Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Forgotten Great Team: European Cup winner Hamburger 1982-1983

Please also see my
 All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund,
Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04Werder Bremen,
Hamburger SVKaiserslauternBayer Leverkusen
FC KolnVfB Stuttgart

    The English clubs had won 6 straight European Cups before the  European Cup final in 1983.  When Juventus reached the Final and none of the English clubs did, it looked as if the changing of guard in European football was inevitable.  In 1981, Serie A lifted its ban on foreign players.  International players flocked to play in Italy.   A year later, Italy won their third World Cups in 1982.  The 1982-1983 season was probably the beginning of a Golden era in Serie A.  However, Hamburger SVwould not allow it to happen.  It pulled one of the bigger upsets in European Cup history by beating Juventus in the Final.   On paper, Juventus was the clear favorite.   Juventus fielded six World Cup winners, Dino Zoff, Claudio Gentile, Gaetano Scirea, Marco Tardelli, Antonio Cabrini and Paulo Rossi.   Michel Platini and Zbigniew Boniek were one of the best players at the World Cup.

     However, Hamburger SV was not a pushover. They were having a Golden era of its own.  They won the Cup Winner's Cup in 1977 by beating Anderlecht. They reached the 1980 European Cup Final with Kevin Keegan, but lost to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.  In the semi-final, they destroyed Real Madrid 5-1 at home on the second leg.  Then, in 1982, they reached the Final of the UEFA Cup, but lost again.  At the time of the 1983 European Cup Final, they won two of the last three Bundesliga title(they would win the 1982-1983 title too).  They also went undefeated in league from the January of 1982 to the January of 1983.  Felix Magath, Manfred Kaltz and Horst Hrubesch who went to the WC Finals in Spain were the biggest names on the team.  Their manager Ernest Happel had already won a European Cup with Feyenoord and considered a very good manager.  Jimmy Hartwig who was one of the first Black players to be capped by West Germany was missing because of suspension.   Franz Beckenbauer left the club the season before. 

      Manfred Kaltz and Horst Hrubesch were an interesting pair.   They were Batman and Robin of football. Manfred Kaltz was one of the best crossers ever played the game.  His crosses were known as "Bananenflanken" (Banana crosses) because they curved liked a banana. Nicknamed "Das Kopfball-Ungeheuer" (the Header Beast), Hrubesch was one of the greatest headers of the ball.  He could header the ball with precision and power.  When the best crosser teamed up the best header of the ball, they became one of the most dynamic duo ever played the game.  In fact, Sven-Göran Eriksson was very concerned about them when IFK Göteborg met Hamburger SV in the Final of the 1982 UEFA Final a year earlier.  However, against Juventus, it was Felix Magath who scored the winner.  Magath who was the son of an American serviceman stationed in Germany was probably the most underrated German players of his generation. Just 9 minutes into the game, he shot the ball from the left corner of the box and the ball sailed straight into the right upper corner of the goal.  Hamburger held on and won their first European Cup in history.

European Cup champions 1983
European Cup finalists 1980
European Cupwinners cup champions 1977
UEFA Cup finalists 1982

Bundesliga champions 1979, 1982, 1983
German Cup champions 1976

Kaltz and Hrubesch


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Diego Maradona's idol: Ricardo Bochini

Please also see my
 All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Ricardo Bochini was Diego Maradona's idol.  He was considered one of the greatest playmakers in Argentina's history, but he never got his opportunity with the national team.  Cesar Luis Menotti decided to take Norberto Alonso in 1978.  After 1978, Carlos Bilardo opted for young players such as Diego Maradona.  however, by 1986, Maradona insisted the inclusion of then, 32 years old Ricardo Bochini.  He only played 5 minutes against Belgium in the semi-final.

Bochini was a legend at Independiente.  He joined the club during the middle of the club's 4 straight Copa Libertadores victory.  In 1973, he made his first big role with the club against Juventus at the Intercontinental Club.  He scored a winning goal with an assist from Daniel Bertoni.  The pair would form a legendary partnership at the club.  In 1984, Bochini would lead them to another Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup.  

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The match that almost changed history Red Star Belgrade vs AC Milan 1988

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
AC Milan
Red Star BelgradeFK Partizan.
AC Milan All-Time Team Under Silvio Berlusconi
AC Milan Brazilian Best XI
AC Milan Foreign Players All-Time Team
AC Milan All-Time Greatest Team for Italian players

      AC Milan of the 1980's was considered one of the greatest side in history.  The team consisted of  the Dutch trio of Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard who won the European Championship in 1988 for Holland.  They complimented the club's Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto DonadoniArrigo Sacchi led them to back-to-back European Cup victories in 1989 and 1990.   However, before their team began to dominate, they almost fell at the very first hurdles and emerged as one of the luckiest winner in European football history.
    After AC Milan won its first
won its first Scudetto in nine years in 1988, they marched into their first European Cup campaign in two decades the following season.  In the second round, AC Milan faced Red Star Belgrade.  The first leg played in San Siro ended with a 1-1 with Red Star's Dragan Stojković scoring an opening goal.  Two weeks later, they played the second leg in Belgrade.  Things quickly turned bad for AC Milan.  Dejan Savicevic scored and Red Star took the lead 2-1 on aggregate.   German referee Dieter Pauly sent off Pietro Paolo Virdis  and AC Milan was reduced to 10 men.  It looked as if Red Star would win the tie.  Suddenly, lady luck had found AC Milan.  A heavy fog started to build around the stadium.  By the 65th minute, the visibility was close to zero.  The game was abandoned and both sides agreed to replay the second match the following afternoon.
           The third match would start with 0-0(or 1-1 on aggregate) againVirdis would sit out the match because of the red card from the abandoned match while Ancelotti picked up his second yellow card and of the competition, meaning that he had to sit out a match.  Otherwise, Milan was back with 11 men for the mtach.  Ruud Guilt who sat out the abandoned match because of injury started the third game on the bench and came in shortly after half-time.  The match ended again with a 1-1 draw and went to penalty shootout with AC Milan winning 4-2.

         As mentioned, AC Milan would win the European Cup that year and the following year as well.  In 1994, they would win their third title in 6 years.  Dejan Savicevic who joined Milan in 1992 was the star of the 1994 Final as Milan destroyed Bacelona 4-0.  
         Meanwhile, Dragan Stojković left Red Star Belgrade for Olympique de Marseille in 1990.  Coincidentally, he would face his old club in the 1991 European Cup Final where Red Star Belgrade was crowned the champion after beating Marseille in a penalty shootout.  He would have his night in 1993 when Marseille won the title by beating AC Milan in the Final.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Greatest players from each African country

Please also see my
 All-Time World Cup Team Index.

GhanaCameroonNigeriaSouth AfricaTunisia
AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptIvory CoastSenegal,
North Africa

The Rest of Africa(excluding Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Nigeria and North Africa).

Algeria: Lakhdar BelloumiRabah MadjerAbdelaziz Ben Tifour.
Angola: Akwa
Benin: Stephane Sessegnon
Botswana: Dipsy Selolwane
Burkina Faso: Moumouni Dagano, Kassoum Ouedraogo
Burundi: Mohamed Tchite 
Cameroon: Theophile AbegaRoger Milla,Samuel E'too 
Chad: Japhet N'Doram
Congo: Paul Moukila
Egypt: Mahmoud El KhatibHossam HassanRifaat El-Fanagily
Equatorial Guinea: Rodolfo Bodipo, Javier Balboa
Ethiopia: Luciano VassaloMenistu Worku
Gabon: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Ghana Anthony YeboahAbedi Pele
Guinea: Chérif SouleymanePetit SoryPapa Camara
Ivory Coast:  Laurent Pokou, Yaya ToureDidier Drogba,
Kenya: Mahmoud Abbas, Peter Dawo
Liberia: George Weah
Libya: Fawzi Al-Issawi
Mali: Salif KeitaiFrederic KanouteSeydou Keita
Malawi: Lawrence Waya, Clifton Msiya
Morocco: Ahmed FarasNoureddine Naybet
Namibia: Collon Benjamin, Razundara Tjikuzu
Nigeria: Nwankwo KanuJay-Jay OkochaSegun Odegbami
Senegal: Jules Bocande
Sierra Leone: Mohamed Kallon
South Africa:Patrick NtsoelengoeJomo SonoLucas Radebe
Sudan: Nasr El-Din Abbas
Tanzania: Juma Pondamali, Sunday Manara
Togo: Emmanuel Adebayor
Tunisia: Tarak DhiabHatem Trabelsi 
Uganda: Polly Ouma, Philip Omondi
Zaire/DR of Congo: Bwanga Tshimen,  Paul Bonga Bonga, Ndaye Mulamba
Zambia: Kalusha Bwalya
Zimbabwe: Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

GhanaCameroonNigeriaSouth Africa,
AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptIvory Coast,

North AfricaThe Rest of Africa.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Greatest Footballers of each country from AFC and Oceania.

Bahrain: Hamood Sultan
China(PRC): Gu Guangming, Rong Zhixing, Fan Zhiyi
China(ROC): Lee Wei Tong
Indonesia: Maulwi Saelan, Bambang Pamugkas, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto.
Korea(North): Pak Doo-ik
Pakistan: Zesh Rehman
The Philippines: Paulino Alcántara
Singapore: Fandi Ahmad 
Uzbekistan: Maksim Shatskikh

New Zeland: Wynton Rufer

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Greatest Players from each UEFA country

Please also see my
 All-Time World Cup Team Index.


I tried to come up with a different list from the UEFA Jubilee awards.

Albania: Panajot Pano 
Andorra: Koldo
Azerbaijan: Anatoliy Banishevski
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Safet Sušić
Bulgaria:  Hristo Stoichkov
Cyprus: Sotiris Kaiafas
Estonia: Martin Poom 
Faroe Islands: Abraham Løkin
Finland:  Jari Litmanen
Kazakhstan: Sergey Kvochkin
Liechtenstein:  Rainer Hasler
Lithuania: Arminas Narbekovas
Luxembourg:  Louis Pilot
Macedonia: Darko Pančev
Moldova:  Pavel Cebanu
Norway:  Rune Bratseth
San Marino:  Massimo Bonini

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Greatest Footballers of each country (the Americas)

South America
Columbia: Carlos Valderrama
EcuadorAlberto Spencer
Bolivia: Marco Etcheverry
Venezuela: Juan Arango

North America
Canada: Bruce Wilson
Cuba: Mario Lopez
El Salvador: Magico Gonzalez
Honduras: Gilberto Yearwood