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.

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.  He was the starting keeper for France during its Euro 1984 campaign and then, the WC Finals in 1986.  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)
Cranes had 37 caps. He was the backup keeper at the 1966 World Cup Finals.  For club football, he played with Saint Etienne and Olympique de Marseille.

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 is highly-rated centre-back who seldom got his chance with the national team under Raymond Domenech.  He was a part of the team at Euro 2012 after Domenech left.  He played in Italy for Roma and then, AC Milan.

CB/RB: Bernard Bosquier (Rhône-Alpes) 
He was French Player of the Year in 1967 and 1968.  He starred for FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, Saint Etienne and Olympique de Marseille.  He went to the WC Finals in 1966.

CB:  Laurent Blanc(Languedoc-Roussillon)
Nicknamed  "Le Président" for leadership skills.  He was a member of the French team that won the WC 1998 at home and Euro 2000 in Belgium and Holland.  He played for Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United.
Laurent Blanc

CB: Frank Leboeuf (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
He was a part of the great French team that won the WC in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He was mainly a backup behind Laurent Blanc, but played at the WC Finals.  For his club career, his best stint was perhaps with Chelsea.

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, he is best remembered for his stint with Roma.  He was a part of the great French team that won the WC in 1998 and then European Championship in 2000.  He also went to play in the WC in 2002.

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

DM:  Didier Deschamps(Aquitaine)
He 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.
Didier Deschamps

DM: Jean-Jacques Marcel (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
A star on the national team in the 1950's.  He played in 1954 and 1958.  He played with FC Sochaux and Marseille.

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)
He was a member of the Saint Etienne of the late 1970's, where they reached the Champions' League Final.  He was a member of the Golden Generation that won the European Championship in 1984 and playing in the WC 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. 

AM: Youri Djorkaeff (Rhône-Alpes)
He 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 WC 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 played in an era where France was loaded with talented attack midfielders.  He only managed 17 caps.  For club career, he played with Cannes, Bordeaux, Parma, Werder Bremen.

AM: Alain Giresse (Aquitaine)
He was the French footballer of the year in 1982, 1983 and 1987. He was part of the "Magic Square" that won the European Cup n 1984.  He also played in the WC finals in 1982 and 1986.  He played with Tigana at Bordeaux, a side that dominated French football in that period.

AM:Samir Nasri (Provence-Alpes-Côte_d'Azur)
Often compared to Zidine due to his 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. 

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.

Starting lineup

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