Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oceania All-time 23 member

New Zealand 2010
Please also see my All-Time Team Index.

Football is not a major sport in any of the countries in Oceania.  The confederation does not have their own slot at the World Cup Finals.  They normally play a playoff against another team from the confederation.  Thus, only four World Cup Finals has a representative from the region.  Up until 2006, Australia was a part of Oceania.  They went to the World Cup in 1974 and 2006 while New Zealand qualified for 1982 and 2010.  

I have also created  an All-team for Australia with every single players who had played as an Oceania player. This is my All-team 23 member team for the rest of Oceania.  Israel was a part of the region from two World Cup Qualifiers(1986 and 1990).  They did well winning the Oceania's continental playoff spot in 1990.  Meanwhile, New Zealand reached the WC Finals in 1982.  In 2010, they again qualified for South Africa 2010.  They came home undefeated with two draws in the Group Stage.  Tahiti went to the Confederation Cup in Brazil as the biggest outsiders in any international tournament in history.

Due to the lack of great footballers from the Polynesian countries.  I have included "guest Plolynesian players" who were capped by non-Oceania national team.  Christian Karembeu and Pascal Vahirua actually won Ocean Player of the Year awards while being capped by France.

Tahiti 2013
GK:  Avi Ran (Israel)
He was projected to be one of the greatest players in Israel's history, but he died at the age of 23.  He was voted Israeli Player of the Year in 1986.  He played for Maccabi Haifa.

GK: Frank Van Hattum(New Zealand)
He was capped 28 times for New Zealand.  He started all of the All Whites' games at the WC Finals in 1982, despite not playing at the World Cup Qualifiers. He was voted as the second best keeper in Oceania's history.

GK: Kevin Curtin(New Zealand)
He was capped 18 times for the All Whites in 1970's. he was voted 
5th greatest keepers in Oceania history.

RB: Winston Reid (New Zealand)
Born in New Zealand, but moved to Denmark at age of 10. He was capped by Denmark at the youth level. He joined West Ham in 2010. He is the current captain of All-Whites.
LB/SW: Adrian Elrick(New Zealand)
He played 53 times for New Zealand and went to the WC Finals in 1982.  He played his entire career with North Shore United.
CB/DM: Ryan Nelsen(New Zealand)
He spent his early career playing NCAA soccer in the US.  He played for DC United, Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspurs and Queens Park Rangers.   He was the All-Whites captain at the WC 2010.
Ryan Nelsen
CB: Chris Zoricich(New Zealand) 
He had a spells with Leyton Orient in England, but spent most of his career playing in Australia. He was capped 57 times.

CB: Ricki Herbert (New Zealand)
He was a key player for the WCQ to Spain 1982, but he missed the first match vs Scotland in the Finals.  He spent his career with Mt Wellington and Sydney United.  He also spent two seasons with Wolverhampton Wanderers in England.
CB: Ivan Vicelich (New Zealand)
He is the cap record-holder for All-Whites.  He went to the WC in 2010.  He had played for Football Kingz in the Australian league.  He also played for Roda in Holland and Shenzhen Ruby in China.

LB: Avi Cohen (Israel) 
He was best remembered for playing with Liverpool between 1979 and 1981.  he also played for Rangers in Scotland.  He went the 1976 Olympics playing for Israel as the Asian representative.

 CM: Steve Sumner(New Zealand) 
Capped 58 by New Zealand. He played for Blackpool in England before moving to New Zealand. He was the captain of All-Whites at Spain 1982.

Steve Summer
CM: Kenneth Armstrong(New Zealand)
He played for Chelsea in England from 1946 to 1957.  He was capped once by England in 1955.  he moved to New Zealand in 1957.  He was capped by New Zealand 9 times from 1958 to 1962.

DM: Simon Elliott (New Zealand)
He started his career in US playing college soccer.  He played for LA Galaxy, where he won the MLS Cup in 2002 and other clubs in the United States.  He also played for Fulham in England and Wellington Pheonix.  He went to the WC Finals in 2010.

DM: Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia/France)
Born in New Caledonia. He moved to France as a 17 years old. 
He played for Nantes, Sampdoria (1995–97), Real Madrid (1997–2000), Middlesbrough (2000–01), Olympiakos (2001–04), Servette Genève (2004–05), Bastia (2005–06). With Real Madrid, he won the Champions League in 1998 and 2000.  He won the World Cup with France in 1998.  He was Oceania Player of the Year in 1995 and 1998.
Christian Karembeu

LW: Pascal Vahirua (Tahiti/France)
He moved to France as a 16 years old.  He spent most of his career with AJ Auxerre.  He was capped 22 times for France between 1991 and 1994.

LW/SS: Marama Vahirua (Tahiti)
He was capped by France at the youth level.  He played for Nantes, but also joined Nice, Lorient, Nancy, AS Monaco and Panthrakikos F.C. in Greece before returning to Tahiti.  He was called up for 2013 Confederation Cup and earned his first cap foe Tahiti there. His cousin is Pascal Vahirua.

Marama Vahirua
AM/ST: Brian Turner (New Zealand)
Born in England, but moved to New Zealand as a child. He started his career in New Zealand, but moved to England in 1968.  He played for Chelsea, Portsmouth and Brentford. He went to the WC in Spain.

ST: Shane Smeltz(New Zealand)
Born in Germany of New Zealand parents.  He moved to Australia as a kid.  He played for clubs in Australia before moving to England.  he spent time at various clubs in the lower division and returned to play for Wellington Phoenix in 2007 and moved onward to other Australian club.  He went to the WC in 2010.
ST: Jacques Zimako(New Caledonia/France)
Born in New Caledonia.  He played for SC Bastia, AS Saint-Étienne and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. He was capped 13 times for France, scoring 2 goals.
ST: Wynton Rufer (New Zealand)
He is considered to be New Zealand's greatest player and he is the only footballer enshrined at the New Zealand Sport Hall of Flame.  He was also named the Oceania Footballer of the Century. He was best remembered for his 6 seasons with Werder Bremen.  He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1991-1992. He was the youngest member of the WC team in 1982, where he played in all three matches.

Wynton Rufer

ST: Vaughan Coveny(New Zealand)
He is the all-time leading scorer for New Zealand.  He spent his club career in Australia and at home.  He scored over a 100 goals for South Melbourne FC.

ST: Eli Ohana (Israel) 
He was considered to be one of Israel's greatest players.  He moved to Mechelen in 1987, where he was a key player winning the UEFA Cup.  He won the Bravo Award by Italy's Guerin Sportivo for the best Under-23 player in Europe. He was capped 50 times for Israel.  During an important WCQers against Australia in 1989, he scored the first goal and kissed the Star of Davids in front of the Australian coach Frank Arok who alleged to have made an antisemitic remark before the game. 

LW/ST: Ronny Rosenthal (Israel)
Rocket Ronny started his career with Maccabi Haifa before he played in Belgium.  In 1999, he moved to Liverpool, where he would spend 3 seasons.  He also played for Tottenham Hotspurs and Watford.

Ronny Rosenthal vs New Zealand

Honorable Mention
Bill Hume(New Zealand), Duncan Cole(New Zealand) and Chris Jackson(New Zealand)

Squad Explanation
  • Due to the lack of great footballers from the Polynesian countries.  I have included "guest Plolynesian players" who were capped by non-Oceania national team.  Christian Karembeu and Pascal Vahirua actually won Ocean Player of the Year awards while being capped by France.
  • All Israeli players were capped during the period when Israel played in Oceania for the World Cup Qualifiers.

Starting lineup
Pascal Vahirua moved to the right wing so that I could start 4 attackers with plenty of experience playing in Europe.

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