Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Beautiful Game on Celluloid, Part Two

Spoiler Alert: I assume most people have already seen these films, as a result I discuss the plot as much as I can. I will not try to go into every detail but generalize as much as possible.
For this movie, I will avoid comparisons with the Novel, since the structure and format of the book is much different than the movie


Film:   Fever Pitch (1997)
‘Life gets complicated when you love one woman but worship eleven men’, is the tagline from ‘Fever Pitch’. This film is based on Nick Hornby’s groundbreaking Novel of the same name.
The film tells the story of a die-hard Arsenal fan named Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth). The story takes place during the 1988/89 season that Arsenal finally won the League title after an 18-year wait.


We witness Paul’s devotion to Arsenal, as well, as the personal changes to his existence as a fan and a man after he falls in love.
There are also flashbacks that illustrate how Paul’s passion for Arsenal and Football in general is developed.
In the beginning of the film (start of the school year and Football season, 1988/89), we see Paul as a rebel English schoolteacher. He wears a leather jacket and is popular with his students and often discusses the fortunes of his favorite team Arsenal with them.
He also coaches the Boys Soccer Team always wearing his Retro Arsenal jersey. In one scene, his motto is laid out as he tells one of his students that Saturday is the only day that he is NOT a responsible adult.
In contrast, the new teacher Sarah Hughes (Ruth Gemmell) is very uptight, dresses very professionally and is initially disliked by her class.
In addition she is completely indifferent to Football and looks with disdain at Soccer fans.
They each have a close friend to whom they confide. Paul’s friend is Steve (a then-unknown Mark Strong, at least unknown in USA). Steve is Paul’s best friend, drinking buddy, and fellow Arsenal fan. They even play Subbuteo together.
Sarah’s close friend is Jo . She is her roommate, confident and jogging partner.
Through, the aforementioned flashbacks, we get a glimpse of Paul’s childhood. His parents are divorced and initially during his father’s infrequent visits, there is very little connection. His father would like an activity that he can share with his son. In one of his visits his father suggests to take him to an Arsenal match at Highbury, even though, Paul is not a Football fan (yet).
As soon as Paul sits in the stands and views the pitch, his eye light up and is mesmerized. It is clearly the beginning of a beautiful lifelong passion. He is very observant of all the banter in the stands, which includes cursing, shouting, etc. He genuinely seems delighted and at ease in this environment.
It appears that Paul has found an activity that he can share with his father. His father in turn teaches him the finer points of fandom, such as the importance and commitment of supporting a specific team and leaving the stadium a few minutes early to ‘beat the traffic.’


Back to the present, Sarah is the complete opposite of Paul, which means that in the movie universe they must fall in love.
Paul and Sarah are in a fully committed relationship; there are still lingering differences. She notices that Paul is completely involved in Football and as a result is unable to be and act like an adult (even wearing Arsenal boxers) and has no long term goals. He in turn cannot understand that she does not understand this passion and lives a very regimented existence.
Paul’s lack of ambition is exemplified by his indifference to apply for a better paying position within the school since he’s content in earning just enough so that he can attend Football matches and live his life as is.
In another flashback, we see a slightly older teenage Paul now going to Arsenal matches by himself. His father who now seems almost bored to keep taking him to Arsenal matches, tells him to move on from that stage of his life. Paul in a determined fashion responds that he will ‘never get beyond that stage.’
Back to the present (April 1989), Sarah agrees to go to an Arsenal match at Highbury with Paul and Steve. They watch the match from the standing only terraces.
Clearly, she is unaware of what she is in for. She appears uncomfortable with the shouting, insults from the stands, but more importantly she is frightened of all the pushing and shoving and feels unsafe.
This scene in the present is cut back and forth with the teenage Paul on the terraces in 1972, now a full-fledged member of the ‘tribe’. This particular sequence is shot with ‘The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ in the background and ending in crescendo.
In the present, once at home, the events of the Hillsborough disaster are seen on the television. The pair is horrified at the death toll.
Sarah already uncomfortable with her own experience in the terraces asks Paul to not to go to any more matches.
This is where the major rift in the relationship occurs, as he still plans on attending matches. She accuses him of selfishness and still cannot comprehend the extent of his passion for the game.
Paul makes attempts at reconciliation and in the process learns that she is pregnant.
This event appears to change Paul and he is determined to marry and raise his child like a normal adult. He even applies for the vacant teaching position that he had initially snubbed as he now needs the extra income.
He tells Steve that even if Arsenal do not win the League, it would not make a difference, much to Steve’s amazement.
He says that when you have nothing, Arsenal ‘fills the gap’, but he now has a reason to exist.
Unfortunately, he is passed over for the position after an interview with a Board of Governors, where it is implied that his relationship with a fellow teacher was a detriment to his chances. Stephen Rea makes a funny cameo as a member of the Board of Governors and Arsenal fan, who just asks Arsenal and Football related questions during the job interview process.
Paul and Sarah break up again after she realizes that he is less concerned about this job and is more concerned about Arsenal’s loss that may have ruined their title hopes. She feels she cannot build a future with a man whose life revolves around a football team’s fortunes.
With the relationship on a break, it all comes down to the final match of the season. The deciding match vs. Liverpool at Anfield on May 26th, 1989, that Arsenal HAS to win by at least a score of 2-0 to become Champions on goal difference.
A nervous and pessimistic Paul and Steve watch the match at home on the television. Sarah attends a party of her students who are all indifferent to Football. Even though, Sarah used to share these same sentiments, she seems eager to follow the match and know the score.
Not much of a suspense as we all know the outcome, but nevertheless Michael Thomas’ last minute winner and the celebrations are shot in dramatic fashion (Especially Paul and Steve’s celebration).


Afterwards, there is a parade in the street with Arsenal fans celebrating into the night.
In the parade, Paul catches a glimpse of Sarah draped in an Arsenal flag and naturally they make up again for good.
For once She seems to have accepted and understood his passion.
They live Happily ever After and THE END.
Despite, the whole opposites attract formula; ‘Fever Pitch’ is generally enjoyable as Romantic Comedies go.
There are some names of players from the past and present that are thrown around that only a Football knowledgeable audience will recognize.
This inside-knowledge is also required to understand some of the references made, such as comparisons of Sarah to George Graham.
A younger audience, who has grown up on the Internet and matches on cable galore, may not be able to connect as much.
The rest of us, slightly older, there is a universal appeal in the concept of fan culture and genuinely rooting for a team for life.
(And maybe along the way making compromises to our passion and habits to accommodate our loved ones)

Notes:
1-  In 2005, a Hollywood remake of this was made starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Since this was made for an American audience, in the remake, the sport was changed to Baseball.

2- Colin Firth and Mark Strong have appeared together again in two recent films, ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ (with Nicole Kidman) and ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’





Monday, August 31, 2015

The British Home Championship-Part Two

The 1983 British Home Championship

In 1983, the British Home Championship was entering in its penultimate season.
As stated in the previous entry on this topic, there was pressure from the authorities to disband this nearly century old competition due to security concerns.
England and Scotland were more receptive to this idea.
The first match of the 1983 Home Championship was played on February 23rd, 1983, England hosted Wales at Wembley.
This was the first season of Bobby Robson in charge of England.
On the day of the match, Manchester United and Arsenal matchup was scheduled for the League Cup.
As a result, many eligible England players could not be called up, which included Captain Bryan Robson, as well as Ray Wilkins, Steve Coppell, Kenny Sansom, Tony Woodcock and Graham Rix.
The withdrawals allowed Robson to give first caps to Derek Statham and Gordon Cowans.
At the time, the attendance of 24,000 was Wembley’s lowest ever attendance, the cold weather may have contributed to that and even the ground was frozen.
England had not defeated Wales in 10 years.
Wales were near full strength and went ahead in the 14th minute against the run of the play.
Kevin Ratcliffe crossed into the box,  Robbie James flicked it up , Davies got a touch and Ian Rush pounced on the loose ball.

Photo From: Official Match Programme,  Wales v Northern Ireland , 1984
(Ian Rush scoring, February 23, 1983, Home Championship, England 2-Wales 1)

England levelled the score in the 39th minute. Luther Blisset went into the box, and after an entanglement, Alan Devonshirec took possession and crossed for Butcher, who was unmarked on the right side, to score his first ever International goal.
The second half was uneventful and England scored their winner in the 78th minute, through a penalty kick by Phil Neal, after debutant Cowans was fouled in the box by Flynn in the box after a one-two with the other debutant Statham.

Photo From: World Soccer, April 1983
(England squad, top,  left to right: Terence Ian Butcher, Alvin Edward Martin, Paul Mariner, Peter Leslie Shilton, Alan Ernest Devonshire, Bottom, left to right: Luther Loide Blissett,  Samuel Lee, Derek James Statham, Phillip George Neal, Gary Vincent Mabbutt  , Gordon Sidney Cowans, February 23, 1983, Home Championship, England 2-Wales 1)

The next match took place three months later, on May 24, 1983 at Glasgow between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Billy Bingham’s Northern Ireland were in full strength with many of the 1982 World Cup veterans. The only one missing was Norman Whiteside who missed all these matches.
Scotland were missing many regulars due to injuries and club commitments, such as Aberdeen’s Jim Leighton, Miller, McLeisch, Liverpool’s Dalglish, Hansen and Souness and Leeds’ Frank Gray.
In addition, Aberdeen’s Gordon Strachan only appeared after the break.
This was an experimental Scottish squad with Neil Simpson earning his first cap and Richard Gough and Charlie Nicholas both earning their second caps.
John Wark and David Narey were the only usual regulars that Jock Stein started with.
In an uneventful match, the Scottish were more dominant in the second half, but could find no way through the Northern Irish defense, despite a penalty appeal for a foul on Nicholas.
The third and fourth matches in the series took place on the same day, May 28th, 1983, when Northern Ireland hosted England at Windsor Park and Wales hosted Scotland at Cardiff,
England had many of its regulars back and Northern Ireland’s squad was similar to the one vs. Scotland a few days before.
Bobby Robson gave first caps to Graham Roberts and John Barnes.
Glenn Hoddle earned his first start under Robson.
Debutant Graham Roberts almost scored an own goal when he headed a cross by Armstrong towards his own goal, but Shilton saved with a quick reflex.
In general, Northern Ireland dominated without really being able to break through England’s defense.
In another scoreless draw for Northern Ireland, Sammy McIllroy and O’Neill were their best players, while Peter Shilton stood out for England.

Photo From: Official Match Programme,  Wales v Northern Ireland , 1984
(John McClelland, May 28, 1983, Home Championship, Northern Ireland 0-England 0)

In the other match that day, Scotland earned their first victory in Wales in a decade.
Scotland were near full strength and made seven changes from their previous match and rested Charlie Nicholas.
Wales gave first caps to Slatter and Lowndes.
Scotland took the lead in the 11th minute. Gordon Strachan took a corner that McLeisch headed down towards the goal and Andy Gray turned it in right in front of the goal.

Photo From: Official Match Programme,  Scotland v Wales, 1984
(Andy Gray after scoring, May 28, 1983, Home Championship, Wales 0-Scotland 2)

Scotland’s second was scored in the 67th minute. Souness sent a ball into the box for Gough that Southall was unable to control, Alan Brazil took the loose ball and scored his first ever goal for Scotland.
On May 31st, Northern Ireland hosted Wales at Windsor Park.
Wales gave first caps to Alan Davies and Jeff Hopkins.
Northern Ireland dominated for long spells and Gerry Armstrong even hit the post in the 5th minute, but just like the previous matches just could not score.
Wales went ahead in the 64th minute when Southall took a punt that Chris Nicholl failed to clear and Gordon Davies ran and chipped the ball over Jennings.
This result ended Northern Ireland’s four year unbeaten run at home.
The next day (June 1st) at Wembley: England hosted Scotland for their 101st meeting. The match was played in the evening at midweek to reduce any incidents of hooliganism.
Both squads were at full strength for this important annual matchup.
Scotland dominated the early exchanges, though England eventually took control.
England captain Bryan Robson was injured in an early tackle by Narey. Despite the pain he still stayed on.
In the 13th minute, Robson gave England the lead while still in pain.
Kenny Sansom’s throw in was headed on by Terry Butcher and tapped in by Robson.
Robson was replaced in the 25th minute by Mabbut, as he was unable to continue.
England scored the second early in the second half, after a Trevor Francis cross from the right, led to a scramble that involved Neal and Cowans. Cowans shot the loose ball and scored his first goal for England.

Photo From: Official Match Programme,  Scotland v England, 1984
(Phil Neal and Gordon Strachan, June 1, 1983, Home Championship, England 2-Scotland 0)

Trevor Francis and Sammy Lee both had goals disallowed for infringements.
For Scotland, Charlie Nicholas was subbed off after an indifferent game. Many observers believed that his upcoming transfer from Celtic Glasgow to Arsenal was on his mind and he was unable to concentrate on the match at hand.
This was the last ever Home Championship won by England.




Home Championship Squads


England:
Players who took part in the matches:
Goalkeepers:
Peter Leslie Shilton (Southampton Football Club)
Raymond Neal Clemence  (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London) (non-playing substitute)

Defenders:
Phillip George Neal (Liverpool Football Club) 
Derek James Statham (West Bromwich Albion
Football Club)
Graham Paul Roberts
(Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London)
Terence Ian Butcher
(Ipswich Town Football Club)
Alvin Edward Martin (West Ham United Football Club-London)
Kenneth Graham Sansom (Arsenal Football Club-London)
Russel Charles Osman (Ipswich Town Football Club) (non-playing substitute)

Midfielders / Forwards:
Samuel Lee (Liverpool Football Club)
Gary Vincent Mabbutt  (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London)
Gordon Sidney Cowans (Aston Villa Football Club-Birmingham)
Glenn Hoddle (Tottenham Hotspur Football  Club-London)
Bryan Robson
 (Manchester United Football Club)
John Charles Bryan Barnes
(Watford Football Club)
 Trevor John Francis
(Unione Calcio Sampdoria –Genova / Italy)
Peter Withe (Aston Villa Football Club-Birmingham)
Paul Mariner (Ipswich Town Football Club)
Luther Loide Blissett (Associazione Calcio Milan / Italy)
Alan Ernest Devonshire (West Ham United Football Club-London)
Paul Anthony Walsh (Luton Town Football Club)  (non-playing substitute)

Coach: Robert William Robson



Scotland:
Players who took part in the matches:
Goalkeepers:
 James Leighton (Aberdeen Football Club Limited)
William Thomson (Saint-Mirren Football Club-Paisley)

Defenders:
Alistair Dawson (Rangers Football Club- Glasgow)
Charles ‘Richard’ Gough (Dundee United Football Club)
Paul Anthony Hegarty  (Dundee United Football Club)
David Narey  (Dundee United Football Club)
Francis Tierney Gray (Leeds United Association Football Club / England)
Alexander McLeish (Aberdeen Football Club Limited) 
William Fergus Miller (Aberdeen Football Club Limited)

Midfielders / Forwards:
Graeme James Souness  (Liverpool Football Club / England)     
Gordon David Strachan (Aberdeen Football Club Limited)
Neil Simpson (Aberdeen Football Club Limited)
John Wark (Ipswich Town Football Club / England)
Eamonn John Bannon (Dundee United Football Club)
Andrew Mullen Gray (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Thomas Burns (The Celtic Football Club-Glasgow)     
Charles Nicholas (The Celtic Football Club-Glasgow)     
Alan Bernard Brazil (Ipswich Town Football Club / England)

Coach: John ‘Jock’ Stein



Northern Ireland:
Players who took part in the matches:
Goalkeepers:
Patrick Anthony Jennings (Arsenal Football Club-London / England)
James Archibald Platt (Middlesbrough Football Club / England) (non-playing substitute)

Defenders:
James Michael Nicholl (Toronto Blizzard / Canada)
Malachy Martin Donaghy (Luton Town Football Club / England)
Christopher John Nicholl (Southampton Football Club / England)
John McClelland (Rangers Football Club-Glasgow / Scotland)
Nigel Worthington (Notts County Football Club-Nottingham / England) (non-playing substitute)
James Hagan (Birmingham City Football Club / England) (non-playing substitute)

Midfielders / Forwards:
Gerald Mullan (Glentoran Football Club-Belfast)
Noel Brotherston (Blackburn Rovers Football Club / England)
James Cleary (Glentoran Football Club-Belfast)
John Patrick O'Neill  (Leicester City Football Club / England)
Samuel Baxter McIlroy (Stoke City Football Club / England)
William Robert Hamilton (Burnley Football Club / England)
Ian Edwin Stewart (Queens Park Rangers Football Club-London / England)
Martin Hugh Michael O'Neill  (Norwich City Football Club / England)
Gerard Joseph Armstrong (Watford Football Club / England)

Coach: William Laurence Bingham


Wales:
Players who took part in the matches:
Goalkeepers:
Neville Southall (Everton Football Club-Liverpool / England)
David Felgate (Lincoln City Football Club / England) (non-playing substitute)

Defenders:
Jeffrey Hopkins (Fulham Football Club-London / England)
George Frederick Berry (Stoke City Football Club / England)
Joseph Patrick Jones (Chelsea Football Club-London / England)
Kevin Ratcliffe (Everton Football Club-Liverpool / England)  
Robert Mark James (Swansea City Football Club / Wales, registered in  English League) 
Paul Terence Price (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London / England)
Neil John Slatter (Bristol Rovers Football Club / England)
Stephen Lowndes (Newport County Football Club / England)  

Midfielders / Forwards:
Jeremy Melvyn Charles (Swansea City Football Club / Wales, registered in  English League) 
John Francis Mahoney (Swansea City Football Club / Wales, registered in  English League) 
Leighton James (Sunderland Association Football Club / England)
Kenneth Francis Jackett (Watford Football Club / England)
Brian Flynn (Burnley Football Club / England) 
Michael Reginald ‘Mickey’ Thomas (Stoke City Football Club / England)
David Charles Giles (Crystal Palace Football Club-London / England)
Ian James Rush (Liverpool Football Club / England)
Gordon John Davies (Fulham Football Club-London / England)
Alan Davies (Manchester United Football Club / England) 
Nigel Mark Vaughan (Newport County Football Club / England) (non-playing substitute)
Dudley Lewis (Swansea City Football Club / Wales, registered in  English League)  (non-playing substitute)
Peter Nicholas (Arsenal Football Club-London / England)

Coach: Harold Michael England



1983 Home Championship Matches:


February 23, 1983- London - Wembley Stadium
Referee:  Robert Valentine (Scotland)
England 2-Wales 1 (Terry Butcher 39, Phil Neal 78 pen / Ian Rush 14)
England: 1- Peter Shilton (captain), 2- Phil Neal, 3- Derek Statham, 5- Alvin Martin, 6- Terry Butcher, 4- Sammy Lee, 7- Gary Mabbutt, 8- Luther Blissett, 9- Paul Mariner, 10- Gordon Cowans, 11- Alan Devonshire

Wales: Neville Southall, Joey Jones (George Berry 44th ), Kevin Ratcliffe , Brian Flynn, Paul Price, Kenny Jackett, Gordon Davies, Robbie James,
Ian Rush, Mickey Thomas, John Mahoney (Leighton James
80th )






May 24, 1983- Glasgow - Hampden Park
Referee:  Keith Hackett (England)
Scotland 0-Northern Ireland 0
Scotland: 1- William Thomson, 2-Alistair Dawson, 3- Richard Gough, 4-Neil Simpson (Gordon Strachan 65th ), 5-Paul Hegarty (captain), 6-David Narey, 7-John Wark, 8-Eamonn Bannon, 9-Andy Gray, 10-Tommy Burns, 11- Charlie Nicholas

Northern Ireland: Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Mal Donaghy, John Patrick O'Neill  (Chris Nicholl 46th ), John McClelland, Sammy McIlroy, Martin O'Neill , Gerald Mullan, Gerry Armstrong, Billy Hamilton (15-Noel Brotherston 89th ), Ian Stewart 







May 28, 1983- Belfast -Windsor Park
Referee:  Howard King (Wales)
Northern Ireland 0 -England 0
Northern Ireland: 1-Pat Jennings, 2-Jimmy Nicholl, 3-Mal Donaghy, 4-Chris Nicholl , 5-John McClelland, 6-Martin O'Neill , 7-Gerald Mullan (Noel Brotherston ), 8-Sammy McIlroy, 9-Gerry Armstrong, 10-Billy Hamilton, 11-Ian Stewart
Other Subs: 12-Jim Platt, 13-James Hagan, 14-Nigel Worthington, 16- James Cleary

England: 1-Peter Shilton (captain), 2- Phil Neal, 3- Kenny Sansom, 5-Graham Roberts, 6- Terry Butcher, 4- Glenn Hoddle, 7- Gary Mabbutt, 8- Trevor  Francis, 9- Peter Withe, 10- Luther Blissett (16-John Barnes 69th ), 11- Gordon Cowans
Other Subs: 12-Russel Osman , 13-Ray Clemence, 14-Sammy Lee,15-Paul Walsh



May 28, 1983- Cardiff-Ninian Park
Referee:  Malcolm Moffat (Northern Ireland)
Wales 0-Scotland 2 (Andy Gray 11, Alan Brazil 67)
Wales: Neville Southall,  Joey Jones, Neil Slatter, Brian Flynn (Stephen Lowndes 58th ), Paul Price, Kevin Ratcliffe,  Peter Nicholas, Kenny Jackett, Jeremy Charles, Mickey Thomas, Gordon Davies

Scotland: 1- Jim Leighton, 2- Richard Gough, 3- Frank Gray, 4-David Narey, 5- Alex McLeish,  6- Willie Miller, 7- Gordon Strachan, 8- Eamonn Bannon,
9-Andy Gray, 10-Alan Brazil, 11- Graeme Souness (captain) 


May 31, 1983- Belfast -Windsor Park
Referee:  Hugh Alexander (Scotland)
Northern Ireland 0-Wales 1 (Gordon Davies 64)
Northern Ireland :  Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Mal Donaghy, Chris Nicholl, John McClelland, Sammy McIlroy (captain), Gerald Mullan, Noel Brotherston, Gerry Armstrong, Billy Hamilton, Ian Stewart (James Cleary 85th )
Other Subs:          Jim Platt, James Hagan, Nigel Worthington, John Patrick O'Neill

Wales: Neville Southall,  Jeffrey Hopkins, Kevin Ratcliffe, Joey Jones, Brian Flynn, Paul Price (David Giles 72nd ), Peter Nicholas, Gordon Davies,  Jeremy Charles,  Mickey Thomas, Alan Davies
Other Subs:  David Felgate,  Kenny Jackett, Nigel Vaughan, Dudley Lewis  



June 1, 1983- London - Wembley Stadium
Referee:  Erik Fredriksson (Sweden)
England 2-Scotland 0 (Bryan Robson 12, Gordon Cowans 52)
England : 1-Peter Shilton, 2- Phil Neal, 3- Kenny Sansom, 5- Graham Roberts, 6- Terry Butcher, 4- Sammy Lee, 7- Bryan Robson (captain) (Gary Mabbutt 25th), 8- Trevor Francis, 9- Peter Withe  (Luther Blissett 46th ), 10- Glenn Hoddle, 11- Gordon Cowans
Other Subs: Russel Osman , Ray Clemence, John Barnes

Scotland:  1- Jim Leighton, 2- Richard Gough, 3- Frank Gray, 4-David Narey, 5- Alex McLeish,  6- Willie Miller, 7- Gordon Strachan, 8- Graeme Souness (captain), 9-Andy Gray, 10-Charlie Nicholas (John Wark 67th ), 11- Eamonn Bannon (Alan Brazil 53rd )


Final table               P     W   D   L  GF  GA  GD     Pts
1- England               3     2    1        0    4     1    +3       5
2- Scotland                       3     1    1     1    2     2      0        3
3- Northern Ireland  3     0    2     1    0     1     –1       2
4-Wales                       3     1    0     2    2     4    –2        2

P-Played, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Loss, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, GD-Goal Difference, Pts-Points

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Teams on Tour-Part Two


Argentina’s Tour of 1979: Introducing Diego Armando Maradona


For many months after their 1978 World Cup triumph on home soil, the Argentinean Nation as well as its Football Association were celebrating a then-unprecedented title in a country still beset by Political and Social Problems.
Its National Team took a deserved break after years of continuous training camps and friendly matches.
However, starting the New Year (1979), the National Team program had to get back to work.
In January, Argentina Manager César Luis Menotti had to oversee Argentina’s Under-20 squad’s qualification matches for the U-20 World Cup to be played in August/September.
A Tour for the Senior squad had been planned for the summer of 1979. This Tour was to be the first step in Argentina’s preparation for the defense of its World Cup title in 1982 at Spain. As defending Champions, Argentina were to qualify directly, as a result, they had neither qualifiers nor Official matches prior the World Cup.
But before any thought could to be given on the upcoming Tour,  it was unclear wether Menotti would still be the man in charge (for this Tour and beyond).
Following the World Cup triumph, naturally, Menotti had been flooded with a myriad of offers from top European clubs.
He was therefore in a strong bargaining position to renegotiate his contract with the Argentine FA.
His demands were deemed too extravagant for AFA President Alfredo Cantilo.
With the matter still unresolved, Cantilo stepped down from his post in April. A committee was formed under Independiente President Julio Grondona to handle the contractual matter to retain Menotti. He was successful in doing so and reached an agreement with Menotti for a new four-year contract until December 31, 1982. Menotti would receive £60,000 signing-on fee and £5,000 monthly salary (subject to be increased per cost of living changes). In addition he was to receive double the bonus given to the players.
In fact Grondona’s success in reaching a deal paved the way for him to be the new Argentina FA President.
With the salary dispute out of the way, Menotti could now start planning Argentina’s Tour. Menotti wanted European opposition since with no qualifiers on the horizon, European teams would most likely be their oppoenents at the World Cup.
The Tour would consist of matches against Holland (Replay of the last WC Final), Italy, Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Once this phase of the Tour in Europe was over, the team would make its way back to Argentina with a layover in USA for a lucrative friendly vs. NY Cosmos. Then the Tour would conclude on home soil with a high prestige friendly against a World Selection to commemorate the previous year’s World Cup win. After this Tour, Menotti would have to manage Argentina in the Copa America and  also to take charge of the Under-20 squad for their World Cup finals in Japan in August/Septmber.
The most important talking point of this Tour was also the fact that Menotti was about to unleash Diego Maradona, the 18 year old wonder of Argentinos Juniors, onto the World stage.
He had selected Maradona, as a 16 year old, for a number of matches in 1977, but had not included him for the 1978 World Cup Finals squad as he believed he was still too young to handle such pressure and wanted tried  and tested men.
This Tour was the ideal opportunity to include the player who was already being touted as the ‘new Pele’. Once this Tour was over, Maradona was also to participate in the Under-20 World Cup (which Argentina would win with significant contribution by Maradona that only enhanced his legend).
A month prior to emabarking on the European Tour, Argentina played a friendly at Buenos Aires vs. Bulgaria (April 25, 1979, 2-1 Argentina win). Menotti took the opportunity to give first caps to many newcomers who would be participating on the Tour, such as Hugo Villaverde, Juan Barbas, Hugo Perotti, Jose Reinaldi and Jorge Garcia.
Menotti selected an initial squad of 23 players to participate on the Tour. 
He had stated that some players would not be selected because of their age by the next World Cup.
He also declared that he would not include the players with foreign clubs.
Since the World Cup, some players had left Argentina to earn their living abroad.
Therefore, he did not call up Mario Kempes (Valencia) , Daniel Bertoni (Sevilla), Alberto Tarantini (Birmingham), Osvaldo Ardiles (Tottenham), Ricardo Villa (Tottenham) and Ricardo La Volpe (with Atlante in Mexico).
Star striker Mario Kempes had already been in Spain with Valencia for a number of seasons, the rest had joined after the Tournament.
Of those mentioned Alberto Tarantini received a reprieve and was added to the squad after he had returned to Argentina.
Others to be left out were players such as Luis Galvan, Ruben Paganini, Daniel Killer and Ricardo Bochini. Norberto Alonso had been left out as well after criticizing Menotti’s handling of the team.
The selected squad included many 1978 World Cup winners. These included Captain Daniel Passarella, goalkeepers: Ubaldo Fillol and Hector Baley, Defender: Jorge Olguin and Alberto Tarantini, Midfielders: Americo Gallego, Miguel Oviedo and José Valencia and strikers: René Houseman, Leopoldo Luque and Oscar Ortiz.
Argentina started its Tour on May 22nd at Berne’s Wankdorf Stadion in Switzerland vs. Holland. The 1978 World Cup Final replay was a special friendly to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of FIFA.
Menotti had said that he would select the squad to resemble as closely as possible to the 1978 World Cup winning squad. Therefore, he relented and included foreign based duo of Osvaldo Ardiles and Daniel Bertoni in the squad. In fact the starting lineup included nine players who started in the previous year’s final. The only new additions were Maradona and defender Hugo Villaverde. Villaverde had supplanted Luis Galvan who was deemed out of form at the time, while Maradona was in place of Kempes. Interestingly, Kempes’ absence was declared because of ‘injury’, that may have been a diplomatic injury. For their part, the Dutch started with five players from the previous year’ final.
The side was still captained by Ruud Krol (earning his record 65th cap) and included Wim Jansen, Johann Neeskens and Johnny Rep. For once, neither of the van der Kerkhof twins started, though René would come on in the second half.

Photo From: Mondial, old series, issue 33, August 1979
(Diego Maradona and Ruud Krol, May 22, 1979, Holland 0-Argentina 0)

Robby Rensenbrink had voluntarily declared himself unavailable for selection, which allowed Simon Tahamata to earn his first cap.
This match marked Diego Maradona’s debut on the World stage.
Despite being scoreless, the match had a lot of action, especially in the first 20 minutes and both sides had chances to score.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Daniel Bertoni, Osvaldo Ardiles and Johann Neeskens, May 22, 1979, Holland 0-Argentina 0)

The teams played more cautiously in the second half and there were fewer chances. In the second half, Menotti replaced his three strikers (Bertoni, Luque, Ortiz) with two defensive players (Barbas, Trossero) to give an indication of his defensive intentions. At this point, Maradona was alone and too isolated to conjure up anything. He had a strong appeal for a penalty kick that was not given. The match was decided on a penalty kick shoot-out that the Argentines won 8-7 to receive the FIFA Jubilee Crystal trophy.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 42, June 1979
(Argentina Squad, Top, left to right: Oscar Ortiz, Diego Maradona, Osvaldo Ardiles, Hugo Villaverde, Alberto Tarantini, Jorge Olguin, Leopoldo Luque, Ubaldo Fillol, Daniel Bertoni, Americo Gallego, Daniel Passarella, May 22, 1979, Holland 0-Argentina 0)

A few days later (May 26th), Italy hosted Argentina at Rome’s Olympic Stadium. The day before Pope John Paul II received both squads.
Italy, the only squad that had defeated Argentina during the World Cup, was virtually the same squad as the previous year. The only changes were the inclusion of defender Fulvio Collovati and midfielder Gabriele Oriali replacing Mauro Belluggi and Romeo Benetti.
Argentina made three changes from the Holland match. Ardiles and Bertoni returned to their foreign clubs. In their place came Juan Barbas and René Houseman. Oscar Ortiz had also played his last for Argentina in the Holland match. In his place and for the rest of the Tour, José Valencia started.
This would be the preferred formation of Menotti for the rest of the Tour.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 43, July 1979
(Gabriele Oriali and Diego Maradona, May 26, 1979, Italy 2-Argentina 2)

Argentina scored first in the sixth minute. Passarella won the ball in middle of the field and sent Valencia clear, who despite pressure from Scirea, took a shot that hit Zoff but trickled into the net despite Collovati’s desperate attempt to clear.
Italy tied the match in the 25th minute. A throw- in on the left side from Cabrini was sent towards Causio who flicked it over Villaverde and volleyed it from the edge of box and looped it over Fillol.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Marco Tardelli, Juan Barbas, Roberto Bettega and Americo Gallego, May 26, 1979, Italy 2-Argentina 2)

Italy went ahead in the second half (55th minute). Antognoni won a ball in midfield from Passarella and immediately sent Rossi clear on the left side, Rossi stopped and turned around, which unbalanced Villaverde who fell, and shot over Fillol into the top right corner. Argentina tied the match just a minute later, when a penalty kick was awarded after Scirea pushed Maradona in the box. Passarella scored from the spot.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 53, May 1980
(Argentina Squad, Top, left to right: Daniel Passarella, René Houseman,  Jorge Olguín, Hugo Villaverde,  Alberto Tarantini,  Ubaldo Fillol , Bottom, left to right: Américo Gallego, Juan Barbas, Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona, Jose Valencia, May 26, 1979, Italy 2-Argentina 2)

Next, Argentina traveled to Britain to play two more friendlies.
Their first match (May 29th) at Dublin was against the Republic of Ireland. This friendly was a UNICEF benefit charity match that the Irish did not even consider a Full International.  The match also served as Johnny Giles’s Farewell as a player for Ireland (though not as Manager).

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Jose Reinaldi, May 29, Republic of Ireland 0-Argentina 0)

After the prestigious encounters vs. Holland and Italy, Menotti did not consider this match as important. A fact that was reflected in his selections. Passarella, Gallego, Luque and Maradona were rested and did not start.  Enzo Trossero, Miguel Oviedo, Jose Reinaldi and Hugo Perotti started in their place.
Ireland seemed to better in the first half, in a game that apparently neither side seemed to take seriously, only livened up in the second half when Diego Maradona entered the field. Barbas and Reinaldi hit the post, but the match remained scoreless.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Eamonn Gregg, Liam Brady and Jose Valencia, May 29, Republic of Ireland 0-Argentina 0)

Maradona had delighted the crowd and the next day, most newspapers were proclaiming Maradona as the next great one.
The final match of the European phase of the Tour was vs. Scotland at Glasgow’s Hampden Park (June 2nd).
Menotti started this match with the same lineup as vs. Italy. For the first ten minutes, Scotland applied pressure, but that was the extent of their dominance.
Argentina were dealt a blow when Villaverde was injured in the 21st minute. He was replaced with Trossero, with Passarella moving to the right back slot.
Maradona took control of the match and gave a further indication of his future dominance to the European crowd.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Diego Maradona, June 2, Scotland 1-Argentina 3)

In the 33rd minute, Maradona from the middle of field moved past a number of Scottish defenders and passed to Luque for the first goal.
In the second half, Argentina continued to dominate and increased its advantage.
In the 61st minute, Luque was sent clear from a pass in the middle and had to go around Rough to slot home his and Argentina’s second.
In the 70th minute, Diego Maradona scored his first ever goal for Argentina. He received a ball on the left side edge of the box and lobbed it over Rough.
Scotland salvaged some pride with five minutes left, through a consolation goal from Arthur Graham.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979)
(Leopoldo Luque, June 2, Scotland 1-Argentina 3)

At the end of the match, the crowd applauded Argentina’s positive display with chants of ‘Argentina, Argentina’.
Menotti satisfied with the Tour and believed the team was just as motivated as during the World Cup.

Photo From: World Soccer , May 1980
(Argentina Squad, Top, left to right: Daniel Passarella, René Houseman,  Jorge Olguín, Hugo Villaverde,  Alberto Tarantini,  Ubaldo Fillol , Bottom, left to right: Américo Gallego, Juan Barbas, Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona, Jose Valencia, June 2, Scotland 1-Argentina 3)

He noted improvements in the counter attacking game that Menotti believed the Argentineans lagged behind the Europeans.
1978 Veterans such as Passarella, Tarantini, Gallego and Luque had given good accounts of themselves.
On their way back, from the old continent, Argentina played a friendly in New Jersey vs. NASL’s New York Cosmos, four days after the Scotland match (June 6th).
Clearly, the match had been arranged for financial reasons since it held no instructional value. The Argentine media considered this match as a show and not serious preparation.
The match was played on Artificial Turf against a club side that was not worthy of its previous opponents from the Tour.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3114 (June 12, 1979)
(Juan Barbas, between Rick Davis and Toni Carbognani, June 6, NY Cosmos 0-Argentina 1)

Argentina started with the same lineup as the Italy and Scotland matches, with the only change being Miguel Oviedo starting in the place of the injured Villaverde.
The scrappy match was won with two minutes, when Daniel Passarella jumped higher than everyone to head home a free kick taken from the left by José Valencia.
Afterwards, Menotti declared that never again would he authorize the National Team to play in this type of a match. He stated that he clearly understood financial priorities that would require such matches, but certainly not in those types of conditions (Field, opponent, etc.).

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3137 (1979)
(Daniel Passarella scoring the winner, June 6, NY Cosmos 0-Argentina 1)

After being back on home soil, Argentina had less than three weeks to prepare for what was to be the most hyped match of this Tour. The match, organized by the Newspaper ‘Clarin’, was to feature Argentina vs. a World Selection to be played (June 25th), exactly on the first year Anniversary of the previous year’s World Cup Final.
Menotti recalled Luis Galvan for this match as Villaverde was still injured. Osvaldo Ardiles was also selected and arrived from Tottenham and started in place of Barbas.
The World Selection was to be managed by Italy’s Enzo Bearzot with each player receiving $5,000 appearance fee. In general these types of matches are light in nature and are outright dismissed by critics as circus matches with many substitutions.
However, Bearzot took this match seriously and managed to mould a team, despite having only two full sessions with the players and having lost Roberto Bettega and Andras Torocsik to injuries just days before the match.
Bearzot prepared the squad with such importance that he went as far as to entrust the battling Marco Tardelli with the task of shadowing Maradona. His handling of Maradona for this ‘friendly’ was even more brutal than Claudio Gentile’s handling of Maradona during the 1982 World Cup.
The World Selection played very tight defensively with Paolo Rossi as the lone striker for long spells during the match.
Argentina’s winger René Houseman had a disappointing game, as a result Argentina were unable to exploit the flanks.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 44, August 1979
(Paolo Rossi, Zico and Jose Valencia, June 25, 1979, Argentina 1-FIFA World Stars 2)

Jorge Olguin in defense also had a poor match and was unable to control Zbigniew Boniek, who many considered as the best player ofon the field.
Argentina starting playing better near end of the first half, but the World defense was excellent.
Despite virtually marking Maradona out of the game, Tardelli was powerless to stop him in a moment of brilliance.
In the 28th minute, Passarella from the center passed to Valencia who sent a cross on the right side for Maradona, who curled the ball past Emerson Leão in the top left corner.
The World Team looked more dangerous and improved in the second half once Zico came on the field replacing Platini.

Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3116 (June 26, 1979)
(Marco Tardelli and Diego Maradona, June 25, 1979, Argentina 1-FIFA World Stars 2)

Argentina had a penalty appeal after a foul on Houseman that was denied, but otherwise it was the World Team that took control.
In the 68th minute, Causio sent Zico clear on the right side, who then crossed the ball across intended for Rossi. Luis Galvan, under pressure from Rossi, scored into his own net.
Five minutes later, Zico won a ball near the edge of Argentina box and laid it for Causio, who crossed it across on the right side for Toninho, who crossed it across and Zico struck into the empty net.
Minutes later, Marco Tardelli was sent off after yet another brutal foul on Maradona.
In contrast to previous year, it was Ruud Krol who collected the winner’s trophy as Captain.
The Argentine Match Organizers were clearly disappointed as they were hoping and expecting a victory to commemorate and celebrate.
Menotti for his part downplayed the result and said it was no shame to lose to such a team with such great players.
After the match Menotti said festivities were over and now serious preparation would start. 
At the end of the Tour, players such as Houseman, Ortiz, Outes, Oviedo and Perotti were no longer selected.
For the Copa America in July and August, he selected essentially a B squad led by Passarella as guide and including Maradona, Barbas and Valencia. Later in late August and September, he guided the Under-20 Squad to World Cup victory with Maradona as the main star.
As many as thirteen players who took part on the Tour made the 1982 World Cup squad. These included: Ardiles, Baley, Barbas, Bertoni, Fillol, Galvan, Gallego, Maradona, Olguin, Passarella, Tarantini, Trossero and Valencia.
Menotti had been more than satisfied with the Tour. He was laying the groundwork for the title defense and seemed to be on the right track.
But historically, this Tour will always be remembered as Diego Maradona’s proper introduction to the World. Despite his youth, he had proven that he was the Real Deal and the next undisputed King of the Game.

 
Photo From: EL GRAFICO Nº3116 (June 26, 1979)
(Argentina Squad, Top, left to right: Daniel Passarella, Américo Gallego, Ubaldo Fillol , Leopoldo Luque, Jorge Olguín, Alberto Tarantini,  Osvaldo Ardiles, Luis Galvan, René Houseman, Diego Maradona, Jose Valencia , June 25, 1979, Argentina 1-FIFA World Stars 2)

The selected squad for the European Tour:
Goalkeepers:
Ubaldo Matildo Fillol (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)
Hector Rodolfo Baley (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)

Defenders:
Hugo Eduardo Villaverde (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)
Jorge Mario Olguín (Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro- Buenos Aires)
Alberto Cesar Tarantini (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba) (not on original list, was included after retuning to Argentine League)
Daniel Alberto Passarella (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)
Enzo Hector Trossero (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)
Juan Alberto Barbas (Racing Club de Avellaneda-Avellaneda - Buenos Aires)
Juan Ernesto Simon (Club Atlético Newell´s Old Boys –Rosario)
Jorge Alberto Garcia (Club Atlético Rosario Central-Rosario)
Victorio Orlando Ocaño (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba)

Midfielders:
Américo Ruben Gallego (Club Atlético Newell´s Old Boys –Rosario)
Miguel Angel Oviedo (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba)
Diego Armando Maradona (Asociacion Atletica Argentinos Juniors- Buenos Aires)
Osvaldo Cesar Ardiles (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London / England) (not on original list, since he was with a foreign club)
Jose Daniel Valencia (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba)               
Carlos Guillermo Fren (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)
Juan Domingo Cabrera (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba)

Strikers:
René Orlando Houseman (Club Atletico Huracán - Buenos Aires)
Daniel Ricardo Bertoni (Sevilla Fútbol Club / Spain)  (not on original list, since he was with a foreign club)
Leopoldo Jacinto Luque (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)
Óscar Alberto Ortiz (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)
Jose Omar Reinaldi (Club Atletico Talleres de Cordoba-Córdoba)
Hugo Osmar Perotti (Club Atlético Boca Juniors -Buenos Aires)
Norberto Daniel Outes (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)
Felix Lorenzo Orte (Club Atlético Rosario Central-Rosario)



The Matches on Tour:

May 22, 1979- Berne- Wankdorf     Stadion, Switzerland
75th Anniversary FIFA Cup
Referee:  Ramón Ivanoes Barreto Ruiz (Uruguay)
Argentina 0-Holland 0   (Argentina won 8-7 on Penalty Kick Shoot-out)
Argentina :  1-Ubaldo Fillol,  2-Hugo Villaverde, 3-Alberto Tarantini,  4-Jorge Olguín, 6-Daniel Passarella (captain), 5-Américo Gallego, 8-Osvaldo Cesar Ardiles, 10-Diego Maradona, 7-Daniel  Bertoni (15-René Houseman 67th),  9-Leopoldo Luque (14-Juan Barbas 61st ), 11-Óscar Ortiz (18-Enzo Trossero 85th)
Coach: César Luis Menotti
Booked : Daniel Passarella 42nd
Note: On Televsion scrolls, the substitute Trossero was mistakingly referred as Miguel Oviedo

Holland:
1-Pim Doesburg, 2- Wim Jansen (14- John Metgod 80th ), 3- Huub Stevens, 4-Hugo Hovenkamp, 5- Ruud Krol (captain),  6-Jan Poortvilet, 7- Jan W. Peters, 8- Johnny Rep, 9- Johan Neeskens,  10-Kees Kist  (15- Jan H. Peters 57th ), 11-Simon Tahamata (12- René van de Kerkhof 62nd )
Coach: Jan Zwartkruis
Other Subs: Hans van Breukelen , Willy van de Kerkhof  

Penalties:
Argentina: Olguín (missed), Maradona, Ardiles (missed), Gallego, Villaverde, Tarantini, Trossero, Passarella, Houseman, Barbas
Holland:
 Neeskens, Stevens, Jan H. Peters (missed), Krol, Poortvilet, Jan W. Peters (missed),  Metgod, Rene van de Kerkhof (missed),Rep, Hovenkamp





May 26, 1979- Roma –Lo Stadio Olimpico
Referee:  Luis Antonio Porem (Portugal)
Italy 2-Argentina 2  (Franco Causio 25, Paolo Rossi 55 /  Jose Valencia 7, Daniel Passarella 56 pen)
Italy: 1-Dino Zoff (captain),  2-Claudio Gentile, 3-Antonio Cabrini, 5-Fulvio Collovati, 6-Gaetano Scirea, 4-Gabriele Oriali,  7-Franco Causio, 8-Marco Tardelli , 9-Paolo Rossi 10-Giancarlo Antognoni, 11-Roberto Bettega

Coach: Enzo Bearzot
Other Subs: 12-Paolo Conti, 13-Aldo Maldera, 14-Romeo Benetti, 15-Renato Zaccarelli, 16-Francesco Graziani, 17-Bruno Giordano

Argentina :  1-Ubaldo Fillol,  2-Hugo Villaverde, 3-Alberto Tarantini,  4-Jorge Olguín, 6-Daniel Passarella (captain), 5-Américo Gallego, 8- Juan Alberto Barbas (17-Miguel Oviedo 68th ), 10-Diego Maradona, 7- René Houseman,  9-Leopoldo Luque , 11- Jose Valencia
Coach: César Luis Menotti

Other Subs: 12-Hector Baley, 13-Hugo Perotti, 14-Norberto Outes,   15-Enzo Trossero, 16-Jose Reinaldi


May 29, 1979- Dublin -Lansdowne Road 
Referee:  Robert Valentine (Scotland)
UNICEF Benefit Match
This match is considered Official by Argentina, but Unofficial by Ireland
Republic of Ireland 0-Argentina 0
Republic of Ireland : Gerry Peyton, Eamonn Gregg, Paddy Mulligan,  David O'Leary, Mick Martin, John Giles (captain), Liam Brady, Tony Grealish, Frank Stapleton, Don Givens (Paul McGee 65th), Mickey Walsh (Brendan O'Callaghan 81st )

Coach: John Michael Giles

Argentina: Ubaldo Fillol, Hugo Villaverde , Alberto Tarantini (Américo Gallego 36th ) , Jorge Olguín (captain), Enzo Trossero, Miguel Oviedo, René Houseman, Juan Barbas, Jose Reinaldi  (Norberto Outes 46th ), Hugo Perotti (Diego Maradona 46th ), Jose Valencia 
Coach: César Luis Menotti
Booked: Tarantini, Trossero

June 2, 1979- Glasgow -Hampden Park
Referee:  Patrick Partridge (England)
Scotland 1-Argentina 3  (Arthur Graham 85 / Leopoldo Luque 33, 61, Diego Maradona 70)
Scotland: 1-Alan Rough (12-George Wood 46th ), 2-George Burley, 3-Iain Munro, 4-David Narey, 5-Paul Hegarty, 6-Alan Hansen, 7-Frank McGarvey, 8-John Wark, 9-Kenny Dalglish (captain) ,10-Asa Hartford (13-Frank Gray 69th), 11-Arthur Graham
Coach: Jock Stein

Argentina :  1-Ubaldo Fillol,  2-Hugo Villaverde (14-Enzo Trossero 21st ), 3-Alberto Tarantini,  4-Jorge Olguín, 6-Daniel Passarella (captain), 5-Américo Gallego, 8- Juan Alberto Barbas, 10-Diego Maradona, 7- René Houseman (Norberto Outes 54th ),  9-Leopoldo Luque , 11- Jose Valencia
Coach: César Luis Menotti



June 6, 1979- East Rutherford, New Jersey- Meadowlands Arena, Giants Stadium
Referee:  Gino D’Ippolito (USA)
New York Cosmos (USA) 0-Argentina 1  (Daniel Passarella 88)
NY Cosmos : 1-Jack Brand (Canada), 3-Francisco Marinho (Brazil) (18-Boris Bandov 80th ), 12-Bobby Smith, 15-Wim Rijsbergen (Holland), 5-Carlos Alberto (Brazil), 25-Santiago Formoso, 17-Rick Davis, 16-Toni Carbognani (Argentina), 9-Giorgio Chinaglia (Italy), 7-Dennis Tueart (England)  (21-Garry Etherington 61st ) (26-Ron Atanasio 80th ), 29-Mark Liveric
Coach: Ray Klivecka

Argentina :  1-Ubaldo Fillol,  16-Miguel Oviedo,  3-Alberto Tarantini,  4-Jorge Olguín, 6-Daniel Passarella (captain), 5-Américo Gallego, 8- Juan Alberto Barbas, 10-Diego Maradona, 7- René Houseman , 9-Leopoldo Luque (15-Norberto Outes 61st )  , 11- Jose Valencia
Coach: César Luis Menotti



June 25, 1979- Buenos Aires -Antonio Vespuci Alberti (El Monumental de Nuñes) (Club Atletico River Plate)
‘Celebration for the 1st Anniversary of Argentina's first World Cup victory’
Referee:  Abraham Klein (Israel)
Argentina 1-  FIFA World Stars 2  (Diego Maradona 28 / Luis Galvan (own goal) 68, Zico 73)
Argentina :  1-Ubaldo Fillol,  2-Luis Galván3-Alberto Tarantini,  4-Jorge Olguín, 6-Daniel Passarella (captain), 5-Américo Gallego, 8- Osvaldo Ardiles, 10-Diego Maradona, 7- René Houseman , 9-Leopoldo Luque (17-Norberto Outes 46th )  , 11- Jose Valencia
Coach: César Luis Menotti
Other Subs: 12-Hector Baley, 13-Enzo Trossero , 14-Miguel Oviedo ,15-Carlos Fren , 16-Juan Barbas , 18-Hugo Perotti

FIFA World Stars: 1-Emerson Leão (Brazil) (12-Friedrich Koncilia (Austria) 46th ),  2-Manfred Kaltz (West Germany), 6-Ruud Krol (Captain) (Holland), 5-Bruno Pezzey (Austria),  3-Antonio Cabrini (Italy) (13-Toninho (Brazil) 46th ),
4-Marco Tardelli (Italy), 8-Michel Platini (France) (14-Zico (Brazil) 46th ) , 10-Juan Manuel Asensi (Spain), 7-Franco Causio (Italy), 9-Paolo Rossi (Italy), 11-Zbigniew Boniek (Poland)
Coach: Enzo Bearzot(Italy)
Booked : Marco Tardelli
Sent off : Marco Tardelli 76th

Other Subs :15-Simon Tahamata (Holland)


References:
Onze, Issue 42, June 1979 (Une Amicale Revanche, By Alain Leiblang)
Onze, Issue 43, July 1979 (Argentine: ‘Non A L’Europe!’, Jean-Pierre Frimbois)
Onze, Issue 44, August 1979 (Le Reste Du Monde, Jean-Pierre Frimbois)
World Soccer, May 1979 (Nobody Can Live On The Past, By Eric Weil)
World Soccer, June 1979 (Another Four Years With Menotti, By Eric Weil)
World Soccer, August 1979 (Hard Work for Champs, By Eric Weil)
World Soccer, September 1979 (It’s All Change As Menotti Plans Ahead, By Eric Weil)
EL GRAFICO Nº3113 (June 5, 1979) (El Mejor Gira De La Historia, By Hector Onesime)
EL GRAFICO Nº3114 (June 12, 1979) (By Hector Onesime)
EL GRAFICO Nº3116 (June 26, 1979) (La Fiesta Se Hizo Sin El Dueno De Casa, By Carlos Ferrerira)