All-time XIs by country

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Hidegkuti78, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Post your ideal all-time selection for a specific country.
    Try to keep formations realistic. I'm fine with uncommon formations (3313, 4222, 4141, 3232 etc) as long as the men in there make them balanced.

    I'll start with a couple of examples:

    ITALY
    4222

    Buffon;
    Zambrotta, Nesta, Scirea, Maldini;
    Tardelli, Pirlo;
    Baggio, Totti;
    Piola, Riva.




    BRAZIL
    4231

    Gilmar;
    D.Santos, Lucio, T.Silva, N.Santos;
    Falcao, Didì;
    Garrincha, Pelè, Ronaldinho;
    Ronaldo
     
  2. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    ARGENTINA
    4222

    Fillol;
    Zanetti, Passarella, Samuel, Marzolini;
    Monti, Redondo;
    Messi, Maradona;
    Batistuta, Di Stéfano.
     
  3. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    GERMANY
    3412

    Neuer;
    Kohler, Beckenbauer, Briegel;
    Lahm, Matthaus, Kroos, Breitner;
    Netzer;
    G.Muller, Rummenigge.
     
  4. LegendarySunrise

    Jan 26, 2016
    New York
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Country:
    Germany
    For Germany, I suggest

    Maier
    Lahm Beckenbauer Kohler Brehme
    Matthaus Schweinsteiger
    Littbarski Netzer
    G. Muller Rummenigge
     
  5. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    I was actually undecided between Brehme and Breitner. I guess both have a solid case.

    Schweini-Kroos is also a toss up to my eyes.
     
  6. Perú FC

    Perú FC Member+

    Nov 16, 2007
    Lima, Perú
    Peru

    Juan Valdivieso

    Guillermo Delgado --- Héctor Chumpitaz
    Andrés Bedoya -------------------------------------------------- Nicolás Fuentes

    José Velásquez

    --- César Cueto ------------- Teófilo Cubillas

    Hugo Sotil ------------------------------------------------------------ Juan Joya
    Teodoro Fernández​
     
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  7. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    ...no Vargas?
     
  8. Perú FC

    Perú FC Member+

    Nov 16, 2007
    Lima, Perú
    I don't think he could compete for a position.

    Most here would prefer him as LM/LW than LB and that's a position in which Peru produced several players of very high profile: Juan Joya (a world-class star in 1960's), Juan Seminario (a left wing-forward with a higher profile in Europe also in 1960's), Juan Carlos Oblitas (for many the best left-winger of the history of the Peruvian national team and one of the best in South America in 1970's), Óscar Gómez Sánchez (one of the best Peruvian players in the 1950's and early 1960's) and Alberto Gallardo (a left wing-forward who is a cult figure of the 1960's).

    I'd say that as LB he would have more opportunity by general dimension as player, but Nicolás Fuentes would give the team a greater defensive balance.
     
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  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    @PDG1978 asked to me some months ago to think about this and I promised I would (only later than 'hoped', haha).

    If we go by national team form I'd go with this for the Netherlands.


    Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar

    130 caps (to be fair: even if Van Breukelen had played everything, he wouldn't have more than 96), but also the 2nd most clean sheets behind Casillas (followed by Shilton behind VdS) and one of the very best clean sheets ratios in football history. That this isn't 'luck' is further supported by the record in the league (even his 'bad' Juventus years, funnily, compared to predecessors and successors) and Champions League.

    Right back: Ruud Gullit

    Simply because Gullit as a right back is better than Suurbier, Van Aerle or whoever else. I've seen enough of him at a right winger/right back position to think he could do this very well with a towering presence. Also when the opposition started to think about testing him. Interesting to read in the recent The Mixer book too that he applied this as a manager.

    Center back: Ronald Koeman

    Yes he was slow, in particular over longer distances, but in one-on-one duels also strong in the tackle against tall and small, agile world class players alike. Within smaller areas his weakness was concealed and defensive strengths surfaced. Even without penalties and free kicks a fine scorer for a defender, and an even more prolific assister of goals (although more so for club than country, Stoichkov being very grateful to him). At times also a very, very frequent passer of the ball, such as at the 1994 World Cup.

    Center back: Frank Rijkaard

    Played at euro 1988 and euro 1992 mostly as a center back for the national team, where he was magnificent at both tournaments. At World Cup 1990 also the best of the underperforming star players.

    Left back: Ruud Krol

    Made his debut in November 1969 as a left back against England, and played his 2nd cap against England in January 1970 too. One certain Johan Cruijff played in front of him at both occasions, was very happy with him and in 1970 the star of the match, and the rest, as they say, is history. Became after euro 1976 a sweeper for the national team.

    Sorry Jaap Stam and Frank de Boer... (among others, Cor van der Hart had also a certain name in his own time)

    Right midfield: Johan Cruijff

    Played only 48 caps thanks to a one year ban (in 1967), refusal by Ajax and Barcelona to release him, injuries (in particular the euro 1972 campaign) and his own run-ins with the federation (because well, the FA had themselves insured but not the players and he was aware of what happened with the widows of the Busby Babes). Maybe let's not forget other reasons too.
    Either way, his performances and production against the top opponents (plus: top 10 Elo ones like Hungary 1966, Sweden 1974 and Poland 1975) remains outstanding. Peculiar is that there are a few where he did not produce, but was arguably still the man of the match (England 1977, two pre-assists though). Then there's also a category where he wasn't good (West Germany 1974, Poland 1975), but still had a goal or assist. So while one has to look beyond the four games of 1974, one still ends up with a strong performance and production ratio against the top opponents. Could, or should, have played around 85 caps, with the 1978 World Cup included, and it's true there are also others with strong production against the top level.

    Because there is an argument to be made that without him also some others in this selection would not be known (VdS, DB, MvB), he is also my captain of this team. Many of this side would be or were a proper captain.

    Center midfield: Edgar Davids

    One of the absolute star performers of the 1998 World Cup and euro 2000 (also had some good games at euro 2004, after a successful stint at Barcelona). Often overshadowed by some iconic moments, which is to some extent the fate of a defensive midfielder, but a main driving force behind both campaigns. His first ever national team goal was immediately a golden goal - stepping up at the right time we'll say.
    Not the most friendliest person off the pitch, at times controversial and the subject of an often debated, contested, wicked and politically charged drugs ban. Many, including myself, have a soft spot for the player Philip Cocu who played everywhere, including three goals as a striker at the same 1998 World Cup.

    Left midfield: Faas Wilkes

    Was the all-time topscorer before the goals per game started to drop in the mid-1960s (at most competitions at least). His record stood for 40 years, until it was broken by 'mister X' against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.
    A very tall man for his time, over 1.90 meters, but certainly a remarkable technician who immediately stands out to the naked eye. Played for the national team and Valencia often as center forward or as scoring inside forward, while Inter successfully used him most often in a withdrawn inside-left position from which he played long passes forward. From what I could gather he also played at times with distinction against the stronger national teams (England 1946, Austria 1957, West Germany 1957). I also include him to get a more balanced representation by era. After he stood out in 1946 against England (despite losing 2-8, the Daily Herald labelled him as "probably Europe's best inside forward", such was the impression), he played in the 1947 'Match of the Century' a year later playing alongside Parola, Gren and Nordahl for a FIFA XI against England and left again a convincing impression by most accounts. If he wanted to, and was positioned accordingly, he was absolutely not lazy and did his positional discipline (which the Italians/Inter also demanded, right?). This separated him from his 'rival' Abe Lenstra, who had the image of being lazy and inactive, while selectively exploding into life.

    Right wing: Dennis Bergkamp

    The front three consist of players who, I think, did the best against the better opponents although it is not the only consideration. It just helps to make a shift. Those three, plus Johan Cruijff, are the ones who did best since the 1960s against the top tier, and the tier just below.
    Here I start with a player who played at the right wing (with #7) at the beginning of his national team career (and club career for that matter; was a tricky and silky winger at the start) and funnily also at the very end at times (his very last national team goal, against an up-to-strength Ronaldo's and Rivaldo's Brazil, was scored with #7 while playing from the right). His goals and assists record against the top level opponents, including the legendary Italian and French defenses, and most of the times with high quality goals too, is absolutely not significantly bettered by anyone in this list. Remarkable is, too, that Italian and Spanish sources and 'experts' often name him among the handful best technicians (West) Europe has ever produced - maybe there is some merit into that call.

    Center forward: Marco van Basten

    Oh, what was he missed in the 1986 World Cup play-offs. And unlucky to not feature at euro 1984 after a star performance away against Brady and co's Ireland (losing out on goal difference, thanks Malta).
    After euro 1988 not the most prolific scorer (also one of the hardest eras for a center forward, this), but nevertheless enormously valuable or, not to forget, productive against Soviet Union 1989, West Germany 1989, Austria 1990, Yugoslavia 1990, West Germany 1990, Austria 1992, France 1992 (good assist after dribbling), Germany 1992 and Italy 1992. In his 2nd last cap he had a long ball assist to the above player against a defensively fairly difficult Norway team (which also England and Italy found out this campaign). Absolutely a player who was impossible to replace in his time, even for Milan - who saw their goal production drop very starkly and got embroiled in higher-level scandals post-1993 as we later found out.

    Left wing: Arjen Robben

    As spelled out here:
    http://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/best-football-players-of-all-time.2011432/page-51#post-35956428

    That is however not the only consideration of course, as shown by the inclusion of Wilkes above. For example he's also one of four players to have assisted a goal at three or more euro tournaments, and the only Dutch player to do so (Bergkamp had no assist at euro 1992 despite playing very well, that's why).



    Again, this is only for the national team. It might look different when including club career (Seedorf might have an outside shot then, since he's around/in the top 10 all-time for assists at the Champions League, since 1992).
     
  10. babaorum

    babaorum Member+

    Aug 20, 2005
    Marseille
    Country:
    France
    For France, I would probably pick this one :

    --------------Barthez--------------
    -Thuram-Tresor-Blanc-Bossis-
    ---------Desailly--Tigana-----------
    -Kopa---------Platini--------Zidane
    --------------Fontaine----------------

    The front-four looks obvious to me, even if some might argue that Henry should be here.
    The back-four is the most difficult to pick : I got 7 players that all could be reasonably picked : Thuram, Tresor, Blanc, Desailly, Bossis, Lizarazu and Amoros. Amoros is the most unfortunate of them : he has to compete with Thuram -very hard to leave out in my book- and Bossis who seems to be a slightly better LB in my opinion. Lizarazu looks a bit behind the three of them I think.
    For the CB position I got three players that are equally good in my opinion : Desailly, Blanc and Tresor. I think the best option is to play Desailly as a DM in order to keep the three of them on the field.
    Barthez and Tigana are obvious choices.
     
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  11. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    I only swap Duarte or Benítez (not his usual role) for the Right Back position
     
  12. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Personally, I would push Desailly back into defense, and bring in Vieira.
     
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  13. babaorum

    babaorum Member+

    Aug 20, 2005
    Marseille
    Country:
    France
    Yeah, Vieira is a great option too of course. I just don't like the option of leaving out either Tresor or Blanc. And Desailly was a such a great DM with Milan.
     
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  14. tLB Odiseo

    tLB Odiseo Member

    Necaxa, Galatasaray, Real Madrid
    Dec 18, 2011
    México
    Club:
    NEC
    Country:
    Mexico
    Formation A
    [​IMG]

    Formation B
    [​IMG]

    Formation C
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. tLB Odiseo

    tLB Odiseo Member

    Necaxa, Galatasaray, Real Madrid
    Dec 18, 2011
    México
    Club:
    NEC
    Country:
    Mexico
    I think you need a more balanced team ...it means you need to leave out Ronaldinho or Garrincha and replace with a defensive midfielder like Danilo Alvim or Zito.
     
  16. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Ideally I agree with you.
    But I often see way less balanced 4231s in real life out there; at least this one has enough quality to impose itself as an ever-attacking side :D
     
  17. tLB Odiseo

    tLB Odiseo Member

    Necaxa, Galatasaray, Real Madrid
    Dec 18, 2011
    México
    Club:
    NEC
    Country:
    Mexico

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Skandal!!!

    Skandal!!! Member

    Legia Warszawa
    Poland
    Apr 26, 2017
    Poland (Ultra-offensive):

    Tomaszewski
    Piszczek, Zmuda, Gorgon, Szymanowski
    Blaszczykowski, Deyna, Boniek, W.Smolarek
    Lewandowski (C), Lato
     
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  19. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Szymanowski I am not sure about...
    I mean, I like his violin concerto, but was he that good as a LB?
     
  20. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I'm thinking Lubanski should possibly be in. Maybe just moving Lato to right wing and putting him up front would 'fix' that (unless you feel it doesn't need fixing of course lol - but he was named Golden Player of Poland rather than Deyna, Boniek, Lato etc).
     
  21. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    #21 peterhrt, Oct 30, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
    The English FA, in their wisdom, have decided that an all-time England XI is too serious a matter to leave to amateurs. They have therefore formed a selection committee to cover the period in question, comprising Messrs. Chapman, Cullis, Ramsey and Venables, and told them to get on with it. Ramsey will probably manage the side.

    Chapman, Cullis and Ramsey were arch-pragmatists. Results were what mattered. Not pleasing fans or the media. And as Venables once said: “It has to be a balanced team, not an ill-fitting band of virtuosos.” Venables believed there were three key components in a footballer: technical, tactical and pace. The English player he considered best met all three criteria was Tom Finney.

    Regarding goalkeepers, Venables thought Peter Shilton was the most capable organiser of his back four, but that Banks was better for England. Ramsey regarded Banks as irreplaceable, so in his goes. Ramsey's captain, Bobby Moore, will play in central defence.

    The World Cup winning manager always wanted a solid stopper to cover Moore's forays upfield and to compensate for his weakness in the air. Herbert Chapman practically invented the stopper centre-half so this side will certainly have one. That means no place for the ball-playing Ferdinand or Neil Franklin. Long-serving Billy Wright would be a popular choice, not least with Cullis, as would Bob Crompton, pyramid right-back so a central defender in modern parlance. After some discussion the place goes to the more physically imposing John Terry, bolstered by all those ESM team of the month selections. At least one of the selectors reads World Soccer magazine.

    Right-back is where there is least competition. For all the medals won by Neal and Neville, it is Jimmy Armfield who meets the selectors' approval. Left-back is more hotly contested. Chapman champions his own man Hapgood while conceding that pyramid left-half Ernest Needham was a more complete footballer. Ramsey leans towards Ray Wilson, Ashley Cole's consistency is praised, but in the end Needham's all-action profile is decisive.

    In midfield Bobby Charlton is an automatic choice. Club teammate Duncan Edwards is a strong all-round contender. He liked to roam around the pitch and the canny selectors want further defensive cover. A third Manchester United man, box-to-box operator Bryan Robson, was at his best for England, unlike most of those who followed him.

    Three crowd favourites will miss out. In real life Matthews was omitted from England teams more often than he was included, so he won't make this one. Similarly, Ramsey left Greaves out of the World Cup Final. Centre-forward Dixie Dean was regarded by Cullis and other shrewd judges as inferior to his successor Tommy Lawton. While Lawton's official career was being curtailed by war, he was scoring a phenomenal 344 goals in unofficial matches.

    With Finney's place on the right confirmed, one forward slot remains to be filled. Ramsey will not consider any selfish dribblers or lazy goal poachers. After Venables again emphasises the importance of tactical acumen, cerebral performers GO Smith, Carter and Haynes are mentioned. Never a fan of the old amateurs, Chapman insists that no footballer was more tactically aware than the man he bought from Sunderland, Charlie Buchan. Furthermore, but for the First World War, Buchan would probably be the first or second highest goalscorer ever in the English top division. Chapman's famous powers of persuasion win the day.

    Banks

    Armfield – Terry – Moore – Needham

    Bryan Robson – Edwards

    Finney – Buchan – Charlton

    Lawton


    Manager: Alf Ramsey
     
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  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    NIce idea mate. I might try and 'find out' what alternative selection messrs Clough, Paisley, Keegan and Hoddle come up with later on (two 'greatest manager England never had' candidates and two short-lived England managers of relatively recent times....and perhaps with a more 'idealistic/romantic' viewpoint overall, but with one eye very much on success too!).

    Clough is already agreeing with Venables about Finney by all acoounts, but not sure if he'll get agreement or whether if so he'll be on the left instead of the right!
     
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  23. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Keegan has already stepped aside with the words "hey, I wasn't good enough as England manager and am not good enough to be involved here either, and when a man like Bobby Robson is being overlooked then I must insist an immediate switch around.....and if Andy Cole gets left out subsequently then trust me it's for the best!"

    After suggestions from Paisley that Keegan himself could even be in the frame so it's a good call for impartiality, Clough insists Hoddle would be better considered as the playmaker of the team rather than a selector too, and Bill Nicholson is drafted in to replace him.

    So Clough, Paisley, Nicholson and Bobby Robson it is!

    JImmy Greaves, Bryan Robson and Johnny Haynes's chances of inclusion all just took a bit of a boost!
     
  24. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Goalkeeper: Clough immediately stamps his mark on the team, with an insistence Shilton is worth the place over Banks, pointing out how many points per season he felt Shilton had been worth to him in his prime, and that he'd even included him as one of 5 European all-time stars he selected along with the likes of Cruyff and Beckenbauer. Paisley briefly suggests Clemence was just as good, and Nicholson is still keen on Banks who might've been the consensus choice even, but Robson gives enough support to Clough regarding Shilton and he makes the cut!

    Right-back: This time it is Paisley making a big case for one of his ex-players, in Phil Neal (and this time Clough suggests one of his, Viv Anderson, might not have been inferior). Nicholson brings up Armfield, with support from Robson, and also mentions Alf Ramsey himself. But again the keenness of one selector holds sway and Neal gets a place, considered to be a good mix of the old fashioned defender and modern ball player for that role in an all-time team, despite not being an automatic first choice for England in his day.

    Left-back: Clough and Paisley are a bit too young to favour Needham or Hapgood. The latter likes Emlyn Hughes as an option. The former mentions Stuart Pearce, and while he is questioning himself and remembering he once (in jest?) told him he wasn't good enough to play for England, Bobby Robson backs up that choice and he gets a place.

    Centre-backs: Clough clears up the Bobby Moore question: yes he once left him out of such a team, but he also named him as one of those 5 European stars and values his ball-playing attributes, as does Nicholson especially, even if he, like Clough, primarily favours the short pass over the longer one. The other agree he should be in and the discussion begins on his partner. Clough's suggestions of Colin Todd and Des Walker aren't supported enough by others. Robson mentions Terry Butcher but the others say he wasn't skilled enough for the team being picked, and that Moore would be better stationed as the left CB. Nicholson suggests Billy Wright, but there are doubts about his height, alongside Moore, and whether they are too similar overall. In the end Tony Adams is considered to be a good compromise, after Wenger's tuition integrated him into a footballing team, and he perhaps peaked as a player in the later part of the 90s. Robson says he always saw something of an International player in him, and Keegan and Hoddle, still hanging around, support the choice too, before being evicted from the discussion by Clough.

    Central midfield: It's agreed that one of the central midfielders should be more of an anchor player and the discussion has parallels to that of the other panel, except it's established it's either Edwards or Bryan Robson and not both, and that either one might be expected to curb their more attacking side to an extent. Nicholson makes the final call, by concluding Edwards could adapt well enough, and if he was good enough to star among the Busby Babes he's good enough to star in an all-time England team. Nobody objects. Clough mentions Hoddle again, and Robson brings up Gascoigne's name, but they all agree Bobby Charlton makes the team somewhere. Robson reminisces about Haynes, and the others all like that choice...and so it's decided to put 5 in midfield, but with 4 of them getting forward regularly. Therefore Alan Ball, liked by all of the panel as a hard worker but quality footballer, is not considered eventually on the right. Stanley Matthews also loses out due to not offering many goals. Finney is again placed on the right, and Nicholson convinces the others to go for an Arsenal legend surprisingly, with a detailed description about how Cliff Bastin would ideally fit on the left side attacking role.

    Centre-forward: Lawton is admired by Clough and Nicholson, but both feel that he's not best suited to the ground-pass game the team will be set up to play primarily. Both instinctively favour Greaves as expert finder of the 'onion bag' and skilful footballer, but he's not considered ideal as a lone striker. Robson suggests Lineker and Clough supports the choice (ditto Shearer but to a lesser extent) while saying that maybe Nat Lofthouse wasn't actually better than himself. Paisley, remembering how Ian Rush's speed and goal-sniffing abilities helped Liverpool, sees parallels in Lineker too and he gets the nod.

    Final alternative selection as agreed by consensus: Peter Shilton; Phil Neal, Tony Adams, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce; Duncan Edwards; Tom Finney, Johnny Haynes, Bobby Charlton, Cliff Bastin; Gary Lineker.
     
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  25. Skandal!!!

    Skandal!!! Member

    Legia Warszawa
    Poland
    Apr 26, 2017
    Sure, you may squeeze Lubanski in for Lato... Or for Blaszczykowski, and switch to 4-3-3.
     
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