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All "Diego's" All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Diego Maradona made the name very popular
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

It's Muller/Miller time
Italian Players' surnames ending with  an "I"
Dutch Players' surnames starting with "Van" 
Ronaldo, Ronald, Ronnie, Ron, etc All-Time Team
Brazilian Footballers who shared names with historical figures
Dutch footballers whose surnames started with "Van"

Diego is a Spanish given name. Oddly enough, the name Diego is a Spanish form of the name James which is ultimately a derivative of Jacob.  It derives from a re-analysis of Sant Yago (Saint James the Greater) as San Diego.  The forms Tiago, Thiago, Diago and Diogo are seen mostly in Portuguese-speaking countries. 

When I looked at several lists of famous people named "Diego",   they are mainly footballers. Diego Velazquez, Diego Rivera, Diego de Almagro, etc are some of the famous non-football playing "Diego's".   I actually never heard most of the non-footballing "Diego's".  In the modern football world, the name was made famous by Diego Maradona. Perhaps, many footballers were named after him. According to data from Facebook, only 1 to 1.5% of Argentine babies were named "Diego" born before the 1986 World Cup Finals.  The names jumped to 5% during the Finals.  Roughly one in 25 baby boys were named after him at that period.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for players whose names are Diego.  Since this is not a national team, the team consists of 25 players.
Diego Godin and Diego Lugano 
GK: Diego Alves  (Brazil)
At the time of writing, Diego Alves earned 10 caps for Brazil.  He was a backup keeper at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  He started his career with Clube Atlético Mineiro. He moved to UD Almería in Spain on 24 July 2007, as the Andalusians had just achieved a first ever promotion to La Liga. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Valencia.

GK: Diego Lopez (Spain)
Lopez started from Real Madrid, but made his name first with Villareal and Sevilla.  In January, 2013, he rejoined Real Madrid after Iker Casillas suffered a serious injury.  He quickly established as the starter.  He maintained his starting status the following year, despite the return of Casillas.  He won Copa Del Rey that season as the starter while backing up Casillas in the Champions' League as Real Madrid won it.  Capped once in 2009.

GK: Diego Benaglio (Switzerland)
Diego Benaglio spent most of his professional career with Stuttgart and Wolfsburg in Germany's top flight, the Bundesliga, winning the 2009 league championship and appearing in almost 300 competitive matches with the latter club. He also played three years in Portugal earlier in his career, with Nacional. Benaglio earned 61 caps for Switzerland, representing the nation in three World Cups and Euro 2008.

RB: Diego Martinez (Mexico)
Martínez made his debut in the Invierno 2001 season with Necaxa.  He signed with Chivas in 2006, where he immediately became an important part of the team, but later was sent out on loan with various teams such as Morelia, Tigres, C.F. Monterrey, etc.  Between 2003 and 2009, he was capped 12 times for Mexico.

RB: Diego Johannesson (Iceland)
Diego Johannesson is the son of an Icelandic father and a Spanish mother.  He was born in Spain. Since 2014, he has played for Real Oviedo in Spain.  He now plays for FC Cartagena.  In 2016, he committed internationally to Iceland.  He made his international debut in 2016 against the United States.  At the time of writing, he has 3 caps.

CB: Diego Godin  (Uruguay)
With Uruguay, he reached the World Cup semifinal in 2010 and won a Copa America in  2011.  Godín started his professional career with C.A. Cerro at the age of 17. After his good performances, he was transferred to Club Nacional de Football. In 2007, Godín signed a five-year deal with La Liga side Villarreal CF. He joined Atletico Madrid in 2010. He was a key player for Atletico Madrid when they upset Real Madrid and Barcelona for the La Liga title in 2013-2014. 
Diego Godin 
CB: Diego Lugano (Uruguay)
Diego Lugano started with Libertad, Club Nacional de Football and Plaza Colonia at home before making a name with Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he won Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2005. He later played for Fenerbahçe, PSG, Malaga, West Bromwich Albion and BK Häcken.  For Uruguay, he earned nearly a 100 caps.  He captained the team for eight years, beginning in May 2006.  He captained Uruguay to Copa America's victory in 2011 and went to two World Cup Finals: 2010 and 2014.

CB: Diego Llorente (Spain)
Llorente joined Real Madrid's youth system in July 2002. In 2012, he made his senior debut with the team, but later sent to g Rayo Vallecano for the 2015-2016 season and then, Malaga for the 2017-2018 season.  In 2017, he was sold to Real Sociedad. In 2016, he received his first international callup by manager Vicente del Bosque.  He made his debut against Switzerland.  At the time of writing, he has 4 caps for Spain..
Diego Llorente 
CB: Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Thiago Silva became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain.  In Brazil, he played for Juventude and Fluminense, helping Fluminense to the Final of Copa Libertadores in 2008.  For the national team, he was the captain of Brazil ill-fated team in World Cup 2014, but did not play against Germany in the semifinal. He was an unused sub at the WC Finals in 2010.

LB: Diego Placente (Argentina)
Placente started playing professionally in 1996 with Argentinos Juniors, before moving to River Plate in 1997. He transferred to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2001, where he played until 2005. While at Leverkusen he played in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final. He also played for Celta Rigo, San Lorenzo de Almagro and Bordeaux.  He was capped 22 times.  He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.
Diego Placente 
LB: Diego Osorio (Colombia)
Osorio began his professional career in Independiente Medellín in 1989, before moving to Atlético Nacional in 1991 where he would spend most of his playing career.  He also played for Santa Fe. Osorio made 17 appearances for the senior Colombia national football team from 1991 to 1995.  He played at the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as Copa America in 1991 and 1993.

DM: Diego Perez (Uruguay)
From 1999 to 2003, Diego Perez played for Defensor Sporting.  he played a season with Penarol before moving to play for AS Monaco in France, where he played from 2004 to 2010.  From 2010 to 2015, he played for Bologna in Italy.  For the national team, he was capped 89 times.  He went to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. He also played in 4 Copa Americas, winning the 2011 edition.

RM/CM: Diego Cagna (Argentina)
Cagna started with Argentinos Juniors in 1988. He spent 4 years with Independiente.  He played for  Boca Juniors from 1996 to 1999.  He played two seaosn with Villarreal CF.  He also played for Mexican Atlético Celaya.  He was team captain with Independiente, Boca Juniors and Villarreal.  From 1992 to 1999, he had 19 caps. He won the Confederations Cup 1992, and participated in the Copa América 1999. 

DM: Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Simeone started his career with Velez Sarsfield before moving to Europe. He first joined Pisa and Sevilla before going to Atletico Madrid.  He won the Double with them in 1995-1996.  He then moved to Inter Milan, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1998.  In 1999, he moved to Lazio.  Again, he won the Double. For Argentina, he was capped 106 times. He won Copa America in 1991 and 1993.  He went to play in three WC Finals; 1994, 1998 and 2002. 

Diego Simeone
DM/CM: Thiago Motta (Italy)
Thiago Motta obtained Italian citizenship because of his Italian grandfather.  He had previously represented Brazil twice but for the U-23 team at the 2003 Gold Cup. He cleared to play for Italy in 2010.  He represented Italy at Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014.  For his club career, he played for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Genoa, Inter Milan and Paris St. Germain.

CM: Thiago Alcantara (Spain)
Thiago Alcantara is the son of the 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho.  He was born in Italy when his father was playing in Italy. He joined Barcelona in 2005.  He was a star with the Spanish Under-21 team as they won the European Under-21 Championship in 2013.  In 2013, he shocked the Barcelona fans by joining Bayern Munich. 

LW: Diego Perotti (Argentina)
Perotti joined Spain's Sevilla FC in the summer of 2007, from Club Deportivo Morón.  He was a part of the team that won the Europa League in 2014.  Then, he played for Genoa between 2014 and 2016.  Since 2016, he plays with AS Roma.  For Argentina, he earned 5 times in 2009.  He was named in a preliminary 35-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he did not make the final cut.

LW: Diego Capel (Spain)
From 2004 to 2011, Diego Capel played for Sevilla.  He was a part of their back-to-back UEFA Cup winning team in 2006 and 2007.  He played for Sporting CP between 2011 and 2015.  He also played for Genoa, Anderlecht and Extremadura.  For Spain, he earned 2 caps in 2008.  He made his debut in 2008 against Denmark.

AM: Diego Latorre (Argentina) 
Latorre was the first Argentine player to be labelled as the "New Maradona". He made his professional debut for Boca Juniors in 1987.  In 1992, he joined Fiorentina with Gabriel Batistuta after the pair helped Argentina to win the Copa America in 1991. He left for CD Tenerife in La Liga soon after. He also played for UD Salamanca, Racing Club de Avellaneda, Rosario Central, and clubs in Mexico and Guatemala before retiring in 2005. He had 6 caps.

AM: Diego (Brazil)
Diego started his career with Santos and moved to Porto in 2004.  In 2006, he moved to Werder Bremen where he was one of the best players in the Bundesliga.  In 2009, he moved to Juventus, but could not find his form.  He went on to play for various clubs.  In 2012, he was a part of Atletico Madrid that won the 2012 Europa League. At the international level, he earned 33 caps between 2004 and 2011.
AM: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
Diego Maradona was considered the second best player in history after Pele.  He won the World Cup in 1986, scoring the best goal in the history of the World Cup when he scored against England.  He also played in the WC Finals in 1982, 1990 and 1994.  For club football, he was best remembered for leading Napoli to break the dominance of the Northern Italian clubs in the Serie A.  Napoli won two league titles and a UEFA Cup.  He was also considered to be Boca Juniors' greatest player.

ST: Diego Tardelli (Brazil)
Diego Tardelli played for Sao Paulo from 2004 to 2007.  He then played for Flamengo.  From 2009 to 2011,  he played with Atlético Mineiro where he made his name.  He was the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top goalscorer in 2009 as well as winning the Arthur Friedenreich Award.  He later played overseas to play for Anzhi Makhachkala, Al-Gharafa, Shandong Luneng, etc.  From 2009 and 2017, Diego Tardelli earned 14 caps for Brazil.

ST: Diego Tristan (Spain)
Diego Tristan made his name with Mallorca.  He would have joined Real Madrid in 2000, but his deal fell. He is best known for his Deportivo de La Coruña spell, where he spent six years, but an injury in 2002 gradually affected his career.  He played for many clubs at the end of his career. He was capped 15 times for Spain between 2001 and 2003. He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.
Diego Tristan 
ST: Diego Milito (Argentina) 
Diego Milito began his club career with Racing Club in 1999.  He starred at both Genoa and Real Zaragoza. He is best remembered for playing with Inter Milan. He scored 32 goals in all competitions including two goals in the 2010 Champions League Final against Bayern Munich.  It was the club's 2009–10 treble-winning season. Milito earned 25 caps for Argentina. He represented his country in two Copa América, and at the 2010 World Cup Finals.

ST: Diego Costa (Spain)
Until the age of 16, he was not playing for club football.  He joined Atletico Madrid in 2006, but did not become a star until the 2013-2014 season.  In March, 2013, he made his national debut for Brazil.  However, by summer of 2013, he decided to switch his commitment to Spain after becoming Spanish citizens, which caused a controversy in Brazil. He is believed to be the first Brazilian to turn his back against his country and play for a different national team.  In February, 2014, he made his Spanish debut and went to Brazil 2014 for Spain.

ST:  Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Diego Forlan's career in Europe started slowly, but his career finally took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, winning the UEFA Europa League with the latter. At the international level, he had 112 caps, leading Uruguay to the 2011 Copa America title as well the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010.
Diego Forlan

Honorable Mention
Diego Herrera (Ecuador), Diego Klimowicz (Argentina),  Diego Calderon (Ecuador), Diego Laxalt (Uruguay), Carlos Diogo (Uruguay), Thiago Cionek (Brazil/Poland), Víctor Diogo (Uruguay), Diego de Souza (Uruguay), Diego Souza  (Brazil)Diego de Souza (Uruguay), Diego Pozo (Argentina), Diego Costa Silva (Brazil),  Diego Cavalieri (Brazil), Diego Biseswar (Suriname).

Squad Explanation
-- Creating this blog is harder than I anticipated.  Originally, I thought it would be easier since I knew of so many footballers named "Diego".  I easily came up with Diego Forlan, Diego Godin, Diego (Brazil), Diego Simeone, Diego Costa, etc.  Then, I went blank. In have to draft in younger players such as Diego Llorente, who has done little at the time of writing.
-- Because of the lack of footballers named "Diego", I edited the team in March, 2020.  I now included the Portuguese version of the name (Thiago, Tiago, Diago and Diogo), but not James or Santiago.  The preference is still "Diego" over other names.
-- I took Diego Perez and Diego Cagna over Tiago Mendes (Portugal) who was a more famous player.  I prefered selecting players named Diego.
-- I did not have enough centerbacks and central midfielders. The addition of those players solved these problems.  The original team had three leftbacks and three centerbacks.
-- Diego Laxalt is too young to be considered. He was born in 1993.  Anyway, the team has too many leftbacks. Diego Placente was very well-known in his time.  Then, I took Diego Osorio (Columbia) who had better international experience over Diego Calderon (Ecuador).
-- I found many Brazilian footballers named Diego Souza. The two players on honorable mention are Diego Souza   and Diego de Souza (Uruguay). De Souza is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of Defensor Sporting. I admitted not knowing either player. In March, 2020, I took Diego de Souza out of the team and replaced him with Thiago Motta (Italy).
-- The title "New Maradona" has been given players with promise by the press and the public in Argentina.  Lionel Messi, Ariel Ortega, Carlos Tevez, Pablo Aimar and Juan Roman Riquelme were all called the "New Maradona" at one point in their career.  Diego Latorre was supposed to be the first player given that title. He was also the only one with the same first name. He was not named after Maradona as he was born in 1969.  He made his professional debut in 1987.
-- I have goalkeeper  Diego Cavalieri (Brazil) over Diego Pozo (Argentina) who was the third goalkeeper at the 2010 World Cup Finals.  Diego Costa Silva won a Bola de Ouro in 2002.
-- Diego Latorre made a name at the 1991 Copa America, but his career went south afterward.   He went to Europe with his national team teammate Gabriel Batistuta, who made it big in Europe.
-- I did not check if any of the players were named after Maradona.  However, all of the Argentine selected were born before Maradona played in a WC Finals.
-- Diego Maradona has a son by his lover named Diego Maradona Jr.  He played briefly with the youth team of Napoli.  He earned a single cap with Italy's U17 team.  Diego Sr has another son in 2013.  His name is Diego Fernando Maradona Ojeda.  I am sure that there will be hype about him.
-- Diego Tardelli was named after Marco Tardelli of Italy. 
-- Diego Costa was named after Maradona.  He had a brother named Jair who was named after Jairzinho of the 1970 World Cup Finals. 
-- Diego Calderon (Ecuador) was born in 1986 after the World Cup Finals. So he might be named after Diego Maradona.
-- Diego (Diego Ribas) of Brazil was not named after Diego Maradona.  His father wanted to call him Diogo, but changed it to Diego.  However, upon further research, Diego's family has Italian roots originated from Napoli, where Maradona was a star player. Was it a coincidence? Probably.
-- Diego Forlan's father Pablo is a friend of Maradona.  Maradona helped him to rise funds to pay for Pablo's daughter medical bills.  Diego Forlan decided to focus on football after Maradona's help. He was born in 1979 so he was probably not named after Diego Maradona.
-- Diego Johannesson has a Spanish mother.  His first name came from her, but I do not know of his connection to Maradona's namesake.
-- In the 2009–10 season, Diego Capel lost his starting position to Argentine Diego Perotti with Sevilla. 
-- I have 3 Brazilian players who played for other national teams.  They are Diego Costa, Thiago Motta and Thiago Alcantara.
Diego Costa and Diego Simeone
Diego Lopez got the start after proving himself with Real Madrid, where he briefly sent Iker Casillas to the bench.  I have no preference of starting either Diego Costa and Diego Milito.

Formation II
This is an All-Diego formation.  This is not a good line-up. I dropped Diego Ribas deeper than he usually played.   Again, I have no preference of starting either Diego Costa and Diego Milito.

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