Sunday, August 23, 2015

Southern France Greatest All-team 23 member


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

Southern France is known as "le Midi".  It consists of Aquitaine, Mid-Pyrenees, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur, Corsica, Rhône-Alpes and Poitou-Charentes.  The traditional powerful teams such as Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco(independent country) are from Southern France.

All players are selected according to their place of birth.  I have also created an all-time team foFrance.

Team
GK: Fabien Barthez (Mid-Pyrenees)
He is France's most decorated goalkeeper.  He had 87 caps for "Les Bleus".  He won the World Cup in 1998 at home and then, the European Championship two years later. Barthez is France's most capped player in the FIFA World Cup, with 17 appearances at the finals and shares the record for the most World Cup finals clean sheets with Peter Shilton, with ten.For domestic football, he played with Toulouse, Marseille, AS Monaco, Manchester United and Nantes.  He also won Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.  
Fabien Barthez
GK: Joel Bats (Aquitaine)
Bats earned 50 caps for France between 1983 and 1989.  He was the starting keeper for France during its Euro 1984 winning campaign at home, and then, the World Cup Finals in 1986, where he saved penalties against both Socrates and Zico.  He played first with Sochaux. He later played with Auxerre and Paris St.Germain.  He spent 7 seasons in Paris.

GK: Georges Carnus (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Carnus had 37 caps for France between 1963 and 1973. He was the backup keeper at the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.  For club football, he played with Saint Etienne and Olympique de Marseille. He won three straight French Lique title with St. Etienne in the between 1968 and 1970.  

RB/LB:  Manuel Amoros (Languedoc-Roussillon)
Amoros is widely considered to be France's greatest fullback.  He was a part of the Golden Generation of the 1980's.  He played 82 times for France.  He played in the European Championships Finals of 1984 and 1992, winning the 1984 version.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.  He won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, but also losing the one in 1991. He also played for Monaco and Lyons.

RB: Willy Sagnol (Rhône-Alpes)
Sagnol played with St Etienne and Monaco.  He was better known for his stint with Bayern Munich, winning the Champions' League in 2001.  He played for the national team from 2000 to 2008.  He went to the W Finals in 2006. He became the regular stater after Lilian Thuram moved to centre-back. He had 58 caps.

CB: Philippe Mexes (Mid-Pyrenees)
Mexes was a highly-rated centre-back who seldom got his chance with the national team under Raymond Domenech.  He was a part of the team at European Championship in 2012 after Domenech left.  He played in Italy for Roma and then, AC Milan. At Roma, he formed a central defensive partnership with Cristian Chivu.

CB/RB: Bernard Bosquier (Rhône-Alpes) 
Bernard Bosquier was French Player of the Year in 1967 and 1968.  He starred for FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, Saint Etienne and Olympique de Marseille.  He was the best defender in France during his prime. He surprisingly left Forez for Olympique Marseille along with goalkeeper Georges Carnus in 1971 winning the "double" with Olympique Marseille in his first season. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1966.

CB:  Laurent Blanc(Languedoc-Roussillon)
Laurent Blanc was nicknamed  "Le Président" for leadership skills.  He had over 90 caps. He was a key member of the French team that won the 1998 World Cup  at home and the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and Holland.  The team was known for its defence as well as its offence. For his club career, he played for Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United.
Laurent Blanc
CB: Frank Leboeuf (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Frank Leboeuf was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He was mainly a backup behind Laurent Blanc, but played at the WC Final against Brazil. For his club career, his best stint was perhaps with Chelsea. With Chelsea, he won two FA Cups, one League Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup.

LB: Bixente Lizarazu ( Aquitaine)
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French team of 1990's and early 2000's.  He won the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and he also played for Atletico Bilbao. 

LB: Vincent Candela (Languedoc-Roussillon)
For his club career, Candela played with Toulouse  and Guingamp before moving to A.S. Roma in 1997.  He won one scudetto with Roma, as well as the Supercoppa Italiana, in 2001. He later played for Bolton Wanderers, Udinese, Siena and Messina. Internationally, he was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He also went to play in the WC Finals in 2002.

CM/FW: Rene Petit (Aquitaine)
Rene Petit made his debut with Real Madrid as a 14 years old and became one of the biggest stars in Spain during 1910's.  His father was French while his mother was Spanish.  He grew up between the two countries. He served in the French Army during the First World War and suffered a career ending injury in the War.

DM:  Didier Deschamps(Aquitaine)
Didier Deschamps was only the second captain in history to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for each club. He also played for Nantes, Chelsea and Valencia.
Didier Deschamps
DM: Jean-Jacques Marcel (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Jean-Jacques Marcel was a star on the French national team in the 1950's.  He also served as its captain at one point. He played in World Cup Finals of 1954 and 1958, where France reached the semifinal in 1958.   For his club career, he played with FC Sochaux and Marseille.  He was high scorer for a defensive midfielder.

LW: David Ginola (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
For the national team, he was blamed for the goal against Bulgaria that eliminated France for the 1994 WC qualification.  He moved to England shortly afterward.  Ginola became a big star at the English Preimer League in the late 1990's.  In England, he played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Everton.  he won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999. 

RW: Dominique Rocheteau (Poitou-Charentes)
Dominique Rocheteau was a member of the Saint Etienne of the late 1970's, where they reached the 1976 European Cup Final before losing to Bayern Munich.  For the national team, he was a member of the Golden Generation in the 1980's that won the European Championship in 1984 and playing in the World Cup Finals in 1978, 1982 and 1986.  


AM: Zinedine Zidane (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
He was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, and has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.  He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.  He led France to victory at  the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  With Real Madrid, he also won the Champions League in 2002, where he scored one of the greatest goals in history at the Final. 
Zidane
AM: Youri Djorkaeff (Rhône-Alpes)
Youri Djorkaeff  is the son of French international Jean Djorkaeff. He played for many clubs in Europe, including Monaco, PSG, Inter Milan, Kaiserslautern, etc.  He was a part of the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000. He is considered one of the best French offensive players in that era.

AM: Johan Micoud (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Micoud began with AS Cannes. In 1992, he joined FC Girondins de Bordeaux, where the club won the Ligue 1 title.  In 2000, he played for Parma and then,  SV Werder Bremen two years later, where he won the league and cup double in 2004.  Capped only 17 times, largely because of playing in the same time as Zidane.  He won the Euro 2000 and played at the WC in 2002.

AM: Alain Giresse (Aquitaine)
Alain Giresse was the French footballer of the year in 1982, 1983 and 1987. He was part of the "Magic Square" alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernández and Jean Tigana that won the European Cup in 1984.  He also played in the WC finals in 1982 and 1986.  For his club career, he played with Tigana at Bordeaux, a side that dominated French football in that period. He also played with Mariselle.

AM:Samir Nasri (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Since he was young, Nasri was often compared to Zidine due to his Algerian background.  He started his  his career with Marseille, and reached stardom in England with Arsenal and Manchester City.  He was voted French Player of the Year in 2010.  He played 41 times for France. He was a member both 2008 and 2012 European Championship team.

FW: Eric Cantona (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Before joining Leeds United in 1992, Cantona was known as the bad boy of French football.  He moved to England to restart his career.  In England, he became a huge star.  He won the league title with Leeds United and moved to Manchester United.  At Manchester United, he became one of their best ever players. For the national team, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for the WC in 1994. 
Eric Cantona
ST: Karim Benzema (Rhône-Alpes)
Benzema was billed as one of the best young players in Europe when he played for Lyon.  In 2009, he made a dream move to Real Madrid on the same summer that Kaka and Cristano Ronaldo joined the club.  He won the Champions' League in 2014, where he formed the BBC line with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.  For the national team, he played in the 2014 WC Finals.
Karim Benzema


Honorable Mention:
Éric Abidal (Rhône-Alpes), Jean Djorkaeff (Rhône-Alpes)

Squad Explanation
-- The team is full of great attack midfielders. I took Candela over Jean Djorkaeff because I am not familiar with Djorkaeff. Jean is the father of Youri Djorkaeff.
-- Both Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco (independent country) are from Southern France, but not all of their greatest players came from the South.
-- The backbone of both 1988 World Cup winning team and 2000 Euro winning team came from this region. Fabien Barthez, Youri Djorkaeff, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamp, Laurent Blanc and Bixente Lizarazu were starters on the team. Frank Leboeuf played in the WC Final against Brazil in 1998.  Eric Cantona and David Ginola were still in the prime in the late 1990's.
-- Joel Bats, Manuel Amoros, Alain Giresse and Dominique Rocheteau played with the Golden Generation in the 1980's. They were great contributors.
-- Jean-Jacques Marcel is the only member of the great 1958 team on this squad.

Starting lineup



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