Interesting Best XI

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Excape Goat, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I think Totti had a weaker year in 2004-05, sandwiched in between 2003-04 and 2005-2007 which forms the zenith of his abilities (in 2006-07 as out-and-out striker ofc, see his goals). You also see that in Europe and the national team (or lack of appearances for the NT). It was also his lowest Gazzetta rating since 1996-97.
     
  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    Yeah, after thinking myself I don't really agree with his own assessment about himself, although he was still a good player and around that time ACTIM/OPTA placed him in the top 10/top 12 of the league as shown, which was an achievement itself with his age (35/36 years old). It was published in the February 2005 edition of FFT (which is actually released in january).

    That said, Totti had a down year in 2004-05, Raul had a down year in 2004-05, Ronaldinho is maybe not really a hole player (FCB tried in a 3-4-3, but found out he's more effective and can show more unrestricted magic as a false winger).

    I think I would place ADP ahead for that season (he lost his place to Ibrahimovic in the next season, restricted to 17 starts in 2005-06) although by January 2005 he had been benched for some big games in the Champions League and against league rivals Inter. Fabio Capello had always an ambivalent attitude towards Savicevic/Baggio/ADP type of players. Even Totti started fewer games when Capello was at the peak of his reign at Roma (23 and 23 games started by Totti) despite playing good.

    I would also place Riquelme ahead for 2004-05 (less end product, but different movement and player - I'm not his greatest fan but would place him ahead yes). Maybe Cassano, maybe Kaka.

    In terms of making a side 'tick' (when in form and regularly used that way) there is not a lot to pick, at the top four-six teams of each major league in 2004-05.


    Sometimes it is wondered whether professional players watch top level football themselves (Xavi is a good example, also Batistuta) but in the newspaper archives it becomes visible The Iceman wasn't one of them, and did watch other leagues from time to time. For example in May 2003:

    "Italian teams don't go out saying: `Come on let's go for it.' " observed Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp, formerly of Inter Milan, who tomorrow meet AC Milan in the other [Champions League] semi-final.

    "It's strange because you would think in a country like Italy that loves football they would try to create attacking football. But the result is so important."

    Yet Bergkamp is aware that Italian football can conjure up some marvellous moments when the many talented players express themselves, such as the San Siro gem when Atalanta went 3-0 up before Filippo Inzaghi inspired Milan's fightback. "That 3-3 was a fantastic game," recalled Bergkamp.
    [...]
    So some perspective needs applying when Serie A is being described as simply the home of roundheads, a counterpoint to the cavaliers of Spain and England. Milan have Inzaghi and Andrei Shevchenko. Inter are hardly glistening with stars, although Christian Vieri could grace any attack.

    "Vieri has such a high work-rate," added Bergkamp. "Sometimes it looks like Vieri doesn't have that smooth skill or touch and that makes you wonder whether he is top level. But with the goals he scores every game, every year in Italy, he is at the top."
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/columnists/henrywinter/2401009/Italian-resolve-merits-respect.html


    Anyway, thanks that you appreciate :thumbsup:
     
  3. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, it could be that on form Dennis was playing better than Totti at that moment perhaps (by and large that could be right).

    I suppose anyway he just thought about whether to put himself in or not and decided why not, but yeah the 'arrogant' tag isn't generally given to him I'm sure although he was somewhat of a flair player, while also being a team player (the same could be said of Cantona and Totti too). Probably it was a throw-away comment by him, and in a way self-deprecating but probably not in a serious way. What he says about his qualities is fair enough anyway I think.
     
  4. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    Time for the last Nordic team. In a hypothetical 5-team league, would Sweden be able to edge out Denmark & Norway?

    SWEDEN XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Erik Thorstvedt
    (Norway): It was either him or Burdenski. In the end, the Tottenham legend got the nod due to his height. Won an FA Cup with Spurs and gained 99 caps with his country.

    Taye Taiwo (Nigeria): The left-back didn't have a successful time at Milan, but before that, he was a regular starter for the Ligue 1 top club Marseille. Has two tournament medals for his national team.

    Diego Lugano (Uruguay): It made quite a few headlines when the former Fenerbahçe & Uruguay captain signed a short-term contract with the Swedish club Häcken in 2015. The Copa América-winner's inclusion here is a no-brainer.

    Leandro Castán (Brazil): Forms a South American central defence duo along with Lugano. Was an AS Roma regular until his long-term injury. Still active in Serie A.

    Duško Radinović (Yugoslavia): Was the main right-back in the Crvena zvezda team that won the European Cup in 1991. Missed the final due to an injury, though. Was also part of the squad that was supposed to be in Euro 1992.

    Sebastián Eguren (Uruguay): Defensive midfielder who successfully partnered up with Marcos Senna in Villarreal about a decade ago. Was a substitute in the Uruguay team that won Copa América in 2011.

    Sergei Aleinikov (Soviet Union): Probably the greatest Belarussian player of all time along with Aliaksandr Hleb. Won two trophies with Juventus in his single season there, and won a silver medal with Soviet in Euro 1988. Could also play in defence.

    Celso Borges (Costa Rica): An important piece of the Costa Rican side that surprised at the 2014 World Cup. Approaching 100 appearances in La Liga, although his Deportivo is having a terrible season currently.

    Jari Litmanen (Finland): In his peak, one of the greatest players in the world. Won the CL in 1995, plus multiple other titles. Plays as an attacking midfielder right behind the two English strikers.

    Teddy Sheringham (England): Has the 10th-highest amount of goals in the history of PL. Granted, his longevity probably helped, as his goals/game ratio isn't great. Won the treble with Man Utd, scoring a goal vs. Bayern in the 1999 UCL final.

    Peter Crouch (England): Brings aerial threat for the team with his height. Similar to Sheringham in terms of never being really prolific, but he does a decent job nevertheless. 22 goals for England is not bad.

    Bench:

    GK: Dieter Burdenski (West Germany) & Etrit Berisha (Albania)
    LB: Garba Lawal (Nigeria)
    CB: Nenad Đorđević (Serbia) & Ragnar Sigurðsson (Iceland)
    RB: -
    MF: Dickson Etuhu (Nigeria), Stig Tøfting (Denmark), Sammy McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Vadym Yevtushenko (Soviet) & Ibrahim Ba (France)
    FW: Afonso Alves (Brazil) & Chinedu Obasi (Nigeria)

    Crouch - Sheringham
    Litmanen
    Eguren - Aleinikov - Borges
    Taiwo - Lugano (c) - Castán - Radinović
    Thorstvedt​

    NEXT UP: POLAND
     
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  5. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    Let's move eastward by looking at Team Poland.

    POLAND XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Ján Mucha (Slovakia): Did not have a particularly great club career, but was the main keeper for his country during his prime.

    Anatoliy Demyanenko (Soviet Union): A left-sided Ukrainian fullback who won numerous domestic titles, and was voted the POTY in 1985. An indisputable starter here.

    Marcelo (Brazil): No, not the Real Madrid one! It's the centre-back who currently plays for Lyon. Played for PSV Eindhoven, Hannover & Beşiktaş before becoming a regular for the Ligue 1 top club.

    Ulrich Borowka (Germany): Started out his career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, but it was with Werder Bremen that he his biggest success. Won the Bundesliga twice with them. His NT career was less impressive, with only 6 apps in total.

    Kew Jaliens (Netherlands): Don't think right-back was his primary position, but lack of alternatives, plus the fact that he played there vs. Argentina at the 2006 WC, gets him the RB spot here. Winning the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar was a career highlight.

    Paulinho (Brazil): The guy with probably one of the strangest career trajectories ever. While he flopped at Tottenham, him delivering for the Brazil NT as well as Barcelona makes Paulinho the biggest star in this team, where he gets the defensive midfielder/box-to-box role.

    Amaral (Brazil): Very Abreu-like in terms of never staying too long at a club. Despite this, the holding midfielder won 15 trophies over the course of his career. A silver medalist with Brazil at the 1996 Gold Cup.

    Olivier Kapo (France): Left winger who was good under Guy Roux at Auxerre, but never really made an impact at neither Juventus nor the Premier League. Won the Confederations Cup with France in 2003, where he got playing time in all but one game.

    Miloš Krasić (Serbia): On the opposite flank, we have a guy who, at the turn of the decade, was compared to Pavel Nedvěd. Alas, he couldn't live up to the hype once he left CSKA, and will have to settle for a guaranteed spot here instead.

    Tomáš Necid (Czech Republic): Not that many prolific scorers to choose from, to be honest. Went with Necid due to his time with CSKA, and an ok goal ratio for the national team.

    Oleg Salenko (Russia): The player who epitomizes the term "one hit wonder" with his 5 goals versus Cameroon at the 1994 WC. To be fair, his La Liga stats prior to joining Valencia were not bad, so for his peak level, he is the main guy to rely on for goals here.

    Bench:

    GK: Dušan Kuciak (Slovakia) & Milan Borjan (Canada)
    LB: Júnior Diáz (Costa Rica) & Goran Popov (Macedonia)
    CB: Tamás Kádár (Hungary) & Richárd Guzmics (Hungary)
    RB: -
    MF: Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Belgium), Daisuke Matsui (Japan), Ondrej Duda (Slovakia) & Nourdin Boukhari (Morocco)
    FW: Kalu Uche (Nigeria) & Nemanja Nikolić (Hungary)

    Necid - Salenko
    Kapo - Paulinho - Amaral - Krasić
    Demyanenko (c) - Marcelo - Borowka - Jaliens
    Mucha​

    NEXT UP: CZECH REPUBLIC
     
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  6. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    With the geopolitical changes in 1993 taken into consideration, here is my team for Czech Republic.

    CZECH REPUBLIC XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Milovan Jakšić (Yugoslavia): Was the starting goalie for the Yugoslavian team that reached 4th place in the 1930 FIFA World Cup. By all accounts, he performed well during that tournament.

    Marek Čech (Slovakia): Left-back who won several league titles with FC Porto. Was decent in West Bromwich & Trabzonspor. Was born in Czechoslovakia, but played in Sparta Prague as a Slovakian.

    Semih Kaya (Turkey): Is playing in Czech Rep. at the moment, but is with Galatasaray that the Turkish defender has spent most of his professional career with. 4 Turkish league titles won.

    Stefan Mitrović (Serbia): Plays for the Belgian club Genk at the moment. Has been called up frequently for his NT in the past few years as a bench player, but it's unclear whether he'll make it to the WC or not.

    Radoslav Zabavník (Slovakia): Another Slovakian fullback to complete the ok, but not extraordinary, back four of this team. Can play on both sides.

    Juraj Kucka (Slovakia): His vast Serie A experience makes for a central midfield that's really difficult for opponents to pass through.

    Rio Mavuba (France): The answer to the pub quiz question "which footballer was born at sea?". Mainly associated with the Ligue 1 teams Bordeaux & Lille. Is playing at Sparta Prague at the moment. Was part of the French World Cup squad in 2014.

    Andreas Ivanschitz
    (Austria): Attacking midfielder who is perfect for providing service to the two main strikers. Played for teams like Panathinaikos & Mainz. Was team captain of the Austrian team that co-hosted the Euro 2008.

    Danny (Portugal): Had a really successful time in the Russian Premier League, especially Zenit St. Petersburg. Nearly 40 caps for Portugal for the Venezuela-born player. Is playing in Czech Republic at the moment.

    Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast): Came to the Central European country prior to his breakthrough in Eredivisie. A good first season at Swansea led to a contract with Manchester City, where he failed to replicate that form. Seems to have regressed now that he's bak at Swansea. Scored twice at the 2014 World Cup.

    Edin Džeko
    (Bosnia & Herzegovina): The biggest star in the team. Has proven his goal-scoring ability at a high level wherever he's gone.


    Bench:

    GK: Matúš Kozáčik (Slovakia) & Kamran Aghayev (Azerbaijan)

    LB: Dušan Švento (Slovakia)

    CB: Martin Petráš (Slovakia)

    RB: Avdija Vršajević (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

    MF: Georges Mandjeck (Cameroon), Jonathan Biabiany (France), Halil Altintop (Turkey) & Miroslav Stoch (Slovakia)

    FW: Marc Janko (Austria), Szilárd Németh (Hungary) & Raymond Braine (Belgium)


    Džeko (c) - Bony
    Ivanschitz - Mavuba - Kucka - Danny
    Čech - Kaya - Mitrović - Zabavník
    Jakšić​

    NEXT UP: SLOVAKIA
     
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  7. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    Braine needs to be in the starting líne up, as Forward or Trequartista.
    Good lists
     
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  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Another intriguing one, since it was pre-Wenger and they weren't one of the best supported clubs (yet).

    FourFourTwo made for the February 1996 issue (pages 55 - 59) this Serie A eleven and Premiership eleven, clearly taking into account national team standing/performances and continental exploits as well. For the Serie A eleven they leaned heavily on Italian journalists.

    1. Toldo
    2. Ferrara
    3. Maldini
    4. Cannavaro
    5. Fresi
    6. Albertini
    7. Di Livio
    8. Desailly
    9. Batistuta
    10. Weah
    11. Del Piero

    Milan has four players in, Juventus three.

    1. Seaman
    2. Kelly
    3. Le Saux
    4. Barmby
    5. Ruddock
    6. Adams
    7. Le Tissier
    8. McManaman
    9. Les Ferdinand
    10. Bergkamp
    11. Giggs

    Arsenal has three players in (including goalkeeper). Liverpool has two.

    "Arguments will rage... How can you possibly leave out Shearer? What about Yeboah? His Royal Eriqueness [Cantona]? It is quite possible to come up with an entirely different team (Schmeichel, Petrescu, Harkness, Pallister, Ehiogu, Stone, Cantona, Redknapp, Ginola, Shearer, Yeboah for example) which sounds equally talented. Players like Anderton and Kanchelskis, or Juninho and Brolin don't get a look in because of injuries and 'early days' respectively." Also a special mention for 33.5 years old Gullit who was almost in. "Ruud Gullit has come to Chelsea to finish his career. So far, he's finishing it in style." Gullit finished 2nd in the FWA voting behind Cantona, but neither of them got included for the PFA shortlist. Giggs is in for Manchester United because he "is showing signs of being back to his irresistible best."

    Texts beneath highlighted photos had this:

    "Paolo Maldini [at his best] is simply the best defender in the world. Dennis Bergkamp isn't simple at all. But at Arsenal, now that he's adjusted to the 100mph pace of Premiership football, he's making his job look pretty simple."

    "AC Milan got the European footballer of the year, George Weah. The Liberian international, probably the first decent ['top class' in the text, PvH] striker Milan have had since San Marco, has led Milan to more adventurous play."

    "Alessandro del Piero is one of the strikers in the so-called trident, with which Juventus won the scudetto last year. The 21-year old striker is just one of many young players coming through in Serie A."

    This issue had also the '100 greatest games', which has already been posted.

    @PDG1978
     
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  9. lanman

    lanman BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 30, 2002
    That team would simply not function as a unit. It's like an end of season awards team. That said, I can understand wanting to include the four midfielders, who were all in great form, but Ruddock was a bog average defender who could play decent long balls but has absolutely no business whatsoever being near such a selection. He wasn't even the best Liverpool centre back at the time.
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #1285 PuckVanHeel, May 24, 2018
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    The Times did on this week this (monday 21 may):

    "In winning the Premier League title with five games to spare, Manchester City surely confirmed their place among the finest sides to be crowned the division’s champions. Here at The Times, we class them alongside Manchester United’s treble winners of 1998-99, Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003-04 and José Mourinho’s first Chelsea side of 2004-05 as the finest of the modern era.

    For the past week we have been asking Times readers to select a composite XI made up of players from these four Premier League title-winning teams. Our writers made the case for the main protaganists in each position, but who did you agree with? The final votes, for the two strikers, have been counted and the final XI is confirmed..."


    [​IMG]


    I have a preference for Petr Cech in his 2004-05 version over Schmeichel in 1998-99. Schmeichel is for his tournament displays the foremost goalkeeper of the 1990s, but this wasn't his best season. His performances and reliability rebounded after he had announced his departure. The set-up helped but Cech was really good here and set some records (some later broken).

    The right back is a tricky one, as I feel the 2004-05 Chelsea full-backs are relatively underrated. They were trusted to go forward (Ferreira in this case) and locked the door defensively. They had an important part to play in this quintessential Mourinho team, for a full-back some task was on their shoulders, although Ferreira is shown with 0 goals and 0 assists. Neville had by any measurement the better career, that's not disputed. I'm torn between Neville and Ferreira here (or Walker, but edging to Ferreira who was great going forward too).

    Scholes in his 1998-99 version should be replaced by Vieira, David Silva, De Bruyne or Lampard. The last three names had probably their career best season (so far). Numerically Lampard is tops, then De Bruyne close behind.




    Giggs wasn't at his best in 1998-99, the more so when looking at the league form. His 3 goals and 2 assists in the league was among the lowest he had and imho it's reflective for his form, but he did have some sparks. I would replace him by productive Robben and his immediate impact of 2004-05 (the The Mixer author rates him very high), a near guarantee for winning the games and his win percentage tells a bit. Pires and Sterling were the other two nominated players.




    Perhaps also taking out Bergkamp of 2003-04. The alternatives were Cole, Aguero, Jesus, Drogba, Gudjohnsen, Yorke. I'm leaning to Yorke if Champions League games are considered (had 8 non-penalty goals and 8 assists) and is together with Gudjohnsen the player most similar to Bergkamp. Just as Schmeichel I'd place him in my 1990s team, but possibly not in the 2003-04 version although he was an important piece in the puzzle and provided extra elements.




    (with some nice cameos by others!)

    Sterling is an option too, but was placed as left winger by them.

    So I'd go with:

    Cech; Ferreira or Neville, Terry, Stam, Cole; Beckham, De Bruyne or Lampard, Keane, Robben; Henry, Yorke
     
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  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    A 'modern' 4-3-3 or derivatives increases the number Manchester City players in the team. Then I think: Cech; Ferreira, Terry, Stam, Cole; Silva or Keane, Lampard, De Bruyne; Sterling, Henry, Robben. Looking at the Champions League too.
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Thanks @annoyedbyneedoflogin :thumbsup:

    @PDG1978 told me later that he'd include Carvalho in his XI and/but understands my choices. His 'tournament style' squad would be (if looking at those seasons rather than career)

    "Cech, Schmeichel
    Carvalho, Stam, Kolo Toure, Campbell
    G.Neville, Ferreira, Ashley Cole, Gallas
    Keane, Vieira, De Bruyne, Lampard, Scholes
    Beckham, Ljungberg, Pires, Robben
    Yorke, Bergkamp, Henry, Andy Cole"

    (PDG said he doesn't mind sharing/posting and saying he agrees with the general ideas but would have Carvalho in the XI)

    Maybe I should have left Gary Neville untouched since I'm not sure whether I've improved it. If it ain't broke... don't change it for the sake of changing...

    Left winger Robert Pires has often named right back Neville as the toughest for him and that he had 60% of the time the upper hand
    https://metro.co.uk/2017/05/09/robe...ry-neville-as-toughest-ever-opponent-6626091/
    http://www.skysports.com/football/n...er-robert-pires-reveals-his-toughest-opponent

    Neville in return picked him in his XI (two left wingers in his XI!)
    http://www.skysports.com/football/n...hose-he-played-against-with-manchester-united
     
  13. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Cafu's All-Time Brazil XI, published in the Guardian newspaper (4-1-3-2 narrow-ish):
    Taffarel; Carlos Alberto, Lucio, Aldair, Roberto Carlos; Falcao; Zico, Rivaldo, Rivelino; Ronaldo, Pele
     
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  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Nice find!

    On twitter I also saw this passing by.

    Ronaldo Luis his attempt:
    Taffarel, Cafu, Bellini, Aldair e Roberto Carlos; Rivellino, Garrincha, Zico e Pelé; Romário e Ronaldo. E tudo sob a batuta de Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo.

    https://globoesporte.globo.com/fute...-de-todos-os-tempos-e-ousa-em-escalacao.ghtml

    Romario his attempt:
    Taffarel, Carlos Alberto Torres, Bellini, Aldair e Roberto Carlos; Rivellino, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Pelé e Garrincha; Romário e Ronaldo. As trainer he picked Carlos Alberto Parreira

    https://globoesporte.globo.com/prog...lar-de-demora-para-estar-na-lista-de-94.ghtml


    The videos:


     
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  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    They are making Cafu (and me) seem almost 'conservative' in the midfield haha! And they have very similar teams. Not too surprising they pick each other to partner themselves in attack maybe. No surprise Ronaldo picks Zico, but interesting Romario prefers Ronaldinho (while Cafu/Ronaldo didn't find room for him).
     
  16. Madara Uchiha

    Madara Uchiha Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
  17. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    This was Cruijff his team of the 2014 World Cup, with some surprising picks.



    Neuer; Zabaleta, Thiago Silva, Hummels, Marcelo; Robben, Kroos, Hazard; Messi, Van Persie, Neymar
     
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  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Carles Puyol his Barcelona XI

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    As Czech Republic's younger brother, Slovakia can be expected to have a much weaker team.


    SLOVAKIA XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Ivan Kelava (Croatia): Croatian keeper who was part of the Euro 2012 as an unused substitute. Has mainly played in Dynamo Zagreb, but had a very short stint in Udinese.

    Pedro Leal (Costa Rica): The only left back I could think of was Pedro Leal, a Costa Rican player who participated in the 2011 Copa América. Other than the Slovakian club Sernica, he has never played in any other European teams.

    John Mensah (Ghana): Ghanaian defender with 86 caps. Was part of the team that reached quarter-finals in WC 2010. His club career hasn't been that great, even if he's been playing in strong leagues like Premier League, Serie A & Ligue 1. An obvious choice for Team Slovakia.

    Stefan Mitrović (Serbia): Plays for the French club Strasbourg at the moment. Has been called up frequently for his NT in the past few years as a bench player.

    Avdija Vršajević (Bosnia & Herzegovina): A bench player in my Czech squad. Scored one of the goals in Bosnia's very first World Cup in 2014.

    Nemanja Matić (Serbia): The only world-class player in this line-up. As such, the defensive midfielder brings invaluable competence and experience to the table to make up for his much poorer teammates.

    Jiří Novotný (Czech Republic): While old enough to have been capped for Czechoslovakia as well as Czech Republic, he played in Slovakia long after the country was split in the early 90s. Was part of the Czech squad in Euro 2000. I think he was mainly a defender, but could play in midfield (according to Wikipedia at least).

    Nono (Spain): A Spanish La Liga player in the Slovakian league? Yesyes! Nono is a central midfielder played over 40 games for Real Betis, before his career took a downfall about 4 years ago.

    Rangelo Janga (Curaçao): The best I could come up with here. I first considered Leon Bailey, but he was only in Slovakia as a youth player. Same reason why Wanyama didn't make it to Sweden's midfield. Anyway, Janga has a few Eredivisie appearances, but belongs to Belgian Gent nowadays.

    Léonard Kweuke (Cameroon): The striker has a decent scoring rate in the Turkish league. He has scored 3 goals in 25 caps for Cameroon, and was part of the squad at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

    Stefan Maierhofer
    (Austria): Never really made an impact outside of his domestic league. Had a brief spell at Bayern Munchen in 2006/2007. Was close to getting to play for hosts Austria at the Euro 2008.


    Bench:

    GK: Grzegorz Szamotulski (Poland) & Marek Čech (Czech Republic)

    LB: Erick Davis (Panama)

    CB: Serge Akakpo (Togo) & Tony Toklomety (Benin)

    RB: Ernest Mabouka (Cameroon)

    MF: Fernando de Ornelas (Venezuela), Reuben Gabriel (Nigeria), Zezinho (Guinea-Bissau) & Lester Peltier (Trinidad & Tobago)

    FW: Gino van Kessel (Curaçao) & Rolando Blackburn (Panama)

    Kweuke - Maierhofer - Janga
    Novotný - Matić (c) - Nono
    Leal - Mensah - Mitrović - Vršajević
    Kelava​

    NEXT UP: HUNGARY
     
  20. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    We continue our journey around Eastern Europe by looking at the Hungarian squad.


    HUNGARY XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Marko Dmitrović (Serbia): Starting keeper for the Spanish club Eibar, which have had a terrific season. Dmitrović was a back-up for Serbia in the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

    Tibor Selymes (Romania): Not as famous as many others from Romania's Golden Age in the 90s, but did manage to cap nearly 50 times for his nation. The left-back won the Belgian league with Anderlecht at the turn of the century.

    Marco Caneira (Portugal): Looking back on his career, he never really settled down in one place. Career high points include being a Ligue 1 & La Liga regular, and representing Portugal in two different World Cups. Could play in various defensive positions.

    Benjamin Angoua
    (Ivory Coast): Went straight from his home country to Hungary in 2006, where he spent 4 years. His prime years were spent in Ligue 1, playing for both Valenciennes & Guingamp.

    Matthew Lowton (England): An Englishman at an Eastern European club is an unusual sight to behold. He was a very young Shieffield Utd youth when loaned out to Ferencváros. The right-back has come a long way since then, and is today an important piece of the PL team Burnley.

    Muhamed Bešić (Bosnia & Herzegovina): Defensive midfielder, played all three games for Bosnia at the 2014 WC. Started out in the Hamburg academy, went to Hungary for a few years, before arriving at Everton. He got a decent amount of playing time in the PL before getting a long-term injury. Was loaned out to Boro last season.

    MacBeth Sibaya (South Africa): There is a lack of options for midfielders in particular. Luckily, I discovered that the former Russian Premier League star, with nearly 60 caps to his name, actually started out professionally in Hungary. Just 8 apps, but enough to get a spot here.

    Kader Keïta (Ivory Coast): Known for pulling a Rivaldo at the 2010 WC, Keïta had a decent career both in Ligue 1 and the NT. Was more of a winger than a pure striker, so he gets placed in one of the flanks.

    Marek Heinz (Czech Republic): Sort of an attacking super sub back when Czech Republic actually had a good national team. Heinz didn't score that many goals as a forward, meaning that he probably had other attributes that helped the team. Has played in leagues like BL & L1.

    Tommaso Rocchi (Italy): Lazio legend who scored over 100 goals (all comps included). Had less success in Gli Azzurri, mostly due to the insane competition for the forward spots.

    Giuseppe Signori (Italy): I could copy-paste what I wrote about Rocchi and it would be applicable here. Only exception is that Signori's international career was slightly better. Expect lots of goals from this Italian striking duo!


    Bench:

    GK: Mladen Božović (Montenegro) & Ján Novota (Slovakia)

    LB: Cristian Ramírez (Ecuador)

    CB: Cristian Dulca (Romania) & Ion Zare (Romania)

    RB: Filipe Oliveira (Portugal)

    MF: Zsolt Musznay (Romania), Davide Lanzafame (Italy) & Danko Lazović (Serbia)

    FW: Edixon Perea (Colombia), Robert Vittek (Slovakia) & Túlio Maravilha (Brazil)

    Signori - Rocchi (c)
    Heinz - Sibaya - Bešić - Keita
    Selymes - Caneira - Angoua - Lowton
    Dmitrović​

    NEXT UP: ROMANIA
     
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    Just saw it (also saw wm442433 posted this on his website) but this is basically Eden Hazard his childhood favorites XI, as said to EASports in 2014.

    [​IMG]


    Kluivert in this team is undoubtedly swayed/edged by that he had a close (and seemingly positive) contact with him when he was 16-17 years old, but I believe him when he says that he was among his favorite strikers anyway.

    Four Frenchmen in it can't be fully coincidental either. He even says it at the Vieira section: "When I was young I was a fan of France so I watched him play often."
     
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  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    There might be a case for him having a better World Cup assist than any of his XI now! But doubtful/arguable given Bergkamp's assists in 1998 I think at least (Mexico and Argentina ones come to mind).
     
  23. annoyedbyneedoflogin

    Jun 11, 2012
    The Bro Puzzle
    Only brother combos allowed to fit XI

    1 E Metgod
    2 G Neville
    3 P Neville
    4 K Nordahl
    5 J Metgod
    6 B Nordahl
    7 B Laudrup
    8 Socrates
    9 G Nordahl
    10 Rai
    11 M Laudrup
     
  24. annoyedbyneedoflogin

    Jun 11, 2012
    The WC is done, a perfect time for discussing potential teams. There isn't a thing I'd change about Belgium but Argentina and Brazil could have had some tweeking.

    Argentina
    1 Romero (was injured)
    2 Guillermo Acosta/Leonardo Jara
    3 Rojo
    4 Otamendi/Garay
    5 Mascherano
    6 Lo Celso
    7 Salvio
    8 Banega
    9 Messi
    10 Dybala
    11 Pastore

    Brazil
    1 Diego Alves
    2 Danilo/Alves
    3 Marcelo
    4 Thiago Silva
    5 Miranda
    6 Casemiro
    7 Costa
    8 Allan
    9 Firmino
    10 Coutinho
    11 Neymar
     
  25. Xylophone

    Xylophone Member

    Fiorentina
    Sweden
    Jan 30, 2018
    ROMANIA XI - Best foreigners (on paper, at least)

    Beto (Portugal): Has been a back-up keeper for his nation in several tournaments, including the one earlier this summer. Highlight of his club career has to be when was a starter for Sevilla in the 13/14 season. Was loaned out to Romanian Cluj while still belonging to Porto.

    Álvaro Pereira (Uruguay): The experienced left-back played in Romania at the start of his European career. At his prime, he managed to win Europa League with Porto & Copa América with Uruguay. Versatile in the sense that he can play in midfield as well.

    Júlio César (Brazil): The Inter goalkee...nah, just kidding. This guy was a central defender who played in a large amount of clubs throughout his career. Was part of the Real Madrid team that won the Champions League in 2000. Didn't get any international caps, though.

    Gyula Lóránt (Hungary): One of the Mighty Magyars. Need I really say anything else? One of the best players on this team.

    Marco Zoro (Ivory Coast): The Ivorian defender with the cool last name was mainly a central defender, but was capable of playing as a RB. Was an integral part of Messina when they were actually relevant in Italian football.

    Christian Obodo (Nigeria): Defensive/central midfield is a particularly weak position for Team Romania. With Serie A experience and a NT tournament bronze to his name, Obodo stands out from the rest of the available options.

    Houssine Kharja (Morocco): Just like Zoro & Obodo, the French-born Moroccan midfielder had a decent career in Italy. Won Coppa Italia with Inter Milan in 2011, and a silver medal at the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

    Édgar Álvarez (Honduras): As the team's right-winger, I've chosen to go with Álvarez. While inconsistent, his form for Roma in the 05/06 season, as well as 09/10 for Bari, gives him a deserved spot in the line-up. Fast as lightning.

    Karim Ziani (Algeria): The technically gifted player will be the main creative outlet in this team. I don't know if he ever played on the left side, but that's where I will put him there anyway.

    Andrés Mendoza (Peru): The Peruvian forward was fairly prolific at Club Brugge in the Belgian League, with over 50 league goals in 4 years. He was less successful at NT level, though, with a mere 7 goals scored in 44 apps.

    Cyril Théréau (France): One of only 3 European players to make the cut, and also the only one active at a high level. Théréau is not someone whose goal stats blow anyone away, but he is a solid striker who has done an okay job in Serie A for years.


    Bench:

    GK: Daniel Fernandes (Portugal) & Aleksandrs Koļinko (Latvia)

    LB: Philippe Léonard (Belgium)

    CB: Gláuber (Brazil) & Syam Ben Youssef (Tunisia)

    RB: Matías Aguirregaray (Uruguay)

    MF: Alex Nyarko (Ghana), Papa Malick Ba (Senegal) & Juan Albín (Spain)

    FW: Mohamed Tchité (Burundi), Carlos Costly (Honduras) & Adaílton (Brazil)

    Mendoza - Théréau
    Ziani - Obodo - Kharja - Álvarez
    Pereira - Lorant (c) - César - Zoro
    Beto​

    NEXT UP: BULGARIA
     
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