Thursday, January 13, 2022

Murcia All-Time Best XI

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

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

The region is centered on a historical region of the same name in what is now southeastern Spain. It is heir to the ancient Kingdom of Murcia, which traditionally included, as a bi-provincial region,[6] the provinces of Albacete and Murcia. During the transition to democracy (la Transición), Albacete became part of Castilla–La Mancha. The region is 11,313 km2 (4,368 sq mi) in area and had a population of 1,511,251 as at the start of 2020.
Football is not a major sport here.  Real Murcia is the main club in the region. Officially founded in 1919 as Levante Foot-ball Club (records show earlier denominations, such as 1903's Foot Ball Club de Murcia and 1906's Murcia Football Club), Real Murcia was named as such, in 1923–24, by King Alfonso XIII.

The region has limited numbers of players.  I can only create a Best XI team.

Velasco signed with FC Barcelona in 1942, when he was 21.  He was the starting goalkeeper of FC Barcelona until he got injured in his eyes, in which he lost his place to Antoni Ramallets, and he never got back to the main place. In 1954 he left FC Barcelona to play in CE Sabadell FC, where he retired one season later.  He played with the Spanish B selection officially.

RB: Chendo
Chendo was a product of Real Madrid's academy.  He played his entire career with Real Madrid between 1982 and 1998.  He won 17 major trophies with the club. He was a part of the team that won back-to-back UEFA Cup titles in the mid-1980's.  He retired after the 1998 European Champions' League Final.  For international football, he had 26 caps for Spain.  He represented them at both World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990., where he was the starter in 1990 edition.
Navarro spent two seasons with Portuense and earned him a move to Salamanca in 1979.  He later played with Real Betis and  Recreativo de Huelva.  Between 1987 and 1997, he played for Cadiz, where he made his name.  Except for a single season, he played in La Liga for them.  He left Cádiz after 260 appearances and four goals. He is a legendary figure in the club's history, having served as club captain during one of their most successful periods. 

CB/RB: Casuco 
Born in Lorca, Region of Murcia, Juan Martínez Martínez was better known as Casuco. He wasa youth product of Real Madrid, but he started with CF Lorca Deportiva. From there he went to Granada CF ,played with Granada CF and then the Elche CF in the 1970's.  He joined Real Zaragoza in 1979, where he spent ten years and played his best career as a player, becoming their team captain. He helped Real Zaragoza to win the Copa Del Rey in 1985-1986.  

Jose Camacho is widely considered to be Spain's greatest leftback.  He earned 81 caps for Spain.  He played at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, as well as the Euro 1984 and 1988. Spain reached the Euro Final in 1984.  After playing youth football at Albacete Balompié he moved to La Liga giants Real Madrid at age 18.  He spent 15 seasons with Real Madrid. He played with the great Real Madrid side of the 1980's.  He won 19 titles with Real Madrid, including two back-to-back UEFA Cups: 1984–85, 1985–86.
Javi Garcia was a youth product of Real Madrid who progressed to the first team before making a name with Benfica. He played for them between 2009 and 2012. He also played for CA Osasuna. Between 2012 and 2014, he played for Manchester City. Then, he spent a further three seasons in Russia with Zenit before returning to Spain in 2017 to join Real Betis.  Between 2012 and 2013, he was capped twice by Spain.  

Jose Carlos Castillo made his FC Barcelona debut in 1926.  He remained at the club until 1932, being a starter since 1927, highlighting the 1928-29 season where the club won the first Spanish league. He played 207 games and scored 5 goals.  In 1932 he joined Atlético de Madrid where he played two seasons and was promoted to the first division.  He represented Spain once in 1931 against Ireland as well as several times for Catalonia.
José Carlos Castillo
Ruiz played 5 years for Real Madrid between 1956 and 1963, winning a title per year while there, including four European Cups.  In 1962, he joined Deportivoi la Coruna on loan.  Released by the Merengues, he spent five of the following seven seasons in Segunda División, one of the two exceptions being 1964–65 with Real Murcia – top level relegation. He retired in 1970 at the age of 33, with Spanish first division totals of 103 games and five goals.

Pedro Leon
Born in Murcia, Pedro Leon made his debut with Real Murcia in 2005.  He spent two seasons with them before moving to Levante in 2007.  He then played for Valladolid and Getafe before joining Real Madrid in 2010.  After 3 unsuccessful seasons in Real Madrid., he returned to Getafe before playing for Eibar between 2016 and 2021. He joined Fuenlabrada in 2021.  Between 2007 and 2009, he represented Spain at the Under 21 level. 
Pedro Leon
Alcazar played in the First Division for three seasons as a player for Club Esportiu Europa between 1928 and 1931, these being the only campaigns of the Catalan club in the highest category of Spanish football. He was the first Murcian footballer to play for the Spanish soccer team and one of the first to do so in the First Division. He was capped twice with Spain in 1925.

ST: Mista
An Real Madrid youth graduate, Mista started with CD Tenerife in 1999.  He would make a name for himself with Valencia between 2001 and 2006, helping the club win a total of four major titles.   In the 2004 UEFA Cup Final, he scored the second goal in the 2–0 win against Olympique de Marseille.He then played for Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna before joining Toronto FC in 2010.  He represented Spain twice in 2005.

Honorable Mention
José Macanás, Manolo, Robert Sánchez, Jose Luis Borja, Andrés Fernández, Juanmi, Patricio Pelegrín, Manuel Nunez, Murciano.

Squad Explanation
-- At the time of writing, around seven players born in Murica have played for Spain.  So the pool is very limited.  I only have the resource to build an All-Time Best XI.   Usually,  I had difficulties to build all-time teams because of fullbacks and goalkeepers.  Murica has enough good players in the two positions, but I could not come up suitable candidates for other positions. 
-- If I can build a Best XI team for Murcia, I do believe that I can do the same for each regions for Castile  
-- Marca created an all-time Best XI for Murcia.  Their team was different from mine.  It consisted of Juanmi, Chendo, Camelo, Tatono, Casuco, Camacho, Antonio Alcázar, Javi Garcia, Pedro Leon, Mista, Ricardo.  We had four different selections. They listed Ricardo as their starting forward.  I had no idea who he was. I found Ricardo Alos who played for Murcia, but he was born in Valencia.  Richi (Ricardo Pérez de Zabalza Goytre) who also played for Murcia was born in Madrid. 
-- Normally, I awarded players with connections to a local club, but only Pedro Leon played briefly for Real Murcia.  Antonio Ruiz spent some time with them at the end of his career.  They were not considered legends of the club. Real Murcia greats such as Amador, José Sierra, Richi, José Sánchez Vidaña, Manola and Pepe Aguilar were not born in Murcia.
 -- Many of the players on this pool played for Real Madrid.  Until 1980, Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha were the same region, but the distance between Madrid and Murcia was probably a non-factor.  Camacho, Chendo, Casuco, Javi Garcia, Mista, Antonio Cruz and Pedro Leon were all at one point or another on the books of Real Madrid.  Jose Luis Borja and Juanmi who was on my honorable mentions also came from the club.
-- Marca listed Juanmi as Murcia's goalkeeper on their All-Time Best XI.  He had a single cap for Spain.  But I discovered Juan Zambudio Velasco and selected him for my Best XI.  ESPN Deportes listed him among the greatest goalkeeper for Barcelona FC. He was their staring goalkeeper before the emerge of Antoni Ramallets.  In fact, only an eye injury forced him out of a starting lineup and gave way to Ramallets. At the time of writing, Robert Sánchez appeared once for Spain in 2021.  He went to the Finals of Euro 2020 as the third goalkeeper.   Sanchez is a young goalkeeper with a career ahead of him.  Jose Luis Borja who played for Real Madrid and Espanyol was on honorable mention.  Andrés Fernández also played several seasons in La Liga.
-- I do not know if Murcia is known for producing its fullbacks, but Chendo and Camacho were born here.  Because of them, the region could claim to have one of the best fullback corps in Spain.  Manolo who played for Barcelona FC between 1979 and 1988 was also born in Murcia.  He was listed as a fullback. Tatono was selected by Marca for their Murcia's Best XI.  He was a rightback. They made honorable mentions.  Juan Valera spent many seasons with Atletico Madrid.  He also played with Real Murcia.  Rightback Manuel Nunez was considered to be Real Murica's greatest.  I put him on honorable mention.
-- Carmelo Navarro was the only suitable central defender I found.  He was an all-timer with Cadiz.  He was born in Murcia, but he grew up in Galicia and Andalusia.  According to wikipedia, Cadiz was considered his hometown team.  From 1987 to 1992, he played in La Liga for them.  Nevertheless, I used birthplace as my criteria for this team.  Alberto Botía was mainly a journeyman.  So I selected Casuco who played nearly 300 games for Real Zaragoza and is a member of my Real Zaragoza All-Timer team. He was a rightback, but also played centerback.  However, I did not know much about his playing level as a central defender.
-- Javi Garcia was mainly a defensive midfielder, but I considered using him as a central defender.  In the end, I selected him as a defensive midfielder.
Javi Garcia
-- For Murcia, I did not have much candidates for midfielders.  I was seriously considering Gonzalo Villar My plan was to play Javi Garcia as a central defender and drop Casuco who was a rightback playing as a central defender.  At the time of writing, Gonzalo Villar is only 23 years.  He already played for Spain which is a milestone for this region.  His cap, however was during the COVID 19 pandemic when the Spanish Under 21 side played as their senior team.  So I kept Casuco who is an all-timer with Real Zaragoza. I could also reward Murciano who was an all-timer with Real Murcia for a spot, but his career was mainly spent in the lower division.  
-- Gonzalo Villar spent his youth career with Elche and Valencia. In 2018, Gonzalo Villar made his debut with Elche.  In 2020, he joined AS Roma in Italy.  In 2021, he made his senior debut for Spain against Lithuania.  Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, Spain's senior national team was forced to isolate after Sergio Busquets tested positive so Spain featured their Under 21 team for this senior game.
-- In the six seasons with Real Madrid, Antonio Ruiz won 4 European Cups playing along side Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskas and Francisco Gento.  Although he never played international football, he had done more than most footballers from here.  He was listed on the "legends" section of Real Madrid's official website.  The website described him as an industrialist midfielder.
-- Jose Carlos Castillo was born in Murcia, but grew up near Barcelona.  He spent many seasons with Barcelona.  He became the first from Cartagena to play a match with the Spanish team, also being the second from Murcia to do so after Antonio Alcázar.  However, his name was not listed among Murcia-born players who played for Spain in two of my sources. I do not understand.
-- On the right side, I selected Pedro Leon.  He was a decent player with Getafe, but his move to Real Madrid was a disappointment.  Nevertheless, he was a long time La Liga player.
-- Left-winger Antonio Alcázar Alonso moved to Catalonia at a young age.  He also represented them in football.  He was the first player from Murcia to play for Spain.
-- Normally, I rewarded players who were heros of the local clubs.  But I chose Mista over Patricio Pelegrín of Real Murcia. In his prime, he played around the same time as Raul, Fernando Morientes, Fernando Torres, David Villa.  So he only earned two caps in his career.  He made a name for himself with Valencia, helping the club win a total of four major titles during a five-year spell.  He have achieved at the club level.  He played with manager Rafael Benítez, who first coached him at Real Madrid Castilla. He also worked with the player at CD Tenerife, and then Valencia CF.