The experts had known about Denmark’s class before the World Cup even started. A fine demonstration against the Soviet-Union had been enough to reveal their quality to those paying attention. But after their first match in the World Cup itself, against Uruguay, the whole world knew about Denmark.
Bombarded as title favourites, Denmark now faced a more daunting challenge: West-Germany. Coached by Franz Beckenbauer, and featuring experienced world class players, Germany looked like the type team that could bring a halt to Denmark and their dreamy free-flowing attacking football. Could the Olsens, Laudrup and Elkjaer survive a clash with German efficiency?
Love him or hate him, but never doubt Romario’s talent, which is only surpassed by his excessive self-confidence – the combination of which has resulted in a great many anecdotes. Here are ten of the best.
A true classic from the Ferguson era. Much to Manchester City’s chagrin, Manchester United are the reigning champions of England, having won the league in 1993, for the first time since Alex Ferguson took over as manager. City are certainly not capable of challenging United’s dominance in the long run – but they can at least try to beat their hated rivals in this 1993/94 Manchester derby.
Coton – Edghill, Curle, Kernaghan, Vonk – Phelan, McMahon, Flitcroft, Sheron – Quinn, White
Manager: Brian Horton
Schmeichel – Parker, Irwin, Bruce, Sharpe – Pallister, Ince, Keane, Kanchelskis – Cantona, Hughes
Manager: Alex Ferguson
Yes, you can question the man’s technique, speed, dribbling skills, intelligence, vanity and even his taste in women.
But you can never doubt his abilty to bend a ball around a wall.
The 1958 FIFA World Cup will always be remembered as the World Cup of Brazil. The World Cup of Garrincha’s dribbles and Pelé’s tears. The first time Brazil established its status as the greatest footballing country in the world.
That’s not to say Brazil hadn’t played a prominent role in the previous World Cups. They could have won it twice before. They were by far the best in 1950, only to fall down, miraculously, at the hands of Uruguay in Rio’s own Maracana. In 1938, their decision to rest topscorer Leonidas proved fatal when they were knocked out by Italy in the semi-final.
But now all circumstances seemed right. The unbeatable Hungary had fallen apart after most of its stars had fled to Western European countries. There were other contenders, though: the France of Just Fontaine and Raymond Kopa. Reigning champions West-Germany with star-player Helmut Rahn. Home nation Sweden with Nils Liedholm and Kurt Hamrin. And Argentina, after years of splendid isolation, returned to the arena as well. But above all there was the enigmatic Soviet-Union, with its feared ‘scientific’ football.
But Brazil traveled to Sweden better prepared, both physically and mentally, than any other team. There was one potential problem. Pelé and Garrincha were deemed too young and too irresponsible, respectively, and were left out of the initial starting team.
Part 1 – https://mega.co.nz/#!tM5j0bRC!PeS0ZE4A76PcBCDAwNAgpGnkLSVJpXu18ul0dtd_WU0
Part 2 – https://mega.co.nz/#!xRxVwZZb!TrYL9VYdhU3uxhMpcgV9Bj4ytAwrsGFnuxIYWyRDwu8
Part 3 – https://mega.co.nz/#!dRR2SKgY!M5bm9iihLGkte3jFLLuxwW1bTXpJJzdrGVaMbhNdscE
1977 marks the year of Johan Cruyff’s retirement as a Dutch international. What the world had to miss out on during the 1978 World Cup can be inferred from the demonstration Cruyff gave in this famous match on Wembley. While only a friendly, and an unspectacular one at that, the ease with which Cruyff asserted his superiority on football’s sacred grass against the home nation, has not been equaled since.
Only 3 years had passed since the 1974 World Cup, but Cruyff’s game has evolved significantly. Much more a midfielder than a striker now, he doesn’t come as close to scoring himself, instead preferring to conduct Holland from every area on the pitch, controlling the game with his movement, passes, dribbles, gestures, and non-stop verbal coaching.
This is Cruyff at his best.
As an English journalist wrote after the game:
Johan Cruyff dominated last night’s match as no great player has ever dominated Wembley before. He had 61 touches of the ball and of his 50 passes, 30 were positively forward balls. He switched play with some stunning 40-yard passes which left the crowd and England’s defenders gasping. Unlike some stars, Cruyff also worked hard, often appearing in his own penalty area.
55 Pictures from Sir Alex Ferguson’s long, long career in football.
Navigate through the slideshow using the white arrows. Click on any picture for the highest resolution version.
In a cynical but interesting move, “Doping doctor” Eufemiano Fuentes is now offering to sell information about his former clients to the highest bidder. English newspaper The Guardian reports receiving an e-mail from Fuentes’ lawyers which contains a list of subjects he is willing to talk about. One of the categories listed is called “How I prepared a team to play in the Champions League”.
Which team could this be? Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia? – or is it simply another reference to Real Sociedad, who have already confessed to have been working with Fuentes?
Interesting times ahead.
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