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Aragon 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

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

Aragon is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. In northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces (from north to south): Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza. The current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a historic nationality of Spain.

People might assocate the region with Ferdinand II of Aragon.  The Crown of Aragon that Ferdinand inherited in 1479 included the kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia, and Sicily, as well as the principality of Catalonia. His marriage to Queen Isabella I of Castile is regarded as the "cornerstone in the foundation of the Spanish monarchy".  They sponsored  Christopher Columbus' first voyage in 1492. That same year, the couple defeated Granada, the last Muslim state in Western Europe, thus completing the centuries-long Reconquista.

Historically, Aragon's most successful football club is Real Zaragoza.  They have won six Copa del Rey titles from 1964 to 2004, and the 1995 European Cup Winners' Cup.A government survey in 2007 found that 2.7% of the Spanish population support the club, making them the seventh-most supported in the country.  SD Huesca is the second best club in the region.

Nogués  played keeper from Zaragoza C.D. (later became Real Zaragoza in 1932).  He made his La Liga debut for FC Barcelona in 12 1930. During his playing career with the club he helped them win the Campionat de Catalunya five times. Between 1932 and 1941 he also played 10 games for the Catalan XI.   He also played once in a quarter-final replay against Italy at the 1934 World Cup Finals, replacing Ricardo Zamora who had been injured in the first game
Juan José Nogués
GK: Jesús Angoy 
Angoy was a product of FC Barcelona's youth ranks. He made his professional debut with CD Logroñés.  He spent several seasons with the Catalans' B-team, playing three years in the second division.  He appeared 9 times for Barcelona first team in the mid-1990's.  He spent some time with at Córdoba CF before retiring.  He married the daughter of Johan Cruyff who was managing Barcelona at the time.

Láinez started with Real Zaragoza B.  He made his La Liga debut during a six-month loan stint at Villarreal CF.  He had to wait until the 2001–02 campaign to become first-choice with Zaragoza, but his team would again be relegated. He played in the famous victory in 2003 where they won the Copa del Rey after an extra time win against Real Madrid.  He represented Spain at youth level.

Manuel Torres joined Real Zaragoza in 1953 and became their starting right defender for them in the Second Division. After the starting right-back Ángel Atienza was injured in Madrid, Torres came to Real Madrid on loan from Real Zaragoza for 6 months, where he started in the 1957 European Cup Final playing alongside Francisco Gento, Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa, etc.  He returned to Zaragoza after the loan deal. He was known as "El expresso de la banda" for his speed.

After playing with lowly Endesa de Andorra between 1986 and 1988, Alberto Belsué joined La Liga club Real Zaragoza, where he helped to win the 1994 Copa del Rey and the following year's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.  He also played for  Alavés and Numancia at the end of his career.  He was capped 14 times for Spain between 1994 and 1996.  He played at the European Championship in 1996, converting one of the penalties against England in the quarterfinal.
Alberto Belsué  
CB: Pablo Alfaro
Alfaro started his career with his hometown's Real Zaragoza. In the summer of 1992, Alfaro signed with FC Barcelona, being rarely used in his only season.  He went on to represent Racing de Santander and Atlético Madrid, being an undisputed starter in Cantabria.  With Sevilla, he formed a fearsome partnership as stopper with Javi Navarro, but following the emergence of club youth graduate Sergio Ramos, he lost his place.

Cuartero was born in Zaragoza, Aragon. He made his senior debut with hometown's Real Zaragoza in1993. He went on to appear in 178 La Liga games, plus the 2002–03 season in the second division. From 2006 to 2009, however, Cuartero would only play three league matches combined, severely hindered by knee injuries.  He represented Spain at the youth level.

LM/SW/LB: José Luis Violeta  
José Luis Violeta made his debut with Club Deportivo Puertollano in 1962.  He played for 14 seasons with Real Zaragoza (1963-1977) as a part of the glorious era for the club.  He became a symbol of the club. He won two Copa del Generalísimo(now Copa del Rey) in 1964 and 1966.  From 1966 to 1974, he was capped for Spain 14 times, scoring a single goal.  He made his international debut in June, 1966 against Uruguay.

Francisco Villarroya made his professional debut with hometown's Real Zaragoza in 1984.  In 1990, he signed with Real Madrid, where he played until 1994.  He spent two seasons with Deportivo de La Coruña, being relatively used and adding another Copa del Rey to his trophy cabinet. He also played for Sporting de Gijón.  Between 1989 and 1992, he played 14 times for Spain, including all games in the 1990 World Cup Finals.
Francisco Villarroya
Born in 1949, Javier Planas started with Deportivo Aragon.  he later played with Lagreo before joining Real Zaragoza in 1968.  He stayed there until 1977. He played once for the Spanish national team in Glasgow on November 20 , 1974 against Scotland.  His brother Miguel Planas was also a professional footballer who also played for Real Zaragoza. 

Ramón Torralba was popularly known as the old man for his long career in the Barça first team, where he was the team's starter for more than 15 years.  He played as a midfielder, where he formed a great core line with Sancho and Josep Samitier. For many years he held the record for games played at the club until it was surpassed by Joan Segarra in the 1960s. He played a total of 475 games and scored 16 goals between 1914 and 1928. 

An academy graduate at Atlético Madrid, Camacho made his senior debut at the age of 17. He spent the next three years at the club, making 50 appearances and winning Europa League and UEFA Super Cup titles. In 2011 he signed for Málaga, where he spent six and a half years and played competitive 199 matches before joining Wolfsburg. He captained the Spain under-17 team to the title at the 2007 UEFA European Championship.  In 2014, he received his only senior cap.
Ignacio Camacho
Francisco Güerri started with Deportivo Avagon.  He then spent 10 years with Real Zaragoza between 1978 and 1988.  From 1988 to 1991, he played for Las Palmes.  He competed in the men's tournament at the 1980 Summer Olympics.  He had four senior caps between 1983 and 1984.  Three of his caps came during the qualification for Euro 1984.  He did not make the team for the Finals in France.

CM: Luis Milla 
Milla made his debut with Barcelona in 1984.  He was a regular for the first team from 1988 to 1990.  Then, he joined rival Real Madrid in 1990 on a free transfer.  He was an important first-team element in the conquest of two leagues and one Copa del Rey.  Milla finished his career in 2001 after four years at Valencia CF.   Over a three-month period beginning in late 1989, he earned himself three caps for the Spain national team.  His first match was against Hungary.

RM/CM: Cani  
Cani started with his hometown team Real Zaragoza in 2002.  He won the 2004 Copa Del Rey and Supercopa de España with them and. From 2006 to 2015, he played for Villarreal.  He appeared in 32 games for the 2007–08 runners-up. In 2015, he moved to Deportivo La Coruna.  After a season, he returned to Real Zaragoza.  He also played on loan with Atletico Madrid.  He was called up by Spain manager Luis Aragonés in 2006, but never earned a cap.

A youth product of Real Zaragoza, Sanjuán was born in Zaragoza, and made his debut in 1991.  Almost never an undisputed starter for the Aragonese, he featured heavily during his seven-and-a-half professional seasons with the club, most notably amassing totals of 93 games and four goals in La Liga from 1991 to 1994, winning  the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup. He also played in Spain with Villarreal CF and Córdoba CF, and Wolves in England.

Victor started with Real Zaragoza in 1976. He joined Barcelona in 1981. He spent most of his professional career with them, winning a total of eight major titles and amassing La Liga totals of 332 games and 25 goals.  He also played for Sampdoria and St Mirren. Víctor played 60 times for Spain between 1981 and 1988. He represented the country in the 1986 World Cup Finals and the European Championships of 1984 and 1988.
Víctor Muñoz
FW/CM: Nacho Conte 
Nacho Conte moved to Sevilla from the youth team of Real Betis in 1989.  He had a relatively successful career with Sevilla. He signed for CD Tenerife in 1993 and stayed there until 1997.  Then, he played for Racing de Santander and Hercules CF.  In 1991, he played once for Spain in a Euro 1992 qualifying match against Czechoslovakia. He appeared as a sub.  He had represented Spain at the youth level.

Bustillo started his career with the reserve side of Real Zaragoza, Deportivo Aragón. He spent time on loan at UD Mahón, before joining Barcelona in 1969.  He received a serious injury on his debut with Barcelona.  He only played a few games for them. From 1972 to 1977, he played for Malaga.  He was capped five times by the Spain national football team between 1968 and 1969, scoring twice.

LW/FW: Carlos Lapetra 
Carlos Lapetra began his career with CD Guadalajara in 1958.  He spent ten of his 11 years as a professional with Real Zaragoza, appearing in 279 official games (62 goals) and winning three major titles with the club during the Golden period of the club. Lapetra played in the Final of the 1964 European Nations' Cup against the Soviet Union, where Spain won its first ever major tournament.  He also went to the 1966 World Cup Finals in England. He had 13 caps    in total.
Carlos Lapetra
ST: Enrique Porta
Porta began his career in his native region of Aragon, spending the 1967–68 season with SD Huesca in the Tercera División and scoring 34 goals. Subsequently, he signed for Granada CF in La Liga.   In the 1971–72 campaign, however, his 20 goals in 31 matches – no penalties – earned him the Pichichi Trophy for the league's top scorer to help the Andalusians to a best ever sixth position. In1 975, Porta moved to fellow league side Real Zaragoza.

Moreno spent four years of his career with  FC Barcelona, after signing from  UD Huesca in 1952. In the 1952–53 league conquest, he scored 22 goals in just 30 matches, only trailing Telmo Zarra in the Pichichi Trophy race. He was part of the Blaugrana's attacking line which also featured César, László Kubala, Eduardo Manchón and Mariano Martín.  He also played with UD Las Palmas and Real Zaragoza, Moreno earned two caps with Spain, both in July 1953. 

A goalscorer noted for his flair and workrate, he played for seven top-division clubs, most notably Atlético Madrid, Valencia – with whom he won his sole team trophy – and Málaga. He amassed totals of 235 games and 86 goals over 11 La Liga seasons, adding 126 matches and 52 goals in Segunda División. He won the Pichichi Trophy in the 1999–2000 season, scoring 27 goals to lead La Liga's scoring charts for Racing de Santander.  Salva played four matches with Spain.
Salva Ballesta
Honorable Mention
José Luis García Traid, Juli Gozalvo, Jesús Vallejo, Moises, Raul Guti, Agustín Abadía, Alberto Zapater, José María Encontra,  Josete, Manuel Cros, Francisco León Fandós, Gerardo, Ismael Comas, Luis Cuartero, Víctor Laguardia, Jesús Vallejo. 

Players who grew up in Aragon but not born here
Álvaro Arbeloa, Anders Herrera.

Squad Explanation
-- Only 14 players from here ever played for Spain.  The player pool is very limited.  At the time of writing (2021-2022 season), only a handful of Aragonese footballers are playing in La Liga.  Víctor Laguardia, Jesús Vallejo, Alberto Soro, Jorge Pompo, Jorge Miramón, Raul Guti, Dani Calvo and Roberto López are the only players I found playing in La Liga.  Both Real Zaragoza and SD Huesca are now playing in the lower division.
-- I do not know much about women football.  But during my research, I discovered a number of Aragon-born female players to have played for Spain. Silvia Meseguer, Adriana Martín, Cristina Estévez, Mapi León, Patricia Larqué, Marta Cardona and Bárbara Latorre all played for Spain.  I do not know enough about the topic to comment.  I am just using this as a miscellaneous information.
-- Juan José Nogués was the first ever player here to represent Spain.  The occasion was the quarterfinal of the 1934 World Cup Finals against host and eventual winner Italy.  The game was a remplay after the first game ended in a draw.  He replaced Ricardo Zamora who had been injured in the first game.  With 60 caps, Víctor Muñoz is the all-time leading cap holder for the region.
-- There were four Aragonese players who had represented Spain in World Cup Finals. As mentioned above, Nogués played in the 1934 World Cup Finals. Víctor Muñoz played 5 games in  the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  Francisco Villarroya played 4 games in the 1990 World Cup Finals while Carlos Lapetra appeared once in the 1966 edition. 
-- Marca created an all-time Best XI for Aragon.  Their team was different from mine.  It consisted of Juan José Nogués, Alberto Belsué, Francisco Villarroya, Pablo Alfaro, José Luis Violeta, Ander Herrera, Carlos Lapetra, Cani, Victor Munoz, Luis Milla and Salva.  They featured Francisco Villarroya as their central defender.  I did not select Anders Herrera who was born in Basque.
-- Víctor Muñoz, Carlos Lapetra, Alberto Belsué, Cani, José Luis Violeta, Pablo Alfaro, Francisco Villarroya, Jesús García Sanjuán, Luis Cuartero and Miguel Ángel Bustillo all played for local club Real Zaragoza.  Tomas Moreno and Enrique Porta were the only players chosen who had played for Sociedad Deportiva Huesca.
-- I also noticed many players had played for Barcelona. Víctor Muñoz, Juan José Nogués, Ramón Torralba, Moreno, Jesús Angoy, Pablo Alfaro and Miguel Ángel Bustillo were on the book of Barcelona FC at one point.
-- Juan José Nogués was the obvious choice for the starting goalkeeper. I found many goalkeepers from this area. Jesús Angoy might not be better than some of the other goalkeepers from here, but he got name recognition for being a former Barcelona's goalkeeper. He was also Johan Cruyff's son-in-law, which some fans might also know that information.  The football fans might also remember him for being the kicker for NFL Europe side Barcelona Dragons. Some people should know who he was. Then, I took César Láinez who played over 100 games for Real Zaragoza.  He was the starting keeper for them as they upset Real Madrid in the Final of the 2004 Copa Del Rey.  The match marked the beginning of the end for Galactico One.  Ismail Comas spent 8 seasons with Barcelona FC, but never figured much on the first team.
-- Goalkeeper Enrique Yarza played his entire career with different clubs in the city of Zaragoza, but he was born in Basque Country.  He was probably Real Zaragoza's greatest goalkeeper. He was ineligible.
-- Álvaro Arbeloa's family moved to Zaragoza when he was four years old. He started playing football at Real Zaragoza, joining Real Madrid's youth system at the age of 18.  He was often listed as a player from here, but I stayed with birth place as a criteria.  Sometimes, I bended the eligible rule to select a great player.  I did not do it for Arbeloa because that would have kept Alberto Belsué off the starting lineup.  Alberto Belsué is the second most capped player from Aragon.  He also played for a local club Real Zaragoza.  
-- The backup rightback position was between Gerardo and Manuel Torres.  Gerardo played over 240 matches in La Liga.  He appeared scarcely for Valencia, but started in the 2000 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid. He had his most successfully period at Málaga CF, playing five seasons for a side that had four consecutive mid-table positions and also helping them win the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Meanwhile, Manuel Torres played a season on loan with Real Madrid in 1957.  That season, he started in the European Cup Final against Fiorentina.  Both players also played in the lower division.  In the end, I took Torres because he remained the only player to have played and won the European Cup.  I considered a big milestone for Aragon in football. Jesús Vallejo won the Champions' League with Real Madrid, but he only used once in the entire campaign.
-- The central defender position was difficult to select.  José Luis Violeta was listed as a left midfielder as well as sweeper and leftback.  He was on my Real Zaragoza All-Time team.  Luis Cuartero made honourable mention for them.  Pablo Alfaro amassed many La Liga games.  Moreover, he was selected by Marca on their Aragon All-Time Best XI.  
-- Th fourth central defender was difficult to choose.  It was between Víctor Laguardia and Jesús Vallejo.  I put both of them into the pool for the last player considered(see below).  The old-fashion fullback was usually central defender, but RB Manuel Torres was winger/rightback. He was known as "El Expresso de la banda" for his speed.  
-- Both José Luis Violeta and Francisco Villarroya could be used as a leftback.  Villarroya whom I considered to be a winger was battling for starting leftback position with Mikel Lasa in Madrid before the emerge of Roberto Carlos. I also discovered Josete who played for Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, etc. 
-- For midfielders, I began by taking all of the capped players, namely Ignacio Camacho, Luis Miller, Francisco Güerri, Javier Planas and Víctor Muñoz.
-- Víctor Muñoz was the "lung" of the Spanish national team in the 1980's.  He also represented Spain at the 1980 Olympics with Francisco Güerri.   Luis Miller played many games with both Barcelona and Real Madrid.  He was relatively successful for both giants.
Luis Milla 
-- Then, I took Ramón Torralba who was a club legend with Barcelona FC.  He was at one point their  appearance leader. Their official website described him as a "holding midfield player who stood out for his strength and limitless capacity for sacrifice."  He moved to Catalonia at a young age, but his birth place gave him the right to be on this team.
-- Juli Gozalvo was born in Aragon, but his two brothers José Gonzalvo and Mariano Gonzalvo were born in Mollet del Vallès, Catalonia.  Both brothers were capped by Spain and starred for Barcelona FC.  Juli, however, was lesser known.  He never played for Barcelona first team.  He only made honourable mention.
-- Ander Herrera was born in Bilbao, although he spent the first four years of his life in Vigo.  He moved to Aragon in 1993 when his father took a job with Real Zaragoza.  I ruled him ineligible because of his birth place.
-- AM Santiago Aragón was an all-timer for Real Zaragoza, but he was born in Andalusia.  Luis Aragonés was born in Madrid.  But according to a website, "Aragonés" meant "Aragonese, from Aragón" in the Spanish and Aragonese languages.   But I would not consider that as a factor for their inclusion.
-- I watched plenty of Cani in his prime.  He was awesome with Villarreal. He was called up by Spain, but he never received a cap. 
-- Miguel Angel Bustillo made his debut with Barcelona against against Real Madrid in 1969.  He scored two goals in the second and fifth minute before he was seriously injured by a tackle from Pedro de Felipe.  He never played for Barcelona again.  He later played for  CD Málaga.
-- Tomas Moreno was known as "Moreno" because of his dark skin.  In the 1952–53 season, he scored 22 goals in just 30 matches, only trailing Telmo Zarra in the Pichichi Trophy race.
-- Salva won the Pichichi Trophy for the 1999–2000 season.  He was less effective while with Valencia, but he won a La Liga title with them.  Enrique Porta also won the title in the 1970-1971 season.  He also played for Sociedad Deportiva Huesca and Real Zaragoza.  In May 2015, the main entrance to Granada's Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes was named after Porta. The stadium of Villanueva CF, from his hometown, is also named after him.  
-- Manuel Cros played in the 1920's at the same time as Ricardo Zamora and Josep Samitier in Catalonia .  He was born in Avagon, but considered himself a Catalan.  He was probably a big star at his time, but I was not sure if he deserved a spot.  The forward position was well-stocked.  I put him on honorable mention only.
-- Moisescareer was between the top and second level.  The other attackers all had represented Spain or won the Pichichi Trophy.  His brother Gerardo also made honorable mention.
-- The last player was a decision between Alberto Zapater, Agustín Abadía, Jesús García Sanjuán, Víctor Laguardia and Jesús Vallejo.  My team had only 6 defenders.  Laguardia and Vallejo should be the priority. However, Laguardia spent parts of his career in the Segunda División.  But since 2016, he played mainly in La Liga.  Jesús Vallejo had some experience playing in the English Premier League and Bundesliga.  However, his career had been stalled since his return to Real Madrid in 2021. His loan spell with Granada was only fair.  
-- Midfielder Alberto Zapater appeared over 300 matches for Real Zaragoza, a local team, but parts of his career was spent in the Segunda División. He also played with Genoa in Italy, Sporting SP in Portugal and FC Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia before returning to Real Zaragova in 2016.  I also looked into Agustín Abadía who played many seasons with CD Logroñés in the top divisison.  Jesús García Sanjuán helped Real Zaragoza win the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup.  I considered that as a contribution to local football.  He also had a long career playing La Liga, but not always as a starter. He seemed to be the best choice among the midfielders.
-- In the end, the decision was between Jesús García Sanjuán or a central defender.  In the end, I took Jesús García Sanjuán.  Althrough he was never a starter with Zaragoza, he was playing most of his career in the top division.  I just had to leave the team short with a defender. I would reexamine Jesús Vallejo later in his career.

Francisco Villarroya had played the leftback position for both Spain and Real Madrid.  Both of my midfielders were known for their grit.  This team might need some creativity.  The team was more of an English team than a Spanish team. Cani was a very good passer.

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