Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Soccernostalgia Interview-Part 8 (Interview with Spanish Authors Mr. Sergio Vilariño Ferreiro and Mr. Sergio Galán on Real Madrid, Season by Season, 1984/85 season)


For this interview, I start a new project as I look back at past Real Madrid seasons and ask the opinions of knowledgeable Real Madrid observers.

This will be a semi-regular and continuous series.

The Interviewees are:

1-Spanish Author and Historian Mr. Sergio Vilariño Ferreiro @SVilarino

Mr. Vilariño is the author ofMÉXICO 70. 50 AÑOS DE FÚTBOL EN COLOR’


2- Spanish Author and Amateur Real Madrid Historian Mr. Sergio Galán @HemerotecaRMCF

Mr. Galán is the author ofReal Madrid-365 Historias

He also contributes to @soymadridista and @cihefe.



Mr. Vilariño’s contact info:

On Twitter: @SVilarino

Book Link; https://www.libreriadeportiva.com/libro/mexico-70-50-anos-de-futbol-en-color_73780



Mr. Galán’s contact info:

On Twitter: @HemerotecaRMCF

Blog: https://de-odonnell-a-chamartin.blogspot.com/

Book Link; https://www.amazon.com/Real-Madrid-365-historias-Spanish/dp/9878370003



Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s start off by describing the state of the affairs. At the start of the 1984/85 season, Real Madrid had not won the title since 1980 as Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao had won the previous four titles. This was a long barren period by the standards of Real Madrid. What were the realistic expectations of the fans and the press going into the season?

@SVilarino Response: The expectations at the club are always the same: to win. Especially in the league. It was a very long period without a title (the longest since the arrival of Alfredo di Stefano in 1953), so there was anxiety in the club. The economic situation was not good either, so there was a lot of pressure on the shoulders of president Luis de Carlos. Elections were supposed to come at the end of the season, and during the whole year there was friction on the board of directors. Ramón Mendoza was placing himself as de Carlos successor.


@HemerotecaRMCF Response: There were really serious doubts. The club's economy was bad and after a bad year, only Jorge Valdano was the big face in the summer presentation. The rest of the reinforcements came from the quarry, Michel and Ochotorena. Luis De Carlos, Madrid's president, also pulled from the quarry for the bench and promoted Amancio to the first team. Good football and the illusion of Castilla, who the previous year had won the 2nd division League, were expected to have their equivalent in Real Madrid. It was a risky gamble, but there wasn't much else to choose from either.


Photo From: Special thanks to Josele Carbonell

(Real Madrid squad)

Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s look at the transfer activity in the off-season. Argentine forward Jorge Valdano arrived from Real Zaragoza as the main recruit. Dutchman Johnny Metgod left to join Nottingham Forest, Vicente Del Bosque retired, while English striker Laurie Cunningham left to join Olympique Marseille at France. How did public and press view the transfer activity?

SVilarino Response: The fans knew about the tight financial situation, but that never keeps them from asking for transfers. The three main figures who left were past their best (Del Bosque and Cunningham), or never captured the imagination of the crowd (Metgod). Valdano was a good player, but I don’t think anybody could have imagined the great seasons he was going to play at the club. The feeling among the fans was that of excitement because of the new crop of players from the academy and Amancio.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: The arrival of Valdano was exciting, and strange as it may seem also the marches of the players. By only having 2 foreigners allowed, the Metgod-Valdano change did not look bad. The Dutch did not have bad seasons, but he did not become the defender who hooked the fans. Cunningham can be considered Hazard's precursor, and like the Belgian, with injuries and little fortune, he ended up being forgotten. As for Del Bosque, his age and his problems with Di Stefano, made him barely play the last two years, so it was not a traumatic exit either.



Photo From: France Football, Issue 2007, September 25,  1984

(Carlos Santillana)

Soccernostalgia Question: To manage the side, former great Amancio was promoted from Castilla to be the Manager, How did public and press view this appointment?

SVilarino Response: The feeling among the fans was that of excitement because of the new crop of players from the academy and Amancio. The press urged the club to promote him and his ducklings the year before. There was a famous article by the respected Julio César Iglesias where he gave them their battle name (La Quinta del Buitre, referring to them as a group and also to the fifth gear the Buitre appear to have) and urged di Stefano to give them a chance. So there was a lot of expectation around this group.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Castilla's game hooked the public and even in several games more public went to see the subsidiary than the first team. To this we add that Di Stefano raised several members of the subsidiary who did not disappoint and to end the season they had achieved the league title of 2nd. Luis De Carlos saw that he did not have the money to make a revolution, and he "signed" Amancio to take the game and the spirit of the subsidiary to the first team. Within the possibilities that existed, it was the best and the most exciting.



Photo From: Special thanks to Josele Carbonell

(Real Madrid squad)

Soccernostalgia Question: The season started in the worst possible way with 0-3 home loss vs. Barcelona, did this more or less foreshadow the fortunes of both teams?

SVilarino Response: It definitely showed a gulf in class AND EXPERIENCE between both teams. Barcelona had an experienced squad, full of internationals and with some world class players in it. Madrid was rebuilding. Barcelona played a British type of football, with pressing, and high pace. Madrid was still looking for their style, very influenced by a crop of veterans who live by the laws of La Furia (Camacho, Santillana, Juanito...)

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Not quite. It was a jug of cold water. Madrid came from a good preseason and was hopeful of winning, but everything went wrong. Valdano was injured in the warm-up, during the game San Jose was also injured and his substitute, Angel, made an own goal before the break. Barcelona played much better. It was not a match that could mark the future of both, but it is true that that same day it began to be seen that something could not go well in the dressing room. Lozano complained in the post-match about the physical and technical plot.



Soccernostalgia Question: Real Madrid struggled in the League, despite being second behind Barcelona for much of the season. What could the poor League season be attributed to?

SVilarino Response: The atmosphere at the club was not ideal. As I said before, the board of directors was looking forward to the elections. The squad had internal issues, with Amancio unable to have a strong grip over some veterans. There were even scandals that involved the “innocent” members of La Quinta, such as when Amancio discovered a group of women in the room of two veterans (Juanito and Lozano) in Milan during the trip to play Inter. Butragueño, although not involved, was also there (it was his room). Changing the coach mid-season was also tough, but Molowny was a very experienced one, and very used to this situation. He was the man who really gave La Quinta their chance, and focused on the European campaign, that brought really important moments for the team.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: It is difficult to know. The relations between the veterans and the coach were not good, that hurt the team but it is not a logical reason to throw the season away so soon. The game was not good either and the arrival of winter was disastrous, with 9 games in a row without winning. The fans disengaged and only remained by European expectations, something common in bad seasons.



Photo From: Special thanks to Josele Carbonell

(Real Madrid squad)

Soccernostalgia Question: Despite the team’s troubles, this was the season where Emilio Butragueno ‘El Buitre’ was introduced to the audience outside of Spain and became a household name? What do you remember of his emergence that season?

SVilarino Response: He was a success from the very beginning. His debut in Cádiz was fantastic, and he was able to blend very well with the rest of the team, becoming important in Europe also. His game against Anderlecht was probably one of the very best of his career. The Bernabeu needed a new idol, and he was the perfect man for the role. He became a sort of “ideal son-in-law” for everybody in Spain.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: He was a different player. A child who appeared in an adult world, with a self-confidence that scared and surprised in equal parts. He made the difficult easy and when he stood in the area with the ball, the stadium was silenced waiting for his start. He was a sprinkle of color in a gray world.


Photo From: Onze, Issue 113, May 1985

(Emilio Butragueno)

Soccernostalgia Question: This was also the first season that I remember of ‘Remontadas’ from seemingly impossible positions. Most notably I always remember the (6-1) win over Anderlecht. Anderlecht were a strong team at the time and Real had seemed dead and buried after the (0-3) first leg loss. Is this the reference point of the future ‘Remomtadas’ of this Generation?

SVilarino Response: Yes, this is the moment. Everything was possible, even after the hardest defeats. The atmosphere at the Bernabéu was crazy, Molowny fielded teams with barely any defensive players and Real attacked and attacked. The crowd pushed the team, pressed the ref and that created a wave that was impossible to stop. Even nowadays those who remember those games would talk about the best nights in the history of the Bernabéu.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Yes, definitely. For the youth who have seen Real Madrid win so many Champions in recent years it may be strange, but in those years Europe was something unattainable. The defeat in Paris in 81 and in Goteborg 83 were tough. Real Madrid always looked to Europe to remember old successes, and especially in bad league years. The defeat in Brussels was regrettable, but both the players and the fans conspired separately to come back. It is difficult to explain because there are hardly any precedents for similar situations. Perhaps the mystique of the stadium and the shield could weigh on the Belgian team, which, as Valdano would say, succumbed to a scenic fear. That and that the public that went to the stadium in those years, let us remember that the European matches were not paid but paid, it was different with more desire to fight and win. As difficult as it was.

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2017, December 4, 1984

(November 28, 1984, UEFA Cup, Anderlecht 3-Real Madrid 0)

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2017, December 4, 1984

(November 28, 1984, UEFA Cup, Anderlecht 3-Real Madrid 0)


Soccernostalgia Question: Is the earlier round elimination of Rijeka also a memorable ‘Remontada’? Certainly defeating Inter (3-0) in the semifinals after (0-2) first leg loss, had the feel of yet again overcoming impossible odds. What do you remember?

SVilarino Response: Rijeka became famous for a reason: them having a deaf-mute player sent of for dissent. It was a very tough game and I’m not sure if Madrid deserved to go through.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: It was a comeback that is always forgotten by circumstances. It was a bad game, with rain, the public did not fill the stadium and with arbitration decisions that in some cases could be discussed. To all this is added that a famous journalist of the time and with a lot of power, Jose Maria Garcia, said that they had expelled Denica, a deaf-mute player, for protesting. Leaving aside that a player can protest without speaking, his expulsion was not because of that but because of wasted time. The team played badly and I ended up playing against 8 to be able to come back in the last 10 minutes. She is never usually mentioned for the bad game, for the expulsion of Denica and the rival's entity. Antimadridismo always remembers this game and many Madridistas seem to be ashamed, I don't know very well why when there is no reason for it.


Photo From: France Football, Issue 2038, April 30, 1985

(Michel scoring, April 24, 1985, UEFA Cup, Real Madrid 3-Inter 0)

Soccernostalgia Question: The aforementioned (0-2) loss vs. Inter in April in the UEFA Cup seminfinals spelled the end of Amancio as Manager. He was replaced by Luis Molowny. How did public and press view this appointment so late in the season?

SVilarino Response: As I said, Molowny was the man for the job. He was very well known for his previous stints as a caretaker. It was an obvious and easy solution. The results proved it right. He was keen on a technical, passionate, type of football, and Real fans like it.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Surprisingly. It is true that it was known that the locker room-coach relationship was not good. But no one could expect Amancio to be dismissed on the eve of a vital match. A lot was said about the night at the hotel in Milan and De Carlos tried to save the situation by breaking through the weakest link. The truth is that he also had nothing to lose because he was not going to continue in the presidency, and in that way he gave power and reason to the players. At least he had a part that everyone liked, which was Molowny.


Soccernostalgia Question: Real Madrid imploded in the League in the second half of the season and were bypassed by Atletico Madrid, culminating with the 0-4 defeat against their neighbors. Had Real just given up on the League and just concentrated on the UEFA Cup?

SVilarino Response: That was basically it. On those days, if you could win the League and qualify for the European Cup, the difference in between being second and being fourth was not big. There was no “4th position trophy” like nowadays. Real Madrid won only FOUR games from december 16th till the end of the season. Those are astonishing numbers.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Yes, totally. The start of the second round was terrible and there was nothing left but to look to Europe to try to save the season with something honorable.


Photo From: Onze, Issue 113, May 1985

(Ricardo Gallego)

Soccernostalgia Question: A disastrous season was saved with the UEFA Cup victory (and later the League Cup win). This European trophy was the first for the club since 1966. How is this win viewed historically and at the time?

SVilarino Response: It was an important win. It was viewed as a European victory, something that was much missed in Madrid. It was also a good way to go onto the summer, when Ramón Mendoza became president (his two rivals for the election, Eduardo Peña and Juanito Navarro withdrew), and immediatly set off to reinforce the team and use the basis of the UEFA Cup champions to create a strong squad able to win the league and go deep in the European Cup.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Seeing the development of the competition, it is considered as something epic. The return to triumph in Europe, and more with those comebacks, is something that remained in the legend of the club and the fans.


Photo From: Onze, Issue 114, June 1985

(May 8, 1985, UEFA Cup, Videoton 0-Real Madrid 3)

Soccernostalgia Question: While Butragueno gaimed recognition outside of the borders. Michel and Sanchis also started to establish themselves in the team. Valdano adapted well and scored goals. Who else stood out in the team that season?

SVilarino Response: Obviously veterans such as Camacho and Santillana were still important. Gallego became a mainstay of the team (also with the National team). Same with Chendo. Martin Vázquez was entering the picture too. It was Stielike’s last season, and that was a big loss, because he was one of the leaders of the team. By that time his relationship with Juanito was terrible. They faced each other the next season, when Madrid played Neuchatel Xamax in the UEFA Cup. It was not pretty.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Oddly enough, Molowny. When Mendoza became president he met a team that was evicted and in two months he won 2 titles with the Canarian coach. The talisma of the bench returned to do what he knew best: win.


Photo From: Special thanks to Josele Carbonell

(Real Madrid squad)

Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s discuss the old guard, how were the performances of Camacho, Gallego and Santillana viewed? Juanito was no longer a certainty with the emergence of Butragueno. Long-serving West German star Uli Stilieke would depart at the end of the season after eight years. Juan Lozano who had arrived with a big reputation from Anderlecht in 1983 returned at the end of the season after two poor seasons. What are your thoughts on these players?

SVilarino Response: I already talked about most of them on the question before. Juanito was still an idol for the Bernabéu, but his character and performances were too irregular and sometimes dangerous for the team. He was a perfect player for the remontadas, though. Lozano arrived as a star, a player who could have been a huge success if he played in Spain 25 years laters. In the early-80s, his style didn’t fit well in La Liga, and he had injuries and off the field issues. He went back to Belgium and was never really the same.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Camacho was the leader of the team, the one who pulled the locker room. An essential figure in the template. So was Santillana, although with less weight. Gallego was the hope for the midfield, someone a little strident but effective. Much was expected of Lozano, especially for the price paid for it, but it was one of the great disappointments. And as for Stielike, it was a very tough march for the fans. At first it was not understood, especially because Hugo Sanchez of the eternal rival arrived in his place. However, the goals soon made people cheer for Hugo.


Soccernostalgia Question: Despite the UEFA win somewhat putting a positive spin to the season, did the poor league season spell the end for Miguel Angel (as a starter), Garcia Remon, Isidro, Franciso Pineda, San Jose and Angel (Angel, Pineda, Stilieke and Lozano left at the end of the season)

SVilarino Response: It was the emergence of a new generation who put and end to their careers as important players. On top of that, Mendoza wanted to upgrade key positions, and he did with Hugo Sánchez, Maceda and Gordillo.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: Those changes cannot be attributed only to the bad league season. At the goal, two veterans were exchanged for young people like Ochotorena and Agustin, while at the start there were people who were equally veteran or who had not given everything expected. In general, the generational change that promoted the entry of Ramón Mendoza into the presidency influenced.


Photo From: France Football, Issue 2044, June 11, 1985

(May 22, 1985, UEFA Cup, Real Madrid 0-Videoton 1)

Soccernostalgia Question: The poor League form, also spelled the end of Luis de Carlos’ reign as President and I suppose Ramon Mendoza took advantage to become President, how was his arrival viewed at the time?

SVilarino Response: Mendoza’s arrival was viewed as the beginning of a new era. It was a change of the guard at every level in the club. New generation of players from the Academy, new coach, new president, new signings and a team that was able to win in Europe. People were excited in that summer of 85.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: In reality, Luis De Carlos was already tired and decided to anticipate the end of his term by one year, without running for reelection. Mendoza was in the shadows and finally saw his opportunity, after losing the elections in 1982. He had no rivals and was elected without going through the polls. The change was like a breath of fresh air. The remains of the Bernabeu stage were left behind and modernization arrived at the club together with three great signings: Hugo Sanchez, Gordillo and Maceda.


Soccernostalgia Question: In closing, have any of the players ever discussed the reasons for the poor season since?

SVilarino Response: I don’t know.

@HemerotecaRMCF Response: For history, that season is successfully remembered. He achieved two titles that had never been achieved and above one of them at the European level. That caused the league championship to be forgotten, and there are not many explanations of the negative. If it is true that certain events of that season remain unclear, especially the night in Milan, which culminated in Amancio's dismissal. Almost 4 decades later the technician still does not give his version of that, which coincidentally was his last experience as a coach.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 114, June 1985

(May 22, 1985, UEFA Cup, Real Madrid 0-Videoton 1)

Monday, December 27, 2021

Magazine Awards, Part Twenty-Two


1997 France Football’s Ballon d’Or / 1997 Onze d’Or / 2003 World Soccer Player of the Year / 1993 France Football’s African Ballon d’Or / 1986 France Football’s French Awards

France Football’s Ballon d’Or:


Year 1997:

Player of the year: Ronaldo (Brazil and Internazionale Milano)


Photo From: France Football, Issue 2698, December 23, 1997



Onze’s Onze d’Or:


Year 1997:

Player of the year: Ronaldo (Brazil and Internazionale Milano)


Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 107, December1997



World Soccer’s Player of the Year:


Year 2003:

Player of the year: Ronaldo (Brazil and Real Madrid)

Manager of the Year:  Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan)

Team of the year: AC Milan



Photo From: World Soccer, January 2004

(Pavel Nedved)

France Football’s African Ballon d’Or:


Year 1993:

Player of the year: Abedi Pele (Ghana)



Photo From: France Football, Issue 2492, January 11, 1994

(Abedi Pele)

France Football’s French Awards:


Year 1986:

Player of the year: Manuel Amoros (AS Monaco)

Club of the year: Bordeaux

Foreign Player of the year: Jorge Burruchaga (Aregntina and Nantes)



Photo From: France Football, Issue 2125, December 30, 1986

(Monaco’s Manuel Amoros)


1997 France Football’s Ballon d’Or / 1997 Onze d’Or / 2003 World Soccer Player of the Year / 1993 France Football’s African Ballon d’Or / 1986 France Football’s French Awards 



In case you missed it at the top of the page

1997 France Football’s Ballon d’Or / 1997 Onze d’Or / 2003 World Soccer Player of the Year / 1993 France Football’s African Ballon d’Or / 1986 France Football’s French Awards

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Soccernostalgia Talk Podcast-Episode 61 (Interview with Argentine Journalist Mr. Nacho Dimari on Argentina National Team matches in 1977 under Cesar Luis Menotti)

 This is the 61st episode of my podcast with Mr. Paul Whittle of https://the1888letter.com/, @1888letter.

For this episode, we continue our interview series with Mr. Nacho Dimari, Argentinean Journalist, as we discuss the Argentina National Team matches under Cesar Luis Menotti in 1977.

We aim to have a series of interviews with Mr. Dimari as we examine, the Cesar Luis Menotti era as Argentina National Team Manager.



For any questions/comments, you may contact us:

You may also contact me on this blog, on twitter @sp1873 and on facebook under Soccernostalgia.

Mr. Paul Whittle, @1888letter on twitter and https://the1888letter.com/contact/

You may also follow the podcast on spotify under ‘Soccernostalgia Talk Podcast’

Mr. Dimari’s contact info:

Twitter: @ElOleg


Link to Mr. Paul Whittle’s book (Before the Premier League: A History of the Football League's Last Decades):





Listen on Spotify:


Listen on Acast: