torres and David Silva deserved to be on that team.
-- David Silva is the all-time cap leaders of players who never played for the big two.  Fernando Torres also made the top 10 list with 110 caps.  The pair finished 3rd (Torres) and 4th (Silva) on the all-time goal scoring list.  
-- Gaizka Mendieta had a loan spell with Barcelona from Lazio. Álvaro Negredo, Juan Mata, etc came from Real Madrid's academy. They were ineligible.
-- Juan Antonio Señor was ruled ineligible because he came from Real Madrid's academy.  He never played senior football for the big two.
-- A lot of players came from the Basque region, where the region produced many great footballers before the War.
-- Most players played for Atletico Madrid,Valencia or one of the two clubs in Basque, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao. Isidro Langara who played with Real Oviedo and San Lorenzo in Argentina and Marcos Senna were the only players selected without ever playing in those clubs.  Senna was a naturalised player from Brazil while Isidro Lángara was an exile in South America.
-- Surprisingly, no player from Sevilla was selected. Jose Reyes and Negredo were ineligible because they played for Real Madrid while Gallego played with Barcelona.  Jesus Navas only made honorable mention.
-- Most players played before the 1990's.  After 1990's, the big two dominated in the transfer market when the top domestic players ended up playing for them.
-- In his prime,  Luis Arconada was considered among the best in Europe.  Unfortunately, he was best remembered for his blooper against France in the 1984 European Championship.  José Ángel Iribor was Spain's starting keeper at the 1964 European Championship as Spain won their first ever major trophy.  I took Ignacio Eizaguirre , but I might consider David De Gea in the future.
-- I selected Andoni Goikoetxea who was known as "The butcher of Bilbao".  He had a fierce rivalry with Diego Maradona who was playing for Barcelona at the time.  Please not to confuse him with Jon Andoni Goikoetxea who played for Johan Cruyff's Barcelona "Dream Team".   
-- Javi Martínez actually did more for Bayern Munich than for the Spanish national team.  He edged out DM Rubén Baraja.  It would have nice to reunite David Albelda and Rubén Baraja.
-- I went with older defensive midfielders than Gabi, who deserved a place. He also never played for Spain, which I did use as a reason for dropping him. 
-- The leftback position was very tough to choose. I took Isacio Calleja and Joan Capdevilla over Agustin Aranzaba and César Azpilicueta. Asier del Horno and Antonio Munozis are also considered for this team. 
-- Capdevilla was the only starting player in the 2010 World Cup Final who was not a member of Real Madrid or Barcelona.  From most of the all-time list for Spain, Capdevilla was seldom mentioned.  He might be underrated because he did not play for the Big Two, I felt. He might be rated better if he played for a higher profile club than Villarreal in his prime.
-- Juan Carlos Valeron's international career would have been better if he played in a different era. He was overshadowed by Gaizka Mendieta and then, later with a group of young playmakers such as Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
-- Vicente Rodríguez's peak was cut short by injuries.  At his peak, he was one of the best wingers in Europe. I left him off the team.
-- Jesus Navas was Sevilla's greatest player, but I already had Jose Ufarte. This team lacked players from Sevilla.  
-- I never considered Diego Costa.  The players ahead of him were very good.  "Pichichi", Fernando Torres, Telmo Zarra and Isidro Langara were all legends in Spain.
-- Telmo Zarra was probably Athletic Bilbao's greatest player.  He was one of the best ever from Spain.
-- The award for la Liga top-scorer is named after Rafael Moreno Aranzadi "Pichichi". 

Fernando Torres was going to start alongside Telmo Zarra, but I switched 4-3-3 because I felt that Spain is not going to play 4-4-2.  However, The team won't be playing "tiki taka".