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Valencia's incredible exports: A starting XI of players sold by Los Che

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:22 IST

Valencia has made an immense contribution to Spanish football.
Valencia has made an immense contribution to Spanish football.

For as long as anyone can remember, Valencia has been the quintessential "almost there" of Spanish football.

In the recent past, the La Liga has been dominated by the proverbial 'big three': Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid. Among them, the three behemoths of Spanish football have won 17 of the 19 contested league titles since the turn of the century.

The other two have been won by Valencia. Their last title victory, however, came a long time ago in the 2003-04 season. The club has had to sell most of their talented prospects just to stay financially afloat.

It cannot be said that the quality of their players has dropped. They are, after all, a nearly perennial top four side, and a regular in the Champions League. They have also fared very well this season in the European competition, edging Ajax to the knockout stages on the back of the likes of Rodrigo Moreno, Carlos Soler, and Goncalo Guedes.

Over the years, Los Che has unearthed quite a few gems, who have gone on to make a mark on football history all over the world. As a result, they have arguably one of the best "could have been" starting XI's you will ever see. A team of this calibre would be able to give the best teams in the world a real run for their money.

A brief look into history will give you a fair idea of Valencia's ability to churn out attacking talent. Players of the ilk of David Villa, who recently announced his retirement, have spent a majority of their formative years at the club, and have gone on to become modern-day legends of the game.

To restrict the player pool, this article looks only at players who are currently active in professional football.

Valencia has had a host of brilliant attacking midfield talent, and to accommodate all their creative and technical ability, a 4-2-3-1 formation is the ideal choice.

Before we move on to the players who have made the cut, a look at the quality of some of the exceptional players who have been left out you a fair idea of the strength of this side.

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Honourable mentions - Roberto Soldado (Granada CF), Juan Bernat (Paris Saint-Germain), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)


Goalkeeper - Neto (Barcelona)

Club Atletico de Madrid v Valencia CF - La Liga
Club Atletico de Madrid v Valencia CF - La Liga

The summer of 2019 saw Valencia's Brazilian goalkeeper Neto trade places with Barcelona's Jasper Cillessen, in a transfer that seemed to benefit both parties.

Neto was a crucial component of Valencia's 2018-19 season, where they managed to finish fourth in the league after a poor start to the season. The Brazilian joined Valencia from Juventus in 2017 and went on to establish himself as the first-choice keeper at Valencia.

Over the better part of two seasons, Neto put in wonderful performances and proved his credentials as an expert shot-stopper as Valencia regularly finished in the top four. Promising performances against the likes of Barcelona, Sevilla, and Atletico Madrid earned him a reputation as one of the better keepers in the league.

While Cillessen is a brilliant goalkeeper in his own right, Neto proved that he could easily hold his own in any starting eleven, and makes it to this one, holding out competition from the likes of Diego Alves and Vicente Guaita.

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Published 15 Dec 2019, 18:06 IST
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