Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Second Acts and comebacks, Part Eight

1- Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Nantes 1992/97
Former Nantes Manager Jean-Claude Suaudeau had led Nantes to the French league title in 1983. A few seasons later he was replaced and Nantes was slowly fading as a force and even near bankrupty.
He was re-appointed Manager and in 1992, he gambled on a class of graduates from the academy and improved the team’s fortunes.
His new base that included future Internationals such as Christian Karembeu, Reynald Pedros, Patrice Loko and Nicolas Ouedec helped Nantes to achieve UEFA Cup Qualifications in successive seasons and ultimately the French League title in 1995.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 87, April 1996
(Jean-Claude Suaudeau)

2- Giuseppe Signori and Bologna, 1998
Italian forward Giuseppe Signori had left Lazio midway through the 1997/98 season after realizing he was surplus to requirements of the new Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. He landed at Sampdoria and had an equally uneventful six months.
At the end of the season he joined Bologna. They had been successful the previous season to rehabilitate Roberto Baggio. Signori adapted well to the new surroundings and refound his predatory form.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 122, March 1999
(Giuseppe Signori at  Bologna)

3- Carlos Dunga and Brazil 1993/98
Brazilian midfilder Carlos Dunga had been one of the scapegoats of the Lazaroni era, which was dubbed as the ‘Dunga era’. (not affectionately).
Upon taking over Carlos Alberto Parreira had even decalred that the ‘Dunga era’ is over. Dunga himself was struggling at Fiorentina and Pescara.
He transferred to the German Bundesliga at Stuttgart in 1993. He slowly regained his old form to become indispensable to Parreira.
He won back his National team spot and even became Team Captain midway into the 1994 victorious World Cup and remained in the set up until 1998.

Photo From: The Game, Issue 5, August 1995
(Carlos Dunga)

4- Michael Laudrup and Barcelona 1989/94
Denmark’s Michael Laudrup had been disappointing at Juventus for his last couple of seasons. Johan Cruyff at Barcelona had transferred out Gary Lineker and sought out Michael Laudrup. The more technical Laudrup flourished in the new Barcelona set up and had some of his finest years as a Footballer.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 38, March 1992
(Michael Laudrup at Barcelona)

5- Olaf Thon and Schalke 1994/98
Olaf Thon was seen as West Germany’s bright hope in midfield (1986/88). He somewhat stagnated after his transfer to Bayern Munich in 1988 (beset by injuries).
After switching to Libero, he somewhat got back in the National team in 1993 to be injured again. It was at this point that Lothar Matthaus also switched to the Libero position for club and country to block his path.
Once Thon moved back to Schalke in 1994, he played as a Libero to such a great effect that he may have extended his own career. His displays earned him a place in the 1998 Germany World Cup squad as a veteran (though not as a starter).

Photo From: Mondial, new series, issue 102, September 1988
(Olaf Thon, June 10, 1988, UEFA European Championships, West Germany 1-Italy 1)

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