1-Poland’s World Cup Qualifier at Malta on December 7, 1980 was mired by on and off field incidents.
Poland goalkeeper Józef Młynarczyk arrived drunk to the airport on Poland’s flight to Italy for training prior to Malta match.
Poland manager Ryszard Kulesza immediately dropped him.
However, Zbigniew Boniek, Władysław Żmuda and Stanisław Terlecki came to Młynarczyk’s defense and threatened a boycott unless he was re-instated.
All four players were sent home to face disciplinary hearings.
For the match itself, Poland protested playing in the infamous Gzira non-grassy stadium.
When Lipka scored his goal in the 75th minute, the linesman had raised his flag for offside but the referee validated the goal.
Malta fans in anger threw stones and objects onto the field; the referee had no choice but to abandon the match. The result (2-0 Poland win) was later affirmed.
As a result of the mutiny Boniek and Terlecki were suspended for one year.
Józef Młynarczyk and Zmuda were suspended for eight months.
Józef Młynarczyk was also suspended 2 years from the national team.
Finally Włodzimierz Smolarek was also suspended for two months.
Due to the severity of the sentences the manager Kuszela offered to resign.
He was dismissed by the federation and replaced by Antoni Piechniczek.
By September 1981, Mlynarczyk, Zmuda and Boniek were reprieved and back from suspension.
Photo from: Mondial, January 1981
(Poland goalkeeper, Józef Młynarczyk)
2- During the 1990 World Cup match between Argentina and USSR, Diego Maradona stopped a soviet goal bound attempt by diverting the ball with his right hand.
The incident went unnoticed by the referee though replays clearly showed the incident.
This prompted Brazil’s manager, Sebastiano Lazaroni, to say that Maradona is a good all around player; he can score goals with his left hand (referring to 1986 Hand of God vs. England) and save them with his right.
Photo from: Soccer International, June 1990
(1990 World Cup Brazil manager, Sebastiano Lazaroni)
Photo from: El Grafico, Number 3688, extra
(Soviet Oleg Protasov during the USSR-Argentina match)
3-Ruud Gullit had retired from the Dutch national team in the summer of 1993 due to personal reasons. After an excellent season with his club Sampdoria in 1993/94, he was persuaded to come out of retirement in time for the World Cup in USA.
However, after one match, Gullit abruptly quit the team for good during preparations.
He cited no reason at the time and at the press conference sat next to manager Dick Advocaat his head down and did not say a word.
After his withdrawal Marco van Basten volunteered to take his place in the squad.
The AC Milan management immediately nixed the idea, as Van Basten had not played at all during the entire season as he was recovering from injury/surgery and there was concern about the risk of a new injury
Photo from: World Soccer, December 1993
4- Bernard Boissier of Nîmes Olympique has the distinction of having the shortest international career in the history of France national team.
He earned his solitary cap by coming on in the 88th minute of a friendly on April 26, 1975 vs. Portugal.
Photo From: L'Aventure des Bleus, les 50 plus belles histories de l'equipe de France de Football, Authors: Alain Mercier, Cyril Pocreaux
(Bernard Boissier signing an autograph at the end of his 2 minutes as an international)
5-Scotland’s participation in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland is mostly remembered for its disastrous planning and organization on and off the field.
To start off, of the selected 22 players only 13 traveled with only one goalkeeper. The rest remained on stand-by in Scotland.
Apparently only 13 were sent for financial and cost saving reasons.
The players had only a handful of caps each; only two of the selected players had earned more than 10 caps.
No Rangers FC Glasgow were chosen as they were scheduled to tour North America.
Players trained in their club jerseys and not any official kit.
Further embarrassment occurred for the first game vs. Austria.
When Austrian captain Ernst Ocwirk handed a pennant to Scotland captain Willie Cunningham, he had nothing to hand over to Ocwirk.
Just before the second game vs. Uruguay, Scotland manager Andy Beattie resigned.
Scotland lost 0-1 to Austria and 0-7 to Uruguay.
Photo From: Scotland, The Team, Author Andrew Ward, 1987
Uniform Colors: Red Shirts, White Shorts , Red Socks
12-Stephan Lehmann (Football Club Sion)
13-Dominique Herr (Football Club Sion)
15-Kubilay Turkyilmaz (Bologna Football Club / Italy)
-Match number 495 for Italy and number 525 for Switzerland.
-This was the 49th meeting between the nations.
- The previous match between the nations was a Friendly on March 31, 1990 won 1-0 by Italy in Basel.
Italy players: Donadoni, Baggio and Pagliuca and Swiss players: Marc Hottiger, Dominique Herr ,Blaise Piffaretti, Adrian Knup, Alain Sutterand Stephane Chapuisatwere the players still remaining from that match.
Baggio and Pagliuca remained on the bench for that match.
-The next match between the nations would be the return leg of this qualifier on May 1, 1993 in Bern.
Switzerland won 1-0 from a goal by Hottiger.
Italy players: Pagliuca, Baggio, Marchegiani, Lanna and Lentini and Swiss players: Pascolo ,Hottiger, Herr , Geiger, Quentin, Ohrel, Bregy, Sforza, Alain Sutter, Adrian Knup, Lehmann, Beat Sutter, Turkyilmaz and Stephane Chapuisatwere the players still remaining from that match.
For Italy Marchegiani and Lanna remained on the bench for that match.
For Switzerland Lehmann,Beat Sutter and Kubilay Turkyilmaz remained on the bench for that match.
-The next match between the nations on Italian soil as well as Italy’s next win on Switzerland would be a friendly in Rome on June 3, 1994 won 1-0 by Italy.
Italy players: Pagliuca, Tassoti, Costacurta, Donadoni, Evani, Baggio, Marchegiani, Casiraghi and Minotti and Swiss players: Lehmann ,Hottiger, Quentin, Herr , Egli, Geiger, Bregy, Alain Sutter, Ohrel, Sforza and Stephane Chapuisatwere the players still remaining from that match.
Photo : from Onze-Mondial, December 1992
-Switzerland had not defeated Italy since October 1982, when they won a friendly 1-0 in Rome.
-Italy had previously defeated Switzerland in Cagliari on December 23, 1967 (4-0) during a UEFA European Championship qualifier.
-Both of Switzerland’s goals were due to goalkeeping errors by Luca Marchegiani. Following this match, he was displaced as starting goalkeeper by Gianluca Pagliuca.
On Switzerland’s second goal, he tried to dribble Chapuisat, but was dispossessed.
Marchegiani had just been elevated to starting goalkeeper as Walter Zenga’s involvement with the national team ended with the US Cup tour during the summer, where he was sent off vs. Republic of Ireland.
He was never called up again.
His sending off against Ireland and other of field events did not help his cause.
Photo : from Onze-Mondial, December 1992
-Arrigo Sacchi did not give a halftime talk to his team, and preferred to let his team figure their way out.
-Italians Paolo Maldini, Dino Baggio and Gianfranco Zola were unavailable for this match and sat in the stands.Alberto Di Chiara took Maldini’s place in defense.
-Italy was still undefeated since Arrigo Sacchi had been appointed in late 1991. They would remain undefeated for 15 matches until losing to Switzerland on May 1, 1993.
- On October 1, 1992, Italy captain Franco Baresi announced his retirement from the national team.
Due to the poor defensive display, Italian manager Sacchi convinced Baresi to end his retirement.
On November 2, 1992, France Baresi announced his withdrawal of retirement.
-Switzerland and Italy qualified from this World Cup qualifying group. The rest of the group consisted of Portugal, Scotland, Estonia and Malta.
-The 1994 World Cup qualifiers, were the first qualifiers since 1980-1981 that Italy took part in.
-Mauro Tassoti became Italy’s oldest debutant at age 32. He did not play for Italy again until 1994, when he was selected for the World Cup squad.
-Over the summer, Gianluigi Lentini’s 26 Million Dollar transfer fee from Torino to AC Milan had broken the World record.
During the same time, Gianluca Vialli’s transfer from Sampdoria to Juventus came close with 25 Million Dollars.
-Switzerland’s Ciriaco Sforza played at Internazionale FC Milano during 1996/97 season and was teammates with Pagliuca.
Switzerland manager Roy Hodgson managed Internazionale FC Milano (1995-97).
-Both managers managed Milanese teams during 1996/97 season. Hodgson managed Inter and Sacchi managed AC Milan.
Neither manager played at top level as a player.
-AC Milan players Eranio (goalscorer), Donadoni and Evani were not automatic first choice players in their club as AC Milan had so many stars at its disposal that it employed a turn-over system.
-Italy played a friendly with Swiss club FC Zurich on September 23rd (won 2-0) in preparations for this match.
-This was Gianluca Vialli’s next to last for Italy as he struggled with injuries in the next couple of seasons as well as falling out with manager Sacchi.
His next match on December vs. Malta would be his last for Italy.
With Franco Baresi’s “retirement”, he was the official team captain.
-Upon being nominated as manager, Arrigo Sacchi had discarded many of predecessor Azeglio Vicini’s regular players, such as Giuseppe Bergomi, Riccardo Ferri, Nicola Berti, Giuseppe Giannini, Salvatore Schillaci, Luigi De Agostini, Giancarlo Marocchi and Ciro Ferrara.
Berti and Ferrara would eventually earn recalls in the years to come. Bergomi would surprisingly earn a recall for 1998 World Cup.
-Stefano Eranio and Marc Hottiger played in the English Premier League withDerby County and Newcastle United respectively.
Gianluca Vialli would play and manage Chelsea FC in the EPL and sign Pierluigi Casiraghi.
-Swiss non-playing substitute Kubilay Turkyilmaz played in the Italian Serie B with Bologna FC. He also played at Brescia years later.
-Roberto Donadoni managed Italian national team from 2006-2008.
-Stephane Chapuisat is the first Swiss player to win the UEFA Champions League. He won in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund vs. Juventus. Ciriaco Sforza is the second Swiss player, having managed to win with Bayern Munich in 2001.
-First cap for Italian Marco Lanna, his next cap on October 13, 1993 vs. Scotland would be his last.
He was booked in his debut.
-Third straight match that Roberto Baggio has scored for Italy after scoring vs. USA and Holland in June and September.
-Switzerland’s Blaise Piffaretti would earn his next and final cap on November 10, 1996 vs. Norway.