Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Soccernostalgia Interview-Part 9 (Interview with Spanish Author and Journalist Mr. Francisco Javier Roldán, Spanish Journalist Mr. Albert Valor and Spanish Podcaster and Blogger Mr. Joan Fontes on Barcelona, 1984/85 season)


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

This will be a semi-regular and continuous series.

The Interviewees are:

1-Spanish Author and Journalist Mr. Francisco Javier Roldán @JaviHipo

Mr. Roldán is the author ofRinus MIchels, La escuela holandesa llega al Barça

He also is a Journalist at Deportes El Confidencial @ECdeportes


Mr. Roldán’s contact info:

On Twitter: @JaviHipo

On the internet:

Book Link;



2- Spanish Journalist Mr. Albert Valor @PLF_2008


Mr. Valor’s contact info:

On Twitter: @PLF_2008


3- Spanish Podcaster and Blogger Mr. Joan Fontes @JoanFontes


Mr. Fontes’ contact info:

On Twitter: @JoanFontes







Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s start off by describing the state of the affairs. At the start of the 1984/85 season. Barcelona had not won the title since 1974. Maradona had just been sold to Napoli and his two seasons were marred by his injury by Bilbao’s Goikoetchea and his all-out fight with Athletic Bilbao players in the Copa del Rey Final. His compatriot and manager Cesar Luis Menotti also left that off-season. What were the realistic expectations of the fans and the press going into the season?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: given the antecedents, and with the illusion awakened with Menotti-Maradona and later, there was no spirit or faith that Venables, with the unknown Archibald as a signing, could get the League.) (Original Spanish Response: dados los antecedentes, y con la ilusión despertada con el Menotti-Maradona y posteriormente, no había ánimo ni fe en que Venables, con el desconocido Archibald como fichaje, pudiera conseguir la Liga.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: It's hard to believe in success after losing the best player in the world, but this happened to many times in Barcelona with another great players, who left the club by “the behind door”, as we say in Spanish. But think in another thing: Barcelona won LaLiga after great players left. Not only Maradona, also Ronaldo, Ronaldinho or Neymar.

It’s true that, in those times, Barcelona had a big and long inferiority complex, so first season after Maradona was full of scepticism, more than pessimism.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Every year the motto was the same "Aquest any si!" (This year yes) but reality always brought us back to earth. We had 10 years without Leagues, with some possibility and with much misfortune (kidnapping of Quini, illnesses and injuries of Maradona and Schuster ...) The press always close to President Núñez for the most part they were always next to the Club and if they ever pointed out someone, always had an impact on the players, never on the managers.) (Original Spanish Response: Cada año el lema era el mismo "Aquest any sí!" (Este año sí) pero la realidad nos devolvía siempre a la tierra. LLevábamos 10 años sin Ligas, con alguna posibilidad y con mucho infortunio (secuestro de Quini, enfermedades y lesiones de Maradona y Schuster...) La prensa siempre cercana al presidente Núñez en su mayoría siempre estaban al lado del Club y si alguna vez señalaba a alguien, siempre se hacía incidencia en los jugadores, jamás en los directivos.)



Photo From: France Football, Issue 2025, January 29, 1985

(Barcelona squad, 1984/85)


Soccernostalgia Question: To manage the side, Englishman Terry Venables was appointed to manage the side. How did public and press view this appointment?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: with surprise and distrust. Venables was still a stranger to the public.) (Original Spanish Response: con extrañeza y desconfianza. Venables no dejaba de ser un desconocido para el público.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: In that moment, Venables a was a famous in UK coach due to his job in small local clubs like Crystal Palace or QPR. He was a bet by Nuñez, and he brought Steve Archibald with him. Expectations were low, as Maradona had just left to Napoli but, at the same time, Barça had good feelings and memories from historical English managers in early LaLiga years (his first title came with James Bellamy 1929 and Jack Greenwell also had a long experience before Spanish Civil War). It’s true that British footballers and coaches are not used to have success in Spain, but…

As usual in football clubs, people need a deeper change sometimes. And change an Argentinian profile (Menotti, Maradona) by a British profile (Archibald, Venables) was chairman’s bet that time.



Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: President Núñez wanted Bobby Robson, England coach since 1982 but Sir Bobby did not come to Barça until 1996. Robson advised Núñez to sign the young Venables, then at Queens Park Rangers. For the Catalan public Terry was an absolute stranger but soon his commitment to Pressing with a very physical team not without talent was recognized after the first weeks of the season. Let's remember that in the Gamper Trophy, Barça beat Boca Juniors 9-1 and won the final against Bayern Munich 3-1. The team generated illusion although the style of play was considered in Spain as English and seemed somewhat anomalous. Paradoxically in England Venables was considered a little British coach, since his Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool of Bob Paisley and later Joe Fagan played a game closer to the parameters of the continent.) (Original Spanish Response: El presidente Núñez quería a Bobby Robson, Seleccionador inglés desde el 1982 pero Sir Bobby no llegó al Barça hasta el 1996. Robson aconsejó a Núñez fichar al joven Venables, por aquél entonces en el Queens Park Rangers. Para el público catalán Terry era un absoluto desconocido pero pronto su apuesta por el Pressing con un equipo muy físico no exento de talento fue reconocida tras las primeras semanas de la temporada. Recordemos que en el Trofeo Gamper el Barça apalizó a Boca Juniors por 9-1 y ganó la final al Bayern de Munich por 3-1. El equipo generaba ilusión aunque el estilo de juego era considerado en España como inglés y parecía algo anómalo. Paradójicamente en Inglaterra Venables era considerado un técnico poco británico, ya que su Queens Park Rangers y el Liverpool de Bob Paisley y más tarde Joe Fagan practicaban un juego más cercano a los parámetros del continente.)




Soccernostalgia Question: Let’s look at the transfer activity in the off-season. Scottish striker Steve Archibald joined from Tottenham, new International defender Salva returned after two seasosns at Real Zaragoza and Ramon Caldere was promoted to the first team. The departures included Maradona (Napoli), veteran Quimi (back to Sporting Gijon), Enrique Moran (Atletico Madrid)  and Antonio Olmo retiring. How did public and press view the transfer activity?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: Maradona's departure was a great disappointment. It had been the key bet of the entire Núñez stage, since 1978. Quini was also well loved, but he was a veteran and he did not play with Menotti. Same as Morán. The reinforcements were not meeting fan requests and there was no real hope.) (Original Spanish Response: La salida de Maradona fue una gran desilusión. Había sido la apuesta clave de toda ka etapa Núñez, desde 1978. Quini también fue muy querido, pero ta era veterano y con Menotti no jugaba. Igual que Morán. Los refuerzos no satisfacían las peticiones de los aficionados y no había real esperanza.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: I consider it was a common transfer window in 80s (with Maradona’s departure as exception, obviously).


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: During the summer there was speculation about the arrival of the Mexican Hugo Sánchez to the team, but Venables opted for the Scottish Archibald. In the end, and despite Archie's excellent professionalism, Hugo Sánchez could have marked an era in the Barça team. Despite this, Steve had a great season scoring 15 league goals. Salva was an extraordinary player in a very fierce context, perhaps too technical for the time but a good replacement for the defense. Calderé, for his part, had a colossal season, being an impressive box-to-box player for Venables' choral conception. There was a lot of confidence in the role that Terry would give to Schuster, again, without Maradona, director of the Barça game, and Bernd had a spectacular season.) (Original Spanish Response: Durante el verano se especuló con la llegada al equipo del mexicano Hugo Sánchez pero Venables apostó por el escocés Archibald. A la postre y a pesar de la profesionalidad excelsa de Archie, Hugo Sánchez podría haber marcado época en el equipo azulgrana. A pesar de ello, Steve realizó una gran temporada anotando 15 goles en Liga. Salva era un jugador extraordinario en un contexto muy batallador, quizás demasiado técnico para la época peor un buen recambio para la defensa. Calderé por su parte cuajó una temporada colosal, siendo un jugador "box to box" impresionante para la concepción coral que tenía Venables. Había mucha confianza en el rol que Terry le daría a Schuster, de nuevo, sin Maradona, director del juego azulgrana y Bernd hizo una temporada espectacular.)




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

(Steve Archibald)

Soccernostalgia Question: Barcelona started off the season with a (3-0) away win vs. Real Madrid. Did this foreshadow the rest of the season?


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Absolutely yes. Beginning a league season with Clásico is not a common situation (it’s just happened four times in LaLiga history). 1984-85 was an almost perfect campaign for the team, as they won the title four games before the end, and this means that they had a huge advantage with their opponents.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Absolutely, That match was the beginning of a triumphant League, Archibald, Calderé and Ángel on own goal scored the goals in a match that was a declaration of intentions. The Barça "in the English" swept Real Madrid.) (Original Spanish Response: Absolutamente, Ese partido fue el inicio de una Liga triunfal, Archibald, Calderé y Ángel en propia puerta marcaron los goles en un partido que fue toda una declaración de intenciones. El Barça "a la inglesa" arrasó al Real Madrid.)



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

(Barcelona squad, 1984/85)

Soccernostalgia Question: Barcelona started the season in impressive fashion, while Real Madrid and Bilbao struggled,  and were in fact undefeated until the 16th match of the season when they lost at Bilbao (0-1). What was the secret to their success in terms of tactics or otherwise?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: The tactical secret was the unknown "funnel", which surprised the rivals, and the key was to create a very united team, committed and accompanied by good results. Archibald was that team forward that Venables asked for, and he reflects very well the commitment and integration of the block.) (Original Spanish Response: el secreto táctico fue el desconocido "embudo", que sorprendió a los rivales, y la clave fue hacer un equipo muy unido, comprometido y acompañado por los buenos resultados. Archibald fue ese delantero de equipo que pedía Venables, y refleja muy bien el compromiso y la integración del bloque.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: I’m not an expert in tactics, to be honest but, after watching some of the games of that season, I think that new ideas by Venables made the difference. Probably basic ideas, but English football was the best of Europe in those days (since 1977 to 1984, seven of the eight European Cup champions came from England). In spite of Italy was close to take the baton of European dominance in football, the way of work by Venables and his team was probably determinant. In those years, Spanish dominant clubs were from Basque country, with Real Sociedad and Athletic winning last four LaLiga titles, so having an English coach was a key for Barça. Besides that, Barça’s squad had lot of talent, probably most and most than their main opponents.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: The first defeat would come in Bilbao thanks to a goal from Julio Salinas after a very difficult game. And it is that "Going to Bilbao is like going to the Korean War" in the words of Schuster. The secret of the Venables team was the suffocating pressure that went like a glove to many Barça players: the all-terrain Victor Múñoz, the tough Alexanco and Migueli, the lung Calderé, the tough Gerardo, the roadrunner Julio Alberto, the versatile Esteban , the director Schuster, the incombustible Periko Alonso - Xabi's father -, the young Pedraza, the talented Marcos Alonso, the rude Paco Clos, or the stylish Carrasco adapted to the Venables game in an excellent way. The team's secret that year was the hunger for titles, Terry's new ideas and some players who found a glove in the Venables system.) (Original Spanish Response: La primera derrota llegaría en Bilbao merced a un gol de Julio Salinas tras un partido muy trabado. Y es que “Ir a Bilbao es como ir a la guerra de Korea” en palabras de Schuster. El secreto del equipo de Venables fue La presión asfixiante que iba como anillo al dedo a muchos jugadores del Barça: el todo terreno Victor Múñoz, los duros Alexanco y Migueli, el pulmón Calderé, el correoso Gerardo, el correcaminos Julio Alberto, el versátil Esteban, el director Schuster, el incombustible Periko Alonso – padre de Xabi -, el joven Pedraza, el talentoso Marcos Alonso, el rudo Paco Clos, o el estiloso Carrasco se adaptaban al juego de Venables de manera excelsa. El secreto del equipo ese año fue el hambre de títulos, las ideas nuevas de Terry y unos jugadores que encontraron un guante en el sistema de Venables.)



Photo From: Onze, Issue 105, September 1984

(Barcelona squad, 1984/85)

Soccernostalgia Question: The only blemish on the seaoson was the elimination in the Cup Winners Cup by French club Metz. Were the French just takewn lightly? This win in French Football is considered one of the great upsets, how has the Barcelona Press and public viewed this in subsequent years?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: as they had won well in France, there was relaxation in the second leg and the team paid for it with the elimination of the Recopa. There was criticism and the ghosts of the previous year returned, where a similar thing happened against ManU, but luckily this time it was at the beginning of the season and in the first round, the team continued to function in the League and the blood did not reach the river.) (Original Spanish Response: como se había ganado bien en Francia, hubo relajación en la vuelta y el equipo lo pagó con la eliminación de la Recopa. Hubo críricas y volvieron los fantasmas del año anterior, donde pasó akgo similar contra el ManU, pero por suerte esta vez fye al inicio de la temporada y en primera ronda, el equipo siguió funcionando en Liga y no llegó la sangre al río.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: This defeat is considered here one of the biggest disasters at Camp Nou in European competition, no doubt (alongside Dinamo Kiev in 1997 or PSG last season). With the team focused on domestic competition after one decade without the title in the museum, they probably thought that Metz was a little opponent, and Barça had won Cup Winners Cup just two seasons ago…


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: The defeat against Metz was an authentic X-file. The culé team had just beaten Metz in France but succumbed at their stadium by 1-4 in a defeat that deeply marked the career of goalkeeper Amador, Urruti's substitute and that caused the Yellow gear will no longer be worn for many years as it is considered jinx apparel. With that shirt, Barça lost in Europe against Aston Villa, Manchester United and finally against Metz.) (Original Spanish Response: La derrota ante el Metz fue un auténtico expediente X. El equipo culé venía de golear al Metz en Francia pero sucumbió en su estadio por 1-4 en una derrota que marcó profundamente la carrera del portero Amador, suplente de Urruti y que originó que la equipación amarilla dejará de usarse durante muchos años por considerarse una vestimenta gafe. Con esa camiseta el Barça perdió en Europa contra el Aston Villa, el Manchester United y finalmente contra el Metz.)



Photo From: Onze, Issue 107, November 1984

(Tony Kurbos and Bernd Schuster, October 3, 1984, Cup Winners Cup, Barcelona 1-Metz 4)


Soccernostalgia Question: On the National Team Front, the primary beneficiaries were the likes of Clos, Rojo and Caldere, who were called up by Miguel Munoz. Can you talk about their season?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: Calderé was Venables's great discovery, as Rojo had been Menotti's. They were great players. Calderé a powerful interior and not lacking in technique and Rojo a fast midfielder. Clos was a center forward and, despite performing well, he never really exploded.) (Original Spanish Response: Calderé fye el gran descubrimiento de Venables, como Rojo había sido de Menotti. Eran grandes jugadores. Calderé un interior potente y no falto de técnica y Rojo un mediapunta rápido. Clos era delantero centro y, pese a rendir bien, nunca acabó de explotar.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: I don’t have a reliable idea about their season comparing to another performances by them in past or future campaigns, to be honest. But my view is, in that season happened something similar to 1973/74, I mean: new ideas, new players, new mentality and fresh aire, so an ideal situation for local players, who found a context to shine and help the team. This is what happened with Clos, Rojo and Calderé in the same way it happened with Rexach, Asensi or Marcial eleven years earlier.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Clos, Rojo and Calderé caused a sensation. All three came from the lower teams. Clos scored important goals for both Barça and Spain, Calderé was an extraordinary discovery and Venables made him shine especially. Rojo's case was paradigmatic, a player gifted with great technique, he worked in the SEAT factory and to play for Barça he asked for a two-year leave of absence, until Menotti rescued him from ostracism to make him a permanent fixture in the team. Rojo's career was marked by injuries and he had to abandon football due to knee ailments.) (Original Spanish Response: Clos, Rojo y Calderé causaron sensación. Los tres procedían de los equipos inferiores. Clos marcó goles importantes tanto para el Barça como para España, Calderé fue un descubrimiento extraordinario y Venables le hizo brillar especialmente. El caso de Rojo fue paradigmático, jugador dotado de gran técnica, trabajaba en la fábrica de la SEAT y para jugar en el Barça pidió una excedencia de dos años, hasta que Menotti le rescató del ostracismo para hacerle fijo en el equipo. La carrera de Rojo vino marcada por las lesiones y tuvo que abandonar el fútbol debido a sus dolencias en las rodillas.)




Soccernostalgia Question: The likes of Carrasco, Victor and Julio Alberto maintained their International standards. Who were the other stand-outs?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: Muñoz, Carrasco, Schuster, Archibald and the entire rear, with Urruti in goal, had an outstanding season.) (Original Spanish Response: Muñoz, Carrasco, Schuster, Archibald y toda la zaga, con Urruti en portería, hicieron una temporada de sobresaliente.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: With no doubt, goalkeeper Urruti and midfielder Schuster were also key players in that team, and also goals by new arrival Steven Archibald were important that campaign.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Alexanco and Migueli played for many years in the National Team. Marcos and Gerardo also used to be called up by Spanish coach Miguel Muñoz.) (Original Spanish Response: Alexanco y Migueli jugaron muchos años en la Selección. Marcos y Gerardo también solían ser convocados por el seleccionador español Miguel Muñoz.)


Photo From: Onze, Issue 105, September 1984 


Soccernostalgia Question: Were there other players that you feel were overlooked by the National Team this season given their performances?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: Alexanco and Migueli deserved to be important again in the national team.) (Original Spanish Response: Alexanco y Migueli eran merecederos de volver a ser importantes en la selección.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Taking into account that reached European Championship final in 1984 and had a good squad, I can’t think in another candidates to take part of the Spanish team, probably Calderé, Rojo or Clos, but I’m not sure…


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Schuster, influenced by his surroundings, decided not to play for Germany but his performance was very high, to the point that Juventus wanted to sign him to accompany Michel Platini. Certainly goalkeeper Urruti was highly regarded by the fans and the press, but his international career was not very important since he coincided in time with Arkonada first and later with Zubizarreta. Despite this, he participated in three World Cups. Surely he should have had more opportunities.) (Original Spanish Response: Schuster influenciado por su entorno decidió no jugar para Alemania pero su rendimiento fue altísimo, al punto que la Juventus lo quería fichar para acompañar a Michel Platini. Ciertamente el portero Urruti era muy bien considerado por la afición y por la prensa pero su carrera internacional no fue muy importante dado que coincidió en el tiempo con Arkonada primero y más tarde con Zubizarreta. A pesar de ello participó en tres mundiales. Seguramente debería haber tenido más oportunidades.)



Soccernostalgia Question: Outside of England, Terry Venables was an unknown quantity, was there much of a surprise from the Barcelona public and press for his success this season?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: yes, Venables performance was a surprise for the public. But as the team won and played well, people became convinced that he was a great coach and they stood by him.) (Original Spanish Response: sí, fue una sorpresa el rendimiento de Venables, para el público. Pero a medida que el equipo ganaba y lo hacía jufando bien, la gente se convenció de que era un gran entrenador y estaban junto a él.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Venables was clear bet by chairman Nuñez after Maradona & Menotti’s leaving. The expectations were low after losing best player in the world, but we can’t say that Venables was unknown. Probably unexperienced in big clubs, but no unknown.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Terry was liked a lot in his first year for his proposal and above all, for his sympathy, even singing on television in Catalonia. He was a very loved man and his English humor and his closeness was a blessing for the press that came from a much more serious tradition with Muller, Rifé, Lattek, Menotti ... Venables was a very intelligent man who had even been a writer and who adapted a novel (Hazell) for English TV.) (Original Spanish Response: Terry gustó mucho en su primer año por su propuesta y por encima de todo, por su simpatía, llegando incluso a cantar en la televisión de Catalunya. Fue un hombre muy querido y su humor inglés y su cercanía fue una bendición para la prensa que venía de una tradición mucho más seria con Muller, Rifé, Lattek, Menotti… Venables era un hombre muy inteligente que incluso había sido escritor y que adaptó una novela (Hazell) para la TV inglesa.)




Soccernostalgia Question: Similarly, Scottish striker Steve Archibald was not exactly teh star name that the public expected (used to the likes of Cruyff/Simonsen/Krankl, etc). Was the Press and Public surprised of his successful season?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: similar happened with Archibald than with Venables.) (Original Spanish Response: similar sucedió con Archibald que con Venables.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: To be honest, there’s a bit of disappointment with Archibald’s signing, as Barcelona also were behind Hugo Sánchez’s steps that summer. His 15 league goals that incredible season were a good presentation for him. But we can affirm that Barcelona made a big mistake not signing the Mexican striker after watching his years at Real Madrid.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: At first Steve was considered a not very technical man but then his conditions as a team player began to be seen and his game, his goals and the work he did for his teammates were valued. Upon arriving in Barcelona he declared: “I am not Maradona. My thing is to score goals and I hope I can prove it. ”His open character made it possible for him to be rooted in the city and in Catalonia. Place where he resides 35 years later along with great friendships harvested at that time. Steve is a classy man and had worked as a mechanic for Rolls Royce as a young man.) (Original Spanish Response: Al principio Steve fue considerado como un hombre poco técnico pero luego se empezaron a ver sus condiciones de jugador de equipo y se le valoraba su juego, sus goles y el trabajo que desempeñaba para sus compañeros. Al llegar a Barcelona declaró: “Yo no soy Maradona. Lo mío es marcar goles y espero poderlo demostrar”.Su carácter abierto posibilitó su arraigo a la ciudad y a Catalunya. Lugar donde reside 35 años después junto a grandes amistades cosechadas en aquella época. Steve es un hombre con clase y de joven había trabajado como mecánico de Rolls Royce.)




Soccernostalgia Question: I seem to remember Bernd Schuster putting down the success to the fact that the entire team was involved in the play, while according to Schuster with Menotti all the balls had to pass by Maradona. What are your thoughts on that?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: true what Schuster says. As I was telling you, one of the keys is that that team worked very supportive, without a central star and with all the footballers of notable level. Schuster was the star, but he was a game generator, not the ultimate guy. Although Menotti's Barça, when they had Schuster and Maradona healthy, came to work like a great team and even to be better than Venables'.) (Original Spanish Response: cierto lo que dice Schuster. Como te decía, una de las claves es que ese equipo funcionaba muy solidario, sin una estrella central y con todos los futbolistas de nivel notable. Schuster era la estrella, pero era un generador de juego, no alguien definitivo. Aunque el Barça de Menotti, cuando tuvo a Schuster y Maradona sanos, llegó a funcionat como un gran equipo e incluso a ser mejor que el de Venables


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: If Schuster said that, it shouldn’t be a joke or lie. It’s known that Menotti changed working hours due to Maradona availability, as he preferred training in the afternoons. Menotti’s words are that he did because games are in the afternoons, so it’s better get in touch in your previous work at the same time you play the game. So I can imagine that something similar happened with tactics. Actually, if you have the best of the world in your side, makings lineups thinking on him it’s natural…


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Schuster respected Diego's hierarchy in the team and both made up an excellent duo but the Argentine's march and the German's sporting maturity made Bernd take the lead in the game, becoming a player who combined technique, the millimeter distance pass, an exquisite kicking of the ball and an unstoppable arrival on goal. Bernd was the Professor who asked questions and his classmates answered him. His match at the Mestalla against Valencia is still remembered by the fans of the city of Túria and is that the Catalan team won by 2 goals to 5.) (Original Spanish Response: Schuster respetaba la jerarquía de Diego en el equipo y ambos conformaban un dúo excelente pero la marcha del argentino y la madurez deportiva del alemán hicieron que Bernd llevara la batuta del juego, convirtiéndose en un jugador que combinaba la técnica, el pase a distancia milimétrico, un golpeo de balón exquisito y una llegada a puerta imparable. Bernd era el Profesor que hacía preguntas y sus compañeros le respondían. Su partido en Mestalla contra el Valencia todavía es recordado por la afición de la ciudad del Túria y es que el cuadro catalán se impuso por 2 goles a 5.)



Soccernostalgia Question: At the time by earning 53 points, Barcelona had tied the points record set by Real Madrid. Why was the team so successful and consistent in contrast to previous seasons with majority of the same players?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: because it worked very well as a group, because of Venables' tactics and because the victories gave the confidence that every team needs to go on a roll. And because the footballers were really good.) (Original Spanish Response: porque funcionó muy bien como grupo, por la táctica de Venables y porque las victorias dieron la confianza que todo equipo necesita para ir en racha. Y porque los futbolistas eran realmente buenos.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Barcelona always was a big institution, but hardly they had competitive and regular teams those years, specially from Helenio Herrera’s leaving to Cruyff’s (coach) arrival. With the end of Kubala’s era, Barcelona had a big complex towards Real Madrid, who first won big European titles and, after that, in sixties and seventies, won majority of LaLiga titles. It’s was a mix: Barcelona didn’t find their route and they just aspired to win Real Madrid in a single game every season or win the Spanish Cup…


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: The star was the team as Venables said in the preseason and the choral game reaped the expected successes. The players bought Terry's ideas and the team won the League with an overwhelming superiority.) (Original Spanish Response: La estrella era el equipo como dijo Venables en la pre temporada y el juego coral cosechó los éxitos esperados. Los jugadores compraron las ideas de Terry y el equipo ganó la Liga con una superioridad aplastante.)



Photo From: Onze, Issue 110, February 1985 


Photo From: Onze, Issue 110, February 1985 

Soccernostalgia Question: I believe years later, Maradona stated that the team that won the title was already built by Menotti (to perhaps diminish Venables’ achievement). What are your thoughts on that?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: I think Menotti had a good season, as Lattek had done before, and that Barça already had a pool of players who knew each other. But it was Venables who gave a twist to the tactic and got that team to act as a group, without having Simonsen, Quini or Maradona, without stars. Definitive credit goes to Venables.) (Original Spanish Response: pienso que Menotti hizo una buena temporada, como antes lo había hecho Lattek, y aquel Barça ya tenía un fondo de jufadores que se conocían. Pero fue Venables quien le dio un giro a la táctica y consiguió que aquel equipo actuase como grupo, sin tener a Simonsen, Quini o Maradona, sin estrellas. El mérito definitivo es de Venables.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Maradona was the best on the pitch and he usually gave good headlines to the press, but he probably said that to help his compatriot (in spite of Maradona wasn’t included by Menotti in World Cup squad 1978 and he won the World Cup title under Bilardo -Menotti’s great rival-, he appreciated Menotti).

Besides that, it’s true that Menotti worked with those players, but he came at the end of 1982/83 season and Barcelona didn’t make signings on summer 1983 (only Rojo and Gabrich were promoted from the academy), so we can’t omit Venables merits in 1984/85 championship.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Certainly, Menotti's team played football well and his proposal was attractive, surely the foundations of victory were laid but with Venables, the team was much more dynamic and the pressing he exerted on his rivals was a surprise for his rivals in the League. Menotti should not be demeaned but the change was made by Venables with his second Allan Harris. Venables watched the first part of the games from the box to observe the tactical disposition of the rival and Allan gave the indications to his pupils. It was a consolidated team that had already worked together at Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers.) (Original Spanish Response: Ciertamente, el equipo de Menotti jugaba bien al fútbol y su propuesta era atractiva, seguramente se pusieron los cimientos de la victoria pero con Venables, el equipo era mucho más dinámico y el pressing que ejercía en sus rivales fue una sorpresa para sus rivales en la Liga. No hay que desmerecer a Menotti pero el cambio lo ejecutó Venables con su segundo Allan Harris. Venables veía la primera parte de los partidos desde el palco para observar la disposición táctica del rival y Allan daba las indicaciones a sus pupilos. Era un binomio consolidado que ya había trabajado conjuntamente en el Crystal Palace y en el Queens Park Rangers.)


Photo From: Onze, Issue 110, February 1985 


Photo From: Onze, Issue 110, February 1985 

Soccernostalgia Question: This season spelled the end of former International Pericho Alonso, who rarely featured, and left to join Sabbadel at teh end of the seaosn. Salva, who had gained International recognition at Zaragoza, did not settle and he would be loaned out at the end of the season. What other players performed below expectations?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: Tente Sanchez was the undisputed right-back with Menotti and that year he had physical problems and could not perform. The winger Marcos Alonso was key for Menotti and in the Venables stage it was more difficult for him to enter. Venables did not trust pure extremes as much as Menotti.) (Original Spanish Response: Tente Sanchez fue lateral derecho indiscutible con Menotti y ese año tuvo problemas físicos y no pudo rendir. El extremo Marcos Alonso fue clave para Menotti y en la etapa de Venables le costó más entrar. Venables no confiaba tanto en kos extremos puros como Menotti.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: Probably these are the names I would say but, if I had to add another one, this would be Pichi Alonso.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: Periko was a 32-year-old player and his physique was not the same as when he arrived from Real Sociedad in 1982. His decline was logical. Salva was a very talented player but ahead he had Migueli, Alexanco and the young Moratalla and Fradera. Salva could have been a 4 in the style of Milla or Guardiola but at the time a more expeditious type of player was sought, despite this he had a very prominent participation in Euro 84 but did not develop a successful career. That year he could not participate much either due to the injuries and the conflict that his transfer to Zaragoza generated and the breach of the contract that gave Barça a preferential right for Valdano. Urbano (signed from Espanyol after having been a fundamental piece for Barça to lose the League 81-82) did not play with Venables either, but the starting team was very consolidated and it was difficult to enter the rotations. Another great forgotten was Pichi Alonso, who played only 6 league games and the following year, and also from the bench, would score a highly remembered hat trick in the second leg of the European Cup semifinals against Goteborg at the Camp Nou.) (Original Spanish Response: Periko era un jugador de 32 años y su físico no era el mismo que cuando llegó procedente de la Real Sociedad en 1982. Fue lógico su declive. Salva era un jugador muy talentoso pero por delante tenía a Migueli, Alexanco y a los jóvenes Moratalla y Fradera. Salva hubiera podido ser un 4 al estilo de Milla o Guardiola pero en la época se buscaba un tipo de jugador más expeditivo a pesar de ello tuvo una participación muy destacada en la Eurocopa 84 pero no desarrolló una carrera exitosa. Ese año tampoco pudo participar mucho debido a las lesiones y al conflicto que generó su traspaso al Zaragoza y el incumplimiento del contrato que otorgaba al Barça un derecho preferencial por Valdano. Urbano (fichado del Espanyol tras haber sido pieza fundamental para que el Barça perdiera la Liga 81-82) tampoco jugó con Venables pero es que el equipo titular estaba muy consolidado y era difícil entrar en las rotaciones. Otro gran olvidado fue Pichi Alonso que jugó sólo 6 partidos de Liga y que al año siguiente y también desde el banquillo marcaría un Hat trick muy recordado en la vuelta de semifinales de Copa de Europa ante el Goteborg en el Camp Nou.)



Soccernostalgia Question: In closing, was there a feeling that this was a one-off or the start of a new era?


Javi Roldán @JaviHipo Response: (English Translation: seemed the beginning of a new era. The following season the team was more predictable in the League, because the rivals already knew it, but it reached the final of the European Cup, whose defeat with Schuster substituted and endangered meant that everything was broken.) (Original Spanish Response: pareció el comienzo de una nueva era. La temporada siguiente el equipo fue más previsible en Liga, porque los rivales ya lo conocían, pero alcanzó la final de Copa Europa cuya derrota con Schuster sustituido y endadado supuso que todo se rompiera.)


Albert Valor @PLF_2008 Response: People was thinking in the beginning of a new era, in my opinion. Specially if you see the following season, with the team reaching the European Cup final. It’s a situation I analysed a lot with my friends: if Barça had won this title, Cruyff probably never had come to Camp Nou to begin a new era of dominance. So the feelings with Venables after his first LaLiga title in his first season were there, no doubt.


Joan Fontes @JoanFontes Response: (English Translation: That League was marked by many anecdotes. The players' strike caused the subsidiaries of all the teams to play on the second day. Barça beat Zaragoza 4-0 (Milla, Lobo, Bueno and Martín). That year there were up to three car accidents caused by Venables, Schuster and the most serious one starring Francisco José Carrasco. The match played against Betis in Seville, marked by the death in the previous hours of the bullfighter Paquirrii. The use of the yellow jerseys by Osasuna in their visit to the Camp Nou due to the theft of their first kit on October 8, 1984, the biggest win in the League was at the Camp Nou against Murcia by 6 goals to 0. La Liga would arrive in Valladolid, after stopping a penalty Urruti to the great Salvadoran Jorge Mágico González who months ago had played with the Barça shirt in a trophy played in the United States together with Maradona and the Argentine Husillos, on loan from Murcia. Urruti would go down to posterity thanks to the narration of Joaquim Maria Puyal and his remembered "Urruti t'estimo". Later Barcelona, ​​Catalonia were an extraordinary party. I personally remember entering the Ramblas and participating in the exultant celebration at the age of eight. My father bought me a commemorative cap that I still have. That is still my most beloved team and the first one I remember since Terry used to wear the same eleven:

"Urruti, Gerardo, Migueli, Alexanco, Julio Alberto, Victor, Schuster, Calderé, Rojo, Archibald and Carrasco.") (Original Spanish Response: Esa Liga estuvo marcada por muchas anécdotas. La huelga de jugadores hizo que en la segunda jornada jugaran los filiales de todos los equipos. El Barça se impuso al Zaragoza por 4 a 0 (Milla, Lobo, Bueno y Martín). Ese año hubieron hasta tres accidentes automovilísticos ocasionados por Venables, Schuster y el más grave protagonizado por Francisco José Carrasco. El partido jugado contra el Betis en Sevilla, marcado por la muerte en las horas previas del torero Paquirrii. El uso de las camisetas amarillas por parte del Osasuna en su visita al Camp Nou debido al robo de su primera equipación el 8 de octubre de 1984, la mayor goleada en Liga fue en el Camp Nou al Murcia por 6 goles a 0. La Liga llegaría en Valladolid, tras parar un penalty Urruti al gran salvadoreño Jorge Mágico González que meses atrás había jugado con la camiseta del Barça en un trofeo disputado en Estados Unidos junto a Maradona y el argentino Husillos, cedido por el Murcia. Urruti pasaría a la posteridad gracias a la narración de Joaquim Maria Puyal y su recordado “Urruti t´estimo”. Más tarde Barcelona, Catalunya fueron una fiesta extraordinaria. Recuerdo personalmente entrar en las Ramblas y participar de la exultante celebración a mis ocho años. Mi padre me compró una gorra conmemorativa que todavía conservo. Ese todavía es mi equipo más querido y el primero que recuerdo dado que Terry solía usar el mismo once:

“Urruti, Gerardo, Migueli, Alexanco, Julio Alberto, Victor,Schuster, Calderé, Rojo, Archibald y Carrasco”.)

Photo From: Onze, Issue 110, February 1985

(Steve Archibald)

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