Monday, November 25, 2013

Debate Topic, Part Four

Awards season is coming up and it made me think of previous France Football’s Ballon d’Or Winners.
Some winners were easy to predict and undisputed, while naturally over the years there were some winners that were controversial and/or deemed unworthy.
As an example Hristo Stoichkov was groomed to be the 1992 winner only to lose to Marco van Basten after the Dutchman scored 4 goals vs. IFK Gothenburg in the Champions League just weeks before the award.
The Liberian George Weah in 1995 is another example, while no one questioned his talent, most questioned his election after only 7 League goals for PSG. Again, most observed that his last few months in the Serie A with AC Milan tipped the balance.

Can  You think of other cases? Maybe cases that you personally disagreed with?

Photo From: France Football, May 3, 1983
(Juventus’  Paolo Rossi, winner in 1982)

Photo From: European Football Yearbook 1988
(AC Milan’s Ruud Gullit, winner in 1987)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Soccer Memories-Part 19

Marcelo Lippi, The Rebirth of Juventus

(Note: I would like to once again thank for uploading this article )

When Giovanni Trapattoni departed as Juventus Manager (for the second time) in 1994, Juventus had not won the Scudetto since 1986, an eternity for a team of their standing.
They had won a couple of UEFA Cups during that spell, however, the Serie A title eluded them.
AC Milan had just won their third straight League Title and were effectively the best team in Europe.
During this year, 1994, the Fiat and Juventus owners (Gianni and Umberto Agnelli) decided for a new change in executive leadership more in tune for the modern era.
Long Term President Giampiero Boniperti departed (also for a second time) and a new triumvirate was formed consisting of former star Roberto Bettega, Antonio Giraudo and Luciano Moggi.

Photo From: France Football, May 2, 1995
(Roberto Bettega and the outgoing Boniperti, Marcelo Lippi and Didier Deschamps)

The new Management was very finance oriented and sought to limit costs as much as possible.
Many felt the decision to dispense of Trapattoni was a cost saving measure due to his salary.
In his place came a relative unknown Manager named Marcello Lippi. He had managed in successive seasons two teams to creditable showings with limited means, Atalanta (1992/93) and Napoli (1993/94).
No one could have foreseen that this appointment would transform Juventus’ fortunes.
In terms of player transfers, Brazilian defender Julio Cesar and German midfielder Andreas Moeller were jointly transferred to Germany’s ambitious Borussia Dortmund.
International midfielder Dino Baggio was transferred to rivals Parma. At first Baggio refused, but changed his mind after he saw the Juventus hierarchy had no confidence in him.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 82, November 1995
(Gianluca Vialli, 1995/96)

Juventus nearly lost Alessandro Del Piero to Parma in the process, until Baggio’s transfer nullified the agreement.
Long serving Roberto Galia was also transferred out after six seasons.
Lippi brought with him from Napoli, former International defender Ciro Ferrara, who had been overlooked by the new National Team Regime of Arrigo Sacchi.
Croatia’s Robert Jarni and another former International Luca Fusi joined from cross-town rivals Torino, while future International Alessio Tacchinardi joined from relegated Atalanta.
Portuguese midfielder Paulo Sousa was signed from Sporting Lisbon and French International midfielder Didier Deschamps arrived from Olympique Marseille.
Most importantly, Lippi brought with him a physical trainer named Giampiero Ventrone whose training regimen would be credited for strengthening the squad and playing a key role in winning the League title.
Juventus started the 1994/95 season at a slow pace, they were picking up wins and points but were far from looking like potential champions.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 75, April 1995
(Antonio Conte and Alessandro Del Piero, 1994/95)

Captain Roberto Baggio was injured in the early parts of the season and would go on to miss half of the league campaign.
This gave an opportunity for the young Alessandro Del Piero to show his worth and he would turn out to be the revelation of the season and go on to be one of Juventus’ longest serving players.
He seized his opportunity much like fellow striker Fabrizio Ravanelli (‘La Penna Bianca’) who had gained valuable playing time the previous season, due to the long-term injury of Gianluca Vialli.
Both Del Piero and Ravanelli became catalysts in Juventus’ glorious season.
Gianluca Vialli (captain in the absence of injured Baggio) was also finally fit after two injury stained seasons.
He had his best season at Juventus and finished as its top goalscorer.
Perhaps the match that underlined Juventus’ credentials and made themselves believe that they could win the title was the home match vs. Fiorentina on December 4, 1994.
Juventus fell behind 0-2 in the first half and it looked like they were heading for a defeat.
However, Juventus came back galvanized in the second half and scored three unanswered goals through the back-in-form Gianluca Vialli (two goals) and a beautiful chip from Alessandro Del Piero.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 76, May 1995
(Fabrizio Ravanelli during the April 1995 UEFA Cup Semi-Finals series vs. Borussia Dortmund)

The following week they defeated title challengers Lazio away by a score of 4 to 3 and overtook the League leading position.
By now it was apparent that this Juventus could score many goals, but that the defense may not be as tight.
This was a Juventus that played to win even in away matches, and not try to tie, as would have been the customary tactic of many coaches.
By the turn of the year (1995), the top of the table clash took place at Parma, with Juventus as League leaders and Parma hot on their heels.
Despite falling behind in the second half, Juventus did not give up and kept pressing and scored three times against their nearest challengers away from home.
By spring time Juventus looked odds on favorites to triumph in the League, they were winning consistently, though they would lose the occasional match.
This was the first season that the Italian League was on a three points for a win system and Juventus benefited greatly form this. The team’s attacking and winning mentality was tailor made for this system.

Photo From: World Soccer, August 1995
(Roberto Baggio, April 30, 1995, Fiorentina 1-Juventus 4)

The importance of Physical trainer Giampiero Ventrone was also becoming more obvious as the players seemed fresh and invincible.
A number of players claimed that they were so fresh at the end of a match that at times they could play another match right after it.
Gianluca Vialli had said that in the beginning his training was so grueling that he would vomit, but he could see the dividends as they were so fit and less tired in the key late stages of matches.
By springtime, goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi had been elevated as Italy’s number one goalkeeper and Fabrizio Ravanelli and Alessandro Del Piero had earned their first caps.
By the end of the season, Ciro Ferrara would also be back in the International fold, however, despite public clamor Gianluca Vialli was still overlooked by Arrigo Sacchi.
Juventus had also advanced in the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup competitions and reached the Final of both competitions.
In May, Juventus were defeated in the Finals of the UEFA Cup to their Italian rivals Parma, but defeated the same team a few days later (4 to 0) in the League to claim their first Scudetto in 9 years.

Photo From: World Soccer, July 1995
(Didier Deschmaps)

Lippi’s attack oriented squad had managed to win 23 out of their 34 League matches that season; eleven of those wins were away from home.
While not very solid defensively, their offensive punch more than made up for it.
They also defeated Parma in the Finals of Coppa Italia to claim the double.

World Soccer, September 1995
(Marcelo Lippi after Juventus clinched the double, June 11, 1995, Coppa Italia, Parma 0-Juventus 2)

At the conclusion of the season, Roberto Baggio found himself the victim of the austerity measures of this new business oriented Juventus.
He would not accept a reduction in his salary; therefore he transferred out and joined AC Milan.
His loss was not considered critical as Del Piero was seen as the future of Juventus.
Similarly, German defender Jurgen Kohler was transferred to Borussia Dortmund after four solid seasons.
Juventus raided Sampdoria and acquired a trio of veteran defender Pietro Vierchowod, International winger Attilio Lombardo and Yugoslav midfielder Vladimir Jugovic.
From Torino came defender Gianluca Pessotto and Michele Padovano arrived from Reggiana as an attacking option.
Future Argentina Captain Juan Pablo Sorin also joined from Argentinos Juniors, though his stay was short lived and departed after a few months.
For the 1995/96 season, Juventus concentrated more in the Champions League and were off the pace in the League and finished runners-up to AC Milan.
However, they did manage to win the coveted Champions League by defeating defending Champions Ajax Amsterdam in a penalty kick shoot-out.
This win ended a cycle for Juventus, as the Management sought to rejuvenate the team before stagnation had set in place.
Despite the success of this squad, the managing triumvirate were convinced that in the past Juventus had not replaced players in time and the squad had suffered and in the process lost time as well as financial benefits from the transfer of these players at higher prices.
With the Bosman Ruling now in effect, many players could leave to other Leagues for higher fees.
Captain Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli departed to the English Premier League (Chelsea and Middlesbrough respectively).
Veterans Pietro Vierchowod, Massimo Carrera and Giancarlo Marocchi were all transferred out to other Italian clubs.
After a somewhat disappointing second season, Portuguese midfielder Paulo Sousa was transferred to Borussia Dortmund (a favorite destination of former Serie A and specially Juventus players).
Young up and coming stars were acquired to present a much younger and competitive Juventus.
From Atalanta arrived young striker Christian Vieri and rugged Uruguayan defender Paolo Montero.
Croatian forward Alen Boksic arrived from Lazio and defender Mark Iuliano arrived from Salernitana.
Italian striker Nicola Amoruso joined from Padova.
Most importantly young French playmaker Zinedine Zidane arrived from Bordeaux after making all of Italy take notice following his starring role in the elimination of AC Milan from the UEFA Cup in March of 1996.
After a slow start much like Platini a decade before him, Zidane adapted to the Serie A and made a significant contribution to Juventus’ winning season.

Photo From: World Soccer, February 1999
(Juventus’ Zinedine Zidane with the 1998 Ballon d’Or)

This younger squad regained the Scudetto title for the 1996/97 season and also lifted the UEFA Super Cup (vs. Paris St Germain) and the Intercontinental Cup (vs. River Plate).
The highlight of the season was perhaps the demolition of AC Milan by a score of 6 to 1 in April away from home. In a way this match heralded the end of the great AC Milan generation and a power shift to Juventus.
By now Christian Vieri had become a full International and was the toast of Italy and a much sought after player.
Juventus did manage to reach the Champions League Final once again, however, they lost to a Borussia Dortmund side containing many former Juventus players by a score of 3 to 1.
In the summer of 1997, once again the Management prioritized Fiscal concerns by selling the very in-demand striker Christian Vieri to Atletico Madrid for a large fee.
Similarly, Vladimir Jugovic and Alen Boksic were transferred to Lazio and Attilio Lombardo joined Crystal Palace and defender Sergio Porrini joined Rangers Glasgow.
Atalanta’s top goalscorer Fillipo Inzaghi arrived to replace Vieri and AS Roma’s Uruguayan striker Daniel Fonseca was added as an attacking cover option.
Italians Alessandro Birindelli and Fabio Pecchia joined from Empoli and Napoli respectively.
Midway through the season, AC Milan’s out of favor Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids joined Juventus to great effect.

Photo From: World Soccer, March 1998
(Edgar Davids)

That season, 1997/98, Brazilian striker Ronaldo had joined Internazionale Milano amid much fanfare and Inter seemed to be heading to a title triumph in the early going, however, by the second half of the season Juventus overtook them and won the Serie A title for the third time in four seasons under Lippi.
Alessandro Del Piero had an excellent season and had one of his most prolific scoring seasons and formed a successful striking partnership with Fillipo Inzaghi.

Photo From: World Soccer, June 1998
(Fillipo Inzaghi)

The Champions League was a repeat of the previous season, where Juventus reached the Final only to lose this time to Real Madrid.
This defeat seemed to signal the turning point in Lippi’s reign.
The following season (1998/99) started with AS Roma Manager Zdenek Zeman’s claim that Juventus had been using banned substances to strengthen their players.
He remarked the muscular development of Gianluca Vialli and Del Piero in the previous seasons as examples.
This prompted the State Prosecutor to investigate and disrupt Juventus’ preparations as players were summoned for questioning.
The squad was mainly unchanged; defender Moreno Torricelli had joined Fiorentina.
The arrivals included little known and uncapped French midfielder Jocelyn Blanchard from Metz, Yugoslav defender Zoran Mirkovic from Atalanta, Croatian defender Igor Tudor from Hajduk Split and Italian Simone Perrotta from Reggina, none of whom would make much of an impression.
After a solid start to the season, Alessandro Del Piero was lost to a serious injury, vs. Sampdoria on November 1st that sidelined him for the entire season.
It was after this point that Juventus’ season seemed to go downward.
Juventus suffered four losses in November and December (vs. AS Roma, Bologna, Lazio and Fiorentina) that essentially ruled them out of the title race.
Juventus also just barely qualified from their Champions League group after five consecutive ties, had left them needing to win their very last match to go through.
Despite the midseason arrivals of Argentinean Striker Juan Esnaider and young French Striker Thierry Henry, the results did not improve.
The breaking point for Lippi was Juventus’ heavy home loss vs. Parma by a score of 2 to 4 on February 7, 1999.
He resigned following this match after one loss too many.
Carlo Ancelotti, who was to take over at the end of the season, was appointed with immediate effect and somewhat salvaged Juventus’ season.
Lippi managed Internazionale Milano for the following season (1999/2000) and only the First match of the season after (2000/2001), after a public outburst against his own squad forced President Massimo Moratti to dismiss him.
During this time, Juventus under Ancelotti earned two runners-up finishes.
This was not satisfactory to the Juventus Management, so in the summer of 2001, Lippi returned to the fold to Manage Juventus once again.
He won two new Scudettos in 2002 and 2003 and once again losing in the Champions League Final vs. AC Milan in 2003.
He left Juventus in 2004, disappointed in not winning the Champions League.
He was appointed as Italy National Team Manager and lead Italy to World Cup triumph in 2006.
Upon taking over he had declared his intent to win the World Cup.
Marcello Lippi is responsible for placing Juventus in their accustomed position at the top of the Serie A after many years of disappointment, where Juventus was playing second fiddle to the Milanese clubs and even Diego Maradona’s Napoli.
He is only one of two Managers (Vicente del Bosque being the other) of having won the Champions League and the World Cup. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The First Time ….., Part Two

1-The First Time Brazil lost a World Cup Qualifier was on July 25, 1993 when they lost 0 to 2 to Bolivia by giving up the two goals in the last two minutes.
Many observers blamed LaPaz’s high altitude as the reason for Brazil’s sub-standard showing. Bolivia qualified along with Brazil to the World Cup.

Photo From : World Soccer, November 1993
(Carlos Borja, one of Bolivia’s key players in the 1993 World Cup Qualifiers, August 8, 1993, World Cup Qualifier, Bolivia 3-Uruguay 1)

2- The First Time that a substitution took place for the French National team was on May 10, 1908 in their match with Holland that they lost 1 to 4.
In the 55th minute, Victor Denis replaced his brother Julien Denis for an apparent injury.
Holland’s Captain Karel Heijting in an act of Fair Play did not object to the substitution.
Victor Denis revealed in 1949 that there was no injury. He really wanted to play so much that he pleaded to his brother at halftime to feign an injury so that he could come on.
Julien Denis was killed in action in 1915 fighting in World War I .

Photo From: Oranje Toen En Nu, Deel 1, 1905-1914, 2000-2001, Author: Matty Verkamman
(Holland and France squads, May 10, 1908, Holland 4-France 1)

3- The First Time a player scored in consecutive World Cup Finals matches was on June 17, 1962, when Vava scored Brazil’s third goal in their 3 to 1 win vs. Czechoslovakia. He had scored twice in the previous World Cup Final match vs. Sweden on June 29, 1958 in a (5 to 2 win).

Photo From: The World Cup 1930-1990, Author Jack Rollin
(Vava in front of England goalkeeper Colin McDonald, June 11, 1958, World Cup, Brazil 0-England 0)

Photo From: World Soccer, August 1963
(Vava scoring Brazil’s third goal past Czechoslovakia goalkeeper Viliam Schrojf, June 17, 1962, World Cup, Brazil 3-Czechoslovakia 1)

4- The First Time a Soviet player joined a club in the West German Bundesliga was on August 10, 1989, when Igor Belanov signed for Borussia Moenchengladbach.
At the time the Bundesliga II already had signed a soviet player, Alexander Borodjiuik.

Photo from: Onze, December 1988
(Frank Rijkaard and Igor Belanov, June 25, 1988,  UEFA European Championship, Holland 2-USSR 0)

5- The First Time the English national Team wore blue uniforms was in a Friendly with Germany on December 4, 1935 that they won 3 to 0.

Photo From: Chronik des deutschen fussballs, 2005
(Team Captains Edris Hapgood and Fritz Szepan with referee Otto Olssen of Sweden, December 4, 1935, England 3-Germany 0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Short International Careers, Part Two

1- Andrea Silenzi
Torino striker Andrea Silenzi earned his only cap for Italy in a Friendly vs. France on February 16, 1994 at Naples, that the Italians lost 0 to 1.
He was having his best personal season (1993/94) and scored 17 goals in the Serie A.
For this match he came on in the 65th minute to replace Pierluigi Casiraghi.
He was subsequently not called up again.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 62, March 1994
(Andrea Silenzi with Torino, 1993/94)

2- Ernesto Valverde
Former Valencia and current Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde earned his solitary cap for Spain in a UEFA European Championship Qualifying match vs. Iceland on October 10, 1990, won 2 to 1 by Spain.
He had just transferred that season from Barcelona to Athletic Bilbao.
He came on in the 71st minute to replace  ‘Carlos’ Antonio Munoz.

Photo From: Onze, February 1987

(Ernesto Valverde with Espanyol Barcelona, 1986/87)

3- Roland Wohlfarth
Despite being a prolific goalscorer with Bayern Munich, Roland Wohlfarth was often overlooked by Franz Beckenbuaer.
He did however earn two caps under Beckenbuaer three years apart.
His first cap was a Friendly vs. Spain on October 15, 1986 at Hannover that ended in a 2 to 2 tie.
He had to wait nearly three years for his next cap, another Friendly at Dublin vs. Republic of Ireland that ended in a one to one tie.

Photo From: Fussball Magazin, March April 1985

(Roland Wohlfarth and Paul Steiner, September 22, 1984, Bayern Munich 2-Koln 0)

4- Barry Venison
Former Liverpool defender Barry Venison’s international prospects seemed unlikely, when suddenly he was called up by new England Manager Terry Venables for a Friendly vs. USA at Wembley on September 7th, 1994 (2 to 0 win).
He had been a key player in the resurgence of Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle.
His second and final cap was a few months later in another Friendly at Wembley vs. Uruguay on March 29th, 1995 that ended in a scoreless tie.
 He always seemed like a short term option as he was past 30 when first selected and was not called up again.

Photo From: England, Player by Player, Author Graham Betts
(Barry Venison)

5- Claudemir Vitor
Defender Claudemir Vitor was part of Tele Santana’s Copa Libertadores winning squad of the early 1990s.
He earned his only two caps along this period.
His first cap was in a Friendly vs. Uruguay on November 26th, 1992 that Brazil lost 1 to 2.
His second was a few months later in another Friendly vs. Poland on March 17, 1993 ( 2 to 2 tie) when he replaced Luiz Carlos Winck in the 64th minute.
That summer (1993), Real Madrid approached Sao Paulo hoping to acquire Cafu but couldn’t so they set their sights on Vitor instead and signed him on loan.
His stay there was disappointing and he rejoined Sao Paulo months later, but never played for Brazil again.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Magazine Awards, Part Three

France Football’s Ballon d’Or:

Year 1985:
Player of the year: Michel Platini (Juventus and France)

Photo from: France Football, December 24, 1985 Issue 2072
(Michel Platini on the cover of France Football)

Onze’s Onze d’Or:

Year 1978:
Player of the year: Mario Kempes (Valencia and Argentina)

Photo from: Onze, December 1978
(Krankl, Kempes and Rensenbrink on the cover of Onze)

World Soccer’s Player of the Year:

Year 1984:
Player of the year: Michel Platini (Juventus and France)
Manager of the Year: Michel Hidalgo (France)
Team of the year: France

Photo from: World Soccer, December 1984
(Ian Rush, Zico and Michel Platini on the cover of World Soccer)

World Soccer Player of the Year

Monday, November 11, 2013

Events and Consequences, Part Four

1- Event:
French player Xavier Gravelaine’s star performance vs. Real Zaragoza in the UEFA Cup on September 15, 1992 with Caen winning 3 to 2.

Xavier Gravelaine had been a Nantes youth product who had failed to make the grade there and had progressed through joining other smaller teams.
Following this one performance, there was a public clamor for him to be selected for the National Team and he was.
He became the revelation of the season.
He played in France’s next match, a World Cup Qualifier on October 14th vs. Austria (2 to 0 win). He played three more times for France into the following year and earned a transfer to Paris St. Germain.
His career stalled after this move as his first team opportunitites became less and less.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, February 1993
(Xavier Gravelaine in his second match for France, November 14, 1992, World Cup Qualifier, France 2-Finland 1)

2- Event:
England’s Friendly match vs. Mexico on June 1, 1969 (scoreless tie) about a year before the World Cup Finals.
When asked about Mexico, Alf Ramsey had a number of complaints.
He complained that a band played outside their hotel until 5 am every night and that a promised motorcycle escort failed to arrive on time.
He pointed out that his players were jeered and heckled by the crowd while inspecting the field.
A few days later, before the B-International with Mexico he pushed out Mexican journalists from the dressing room.

These incidents and statements were the main reasons why at the 1970 World Cup , England were mostly booed and unliked by the local crowds.
The resentment in the Latin World towards England from this episode might have also contributed to the farcical bracelet ‘theft’ incident in Colombia prior to the World Cup itself.

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer
(England Squad , June 1, 1969, Mexico 0-England 0, Top, left to right:  Geoffrey Charles Hurst, Keith Robert Newton, Brian Leslie Labone, Martin Stanford Peters, Terence Cooper, Francis Henry Lee,  Alan Patrick Mullery, Alan James Ball, Robert Charlton, Gordon West,  Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore)

3- Event:
AC Milan and Italy midfielder Gianluigi Lentini’s car accident on August 3, 1993.

Former Torino midfielder Gianluigi Lentini became the World’s most expensive player when he was acquired by Silvio Berlusconi’s AC Milan in the summer of 1992.
He was a regular for AC Milan and Italy and looked set for a starring role for Italy in the future.
This accident that nearly cost his life took him out of the game for many months and when he did come back he was naturally not fully fit and missed out on the 1994 World Cup adventure.
He did not regain his previous form and was confined to substitute appearances for AC Milan.
He had to leave AC Milan and joined his old Torino boss Emiliano Mondonico at Atalanta at the start of 1996/97 and actually somewhat regained his old form and even played in Arrigo Sacchi’s last match as Italy Manager vs. Bosnia in November 1996.

Photo From: Soccer International, November 1992

(Gianluigi Lentini with AC Milan 1992/93)

4- Event:
Uruguay goalkeeper Andrés Mazali breaking curfew at team’s hotel on the lead up to the 1930 World Cup held in Uruguay.

Mazali was dismissed from the team and sent home by Manager Alberto Suppici.
He missed out on the chance to win the inaugural World Cup at home.
Mazali who was a winner of the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, could have become a World Cup winner as well.

Photo From: IFFHS-Argentina (1902-1940)-Uruguay (1902-1940)
(Uruguay goalkeeper Andrés Mazali)

5- Event:
The Friendly match between English club Wolverhampton Wanderers and Hungary’s Honved Budapest on December 13, 1954, won 3 to 2 by Wolves.

The Wolves’ win vs. a team featuring Ferenc Puskas, Jozsef Boszik, Sando Koscis and Zoltan Czibor among others was greatly hyoed.
Hungary had demolished the English National team at Wembley just a year earlier.
The English press went overboard by declaring Wolves as the best team in Europe.
This led Former French International and now journalist Gabriel Hanot writing in L’Equipe to propose the idea of a European Cup where champions from each country would compete and thus the Champions Cup was born.

Photo From: L'Equipe, L'equipe de France de Football,La Belle Histoire
(Gabriel Hanot)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Transfers that did not happen, Part Four

1- Prior to joining Bari in the summer of 1991, England midfielder David Platt also had an offer to join France’s big spending Olympique Marseille.
Platt himself stated that even though OM is a better team, the greater challenge was at Bari.

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, September 18-24, 1991
(David Platt, September 15, 1991, Bari 1-Sampdoria 1)

2- AC Milan’s Ruud Gullit was seriously injured in 1989. His injury sidelined him for practically the season of 1989/90.
In case Gullit could not recover from his injury, the AC Milan management took an option on Steaua Bucharest’s Gheorge Hagi.
Gullit recovered and came back for AC Milan and Hagi joined Real Madrid in the summer of 1990.

Photo From: Don Balon, Chile Edition, August 20-26, 1996, Issue no 219
(Gheorge Hagi, June 26, 1994, World Cup, USA 0-Romania 1)

3- Liverpool’s Danish midfielder Jan Molby almost joined Barcelona in the November of 1990. However, the teams could not finally agree on a fee and the deal was called off.
Barcelona Manager Johann Cruyff was eyeing Molby, since Barcelona’s Dutch sweeper Ronald Koeman was expected to be injured for most of the season.

Photo from: Onze, November 1988
(Jan Molby and Pierre Littbarski, June 13, 1986, World Cup, Denmark 2-West Germany 0)

4-Diego Maradona created a controversy in the Summer and early Fall of 1989 when he delayed his return to Napoli from Argentina following duty during the Copa America.
Olympique Marseille’s ambitious President Bernard Tapie had made an offer for Maradona and the player was willing to join.
Maradona was showing early signs of the stress of playing in the Serie A and the relative stress free environment of the French League must have appealed to him.
In any case, Napoli would have none of it and Maradona was forced to return to Napoli with the season already already underway for weeks.

Photo from: World Soccer, September 1989
(Diego Maradona on the cover of World Soccer Magazine)

5-Real Madrid had made an offer to acquire Dinamo Kiev midfielder Leonid Burjak in the Fall of 1981.
This was during the cold war era, where Soviet player transfers to the west never happened.

Predictably, Soviet officials refused Burjak permission to join Real Madrid.

Photo from: Onze, September 1983
(Dinamo Kiev’s Leonid Burjak)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Eric Batty, Brian Glanville and other World Soccer Columns- Part Five

I.  Eric Batty

WS Magazine Issue: April 1965                   
Article Title(s): ‘The Way To End This Deadlock
-Eric Batty’s answer to Catenaccio     

WS Magazine Issue: April 1972 
Article Title(s): ‘Origins of 4-2-4’ and ‘Loan Rule Should Stay’
-Eric Batty’s Analysis on two issues in the edition of World Soccer

WS Magazine Issue: January 1980     
Article Title(s): ‘Shortage of wingers in England’
-Eric Batty’s discussing the state of English soccer

WS Magazine Issue: September 1967 and November 1968  
Article Title(s):  ‘The World’s Best Eleven?’
-The World XI selections for the years 1967 and 1968.

II.   Brian Glanville

WS Magazine Issue: February 1964
Article Title(s): ‘Economic Reality will force European league
-Discussing the inevitable reality

WS Magazine Issue: December 1975
Article Title(s): ‘More Strange Tactics by Revie and England’
-Discussing the England National Team

WS Magazine Issue: February 1980
Article Title(s): ‘Who else ….but Keegan?’  and ‘Scottish Invasion stemmed?’
- His regular Columns

WS Magazine Issue: January 1993
Article Title(s): ‘Brian Glanville’s Last Word’
- His regular Column with his thoughts on Berlusconi’s Milan’s danger to the game and other thoughts

III.  Other Writers:

a) Roger McDonald

WS Magazine Issue: July 1964
Article Title(s): ‘Fifty years without a great impact’
-Investigating Portuguese soccer

b) Peter Pullen and Arthur Rotmil

WS Magazine Issue: June 1970
Article Title(s): ‘Shirts made individually’ and ‘Zagallo could be a bleessing’
-Discussing Brazil’s 1970 World Cup preparations that included the
sacking of João Saldanha and appointment of Mario Zagallo

c) Leslie Vernon

WS Magazine Issue: April 1972
Article Title(s): ‘Foreigners would not kill Football in England’

-Making the case for foreign imports in English Football