In South America, numerous football stars have been born. At the moment, CONMEBOL has won the FIFA World Cup in 9 occasions, with Brazil lifting 5 of them. Uruguay is the team that has won the most Copa América (15), followed by Argentina (14). Here are four lineups, highlighting the best CONMEBOL retired football players and managers.
Coach: Mario Zagallo
Mario Zagallo won the World Cup twice as a player (1958 and 1962), once as a coach (1970) and once as an assistant coach (1994). The starting lineup will be a 4-3-1-2, transforming into a 2-3-3-2 when the team attacks.
Gilberto Silva plays as a defensive midfielder, with Zico attacking from the left or center, depending on the situation. Garrincha as a right winger, always playing on that side. Álex Aguinaga focuses in assisting or scoring as an offensive midfielder, playing, in some occasions, as a left wing to open space for Zico. Ronaldo and Gabriel Batistuta pressure the defensive line with their mobility and shooting power. Cafú and Iván Córdoba as full backs, with freedom to join the attack. Diego Lugano and Elías Figueroa maintain their positions as centre-backs, in front of Claudio Taffarel.
Coach: Carlos Bilardo
Three centre-backs, Ruggeri – Ayala – Nasazzi, with liberty of joining the attack when they have the opportunity. Fernando Redondo as pivot, supporting the defense and distributing the ball. Osvaldo Ardiles and José Leandro Andrade play on their respective wings, focusing more on attacking. Carlos Valderrama joins Manuel Moreno and Diego Maradona as an offensive midfielder, with the three dominating that area with their abilities and intelligence. The Colombian’s role is to link the defense with the offense. Marcelo Salas as the sole striker, scoring or opening spaces for Maradona or Moreno.
Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira
Carlos Alberto Parreira led Brazil to the World title in 1994, and the Copa América in 2004. The starting lineup will be a 4-2-2-2, transforming into a 2-1-4-3 when the team attacks.
Dunga plays as a defensive midfielder, allowing Didi to join the attack. Pelé attacks more from the center, getting between Alberto Spencer y Teófilo Cubillas, or exchanging positions with the Peruvian. Ronaldinho, on the other hand, plays more on the left side, with freedom to play as an offensive midfielder from the center. Full backs, Carlos Alberto and Nilton Santos, perform as wingers. Walter Samuel and Héctor Chumpitaz as centre-backs protect José Luis Chilavert.
Coach: César Menotti
César Menotti was the first coach to win the WC with Argentina in 1978. The starting lineup will be a 4-1-2-3, transforming into a 2-3-2-3 when the team attacks.
Daniel Passarella and José Santamaría hold their position as centre-backs. Roberto Carlos and Javier Zanetti join Obdulio Varela on midfield, playing on their respective sides. Varela stays on defense, protecting the centre-backs. Mario Kempes and Di Stéfano dominate the offensive half, threatening the defense with their long shots and abilities. Alberto Schiaffino and Enzo Francescoli initiate their attacks on the wings, but switch to a more central position afterwards, opening spaces for Zanetti and Carlos. Arsenio Erico stays central, exchanging positions with any of his five offensive teammates.
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Players by Country
Brazil: 16, Argentina: 14, Uruguay: 9, Chile: 4, Colombia: 3, Peru: 3, Paraguay: 2, Bolivia: 2, Ecuador: 2, Venezuela: 1