Monday, February 12, 2024

Soccer Memories-Part 61, New French League Foreign Players 1982/83


Series looking at the new foreign player signings in the French League in the 1980s and 1990s and their impact.

The 1982/83 French season’s foreign newcomers were not as numerous as the previous season.

Polish and Legia Warszawa defender Pawel Janas joined his compatriot Szarmach at Auxerre.

Bastia signed Yugoslav striker Zdravko Borovnica from Red Star Belgrade.

The Corsican side also enrolled Cameroon’s 1982 World Cup goalscorer vs. Italy, Gregoire M’Bida from Canon Yaounde.

The ambitious Bordeaux of President Claude Bez made a double signing from West Germany, former national team striker Dieter Muller arrived from VfB Stuttgart, as did International midfielder Caspar Memering from SV Hamburg.

RC Lens signed Polish striker Roman Ogaza from Bytom.

Metz signed Yugoslav striker Zvonko Kurbos from Belgian side Tongres.

Newly promoted Mulhouse signed Swiss midfielder Claude Andrey from Servette Geneva and Algerian striker Salah Assad from Kouba.

Paris St. Germain signed Argentine midfielder Osvaldo Ardiles. He had left Tottenham Hotspur (temporarily) as a result of the Falklands War.

Former AZ’67 Alkmaar striker Kees Kist also joined the Paris side. In midseason, Yugoslav star Safet Susic would join PSG as well from Sarajevo.

St. Etienne signed Danish striker Flemming Christensen from Lyngby.

Strasbourg enrolled Honduras striker Armando Betancourt from Real España.

Newly promoted Toulouse signed Hungarian midfielder Karoly Csapo and Tours signed Argentine striker Omar Da Fonseca from Rosario Central.



29-year-old Polish defender Pawel Janas had played for Widzew Lodz and Legia Warszawa. He had been part of the Polish side that had finished third in the World Cup in Spain in 1982.

He would remain at Auxerre for four seasons as the team would get stronger and qualify for the UEFA Cup twice. He left in 1986 to rejoin Legia before retiring in 1988. He would later be a manager and managed the Poland National Team (2003-2006).


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Pawel Janas)

28-year-old Yugoslav striker Zdravko Borovnica had played for Red Star Belgrade for a number of years.

He would remain at Bastia for one season only and scored just twice. Following his year at Bastia he returned to Yugoslavia and played his last season at Turkey at Adanaspor (1988/89) before retiring.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Zdravko Borovnica)

30-year-old Cameroon midfielder Gregoire M’Bida had played for Canon Yaounde for a number of years.

He participated in the 1982 World Cup and scored their only goal in the tie vs. Italy.

Following the World Cup, he joined Bastia. He would remain there for two years before drifting into the French Lower Leagues with Angers, Dunkerque, Thonon and Sedan before finally joining Luxembourg side Alliance Dudelange (1989/90) before retiring.


28-year-old West German striker Dieter Muller had been a consistent goalscorer in the West German Bundesliga for the likes of FC Koln and one season at VfB Stuttgart. He was part of West Germany’s Finals squads in the 1976 Euros and the 1978 World Cup.

He would have a successful three -year spell at Bordeaux and win two League titles (1984 and 1985) and be a consistent goalscorer.

After leaving Bordeaux in 1985, he joined Swiss side Grasshopper Zurich for one season before returning home to play for Saarbrucken and play the last years of his career at his original club Kickers Offenbach and retire in 1989.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Dieter Muller)

Dieter Muller’s 29-year-old West German midfielder Caspar Memring had played at SV Hamburg for over a decade, winning two League titles and the 1977 Cup Winners Cup.

He was capped for the West German National Team on a handful of occasions.

His stay at Bordeaux was not as successful as Muller’s and despite being part of the 1984 League winning side, he did not feature much in his two seasons there.

He joined Schalke in 1984 and retired with the club in 1986.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Caspar Memering)

29-year-old Polish striker Roman Ogaza had played for the likes of GKS Tychy, Gornik Zabrze and Szombierski Bytom. He had been capped by his Nation in the glorious 70s into the early 1980s.

He remained at Lens for two seasons with the team qualifying for the UEFA Cup in his first season.

He left Lens in 1984 and played at French lower Division Olympique Ales, retiring in 1986.

He passed away aged 53 on March 5, 2006.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Roman Ogaza)

21-year-old Yugoslav-born striker Zvonko ‘Toni’ Kurbos had made his start in West Germany with Stuttgart Kickers before joining Belgian side Tongres.

He would stay at Metz for three seasons, which would be the most successful of his career. Metz won the French Cup in 1984 and Kurbos scored a hat-trick at Camp Nou and helped eliminate Barcelona from the 1984/85 Cup Winners Cup.

He left Metz in 1985 and joined St Etienne and drifted to other clubs in France such as Mulhouse, OGC Nice, Monaco before joining Dunkerque and retire in 1991.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Zvonko Kurbos)

31-year-old Swiss midfielder Claude Andrey had played for the likes of Etoile Carouge, Grasshopper Zurich, Neuchatel Xamax, Servette and Sion (and even a short spell at French side Grenoble).

He was capped by Switzerland for a number of occasions.

He remained at Mulhouse for one season as the club was relegated.

He returned home to Lausanne before joining Bulle and retire in 1986.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Claude Andrey)

24-year-old Algerian striker Salah Assad had played for Kouba for a number of years.

He had represented Algeria in the World Cup in Spain in 1982.

After one season at Mulhouse, following their relegation, he was loaned to Paris St. Germain for one season (1983/84) before returning to Mulhouse (in the Second Division) and remaining there until 1986.

He then returned to Kouba before retiring in 1989 with JSM Cheraga.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Salah Assad)

30-year-old Argentine midfielder Osvaldo Ardiles was a 1978 World Cup winner. The former Huracan star had joined Tottenham Hotspur after winning the World Cup.

However, due to the Falklands War in the Spring of 1982, he was forced to step away from Tottenham and was loaned to Paris St. Germain.

His stay at Paris was short and in the midseason, he went back to Tottenham.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Osvaldo Ardiles)

30-year-old Dutch striker Kees Kist was part of the successful AZ’67 Alkmaar side that won the Dutch League and Cup double in 1981 and reached the Final of the UEFA Cup in the same season.

He also earned caps for his Nation.

After one season with PSG, he was loaned to Mulhouse (exchange with Assad). He rejoined AZ ’67 in 1984 and after then joined Heerenveen, retiring in 1987.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Kees Kist)

27-year-old Yugoslav star Safet Susic joined Paris St. Germain in midseason after many years with Sarajevo. He was a member of Yugoslavia’s 1982 World Cup squad.

He would be one of the most successful foreign players in the history of the French League.

He would remain with PSG until 1991, winning the League title in 1986 and the French Cup in 1983.

In 1991, he joined Paris based lower Division side Red Star for one season before retiring in 1992.

He later had a career as a Manager and managed the Bosnian National Team among others.


Photo From: Panini France 1983-84

(Safet Susic)

24-year-old Danish striker Flemming Christensen had played for AB and Lyngby.

He had been capped that year in the Danish National Team.

He remained one season at St Etienne before returning home to Lyngby and then joining Swiss side Aarau before drifting back to Lyngby and retire with AB in 1993.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Flemming Christensen)

24-year-old Honduran striker Armando Betancourt had played for local sides Marathon and Real España. He was a member of Honduras’ 1982 World Cup squad.

He remained at Strasbourg for two seasons before joining USA’s indoor side St. Louis Steamers. After a brief spell in Spain at Logrones, he returned to USA’s indoor League and joined Kansas City Comets before returning home to Marathon and retiring in 1988.

He passed away on July 28, 2021, aged 63.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Armando Betancourt)

30-year-old Hungarian midfielder Karoly Csapo had represented Tatabanya for a number of years.

He was a member of Hungary’s 1978 and 1982 World Cup sides.

He was at Toulouse for one season before joining lower Division side Grenoble before returning home to Tatabanya in 1986 and retire in 1988.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Karoly Csapo)

22-year-old Argentine striker Omar da Fonseca had played for the likes of Velez Sarsfield and Belgrano.

He remained at Tours for three seasons and was relatively successful playing for a lower table side. This led him to a transfer to PSG and he won the League in his season there (1985/86).

After his year at Paris, he played for the likes of Monaco (winning the League title again in 1988), Toulouse before joining Paris FC and retire in 1993.

Afterwards, he became a Television Commentator in France and a naturalized citizen in France.


Photo From: Panini France 1982-83

(Omar da Fonseca)

From this group of 1982/83, Safet Susic was the most successful for his longevity and influence.

The same can be said of Omar da Fonseca and the Argentine is inextricably linked to French Football.

Dieter Muller was also successful given the number of titles.

On a smaller scale, Toni Kurbos was successful for mostly modest sides. Pawel Janas also stood out playing for an improving side like Auxerre.

The Osvaldo Ardiles situation was unique, and an anomaly and would have not happened but for world politics.

Most of the imports that season were unsuccessful and many of them left after one season.