Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Addition: Events and Consequences, Part one

Another new feature that I will be starting on this blog is about discussing events that had profound effects

1- Event:
Michel Platini’s injury and absence from the French national team in the spring of 1981.

Platini was France’s playmaker in the midfield. His absence allowed France manager Michel Hidalgo to include Bordeaux’s Alain Giresse whose National team prospects seemed to have passed him by.
After Platini’s return instead of excluding Giresse, Hidalgo decided to include them both and was able to create one of the best midfields in Europe of the 1980s that led to a European Championship title (1984) and two World Cup Semifinals (1982 and 1986).

Photo from: Onze, Hors Serie 13, 1982
(France’s first match after Platini’s injury that featured both him and Giresse in the lineup, September 9, 1981, World Cup Qualifier, Belgium 2-France, Standing, left to right: Gerard Janvion, Phillipe Mahut, Maxime Bossis, Pierrick Hiard, Alain Moizan, Christian Lopez, Bottom, left to right: Jean-Francois Larios, Alain Giresse, Michel Platini, Jacques Zimako, Didier Six)

2- Event:
Ajax manager Leo Beenhakker accepting to rejoin and manage Real Madrid midway through the 1991/92 season.

His assistant, a then unknown Louis van Gaal was promoted as new coach.
Van Gaal ,who had never been head coach anywhere, started to implement his own ideas and slowly built a young team that would triumph in the 1995 Champions League that included many young stars such as Patrick Kluivert.
His success with Ajax led to future positions at Barcelona, Bayern Munich as well as two stints (Including now) as Holland’s National team manager.

Photo from: World Soccer, November 1990
(Leo Beenhakker)

Photo from: World Soccer, June 1995
(Louis Van Gaal)

3- Event:
Argentina goalkeeper Nery Pumpido being injured after a collision with teammate Julio Olarticoechea during the World Cup match vs. USSR on June 13, 1990.

Usual goalkeeper back-up Luis Islas was dropped from the squad prior to Final selections as he did not want to be understudy.
Sergio Goycoechea was promoted to understudy and in the 11th minute of the USSR match replaced Pumpido.
Goycoechea, who had expected to see no action during the World Cup, went on to become one of the stars and revelations of the tournament.
He was the hero on penalty kick shoot-out wins vs. Yugoslavia and Italy by saving penalties in both matches and helping Argentina to get all the way to the Final.

Photo from: El Grafico No. 3688, 1990
(Carlos Bilardo and Nery Pumpido, June 8, 1990, World Cup, Argentina 0-Cameroon 1)

Photo from: World Soccer, July 1990
(Sergio Goycoechea making a save in his debut, June 13, 1990, World Cup, Argentina 2-USSR 0)

 4- Event:
Eric Cantona’s disciplinary panel hearing while a player with Nimes in fall of 1991.

On December 11, 1991, Eric Cantona’s domestic suspension was increased from 4 matches to 2 months after he insulted the disciplinary panel.
The next day, he announced his retirement from the game in anger.
As a result, he went on trial to play in the English First Division.
He had a trial with Sheffield Wednesday , but he finally signed with Leeds United.
He triumphed in the League with Leeds that season and midway in the following season joined Manchester United and the rest is EPL history.

Photo from: Le Livre d’Or du Football, 1992
(Eric Cantona with Nimes, 1991/92 season)

Photo from: Le Livre d’Or du Football, 1992
(Eric Cantona with Leeds United, 1991/92 season)

5- Event:
Welshman John Toshack’s dismissal as Real Madrid Manager in November 17, 1999.

Following Toshack’s dismissal in-house Real Madrid man Vicente del Bosque was appointed as caretaker Real Madrid manager.
He had similarly stepped in when Benito Floro was sacked in 1994.
His caretaker position soon became a full time position as he led Real Madrid to Champions League triumph that season.
He held on to the position until 2003 and won another Champions League title and two League titles.
Because of his Real Madrid successes he was eventually appointed as Spain manager in 2008.
He went on to lead the Spain national team to a World Cup (2010) and European Championship (2012) triumphs.

Photo from: World Soccer, April 1994
(John Toshack)

Photo from: World Soccer, June 2001
(Vicente del Bosque)


  1. a couple more suggestions:
    1) Paolo Rossi and Bruno Giordano, then starters for Italy's national team, banned for betting in the infamous scandal that shook Italy in 1980.
    2) What-if: Trevor Francis playing the European championships in Italy (same fateful 1980)

  2. Right, Rossi might have made a difference, giordano not so sure, he like Roberto pruzzo never received the number of caps they deserved under bearzot
    In retrospect the 1980 Europeo was an uninspiring tournament with many empty stadiums , the EC really took off with the 1984 edition

  3. Yes. And we won the world cup '82 because of a 'rested' Rossi!
    Giordano in those days was still a very promising and prolific player, probably at his apogee. Their involvment in the match-fixing scandal was a shame, as subsequent investigations aquittited both players. bah.