Tuesday, April 4, 2017


2002 Copa Libertadores

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

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

Olimpia is the most decorated football club in Paraguay. It holds the record of winning six consecutive Primera division titles, the only Paraguayan club to have achieved a hexacampeonato. Olimpia hold eight international titles, among which three Copa Libertadores and one Intercontinental Cup. It is the only Paraguayan club to have won official CONMEBOL tournaments.
In 1979 they achieved the rare feat, so far limited to an exclusive set of clubs, of winning all possible official titles on offer that year. They completed the quadruple by winning the Paraguayan championship, Copa Libertadores, the Copa Interamericana and Intercontinental Cup.

1979 Copa Libertadores

GK: Éver Hugo Almeida (Paraguay)
Almeida made his professional debut in 1967 for C.A. Cerro of Montevideo. After a few years in the Uruguayan football league he was transferred to Club Guaraní of Paraguay. In 1973, he joined Olimpia and played with them for nearly two decades, setting a record for being the player with most appearances in the Copa Libertadores with 113, from 1973 to 1990, winning the tournament on two occasions (1979 and 1990). He also won the Intercontinental Cup (1979), Supercopa Sudamericana (1990), and the Recopa Sudamericana (1991), along with several Paraguayan national championships with Olimpia.  He became a Paraguayan citizen and was capped 22 times.
Éver Hugo Almeida 
GK: Ricardo Tavarelli (Paraguay)
Tavarellie earned the nickname "Mono" (monkey) because of his quick goalkeeping skills. He made his debut with Olympia in 1992. He was a pivotal part of the 2002 Olimpia team that won the Copa Libertadores. His skills helped Olimpia win two key penalty shoot-outs against Grêmio of Porto Alegre (semi-finals) and São Caetano (finals). He also played for Grêmio and Sportivo Luqueño. Tavarelli went to the  2002 World Cup, playing the team's first two matches following the suspension of captain José Luis Chilavert prior to the tournament.

GK: Martin Silva (Uruguay)
Silva has played most of his professional career in Defensor Sporting.  He moved to Olimpia in 2011, where he reached the Final of Copa Libertadores.  In late, 2013, he moved to play with Gremio in Brazil.   At the time of writing, he has 7 caps. He was also Uruguay's third choice goalkeeper in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 Copa América. 

RB: Virginio Caceres (Paraguay)
Cáceres started his career in the regional league team from the San Pedro Department and  at the start of 1984 signed for Club Guaraní. He soon made an impact and helped the team capture the 1984 Paraguayan league title. In 1990 he signed for Olimpia Asunción, where he would eventually play until his retirement in 2002. In his at Olimpia he won several national and international titles that established him as one of the club's important players. Capped 45 times, Virginio Cáceres was also of the  national team that participated in the 1986 World Cup. 

RB: Denis Caniza (Paraguay)
He started his career in Olimpia of Paraguay. He also played in Lanús of Argentina, Santos Laguna, Atlas, Cruz Azul, Leon, and Irapuato of Mexico. Caniza earned 100 caps for Paraguay, serving as its captain.  He holds the distinction as the only Paraguayan footballer to be selected for 4 consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals, having been chosen in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

CB: Juan Lezcano (Paraguay)
He was a member of the historical Olimpia team that won five Paraguayan league championships in a row, from 1956 to 1960 and reached the final of the Copa Libertadores in 1960, where Olimpia lost against Peñarol. Soon after in 1961, Peñarol signed him and became one of the key players of the that helped Peñarol win several national and international championships.

DF: Alicio Solalinde (Paraguay)
Solalinde began playing football for Olimpia de Villeta. He also played for Club Libertad and Club River Plate, but enjoyed his greatest success with Olimpia where he became a key player by winning several national and international titles such as the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1979. He also played for Paraguay from 1975 to 1981, where he obtained 32 caps and 4 goals. He won the 1979 Copa América.

DF: Ignacio Achúcarro (Paraguay)
Achucarro started his career in Olimpia Asunción of Paraguay, where he won two national championships before being transferred to Europe in 1958 to play for Sevilla FC. At Sevilla, he would spend 10 years before returning to Paraguay to play for Olimpia for the 1969 and 1970 seasons. Achucarro was part of the Paraguay national football team that qualified and played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where he played all three games for Paraguay

CB: Rogelio Delgado 
He played for Olimpia, where he won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1979, and six Paraguayan league titles.  He also played for Independiente of Argentina and Universidad de Chile.  He was a member of the Albirroja at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. 

CB: Celso Ayala
He was a part of the great defensive unit of the Paraguayan national team during the 1990's.  He was capped 86 times and was among the most capped players for his country. For club football, he played in Spain, Brazil, Argentina and of course, Paraguay.  He was known for his spell with Club Olimpia and two spells with River Plate.  He won Copa Libertadores for both clubs. 

LB: Néstor Benitez (Paraguay)
He started his career at Presidente Hayes from his hometown, Tacumbú. From there, he was transferred to Olimpia Asunción which was coached then by the great Aurelio González. While in Olimpia, Benitez won a number of national championships and was called up to the Paraguay national football team in a few occasions. In 1972 he went to Sportivo Luqueño but was only able to play seven games due to an injury that kept him off the field for a few years until 1976 where he came back to play for C.A. Tembetary and retire in the same year. Benítez holds a record of playing 72 consecutive and uninterrupted games for Olimpia.

LB: Eligio Echagüe (Paraguay)
Echagüe started his career at Club Adolfo Riquelme from his hometown, Concepción. In 1947, he was transferred to Olimpia Asunción and made his debut in the first team squad in 1950. He was part of the Olimpia team that won five consecutive titles coached then by the great Aurelio González. Echagüe played for the Paraguay national football team in several occasions, most notably in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

DM: Carlos Paredes (Paraguay)
Paredes started his career with Olimpia in 1995, winning five national championships and becoming the youngest captain in the club's history at the age of 20. In 2000 he moved to FC Porto of Portugal. In Europe, he would also play for Reggina and Sporting Clube de Portugal. Paredes returned to Paraguay in 2008 to play for Olimpia, where he served as the team captain.  After two brief stunts withRubio Ñú due Sportivo Luqueño, he returned Olimpia.  Capped 74 times. He played in three World Cups: 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Carlos Paredes 
DM: Carlos Kiese (Paraguay)
The highlight of his career was in 1979, where he won the Copa America with the national team, and the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup with Olimpia. He also played for Gremio, Libertad, Independiente, Cerro Porteno and the Strongest.

CM: Jorge Gausch (Paraguay)
Nicknamed "El Chino" (the Chinese), Guasch started his career at the small regional club Guaraní de Davaru. In 1976, he moved to Olimpia. Guasch became Olimpia's captain in 1988 and he remained with the club until his retirement in 1991, winning 2 Copa Libertadores: 1979, 1990. He is regarded as one of the club's most important players.  Capped 47 times.  He went to the 1986 WC Finals.

CM: Sergio Orteman (Uruguay)
Órteman began his career in Uruguayan club Central Español in 1997. In 2001 he was transferred to Olimpia of Paraguay. He was part of the Olimpia team that won the 2002 Copa Libertadores (being selected as the most valuable player of the tournament) and the 2003 Recopa Sudamericana.  After Olimpia, he played for many clubs in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and Mexico, but never found the same successes.  He was a part of the team that won the Copa Libertadores in 2007 with Boca Juniors.  
Sergio Orteman

CM: Julio Cesar Enciso (Paraguay)
Enciso started his playing career in 1994 with Cerro Porteño where he won the league championships in his debut season. In 1996 he was signed by Internacional of Brazil where he played for 5 seasons, winning the Campeonato Gaúcho in 1997. Enciso returned to Paraguay in 2001 to play for Olimpia Asunción where he won the Copa Libertadores 2002 as their captain.  Capped 70 times.  He played at France 1998.

CM: Hugo Talavera (Paraguay)
He won the 1979 Copa América with the national team.  For his club career, he won three national championships in a row with Cerro Porteño before joining Olimpia in 1975.  He won the Copa
Copa Libertadores in 1979 and 7 more league titles with them.

CM: Luis Alberto Monzon (Paraguay)
Monzón started his career in the youth divisions of Olimpia and made his professional debut at the age of 16. He was a key player in the Olimpia team that won the Copa Libertadores in 1990, and throughout his years with the club, he won several national and international championships, which made him one of the squad's most emblematic players. He also played in Mexico for Cruz Azul, in Argentina for Club Atlético Huracán and a few Paraguayan teams before retiring. Capped17 times.

AM: Gabriel González (Paraguay)
Mostly known as "El Loco" González, he is one of the most recognized and loved players by fans of Club Olimpia of Paraguay. While playing for Olimpia, González won the Copa Libertadores, Supercopa Sudamericana, Recopa Sudamericana and several Paraguayan league titles, forming the feared Olimpia attacking trio of the early 1990s with teammates Adriano Samaniego and Raúl Vicente Amarilla. He also played for Argentine sides Estudiantes de La Plata and Colón de Santa Fe. He earned 34 caps.

ST: Mauro Caballero (Paraguay)
Caballero made his debut on the senior team for Olimpia in 1992, where he would win several national and international championships. Caballero also played for other clubs such as Tigres de la UANL, Cerro Porteño, Club Libertad, Club Jorge Wilstermann, Nacional and Estudiantes de Mérida. His best years as a striker where in 1998 and 2001, when he was the Paraguayan 1st Division topscorer.  Capped 14 times.

ST: Aurelio González  (Paraguay)
He is one of the greatest football players of Paraguay, considered by many as the second best player behind Arsenio Erico. He started his career with Sportivo Luqueño and then moved to Olimpia of Asunción where he spent the rest of his career winning several championships, most notably the three consecutive national championships in 1927, 1928 and 1929.

ST: Adriano Samaniego (Paraguay) 
Samaniego played for Olimpia from 1981 to 1985, achieving the top scorer title of the Paraguayan League in 1985 and winning 4 national championships.  After a brief stint in Mexico playing for Necaxa, he returned to Olimpia in 1990 to form the feared attacking trio of 1990 along with Raul Vicente Amarilla and Gabriel "El Loco" González, which led Olimpia to the Copa Libertadores title, Supercopa Sudamericana and Recopa of the same year. Samaniego was also the top scorer of the Copa Libertadores in 1990 with seven goals.  Capped 26 times. A serious injury kept him from playing the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

ST: Carlos Diarte (Paraguay)
Diarte started his career in Olimpia Asunción at the age of 16 he, helping Olimpia win the Paraguayan championship in 1971. In 1973, he signed for Real Zaragoza of Spain where he was part of the famous "Zaraguayos" group (a reference to the Paraguayan stars such as Saturnino Arrua and Felipe Ocampos that were playing for Zaragoza). In 1976, Diarte signed for Valencia CF where he would be part of a formidable attacking line along with Mario Kempes and Johnny Rep. Diarte also played for UD Salamanca, Real Betis and AS Saint-Étienne of France. Capped 45 times.

ST: Raul Vicente Amarilla (Paraguay/Spain)
Amarilla made his debut with Sportivo Luqueño at the age of 17. He soon signed for Real Zaragoza where in the 1982–83 season, he finished as the second best scorer in La Liga. He also played for Barcelona and América de Mexico. In 1999, he helped Olimpia to win the Copa Libertadores, the Supercopa and Recopa Sudamericana. Olimpia trio along with . He was voted South American Footballer of the Year that year.  Earlier in his career, Amarilla accepted an offer to play Spain U-21 team which barred him from playing for Paraguay later in his career.  
Raul Vicente Amarilla

Honorable Mention
Herminio Arias, Antonio Brunetti, Edelmiro Arévalo, Benito Sandoval, Osvaldo Aquino, Cesar Mena Porta, Juan Bautista Aguero, Vicente Rodriguez, Roque Santa Cruz, Evaristo Isasi, Aristides del Puerta, Angel Berni, Flaminio Silva, Mauro Caballero, Pablo Zeballos, Leocadio Martin.

Squad Explanation
-- I do not know much about Alicio Solalinde and Ignacio Achúcarro, but they appeared numerous times during my research.
-- Sergio Orteman and Julio Cesar Enciso were fundamental as Olimpia won the 2002 Copa Libertadores.
-- Carlos Diarte was better known for his career with Zaragoza, but he is still widely considered among the best ever player emerged from Olimpia's youth system. 
-- Raul Vicente Amarilla was the South American Player of the Year in1990 as Olimpia won the Copa Libertadores. 
-- Juan Bautista Aguero only spent three seasons with the club.
-- Roque Santa Cruz left too early in his career.  
-- Evaristo Isasi spent a long career at the club. So he deserved an honourable mention.
-- I did not know much about Leocadio Martin, Aristides del Puerta and Flaminio Silva.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Esporte Clube Bahia All-Time Team

Campeonato Baiano 2015

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

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

Bahia has won the Brasileirão title twice: in the 1959 season, defeating Santos' Santásticos which contained figures such as Gilmar, Mauro, Mengálvio, Coutinho, Pepe and Pelé, in the finals and in the 1988 season Bahia edged Internacional. Bahia has only appeared in the Copa Libertadores three times, reaching the quarterfinals in 1989, Bahia's best-ever performance. The club has also won their state title a record 46 times.

Taça Brasil of 1959
GK: Nadinho (Brazil)
Widely considered the greatest goalkeeper in the history of Bahia, Nicknamed “O Macho”, he played for the club from 1958 to 1968. He won several state championships (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962).  and he started for Bahia on the 1959 Brazilian championship winning team. Nadinho was part of a pre-list to the 1962 World Cup.

GK: Ronaldo Vieira Passocs (Brazil)
Ronaldo  helped Bahia to win the 1988 Brazilian Championship, where he was the team's starting goalkeeper. He started as a reserve, but became a starter after Sidmar left the club.

GK: Emerson Ferretti (Brazil)
Emerson started his career with Grêmio.  He also played for Flamengo, Juventude and Bahia.  With Bahia, he was an idol for six years between 2000 and 2005.  He is their appearance record holder.  He transferred to Vitória in 2006, where he ended his career as a player.

RB: Leone (Brazil) 
Leone was the captain of Bahia that won the Taça Brasil of 1959, currently considered by the CBF as the first Brazilian Championship in history.  It is considered by many historians as the most important football tournament in Brazil at the time. Before theis, he won three Rio state champion with in 1953, 1954 and 1955.

RB: Perivaldo (Brazil)
Perivaldo started his career with local amateurs Itabuna Esporte Clube. He played in the Série A with Esporte Clube Bahia, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, São Paulo FC, Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras and Bangu Atlético Clube. In the late 80s, after living three years in South Korea, he relocated to Portugal in hopes of finding a new club, but eventual poor choices and several misfortunes ended up with him as an homeless person having to resort to street vending in Lisbon.  Perivaldo returned to his homeland on 11 December 2013 at the age of 60, with the help of the Portuguese Professional Footballers Union.  Perivaldo gained two caps for Brazil. He was on the players' pool for the WC Finals in 1982.

CB: Roberto Rebouças (Brazil)
He was a legend with Bahia.  He joined the club in 1963 from Victoria. He earned nicknamed the "Baiana Wall".  He was known with President Tricolor Osorio Vilas Boas.  Roberto also played with Botafogo of Ribeirão Preto before returning to Bahia, where he won the regional titles of 1970 and 1971, and from 1973 to 1977. 
Roberto Rebouças
CB: Henricão (Brazil)
He was a big centerback of Bahia that won the Taça Brasil of 1959, currently considered by the CBF  as the first Brazilian Championship in history.  It is considered by many historians as the most important football tournament in Brazil at the time.

CB: Vicente Arenari (Brazil)
Began in Flamengo's youth teams, where he start his professional career in 1954, but did not feature much.  He became a star with Bahia, where he played between 1956 and 1962, winning the 1959 Brazilian Football Championship.  He would also play with Palmeiras and Nacional-SP, where he finished his career in 1967.

CB: Juvenal Amarijo (Brazil)
Juvenal Amarijo started his career with Cruzeiro-RS, joining Flamengo in 1949, then Palmeiras in 1951, moving to Bahia in 1954 then retiring in 1959 while playing with Ypirnga-BA. He played for the Brazil in the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Juvenal lost his money after retiring from playing and was living in poverty.  He died on October 30, 2009, at to age 85, in the city of Salvador, in Bahia, Brazil, due to respiratory failure.

LB: Romero (Brazil)
Jorge Romero Filho, better known as Romero, was a left-back soccer player who played for Bahia of 1973 until 77 , conquering five state titles. He also played for Palmeiras in 1977/78. 

DM: Baiaco (Brazil)
Baiaco was the star of the  Seleção de Francisco do Conde.  He joined Bahia because the club also took his friend Caetano.  In 1969, Pele was seeking g his 1000th goal when Baiaco famously marked Pele out for the historical goal.  He scored a goal in that match. He played with them until the year 1980 when he left the club at the age of 34 and a year later he finished his career defending the Leonico. He was capped in 1974 by Brazil.

DM: Paulo Rodrigues  (Brazil)
Until he turned 28 years old, he spent his career playing with Uberaba National in Minas Gerais and Botafogo in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo. He joined Bahai in 1986, where he finally found stardom.  He was a key player as his club won the 1988 title.
Paulo Rodrigues 

CM: Elizeu (Brazil)
Elizeu started in 1962 with Santos.  He would play for São Cristóvão do Rio, Fluminense, Olaria, New York General,  Anderlecht, Belenenses, of Portugal and Vitória de Salvador.  He had three stints with  Bahia - the first one in 1967, the second in 1969 and the third in 1971/1972.  He represented Brazil at the 1964 Olympics.

RW: Marito (Brazil)
Known as the "Blond Devil", he was a part of Bahai's team that won the that won the Taça Brasil in 1959.  He was was selected as one of the best players in the history of Bahia by the newspaper Correio in 2010.  He also earned the nickname “Garrincha do Bahia” (Bahia’s Garrincha).

RW: Ze Carlos (Brazil)

Ze Carlos was the top scorer for Bahia as the club won the Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol in 1988.  He played for Internacional, Athletic Mineiro and America.  He also played in Saudi Arabia.  He was capped 4 times.
Ze Carlos
LW: Biriba (Brazil)
Biriba was known for his partnership with Marito while playing for Bahia in 1950's.  He began his successful career in the club in 1957, the famous team known as ""Juventude Transviada". He was a part of Bahia that won the Taça Brasil of 1959, currently considered by the CBF as the first Brazilian Championship in history.  

LW: Jesum (Brazil)
Jésum Gabriel is a former left-wing who played for São Paulo, Cruzeiro, Bahia and Vitória-BA. Born on December 25, 1953, Jésum became more famous during his times with Bahia. For the São Paulo, he played 42 matches between 1972 and 1975.

AM: José SanFilippo (Argentina)
During his club career he played for San Lorenzo, Boca Juniors and Banfield in Argentina, Nacional in Uruguay, and Bangu and SC Bahia in Brazil. He is the 5th highest scoring player in Argentine football.  At the international level, Sanfilippo played for the Argentina in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals. He was also part of the Argentina squads that won the 1955 Pan American Games and the 1957 South American Championship.

AM: Douglas (Brazil)
Douglas started with Santos in 1967, but he made his name with Bahia.  He was voted as one of the greatest players in the history of Esporte Clube Bahia by the fans of the club.  He is the second highest scorer in the history of Bahia with 211 goals. Douglas also played a short passage (three months) with Bahia's greatest rival: Vitória.

AM: Bobô  (Brazil)
In 1982, he started his professional career with Catuense. In 1985, he joined Bahia, where he won the 1988 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. In 1989, he was signed by São Paulo,  winning the 1989 Bola de Prata, and that year's Campeonato Paulista. He also played for Flamengo, Fluminense, Corinthians and Internacional. Capped 3 times in 1989.
ST: Alencar (Brazil)
He began his career playing in the amateur categories of Ceará Sporting Club in the first half of the fifties. He briefly played playing for America Football Club of Ceará, then returning to Ceará in the middle of the year 1957.  With Bahia, he won essential the 1959 Brazilian Championship, earning the nickname “Bahia’s Pele”. 

ST: Uéslei (Brazil)
Uéslei won many trophies in Bahia, where he played for the two big clubs in the state, Bahia and Vitória. In the five seasons with Bahia, he won five Bahian championships (in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999).  He won another title in 1997 with Vitória. He also  played for five seasons at Nagoya Grampus in Japan and finished his career in 2009 at Oita Trinita.

ST:  Charles Fabian (Brazil)
Charles fist made his name as a 20 years old striker with Bahia, winning the 1988 Campeonato Baiano de Futebol. In 1991, he joined Cruzeiro where he won two Supercopa Libertadores. In 1992, he moved to Boca Juniors, but never settled down.  With Flamengo, Charles was known "Charles Baiano" because the club  already had Charles Guerreiro on the team.  He managed to score incredible 18 goals in just 29 matches, but only played one season. In 1994, he returned to Bahia, where he once again starred.  Capped 9 times.

ST: Beijoca (Brazil)
He played for many clubs in Brazil, but better known for his playing career with Bahia.  He spent seven years with Bahia, but on separated stints (69, 70, 75, 76, 77, 78 and 84). He won six Bahian titles (70, 75, 76, 77, 78 and 79). 

ST: Carlito (Brazil)
Carlito was the all-time leading scorer for Bahai with 253 goals.  He was known for scoring against Vitoria, Bahai's main rival.  He won the Campeonato Baiano: 1947; 1948; 1949; 1950; 1952; 1954; 1956; 1958; 1959.

Honorable MentionRodolfo Rodriguez, Marcelo Lomba, Dani Alves, Beto, Edinho, Sapatão, Romeo, Dani Alves, Dada Maravilha, Nonato, Lima, Beberto Campos.

Squad Explanation
-- Rodolfo Rodriguez was the most established keepers ever played for the club, but he only spent two seasons there. I selected three keepers who have contributed more.  Emerson Ferretti is the club's all-time appearance leader.  
-- The peak of Perivaldo's career was actually with Botafogo. I admitted that I selected him because of the human interest stories of his life after football.  I took him over Dani Alves, who also ony played in the beginning of his career.
-- Charles Fabian, Ze Carlos and Paulo Rodrigues played on the 1988 team.