Saturday, November 22, 2014

North Africa All-Time 23 member team

Morocco 1994
North Africa probably is best remembered for Algeria 1982, Morocco 1986 and Morocco 1998.  Egypt also made history when they won the most African cup of Nations and three straight Cups in the 2000's.

The rest of Africa is divided into Northern Africa(including Sudan) and Sub-Saharan Africa. This is my all-time 23 member team for North African countries. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
GhanaCameroonNigeriaSouth Africa,
AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptIvory Coast,

North AfricaThe Rest of Africa.

I have all-team teams for Algeria, Morocco and EgyptI also did all-time teams for Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria

GK: Badou Ezzaki (Morocco)
He was African Player of the Year in 1986 after leading Morocco to the second round of the WC Finals in Mexico.  He also enjoyed a successful career with Mallorca in Spain.

GK : Essam El-Hadary (Egypt)
He won four African Cup of Nations: 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.  He was chosen the best keeper in 2006, 2008 and 2010.  He was a major player in Egypt's treble titles.
Essam El-Hadary

Essam El-Hadary
Essam El-Hadary
GK: Sadok Sassi (Tunisia)
He is considered one of the greatest players ever from his country.  He made his national team debut as a teenager.  However, he missed the 1978 world Cup Finals through an injury.

Essam El-Hadary
Essam El-Hadary
RB: Hatem Trabelsi (Tunisia)
He has represented the Tunisia  in three World Cups, gaining a total of 66 cap.  He spent 6 years with Ajax, where he was regarded as one of the best rightback playing in Europe.  He has also played for CS Sfaxien, Manchester City and Al-Hilal Riyadh. 

CB: Wael Gomaa (Egypt)
Gomaa is considered one of the best African defenders of his generation. He was a key player for Egypt as they won three straight African Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008 and 2010.  He spent most of his career with Al Ahly.

Wael Gomaa
CB:  Ibrahim Youssef (Egypt)
Widely regarded the best ever Egyptian defender.   He helped Zamalek win the African champions league title: 1984 & 1986.  He went to the Olympics in 1984.

CB:  Noureddine Naybet (Morocco)
Naybet was one of the best African defender ever.  He played a record 115 matches for the Moroccan national team, representing the country in two World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He spent most successful period of his career with Deportivo La Coruña in Spain. He won the 1999-2000 league title with them. He was one of the best center-back in La Liga. 

Essam El-HadaryRB: Hertem Trabelsi (Tunisia)
CB: Hany Ramzy (Egpyt)
He was the most successful Egyptian to play football in Europe.  He spent over 10 seasons in Germany. He became the first Egyptian to play in the Bundesliga when he joined Werder Bremen in 1994.  He moved to Kaiserslautern in 1998.  He went to the WC in 1990 as a young player.

Hany Ramzy

Essam El-HadaryCB: Noureddine Naybet
LB: Salem Ben Miloud (Morocco)
He started his career in Morocco.  He moved to France in 1946.  He spent 10 seasons with Marseille.

DM: Rifaat El-Fanagily (Egpyt)
He played as a midfielder for Al-Ahly.  With the national team, he won the 1957 and 1959 Africa Cup of Nations, and represented his country in the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics.

CM: Nasr El-Din Abbas (Sudan)
He led Sudan to finish as  the runner-up of  1963 African Cup of Nations, where he was the top goalscorer of the with 4 goals. He is considered to be Sudan's greatest player.

CM: Aziz Bouderbala (Morocco)
He made a name at the WC finals in 1986.  He was voted as the second best player at the African Player of the Year ward in 1986.  
In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years.  He started his professional career at Wydad Casablanca, before moving to FC Sion, Matra Racing and French Olympique Lyon later. 

CM: Abdelmajid Dolmy (Morocco)
Dolmy played club football for Raja Casablanca in the Botola.  He earned 140 caps for Morocco and went to the WC in 1986.  He was chosen  by CAF as one of the best 200 African footballers of the last 50 years.

CM/DM: Abderrahman Mahjoub (Morocco)
Born in Morocco, he represented France at the World Cup Finals in 1954. He captained Morocco at the 1962 World Cup.  He was a long time member of Racing Club of Paris. He also played for Nice.

AM Lakhdar Belloumi (Algeria)
He is considered to be the best Algerian player of all-time.  He is voted as the 4th best African player of the century.  He holds the record as the most capped Algerian player with 147 national caps.  He won the African Player of the Year award in 1981. Despite interests from European clubs, he stayed in Algeria during his career.
AM:  Mohamed Timoumi (Morocco)
He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1985. He represented Morocco at the World Cup Finals in 1986. At club level, Mohammed Timoumi won the CAF Champions League with FAR Rabat.

FW/AM:  Saleh Selim (Egpyt)
Nicknamed El Maestro. He was a legend in Egypt.  He spent a season with Grazer AK ins Austria, which was considered a break through in Egyptians playing in Europe.  He won the African Cup of Nations in 1959.  He won 11 league titles with Al Ahly.  After his retirement, he was elected the President of the club due to his popularity.

AM: Tarak Dhiab (Tunisia)
 He was the African Footballer of the Year in 1977.  He led Tunisia to WC Finals in 1978, when Tunisia became the first African countries to win a match.  He was widely considered one of the best players from his country.

Tarak Dhiab

FW:  Ahmed Faras (Morocco)
He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1975.  He was captain of Morocco for 8 years.  He won the African Cup of Nations in 1976.  He also played in the 1970 WC Finals.

FW: Mahmoud El Khatib (Egpyt)
Voted as the second best player in Africa's history.  He was considered to be an icon in Egypt.  He spent 12 seasons with Al Ahly.  He won the Egyptian League title ten times, the Egyptian Cup six times, The African Cup Winner's Cup three times, and the African Champions League twice with his club El Ahly.  He was capped 54 times. He won the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt.

ST: Hossam Hassan (Egpyt)
An icon in Egypt in the 1990's.  He is Egypt's all-time top scorer with 68 goals in 176 appearances.  He represented the national team in the 1990 World Cup and seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, winning three of them. He spent most of his career with Al Ahly, but he won the CAF Champions' League in 2002 with Zamalek SC.

Hossam Hassan

ST:  Rabah Madjer (Algeria)
He is probably the most successful Algerian player in Europe. He scored the first goal of the 2-1 victory over West Germany at the 1982 WC Finals.  Five years later, he again broke the Germans' hearts when he scored a goal and set up another as Porto beat Bayern Munich at the European Cup Final in 1987. He earned 87 caps.

ST: Hassan Akesbi (Morocco)
He went to play in France during the 1950's.  He longest stint in France was with Nimes Olympique.  He was chosen  by CAF as one of the best 200 African footballers of the last 50 years.  He played for Morocco from 1960 to 1970.

Honorable Mention
Abdelaziz Ben Tifour (Algeria), Ali Fergani(Algeria), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), Hacene Lalmas(Algeria), Mustafa Kamel Mansou (Egypt), Tahar El-Khalej (Morocco), Ahmed Hassan (Egypt), Ibrahim Hassan (Egypt), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Youssef Chippo(Morocco), Salahedinne Bassir(Morocco), Marouane Chamakh (Morocco),  Fawzi Al Issawi (Libya), Khaled Badra (Tunisia)

Squad Explanation
-- Larbi Benbarek was never capped by Morocco, but was capped by France. So he belonged to France in terms of international football just liked Just Fontaine.  Salem Ben Miloud, on the other hand, was never capped by France so he was eligible for Morocco.  Abderrahman Mahjoub played for Morocco.  So he became eligible.
-- I did not have spaces for  Tahar El-Khalej, Ahmed Hassan, Ibrahim Hassan, Youssef Chippo, Salahedinne Bassir and Marouane Chamakh.  Mehdi Benatia is still too young.  
-- I also looked into Egypt's recent successes with the African Cups of Nations. I selected Essam El-Hadary, instead of Mustafa Kamel Mansou.  I gambled with Wael Gomaa, who was not as famous as other candidates outside of Africa. 
-- Riyad Mahrez had a great season in 2015-2016 season.  It was an achievement unmatched by other North African players, but I preferred to put him on Honorable Mention for now.

Starting lineup

Formation: 4-2-1-3
  • Tarak Dhiab was probably the greatest playmaker in North African history.  He would run the plays behind the three attackers.   
  • Hossam Hassan started ahead of two old-timers, Hassan El-Shazly and Saleh Selim. 
  • Essam El-Hadary probably should be the starter.


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