Friday, February 28, 2020

East Midlands Greatest All-Time Team

Gary Lineker

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

Greater London
North East EnglandNorthWest England.
West MidlandsSouth West England
South East EnglandEast of England
Black English players
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1982
England 1974
Yorkshire and Humber
England After 1966 All-Time Team
Nottingham Forest
Leicester City

The East Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (except North and North East Lincolnshire), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. The region has an area of 15,627 km2 (6,034 sq mi), with a population over 4.5 million in 2011.

Leicester City, Notts Countty, Derby, Nottingham Forest, Lincoln FC are located in this area.  Notts County F.C. is the world's oldest professional football club, with Nottingham Forest F.C. being the oldest football league side after Notts County's relegation to the National League in 2019. Sam Weller Widdowson brought in shin pads in 1874. The first referee's whistle was at Nottingham in 1872.

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for players born in East Midlands.  All players are selected according to their place of birth.  I have also created an all-time team foEngland.
Mark Hatekey and Steve Hodge
GK: Ray Clemence (Lincolnshire)
Ray Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and the 1984 UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper.  For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton.  He was Shilton's backup at the World Cup Finals in 1982. He made 61 appearances for England between 1972 and 1983.
Ray Clemence 
GK: Peter Shilton (Leicester)
Peter Shilton is considered one of the greatest keepers ever.  He is England's all-time cap record-holder with 125.  He earned his first cap in 1970 and his last 20 years later in 1990.  He took England to 4th place in the 1990 World Cup.  He played for 11 different clubs in his career, all in England.  He won two straight European Cups in 1979 and 1980 with Nottingham Forrest. He was PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1977–78, an award rarely won by a goalkeeper.

GK: Sam Hardy (Derbyshire)
Sam Hardy was discovered by Liverpool FC after playing against them with Chesterfield, Sam Hardy joined Liverpool in 1905.  Later, he played for Aston Villa. He was capped 21 times, which was then an astonishing number and was widely considered to be England's first ever star keeper. 

RB: Phil Neal (Northamptonshire)
Phil Neal was the great right back from Liverpool between 1974 and 1985. He was one of England's most decorated player, winning 4 First Divisions, 4 League Cups, 5 FA Charity Shields, 4 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cups. He also played for Northampton Town and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. Neal also had a long career with England winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship.

RB: Viv Anderson (Nottinghamshire)
In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the English senior national team. He would earn 30 caps between 1978 and 1988.  He was on two World Cup team: 1982 and 1986, and two European Championshiop team: 1980 and 1988. He was a part of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest team that won back-to-back European Cup in 1979 and 1980.  He also played for Arsenal, Manchester United and and Sheffield Wednesday. 

CB: Dave Watson (Notthinghamshire)
Dave Watson played for Notts County, Rotherham United, Sunderland, Manchester City, Werder Bremen, Southampton, Stoke City, Vancouver Whitecaps and Derby County as well at the England national team where he won 65 caps. He played in the European Championship in 1980, but he never played in a World Cup Finals. He remains the most-capped England player never to play in a World Cup finals match.
 Dave Watson 
CB: Gary Cahill (Derbyshire)
Cahill joined Burnley on a season-long loan, where he performed well before returning to make his Aston Villa debut. He played with Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers before Cahill signed for Chelsea in 2012.  He won the UEFA Champions League in his debut season. Cahill is an England international with over 60 caps and went the World Cups of 2014 and 2018, and the  European Championship in 2012 and 2014.

CB: Russell Osman (Derbyshire)
Russell Osman spent 11 seasons with Ipswich Town from 1976 to 1985 during the club's greatest period, winning the UEFA Cup in 1981.  He also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Southampton, Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City. Osman played senior international football for England, for whom he received eleven caps.

CB: Graham Cross (Leicester)
Cross spent most of his career playing for Leicester City originally as an inside forward, then later as a centre-half and occasionally a right half. At Leicester he holds the record for the most appearances for the club with 599 between 1961 and 1975. He went on to join Brighton & Hove Albion and then Preston North End. He also represented Leicestershire as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler between 1961 and 1977.

LB: Ray Wilson (Derbyshire)
From 1952 to 1964, Wilson played for Huddersfield.  In 1964 Wilson joined Everton, by which time he had played 30 times for England, and remains to this day Huddersfield's most-capped England international.  For England, he would win 53 caps in total and was a starter at the WC Finals in 1966 in which England won.  He played in the 1968 European Championship where England reached the semifinal.
 Ray Wilson 
LH/LB: Ernest Needham (Derbyshire)
Needham played for Sheffield United from 1891 to 1910. He was instrumental in their promotion campaign of 1892–93 and then captained their team from 1895 to 1905. Under his captaincy, United won the First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899 and 1902. With 16 caps, he was the first Sheffield United player to captain the England national side. 

CM: Jermaine Jenas (Nottingham)
Jenas made his professional debut at age 17 for Nottingham Forest who were playing in the second tie. He was named PFA Young Player of the Year for the 2002–03 season while playing for Newcastle United.  Later, he played for Tottenham betweem 2005 and 2013.  He had 21 caps.  He was unused player at the 2006 World Cup Finals.

CM: Steve Hodge (Nottingham)
Steve Hodge joined his boyhood club Nottingham Forest as an apprentice in 1980 and helped the club to reach the semifinal of the UEFA Cup.  He also played for Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspurs and Leeds United. Capped 24 times fro England.  He went to both 1986 and 1990 World Cup Finals. He exchanged shirt with Diego Maradona after the infamous quaterfinal match vs Argentina in 1986.
Steve Hodge
CM: Ben Warren (Derbyshire)
Warren began his playing career with Derby County in 1899.  Playing at half-back, though he could also fill in at inside forward, Warren was known for his hard but fair tackling.  He later played for Chelsea between 1908 and 1911.   An knee injury sustained while playing for Chelsea led to a decline in his mental health.  He died of tuberculosis while still an inmate of the asylum in 1917. He had 22 caps and 2 goals, one of which came during England's first overseas tour.

RH/FW: Alfred Strange  (Derbyshire)
Strange began his career at Portsmouth and then, Port Vale.  He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in February 1927. He spent eight years with the club, helping Wednesday to win the First Division title in 1928–29 and 1929–30. He ended his professional career at Bradford Park Avenue.  He played 20 times for England.  In 1930, he was on England's European tour, captaining the side against France.

RH: Willie Edwards (Derbyshire)
Willed Edwards started with Chesterfield in 1919.  Between 1919 and 1943, he played with Leeds United, during which time he was never booked or sent off.  He played for them during the war years. Edwards was capped by England on 16 occasions. His first cap was against Wales on 1 March 1926. He captained England in his last five internationals, with his final appearance on 20 November 1929.
Willie Edwards
LW: Eric Houghton (Lincolnshire)
Between 1927 and 1946, Houghton played for Aston Villa, scoring 170 goals in 392 games.[2] (The total including wartime matches was over 200 goals.) He finished his playing career at Notts County. He also won 7 caps for England. His formidable and powerful shot was regarded as the hardest shot of his era.  He is a member of Aston Villa Hall of Flame.

FW: Harry Cursham  (Notthinghamshire)
Harry Cursham began his career in 1877 with Notts County. He became a regular in the Notts County team, frequently appearing alongside his brother, Arthur Cursham. He holds the individual goalscoring record for the FA Cup, with 49 goals in 44 games. He also played eight games for the England national football team, scoring five goals between 1880 and 1884.

ST: Andy Cole  (Nottinghamshire)
His professional career lasted from 1988 to 2008, and is mostly remembered for his time with Manchester United, who paid a British record transfer fee to sign him from Newcastle United. Cole spent six years with Manchester United and won nine trophies, including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1999.   He is the 4th All-Time leading scorer in the Preimer League.  With England, he only played 15 times.

ST: Gary Lineker (Leicester)
Gary Lineker was one of England's best goal poachers.  He scored 48 goals for England(second overall) and won the Golden Boot with 6 goals at Mexico 1986.  He also played in the 1990 World Cup Finals. He was the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1985–86 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985–86 and 1991–92.  In England, he played with Leicester Town, Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs. He also played for Barcelona FC in Spain.

ST: Tony Woodcock (Nottinghamshire)
Woodcock broke into the Forest first team in 1976–77, helping the team to promotion to the First Division. Under Brian Clough, Forest went on to win the First Division title and Football League Cup in 1978 (Woodcock winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award that year as well), and the European Cup in 1979. In 1986, he joined FC Köln in 1979 and later played for Arsenal.  Capped 42 times and went to Spain 1982.

ST: Mark Hateley (Derbyshire)
Mark Hateley made his name with Coventry and Portsmouth before moving to AC Milan in 1984.  He played with AS Monaco before moving to Rangers in 1990. He won both SFWA and PFA Players of the Season for the 1993-1994 season. He won six league titles. He earned 32 caps, and went to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico 1986 and the European Championship in 1988.

ST: Tinsley Lindley (Nottingham)
Lindley was an amateur who did not wear football boots but scored 14 goals for England in 13 internationals. Lindley was given an O.B.E. in January 1918 for his work during World War One and in 1935 he was also awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.   He played his entore career with Nottingham Forest.  It has been claimed that he holds the record for scoring in 9 consecutive England matches between 13 March 1886 and 7 April 1888. However, there is no substance whatsoever to this claim.
Tinsley Lindley

Honorable Mention 
Joe Bradford, Ted Hufton, Chris Woods, Roy Goodall, Willie Hall, Dave Thomas, Steve Whitworth, Jermaine Pennant, Sam Weaver, Ernie Hart, Harry Cursham, Mick Jones,  Eddie Clamp, Fred Spiksley, Chris Sutton, Jack Robinson, Chris Kirkland, Dion Dublin, Tom Huddlestone, Emile Heskey.

Honorable Mention
-- Dave Watson, Ray Clemence, Tony Woodcock and Phil Neal were on England's Euro 1980 team.  Dave Watson did not make it to the 1982 World Cup team, but the other three went to Spain.
-- Peter Shilton, Steve Hodge, Gary Lineker and Mark Hateley went to the 1986 World Cup Finals.  Lineker and Hateley started together in the first two matches, but Hateley was dropped later in the tournament.
-- Peter Shilton, Graham Cross, Gary Lineker and Emile Heskey are on my Leicester City All-Time team.
-- Jack Robinson, Ernest Needham, Harry Cursham, Ben Warren, Charlie Athersmith and Tinsley Lindley played in the 19th Century. Sam Hardy actually started his career in 1903.  I also included two pre-war players, Alfred Strange and Eric Houghton.  Only three players played in the Preimership era. So this must be my oldest blog team.
-- Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton needed no introduction.  Sam Hardy were probably the greatest goalkeeper in the pre-War period alongside Jack Robinson. So I left off Jack Robinson, Chris Woods and Joe Hulme.  I also have Ted Hufton on the list.
-- Roughy about twenty-something defenders from East Midlands have played for England.  So the pool is very small.  
-- The rightback position is very strong.  I took Viv Anderson and Phil Neal. Even Roy Goodall could not make the team.  The pair was known as great rightbacks at their time.  
-- On the left, I selected Ray Wilson from the 1966 World Cup Finals. Ernest Needham was a left-half, a position I considered to be a wingback in the modern game.  He was one of the game's early star players.
-- The centerback position is more difficult to select.  Gary Cahill and David Watson were strong candidates.  Russell Osman was one of Bobby Robson's key defenders during his time with Ipswich in the early 1980's.  I was a fan of the club at the time.  I cannot really find anyone standing out for the fourth centerback.  Wes Morgan who was born in East Midlands decided to play for Jamaica.  Peter Daniels was known for his career with Derby, but played mainly behind  Roy McFarland and Colin Todd.  Steve Chettle and Graham Cross are club legends. In the end, I went with Cross.  Cross is the all-time appearance record holder for Leicester, a local club.
-- During my research, I found many midfielders from the pre-war era.  So I took two modern players Steve Hodge and Jermaine Jenas to balance the team.  Hodge was probably remembered for playing against Diego Maradona at the famous 1986 World Cup quarterfinal matches.  He exchanged shirts with Maradona.
-- Jack Robinson, Ben Warren, Harry Cursham and Tinsley Lindley played in the 19th Century.  It was too long ago.  I did not know how to rate them.  Lindley had good goal-to-matches ratio for England on paper, but his scoring streak for England was not verified. He might not have scored 9 straight matches for England.  Nevertheless, I felt that he deserved a place.. There are plenty of information on Charlie Athersmith. He was an early star of Aston Villa. 
-- I feel sorry for Ben Warren after hearing his story.  After suffering a long injury, Warren suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to a lunatic asylum.  Did I take pity on him because of his life story? Let's say at the time of research I could not really decide who to pick among the pre-war players.  There are limited information on the players.  So I was looking at different angles for my selection.  Upon learning his story, I could not get him out of my head.  Besides, he did play in the first overseas of England.
-- Joe Bradford supposed to be a good player of his time, but I went with modern attackers  because I have more informations on them.  
-- I do not need to explain the inclusion of Gary Lineker, do I?
-- Gary Lineker probably should have won the 1986 Ballon D'or award.  That year, the award remained as European Player of the Year.  It was the year that no one stood out.  Igor Belanov won it for his performance at the 1986 World Cup Finals, where he scored 4 goals and one of each was a stunning goal against Belgium.  Dynamo Kyiv also won the Cup Winners' Cup.  Lineker finished as the Golden Boot at the same World Cup Finals.  He was the top scorer in English league while winning both PFA and FWA Player of the Year.  However, Everton was trophy-less that year.  Emilio Butragueño was third because of Real madrid capturing the UEFA Cup as well as his 4 goal performance against Denmark in the World Cup.  The three candidates, I thought, was very close.
-- Mark Hateley was one of the few English footballers to find successes playing overseas. His career with AC Milan was injury ridden, but he did reasonable well with AS Monaco.  He also played for Glasgow Rangers.
-- I took Emile Heskey and Tony Woodcock over Andy Cole because they appeared in bigger international tournaments for England.  Cole never played in a World Cup Finals or European Championship.
-- Emile Heskey earned 62 caps for England as well as winning a League Cup with Leicester  City, a local club.
-- I did consider taking Emile Heskey over midfielder Jermaine Jenas. Andy Cole definitely had a more decorated club career than Jenas.  No one can doubt his contribution  to Manchester United's triple crown  in 1999. However, the team has too many right-halfs from the pre-War eras.  I might need another central midfielder.
-- In Newcastle, Andy Cole won the Golden Boot in the 1993-1994 season, where he scored a stunning 41 goals in 45 appearance.  In Manchester United, he did not live up to his record breaking transfer fees, but he redeemed himself by forming a legendary partnership with Dwight Yorke and winning the treble.  He was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2000.  Heskey also impressed in Leicester, but he was nowhere close to Cole's career in Newcastle.  In Liverpool, he also earned a reputation of being insufficient.  Cole is the 4th highest goal scorer in  Premier league's history with 187 goals while Heskey 27th with just 110.  Heskey had 62 caps and only 7 goals, but Cole only had 15 caps and a single goal.  Cole suffered by playing at the time when England preferred the partnership of Alan Shearer and Terry Sheringham.  He was also ignored Glen Hoddle for the 1998 World Cup, where Michael Owen arrived on the scene.  

I would have started Mark Hateley with Gary Lineker if this combination worked out in the actual 1986 World Cup Finals. Instead, I started Tony Woodcock.  He scored more goals than Emile Heskey for England.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Yorkshire and the Humber Greatest All-Time Team

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

His Facebook and Instagram

Jamie Vardy and Kyle Walker
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Leeds United 
Greater London
North East EnglandNorthWest England.
East Midlands
West Midlands
East of England

Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) for statistical purposes. It comprises most of Yorkshire (the administrative areas of South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Yorkshire and the City of York), as well as North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. It does not include Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland or other areas of the historic county of Yorkshire, such as Sedbergh not included in the aforementioned administrative areas. The largest settlements are Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull, and York. The population in 2011 was 5,284,000.

It is home of football clubs such as Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Leeds UnitedSheffield Wednesday, Hull City, Rotherham United, Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Bradford City and Grimsby Town.

This is the all-time team for players born in Yorkshire and the Humber.  Birthplace is the criteria for selection for this team. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

GK: Gordon Banks (Sheffield)
Gordon Banks was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, and was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year on six occasions. He won the World Cup in 1966.  He also made one of the game's great saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup.  Along with Lev Yashin, he is considered the greatest keepers of his generation. The prime of his club career was spent with Leicester and Stoke City.
Gordon Banks
GK: David Seaman (Rotherham)
The peak of Seaman's career was during his period as Arsenal and England goalkeeper in the 1990s and early 2000s. At Arsenal, he won three league championships (1991, 1998, 2002), four FA Cups (1993, 1998, 2002, 2003), the League Cup in 1993 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994.  He also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Euro 96 and Euro 2000, and is England's second-most capped goalkeeper with 75 caps.

GK: Ted Sagar (Moorends)
Ted Sagar joined Everton as an apprentice in 1929 after playing for Thorne Colliery in Yorkshire and made in debut in 1930. He played in the championship winning sides of 1931–32 and 1938–39 and the FA Cup winning side of 1933.  He made 499 appearances for Everton; this goalkeeping record for the club was only beaten by Neville Southall in 1994. He played 4 times for England before the War.

RB: Kyle Walker (Shefffield)
Walker started with Sheffield United F.C. In 2009, he joined Tottenham Hotspurs. He spent some time on loan before returning to Tottenham Hotspurs.  He established himself as one of England's best fullback. In 2017, he joined Manchester City. Since 2011, he has played for England. He represented England at the European Championship in 2016.
Kyle Walker 
CB: Harry Maguire (Sheffield)
Born in Sheffield, Maguire came through the youth system at Sheffield United before graduating to the first team. He spent three seasons with Sheffield United before joining Hull City in 2014.  He also spent time on loan with Wigan. In 2017, he joined Leicester City.  He made his England's debut in 2017 under manager Gareth Southgate.

CB: Peter Swan (South Elmsall)
Swan made 299 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday between 1953 and 1964.  However, he will be mostly remembered for his involvement in a betting scandal that led to him being banned from football between 1964 and 1972.  He was also jailed for 3 months. He later played for Bury and Matlock Town.  For England, he went to the 1962 World Cup Finals.

CB: Wilf Copping (Barnsley)
From 1929 to 1934, Copping played for Leeds United.  From 1934 to 1939, he joined Arsenal before returning to Leeds United again.  He joined the Army at the start of the war, and served in North Africa, eventually becoming a Sergeant Major. He played the occasional wartime game for Leeds, but retired from playing football in 1942.  For England, he was capped 20 times.

CB: John Stones (Barnsley)
Stones began his career with Barnsley, making his first-team debut in the Championship in 2012 as a 17-year-old. He joined Premier Everton  in January 2013.  He spent over four seasons at the Merseyside club.  In 2016, he signed for Manchester City.  With England, he made his debut in 2014.  He was a non-playing member at Euro 2016.

LB: Ernie Blenkinsop (Barnsley)
Blenkinsop began his career with local amateur side Cudworth Village. He joined Hull City in 1921; however, after one year with the club, he signed for Sheffield Wednesday, helping the club win promotion to the First Division before going on to win two Football League titles between 1929 and 1930.  He had 26 caps for England, serving 5 times as captain.  All of his caps came in consecutive England fixtures, a record until beaten by Roger Byrne in the 1950's.
 Ernie Blenkinsop
LB: Terry Cooper (Brotherton)
Terry Cooper was Don Revie's trusted left back at Leeds United. He played for Leeds from 1962 and 1975.  He was known for his partnership with Eddie Grey on the left flank. In 1975, he left to join Middlesbrough, which was then managed by his teammate Jack Charlton. He had 20 caps for England between 1969 and 1974.  He went to the 1970 World Cup with England.

ST/RW/CM: Alan Smith (Rothwell)
Smith started with Leeds United in 1998 as an attacker, where he scored over 50 goals.  He transferred to Manchester United in 2004, whereupon manager Sir Alex Ferguson successfully converted him to a holding midfielder.  Later, he played for Newcastle United between 2007 and 2012.  From 2001 to 2007, Smith earned 19 caps for England.

DM/LB: Paul Madeley (Leeds)
Paul Madeley signed for Leeds from non-league Farsley Celtic in May 1962 and became a regular in Leeds' first team from 1966 onwards.  He was one club player.  In his Leeds career, he played in every position on the pitch except goalkeeper. He was voted into the PFA Team of the Year three times. For England, he was capped 24 times between 1971 and 1977.  He declined to be a stand-in player for the 1970 World Cup Finals.
Paul Madeley
CM: David Batty (Leeds)
David Batty is most famous for playing for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.  He won league titles with both Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers, but his role with Blackburn Riovers was limited by an injury.  He was capped for the England national football team, and representing the nation at UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup.

AM/CM: Ron Flowers (Doncaster)
Flowers was known for his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he played between 1952 and 1966. At Wolves, he won three First Division titles and a FA Cup, which was the club's most successful eras.  He later played for Northampton at the end of his career. For England, he played 49 times, including a 40 straight appearance(a record shared by Billy Wright).  He went to the 1962 and 1966 World Cup Finals.

CM/LM/RM: James Milner (Leeds)
James Milner played over 60 times for England. He was selected for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup squads, as well as the 2012 and 2016 UEFA Euro Championships.  At the club level, he played for Leeds United, Aston Villa and Newcastle United.  He was PFA Young Player of the Year: 2009–10.  From 2011 to 2015, he played for Manchester City, helping them to win two Preimerships. At the time of writing, he plays for Liverpool. 
James Milner

RW: Aaron Lennon (Leeds)
Lennon began his career at hometown club Leeds United.  From 2005 to 20-15, he played for Tottenham Hotspurs.  Later, he played for Everton and Burnley.  For England, he had 23 caps. He was picked in England's 2006 World Cup squad, despite being only 19 years of age and uncapped at senior level.  He played two matches.  He also played in the 2010 World Cup Finals.

Eric Brook (Mexborough)
Eric Brook is the all-time record goalscorer for Manchester City in all competitions. After playing amateur football for Wath Athletic, Brook began his professional football career with nearby Barnsley. He has been described as an 'unorthodox' outside left 'with a licence to roam'. He won the 1934 FA Cup.  Capped 18 times.  Brook was involved in the famous Battle of Highbury game against the world champions Italy in 1934. 

LW: Graham Rix (Doncaster)
Graham Rix was known for his career with Arsenal between 1975 and 1988.   His club reached the Final of the Cup Winners' Cup.  He became their skipper after Liam Brady went to Juventus.  He also played club football in France with Caan and Le Havre and in Scotland with Dundee at the end of his career. He was capped 17 times for England.  He went to the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, where he played 5 games.
Graham Rix 
FW: Jamie Vardy (Sheffiedl)
From 2007 to 2012, Jamie Vardy played in the lower leagues of English football.  In 2012, he joined Leicester City, which was then in the Championship. In 2015-2016, his career took off.  He was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the title. He earned his first cap in 2015 before his breakout season.  He became a key player soon after.

FW: Len Shackleton (Bradford)
Known as the "Clown Prince of Soccer", he is generally regarded as one of English football's finest ever entertainers.   He turned professional at Bradford Park Avenue in 1940.  He joined Newcastle United in 1946.  He as sold on to Sunderland for a British transfer record fee of £20,050 in 1948.  He played for them until 1957. His individualism and outspoken nature limited him to only five England caps in a six-year international career.

ST: Tommy Taylor (Smithies, South Yorkshire)
Tommy Taylor was one of the eight Manchester United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.  He was 8 days past his 26th birthday. He started with Barnley and moved to Manchester United in 1953.  For England, he was seen as the  perfect eventual replacement for the ageing Nat Lofthouse in the England side. In all, he played 19 times for England, scoring 16 goals. He managed two hat-tricks for the England team.
Tommy Taylor
CF: George Hunt (Mexborough)
Hunt joined Chesterfield in 1929.  After a year, he joined Tottenham Hotspurs.  He spent seven seasons with the club, and was a prolific goalscorer.   In 1937, he became the first player to move directly from Spurs to Arsenal since Peter Kyle in 1906.  He later played for Bolten Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday.   In 1933, he played three times for England.

ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (Docaster)
Kevin Keegan was two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV, where he played between 1977 and 1980.  He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United after returning from Germany. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982. 
Kevin Keegan 

Honorable Mention
Dean Windass, Simon Grayson, David Pegg, Mark Jones, Jack Pickering, Danny Rose, Fabian Delph, John Scales, Trevor Cherry, Paul Robinson, Gordon West, Michael Dawson, Frank Barson, George Wilson, Albert Geldard, Derek Kevan, Colin Grainger, Rabbi "Rab" Howell, Kevin Hector, Laurie Scott.

Squad Explanation
-- I decided to use Yorkshire and Humber as my blog lack, instead of historical county of Yorkshire. I already did a North East England All-Time Team.  Some parts of Yorkshire is inside North East England.  Some players are already on that team.  Besides, I have no idea if I got the geography and its historical context correctly.  So I decied to use the boundary of Yorkshire and Humber as my guideline.
-- Before I started this blog team, I did not know where Yorkshire was located.  I only heard of Yorkshire pudding.  
-- Brian Clough, Jonathan Woodgate, Stewart Downing and Wilf Mannion are from the historical county of Yorkshire, but their birthplace is not within Yorksire and Humber.
-- Six players from England's 2018 World Cup team came from Yorkshire and Humber. They are Kyle Walker, Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones and Fabian Delph.  Gary Cahill was born just south of Sheffield in Dronfield, East Midlands.
--Yorkshire has produced roughly 130 international footballers for England.  It has produced some of the most tough-tackling England defenders; 1 in every 3 Yorkshiremen to play for England has been a defender.
-- Leeds United's greatest period was under manager Don Revie. He managed the club from 1961 to 1974. I selected two local lads from that generation.  They are Paul Madeley and Terry Cooper. Trevor Cherry only made honorable mention.
-- David Batty, Aaron Lennon and Alan Smith played for Leeds United.  David Seaman who was fan of the club began his career with them, but he was overlooked by the club.  He never played a game for them.
-- Gordon Banks and David Seaman are obvious choices for goalkeepers.  Then, I took Paul Robinson over Ted Sagar. Sagar was one of Everton's greatest goalkeepers, but Robinson started for England at a World Cup Finals.  Gordon West made honorable mention.
-- Danny Rose lost out to two old-timers.  Terry Cooper was a legend for Leeds United in the 1970's while Ernie Blenkinsop was the best in his time.  In time, Rose might get into the team.  Paul Madeley could also play a leftback.  I also considered Trevor Cherry, but I took his former teammate Cooper over him.  Cooper belonged to a period when Leeds United was more successful, which I considered important for Yorkshire and Humber.  He also played in the 1970 World Cup Finals.
-- I took Paul Madeley and Alan Smith because they were utility players.  
-- Mick McCarthy who was born here played for Ireland, but this blog is about English internationals.  So he is ineligible, but he would have made the squad if he was not cap-tied to Ireland.
-- Peter Swan played for Sheffield Wednesday, a local club.  I considered contributions to local football as a criteria.  Besides, he went to the 1962 World Cup Finals.  His ban from football did not affect my judgement.  
-- I have a hard time to decide between John Stones and Harry Maguire. They are very similar.  So I took both players.  They have been England's starters for a long period of time. 
-- I hope to select Trevor Cherry, John Scales and Michael Dawson. Instead, I took Wilf Copping, who was one of the greatest centerbacks in the pre-war eras.  He also played on the left side too. 
-- On the left wing, I took Eric Brook and Graham Rix. Eric Brook was one of England's greatest player in the pre-War era.  Then, I took Graham Rix (Doncaster) over Nick Barmby.  When I started watching football, Rix was a star.  That might affect my judgement.
-- Upon further review, I discovered Len Shackleton, who was a star player in the 1940's and 1950's.  
-- David Pegg and Mark Jones died in the Munich Air Disaster.  They were born in West Riding of Yorkshire.  They made honorable mention. I took Tommy Taylor from Smithies, South Yorkshire who also died that day.
-- I also considered Kevin Hector.  If England beat Poland in the World Cup Qualifier in 1973 and qualified for the World Cup Finals, his name might become a household name.  In that match, he nearly scored the winner with one of his first touch after he entered the game. Please see what if England qualfied for the World Cup in 1974.
-- Rabbi Howell was of Romani descent and was the first Romani to play for England, winning two caps between 1895 and 1899.  He was a center-half born on Sheffield.
-- George Robledo was born in Chile, but grew up in the region.  I could have make an exception for him, but I decided to go with the local born players only.  Then, I could not look into every English players to see if they were born elsewhere but grew up here.  So he is ineligible. 
-- Ron Flowers was the oldest member of the 1966 World Cup team. He shared the record of playing in 40 straight England's games with Billy Wright.
-- Radamel Falcao's great-grandfather was from Yorkshire.  I do not know if he is from modern day Yorkshire and Humbe.  Anyway, this blog team is about English international born here.  
-- Kevin Keegan was European Player of the Year twice.  He started his career here with Scunthorpe United, but his family was Newcastle United fans.
-- Erling Håland was born in Leeds when his father Alf-Inge Håland was playing for Leeds United.  Since he played for Norway, so he does not belong to this team.


Friday, February 14, 2020

Villarreal All-Time Greatest Team

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

His Facebook and Instagram

Europa League Champion 2020-21
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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

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

Villarreal is just a small town of just 50,000 inhabitants. Their home stadium El Madrigal has a capacity of 25,000.  The club is nicknamed El Submarí Groguet or El Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) due to its yellow home kit, and due to being a low-profile team compared to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, and regional rivals Valencia, whom they have challenged for trophies over the last decade. Villarreal has often been touted as an example of a small but successful club.  Villarreal won the 2020-2021 Europa League.  They became the smallest team ever to win a major trophy in Europe.
Villarreal 2007-2008 La Liga Runner-up
GK: Diego Lopez (Spain)
Lopez started from Real Madrid, but made his name first with Villareal and Sevilla.  In January, 2013, he rejoined Real Madrid after Iker Casillas suffered a serious injury.  He quickly established as the starter.  He maintained his starting status the following year, despite the return of Casillas.  He won Copa Del Rey that season as the starter while backing up Casillas in the Champions' League as Real Madrid won it.  Capped once in 2009.
Diego Lopez

GK: Pepe Reina (Spain)
Reina first became a star at Villarreal when he helped the club to reach the Champions' league for the first time in history.  A year later, he joined Liverpool FC. At Liverpool FC, he won three Premier League Golden Glove. He was a part of Spain at World Cup 2010, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, but served as a backup to Iker Casillas.

GK: Sergio Asenjo (Spain)
Sergio Asenjo began with Valladolid, where he made 49 senior appearances. He then moved to Atlético Madrid in 2009 and spent five seasons with the club. From 2014 to now, he played for Villarreal.  He earned one cap for Spain.  He was the first footballer from Palencia to win a cap since Jesús Landáburu 36 years prior

RB: Javi Venta  (Spain)
Javi Venta started with Real Oviedo B in 1995.  He amassed La Liga totals of 270 matches during 11 seasons.  He played with Villarreal between 1999 and 2010, and a second spell in the 2012-2013 season.  He also appeared in the competition with Gimnástica de Torrelavega, Racing de Ferrol, Tenerife and Levante, and had a brief abroad spell in England with Brentford. 

RB: Mario Gaspar (Spain)
Mario played youth football for Villarreal CF., where he made his senior debut in 2009.  At the time of writing, Villarreal is his only club.  In 2015, he earned his first cap for Spain, scoring his first goal in the match.  He also scored another goal on his second match (against England).  The goal was nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award.  At this moment, he had three caps.
Mario Gaspar 

CB: Quique Álvarez (Spain)
Quique Álvarez came from Barcelona's academy, but made his name with Villarreal after playing for UE Lleida.  He played for them between 2000 and 2007, where he was team captain at one point.  In July 2007, Álvarez joined Recreativo de Huelva, but he suffered two injury-riddled seasons over there.  He represented Spain at the youth level only.

CB: Raúl Albiol (Spain)
Albiol started with Valencia CF in 2004.  He joined Real Madrid in 2009, where he played until 2013.  From 2013 to 2019, he played for Napoli in Italy.  Then, he joined Villarreal, where he helped them to win Europa League in 2021.  From 2007 onward, he earned 56 caps for Spain.  He was a part of Spain's triple crown(Euro 2008 and 2012 and World Cup 2010), but he was an unused player in 2010 and 2012.  He also went to the 2014 World Cup Finals.

CB: Mateo Musacchio (Argentina)
Mateo Musacchio started with River Plate. In 2009, he moved to Villarreal.  He played for them until 2017, when he joined AC Milan. In 2011, he earned his cap for Argentina.  At the time of writing, he had 6 caps in total.  He was asked to represent Albanian because of his Albanian origins, but he turned it down.

CB: Gonzalo Rodríguez (Argentina)
After starting out at San Lorenzo in 2002, he spent most of his career with Villarreal, appearing in 253 official games over the course of eight La Liga seasons (nine goals). He also played five years in the Italian Serie A, with Fiorentina.  He served as their captain in the 2015-2016 season. He rejoined San Lorenzo in 2017.  For Argentina, he earned 7 caps.

LB: Joan Capdevila (Spain)
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
LB: Rodolfo Arruabarrena  (Argentina)
"El Vasco" Arruabarrena (The Basque) debuted professionally in 1993 with Boca Juniors, where he played until 2000.  He won the Copa Libertadores 2000 with them. From 2000 to 2007, he played for Villarreal.  His goals in the 2005–2006 Champions League helped to eliminate Rangers FC and Inter Milan to reach the semi-finals. Then, he played for AEK Athens and Club Atlético Tigre.  From 1995 to 2006, he played 6 times for Argentina.  

DM: Josico (Spain)
Josico made his debut with Albacete Balompié in 1995. Josico went on to represent UD Las Palmas for four seasons, joining Villarreal CF  in 2002, where he was a key player.  He was at one point their captain.  He joined Fenerbahçe S.K. in  2008, but after a season, he rejoined Las Palmas at the same time of a former teammate, Antonio Guayre.

DM: Marcos Senna (Spain)
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.  He became a Spanish citizen in 2006.  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.
Marcos Senna and Bruno
DM: Bruno Soriano (Spain)
Soriano was a product of Villarreal CF's youth system. He made his debut for the first team in 2006.  At the time of writing, he remained with the club.  He was known as the club;'s unsung hero throughout the years.  He even followed the club to Segunda Divsion.  For Spain, he earned 10 caps.  He made his national team debut in 2010.  He made it to the European Championship in 2016, his first major international tournaments.

CM: Roberto 
Roberto started playing professionally with CD Castellón in 1979, after emerging through the ranks of Villarreal CF.  From 1981 to 1986, he played for Valencia.  Then, he played for Barcelona from 1986 to 1990.  He won  the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.  From 1995 to 1999, he played for Villarreal, where he helped them to grain promotion.  For Spain, he earned 29 caps, and was included in the squad for the Euro 1984 and the 1990 World Cup Finals.

RM/CM: Cani  (Spain)
Cani started with his hometown team Real Zaragoza in 2002.  He won  the 2004 Copa Del Rey and Supercopa de España with them and .  From 2006 to 2015, he played for Villarreal.  In 2015, he moved to Deportivo La Coruna.  After a season, he returned to Zaragoza.  He also played on loan with Atletico Madrid.  He was called up by Spain manager Luis Aragonés, but never earned a cap.

RW: Antonio Guayre (Spain)
After emerging through hometown UD Las Palmas's academy he made his La Liga debut in 2000.  The following season, he joined Villarreal, where he was a key player until 2006.  Then, he played for Celta and CD Numancia before returning to Las Palmas.  Guayre won his sole cap for Spain on 9 February 2005 against San Marino.

LW: Robert Pires (France)
Pirès earned 79 caps between 1996 and 2004,  winning both the 1998 World Cup and  Euro 2000.  He started his career with Metz and then, joined Mariselle.  He became famous while playing for Arsène Wenger's Arsenal.  He was the FWA Player of the Year for the 2001–02 season. In 2008, Arsenal fans voted Pirès as the club's sixth greatest player of all time. He later played for Villarreal and Aston Villa.
Robert Pires
AM/CM/LM: Santi Cazorla (Spain)
Santi started with Villarreal, where he had two spells with 7 seasons in total.  He also played for Recreativo de Huelva and Malaga.  Between 2012 and 2018, he played for Arsenal.  He was Spanish Player of the Year in the 2006–07 season.  He played 81 times for Spain.  He was a semi-regular participant in the nation's triumphs at UEFA Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, as well as featuring at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

AM/CM: Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina)
Juan Roman Riquelme was the best Argentine player of his generation. He spent most of his career with Boca Juniors, but also had a significant spell in Spain with Villarreal. He was a club legend with Boca Juniors.  He won 4 Copa Libertadores and a single Intercontionental Cup.  With Villarreal, he reached the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2005. For Argentina, he was only capped 51 times, largely because of his row with manager Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
Juan Roman Riquelme 
ST: Cédric Bakambu (Congo)
Born in France of Conglese background, Cédric Bakambu represented that country up to under-20 level. In 2015, he switched to play for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and made his senior debut for the national team. For his club career, he started with Sochaux.  Later, he played with Bursaspor, Villarreal and Beijing Guoan.  He was named UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2015–16 while playing for Villarreal.

FW: Giuseppe Rossi (Italy)
When Rossi was 17, he was signed by Manchester United. He had loan spells with Newcastle United and Parma before joining Villarreal in 2007. After five-and-a-half years with Villarreal, he returned to Italy, signing for Fiorentina in 2013. In 2016, he was sent on loan to Spanish club Levante, while he spent the following season on loan with Celta. Born in the US, Rossi chose to represent Italy.  he made his debut for Azzuri in 2008, but injuries through his career limited him to 30 caps.
Giuseppe Rossi 
ST: Gheorghe Craioveanu (Romania)
In Romania, he was remembered for his career with FC Universitatea Craiova.  From 1995 to 1998, he played for Real Sociedad.  Then, he joined Villarreal, where he helped them to regain promotion to La Liga.  He later played 4 seasons with Getafe.  For Romania, he earned 25 caps.  He played in the 1998 World Cup Finals.

ST: Gerard Moreno (Spain)
Moreno started his career with Villarreal CF in 2012, where he played untol 2015.  In between, he spent a season on loan with Mallorca.  Between 2015 and 2018, he played with Espanyol.  In 2018, he returned to Villarreal.  With them, he won the Zarra trophy twice.  He scored 7 times in their victorious run in the UEFA Europa League in 2021.  At the time of writing, he was capped 3 times.

ST:  Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Diego Forlan's career in Europe started slowly, but his career finally took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, winning the UEFA Europa League with the latter. At the international level, he had 112 caps, leading Uruguay to the 2011 Copa America title as well the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010.
Diego Forlan

Honorable Mention
José Mari (Spain), Victor Fernández (Spain)
Nihat Kahveci  (Turkey), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Samu Castillejo (Spain), Juliano Belletti (Brazil), Sebastián Eguren, Nilmar (Brazil), Joseba Llorente (Spain), Fabricio Coloccini (Argentina), Sonny Anderson (Brazil), Sebastian Battaglia (Argentina), Pascual Donat (Spain), Pascal Cygan (France), Mati Fernández (Argentina), Juan Manuel Pena (Bolivia), Juan Pablo Sorín (Argentina), Manu Trigueros (Spain), Paco Alcácer (Spain), Raul Albiol (Spain).

Squad Explanation
-- The rise of Villarreal started not so long ago.  They did not reach Spain’s Segunda División until 1970.  In 1997, businessman Fernando Roig took over the club.  He took them from the Segunda División to La Liga in the 1998/99 season.  They did not qualify for Europe until the 2003/04  season.  So I am covering a short period of time.   Parma also has a short history.
-- Fernando Roig took a lot of well-known players who failed at their previous clubs, and Villarreal turned their careers around.  Diego Forlan came from Manchester United as a flop, but he certainly became an all-time great after he left England. The same applied to Juan Riquelme and Juan Pablo Sorin.
-- This team was updated immediately after Villarreal won the 2020-2021 Europa League.  They became the smallest team ever to win a major trophy in Europe.  Sergio Asenjo and Mario Gaspar were already on this team.  Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo did not play in the Europa campaign.  He only played in La Liga that season.  Unai Emery fielded Argentine Gerónimo Rulli for Europa League, who ended up scoring the winning penalty.  I selected Gerard Moreno and Raul Albiol to the team. Moreno scored 7 goals in their victorious run. His strike partner Paco Alcácer also did well, but only made honorable mention.  Raul Albiol was on the Europa League Team of the Season.
Gerard Moreno scored a goal in the Europa League Final
By winning the 2021 Europa League, Villarreal is the second European club in history to capture a UEFA trophy before winning a major domestic trophy. In 1988 Bayer Leverkusen won the UEFA Cup without ever winning a major domestic trophy.  
-- Villarreal reached the semifinal of the 2005-2006 Champions' League Final.  Marcos Senna, Juan Palbo Sorin, Diego Forlan, Juan Roman Riquelme, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Quique Álvarez and Josico played in the two legs against Arsenal.  They made this all-time team.
-- Diego Lopez and Pepe Reina were the obvious choices for goalkeeprs.  I took Sergio Asenjo as the third goalkeeper because he had more appearance than the other keepers in the pool.  Other goalkeepers considered included Sebastián Viera and Javier López Vallejo.  Gerónimo Rulli was the hero of the team that won the Europa League.  He scored the winning penalty.  But apart of the Europa League run, he was a backup.  
-- Rightback Mario Gaspar came from their academy.  Javi Venta is a long time player here. They edged out Juliano Belletti (Brazil).   Pascual Donat played with Villarreal when the club was in the lower division before Fernando Roig took over.  He helped the club to reach La Liga in the early years.  But Mario Gaspar and Javi Venta happened to be long term players as well. So I do not have space for him.
-- For centerbacks, I went with the more famous Diego Godin and then, Quique Álvarez who captained the club. Mateo Musacchio and Gonzalo Rodríguez were great club heros. Eric Bailly is considered, but his stay here was too short.
-- Diego Godin's career here was not as good as the other selected, but I still took him because he was famous, I admitted.  He also got his first break in Europe here.  However, after their Europa League victory, I replaced him with Raúl Albiol.  Raúl Albiol was Villarreal's best defensive player as they won Europa Cup in 2021.  He was a more important player to the club than Godin.
-- On leftback, Joan Capdevila and Juan Pablo Sorín are household names, but Rodolfo Arruabarrena is one of Villarreal's longest serving player.  I took him over Juan Pablo Sorín.
-- Joan 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.
-- Borja Valero was a talented midfielder.  He was among the best player in La Liga in his first season here, but Villarreal was relegated.  His stay was cut short.  So I only put him on honorable mention.  Instead, I took Roberto Bonillo who came from their youth academy.  He later returned to the club at the end of his career when the club was still in the lower division.  After Fernando Roig took over the club, he helped the club to gain a first-ever promotion to La Liga.
-- Bruno Soriano (Spain) is their all-time appearance leader.  He is their unsung hero.  He also came from their academy.
-- Marcos Senna won the Don Balón Award (Spanish Player of the Year) in  2008.  He was also Spain's key player at the 2008 European Championship.
-- Juan Roman Riquelme was nominated for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year.  He also helped Villarreal to reach the semifinal of the Champions' League.
-- Samu Castillejo also made his name here. But I can only put him on honorable mention.
-- Nihat Kahveci was a top player here for the 2007-2008 season when Villarreal finished second in La Liga, but the rest of his stay was full of injuries.  He took the club to its highest finish in the league.  However, after Villarreal won the Europa league in 2021.  I replaced him with Gerard Moreno.  Moreno is Villarreal's all-time leading scorer as well as the hero of their Europa League victory.
-- Santi Cazorla was a part of Spain's European Championship team in 2008 and 2012.  He missed the 2010 World Cup because of an injury.
-- AS magazine selected Gica Craioveanu as one of the top 10 player ever for the club.  I took their advice.
-- Cédric Bakambu had a great performance during the UEFA Europa League in the 2015–16 season.  
-- Giuseppe Rossi is their all-time leading scorer.  I did not know that until I started my research.
-- Diego Forlán regained his form over here after leaving Manchester United where he was known as a bust.  He won the 2004–05 Pichichi Trophy with 25 goals. He also shared the 2005 European Golden Boot with Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.
-- I have one spot left.  Juan Pablo Sorín and  Pascual Donat deserved it, but I am already loaded with fullbacks.  So I took Antonio Guayre who is a right winger.  The team does not have a right winger.