Sunday, February 28, 2016

Second Acts and comebacks, Part Seven

1- Oliver Bierhoff and Udinese 1995/96
German striker Oliver Bierhoff had played for a number of teams in the Bundesliga, but had not achieved much. He drifted from the Austrian League to the Italian Serie B in the early 1990s. His big break came when he joined Serie A’s Udinese in 1995. His impressive form there finally earned him International honors and Berti Vogts called him up in 1996. That year he achieved stardom after scoring Germany’s goals in the UEFA European Championships Final vs. Czech Republic.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 110, March 1998
(Oliver Bierhoff at Udinese, 1997/98)

2- Dominique Rocheteau and Paris St. Germain 1985/86
French Striker Dominique Rocheteau’s career seemed in a decline after a disappointing Euro 1984 Tournament. However, his luck turned around in the summer of 1985. His club Paris St. Germain acquired a number of key players to make a challenge for the French league title. Rocheteau regained his form as PSG stormed to the title. His reward was a place on France’s 1986 World Cup team.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 122, February 1986
(Dominique Rocheteau)

3- Rob Wischge and Feyenoord 1991/92
Dutch midfielder Rob Witschge had lost his place in the National Team following his move to French club Saint Etienne in 1989. He returned afterwards to the Dutch League and joined Feyenoord. During this period his younger brother Richard was seen as the future leader of Holland and was a starter in the National Team. However, an injury deprived Richard of participation in the 1992 Euros. Rob Witschge, who had been regaining his form at Feyenoord, was called in his place and became a starter in Holland’s 1992 Euros squad.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 7, August 1989
(Rob Witschge at Saint Etienne, 1989/90)

4- Michel Preud’homme and Mechelen 1986/97
Belgian goalkeeper Michel Preud’homme was a promising youngster and had earned caps (1979 –1981) with many more on the horizon.
His involvement in the Standard Liege-Waterschei scandal of 1984 sidetracked his career and he was suspended. After his suspension, a transfer to ambitious side Mechelen changed his fortunes. In late 1987, he overtook Jean-Marie Pfaff as Belgium’s starting goalkeeper and stayed in his position up to the 1994 World Cup.

Photo From: Mondial, new series, issue 96,  March 1988
(Michel Preud’homme)

5- Klaus Allofs and Werder Bremen 1990/93
5-German striker Klaus Allofs joined Werder Bremen in the summer of 1990 after his spell in the French League. He was at the veteran stage of his career was seen to be winding down his career. However, the veteran fit in well at Bremen and helped Werder win the Cup in 1991, the Cup Winners Cup in 1992 and the Bundesliga League title in 1993 to retire in style.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 24, January 1991
(Klaus Allofs at Werder Bremen, 1990/91)

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