Monday, November 19, 2012

Soccer Memories-Part 11

Hellas Verona 1985: How a small team triumphed in the World’s toughest League

To say Verona’s 1985 Scudetto was a surprise would be an understatement. It was almost unthinkable that a provincial team could win in a League then dominated by Platini’s Juventus, Falcao’a Roma and Altobelli’s Internazionale.

Verona had been promoted to the Serie A in 1982 and had surprisingly finished fourth for the 1982/83 season and qualified for the UEFA Cup.
They had also reached the Final of Coppa Italia but had lost to Juventus.

The following season (1983/84), they did not fare as good in the League, just missing out in UEFA Cup qualification.
They once again reached the Final of Coppa Italia, this time losing to AS Roma.

The summer of 1984 was dominated by the transfers of Diego Maradona , from Barcelona to Napoli, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, from Bayern Munich to Internazionale Milano.
As a result Verona’s acquisitions of West German International Hans-Peter Briegel from Kaiserslautern and Danish Forward Preben Elkjaer from Lokeren were not as hyped.
Briegel had been a solid International for years, whose greatest achievement at club level were a number of UEFA Cup qualifications with Kaiserslautern.

Photo From: L’Annee du Football, 1985
(Verona’s Danish star, Preben Elkjaer)

Elkjaer was unknown at the world stage before his impressive performances for Denmark during the recent European Championships just a couple of months earlier in France.
This Verona squad was managed by well-respected Osvaldo Bagnoli, who had managed mostly small teams such as Cesena.
Verona was led at the back by the solid goalkeeper Claudio Garella.
The defense consisted of sweeper Roberto Tricella, who had failed to make the grade at Internazionale, but was now seen as heir apparent to Gaetano Scirea for the National Team.
The right back was Mauro Ferroni and former AS Roma player Luciano Marangon occupied the left back position.
The rest of the defense comprised of Silvano Fontolan as stopper and Luciano Marangon’s younger brother Fabio.

Photo From: Calcio 2000, June 1999
(Claudio Garella and Roberto Tricella)

Briegel had been pushed into the midfield and operated with Domenico Volpati, International winger Pietro Fanna and new International playmaker Antonio Di Gennaro.
Other midfielders such as Luciano Bruni, Luigi Sacchetti and Dario Donà, also made noteworthy contributions during the season.

Photo From: Onze, May 1985
(Pietro Fanna, April 14, 1985, Verona 1-Torino 2)

The strike force consisted of former Juventus striker Giuseppe Galderisi and Elkjaer, with Franco Turchetta in reserve.

The season opener with Napoli was supposed to be Maradona’s grand introduction to the Serie A, however, it turned out to be a statement of intent by Verona.
Verona won convincingly 3 to 1 and it was Briegel who was the foreign star on the field and not Maradona.

Photo From: Onze, May 1985
(Giuseppe Galderisi, April 14, 1985, Verona 1-Torino 2)

The two usual giants, Juventus and Roma, were both having poor seasons and were off the pace from early on.
Verona’s challengers for the Scudetto were Torino, led by Brazilian Junior and Austrian Walter Schachner and Internazionale of Rummenigge and Liam Brady.
Verona was undefeated until losing at Avellino on the last match of the first half of the season.

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, January 9-15, 1985
(Verona’s West German star Hans-Peter Briegel, December 23, 1984, Como 0-Verona 0)

Along the way, they had defeated Juventus and Torino and tied with Inter away and at this stage looked likely winners.
Despite a late surge by Torino, they remained at the top and won the title with one match remaining by tying at Atalanta.
Verona had won half of its matches (15) and had tied 13 others. Besides the Avellino match, they had lost only one other match, at home to nearest challengers Torino.
They had the best defense with only 19 goals conceded.
Briegel had been outstanding and Tricella, Fanna, Di Gennaro and Galderisi were seen as the future of the national team, now that the Juventus contingent was showing signs of age.

Photo From: Calcio 2000, June 1999
(Antonio Di Gennaro)

However, Verona could not sustain this ascent for the coming years.
During the off-season, Pietro Fanna and Luciano Marangon joined Internazionale (in fact they had controversially been approached during the mid season, at a time when Inter were their nearest challengers).
Goalkeeper Claudio Garella also left and joined Napoli.
Verona was unable to find suitable replacements for these key losses.
The following season (1985/86), they were unimpressive and finished in mid table.
During the summer of 1986, Briegel left and joined Sampdoria.
Galderisi transferred to AC Milan and in exchange the once great Paolo Rossi traveled in the opposite direction.
Verona also acquired the promising and future International Luigi De Agostini from Udinese.
They finished that season (1986/87) surprisingly at fourth place and qualified for the UEFA Cup.
Despite acquiring West German defender Thomas Berthold from Eintracht Frankfurt during the summer of 1987, they lost more key players as both De Agostini and Tricella left to join Juventus.
From that point on Verona continued to slide and were eventually relegated in 1990.
After relegation, Osvaldo Bagnoli and left and joined and built an attractive team at Genoa for the next few seasons.
In 1992 he was finally appointed as a manager of one of the bigger teams, Internazionale. He resigned in early 1994.

Verona has since been no more than a yo-yo team, fluctuating between Serie A and B.
These days it is neighbors Chievo who are seen as the top dogs in Verona.

A small team like Verona winning the Scudetto is a rare exception in any era. The closest example in recent memory would be Sampdoria’s win in 1991.
Most critics point out that in these particular seasons, all the top teams have exceptionally poor seasons and that’s why smaller teams can take advantage.
That could be true, however, to finish at the top of the League, any team would have to be consistently good an entire season and two losses for Verona and three for Sampdoria in 1991 speak for themselves.
But as shown in both cases, this level of success is fleeting and temporary and can not be sustained in the long term due to lack of funds.

Photo From: Calcio 2000, June 1999
(Verona’s title winning squad, 1984/85)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Articles on Teams and Events-Part 17

An article about Alfredo Di Stefano’s kidnapping in Venezuela in 1963
(Magazine / Language : World Soccer, May 1964 / English)

Photo From: Don Balon, November 15-21, 1994
(Alfredo Di Stefano in Spain uniform)

An article about Boca Juniors from 1978
(Magazine / Language : Mondial, December 1978 / French)

Photo From: Mondial, December 1978
(Zanabria in action for Boca 1978)

An article about Jorge Valdano’s impending appointment as Real Madrid manager in 1994
(Magazine / Language : April 12-18, 1994 / Spanish)

Jorge Valdano appointment Real Madrid

Photo From: Don Balon, April 12-18, 1994
(Jorge Valdano)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Player Profiles-Part 17

A profile on Italian Striker Bruno Giordano of Lazio, who years later joined Maradona at Napoli 
 (Magazine / Language : World Soccer, December 1979 / English)

Photo from: Onze, April 1985
(Bruno Giordano, March 13, 1985, Greece 0-Italy 0)

A profile on Belgium and Anderlecht defender Georges Grun in his break-out season of 1983/84 at the end of which he became a full international
(Magazine / Language : Foot Magazine, November 1983 / French )

Photo from: Onze, Hors Serie 19, 1984
(Georges Grun scoring his first goal ever for Belgium with Srecko Katanec and Erwin Vandenbergh to his left , June 13, 1984, European Championships Belgium 2-Yugoslavia 0)

A profile on West German midfielder Rudger Abramczik in line for West Germany’s 1978 World Cup squad
 (Magazine / Language : Fussball Magazin, September October 1977 /German)

Rudger Abramczik Profile

Photo from: Fussball Magazin, September October 1977
(Rudger Abramczik in action for Schalke, 1977/78 season)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Interviews-Part 20

Three interviews with soviet goalkeeper Rinat Dassayev, one after he had joined Spanish Club Sevilla and his difficulties which included an odd own goal
one from late 1985 while with Spartak and another from September 1987 prior to USSR’s match vs. France
(Magazine / Language : World Soccer, March 1989 / English)
(Magazine / Language : Onze, November 1985 / French)
(Magazine / Language : Mondial, September 1987 / French)

Photo from : Mondial, March 1986
(USSR goalkeeper Rinat Dassayev)

Three interviews with Argentinean Manager Cesar Luis Menotti, one from 1978 after Argentina’s World Cup win, one in 1980 as Argentina’s National team Manager and one from 1987, as Atletico Madrid Manager
Magazine / Language : Onze, December 1978 / French)
(Magazine / Language : Mondial, November 1980 / French)
(Magazine / Language : Onze, November 1987 / French)

Photo from : Mondial, May 1979
(Argentina’s 1979 U-20 players ,including Maradona on the left, lifting Cesar Luis Menotti)

Two interviews with Brazilian midfielder Toninho Cerezo, one from 1984 as an AS Roma player and one from 1991 after that dealt with him being instrumental in Sampdoria’s Scudetto triumph that season
(Magazine / Language : Onze, March 1984 / French)
 (Magazine / Language : Guerin Sportivo, June 12-18, 1991 / Italian)

Toninho Cerezo Interviews

Photo from : Onze-Mondial, July, 1991
(Cerezo and Vialli with dyed hair, after Sampdoria’s Scudetto win)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Memorable European Confrontations, Part 6-1977-Liverpool vs. AS Saint Etienne

Memorable European Confrontations, Part 6-1977-Liverpool vs.  AS Saint Etienne

Liverpool and Saint Etienne were paired in the Quarter Finals of the Champions Cup in 1977.
Saint Etienne were three times defending French Champions, who were having an off-season in the League and eventually finished in the fifth place that season.
The team had been the losing finalist vs. Bayern Munich in the previous edition of the Champions Cup.
The team managed by Robert Herbin and captained by Jean-Michel Larqué, included many French national team players such as Lopez, Rocheteau, Bathenay and Janvion.
The foreign legion comprised of Yugoslavian goalkeeper Yvan Curkovic and Argentinean stopper Oswaldo Piazza.
They had eliminated CSKA Sofia and PSV Eindhoven in the previous rounds.
Liverpool, managed by Bob Paisley, was on its way to become one of the greatest teams in the history of Football.
During this decade, they had already won League and FA Cup titles and had shone in Europe, by winning the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976.
The team’s jewel in the crown was Kevin Keegan.
The team captained by Emlyn Hughes included goalkeeper Ray Clemence, Welsh forward John Toshack, Ireland’s Steve Heighway, as well as midfield enforcer Jimmy Case and veteran Ian Callaghan.
They had eliminated Northern Ireland’s Crusaders and Turkey’s Trabzonspor in the previous rounds.

The first leg, on March 6th, was played in Saint Etienne’s Geoffroy Guichard Stadium.
Keegan was injured and had to miss the first leg. In his place came Terry McDermott.
Saint Etienne played 4-4-2 formation with two strikers as wingers, and no center forward. This was a very uncharacteristic strategy for them, however Herbin thought this was the best way to combat the British Kick and Rush system.

Photo From: Onze, March 1977
(AS Saint Etienne squad, Top, left to right: Yvan Curkovic, Gerard Janvion, Gerard Farison, Oswaldo Piazza, Dominique Bathenay, Christian Lopez, Christian Synaeghel,Bottom, left to right: Dominique Rocheteau, Jean-Michel Larqué, Jacques Santini, Patrick Revelli)

This formation ironically made it easier for the Liverpool central defenders to control the opposition’s attacks, as neither Jean-Michel Larqué nor Santini were able to charge in midfield and direct attacks as they keep running into each other.
After ten minutes of Saint Etienne domination, the match evened out as, Piazza was having difficulty in controlling Toshack and the rest of the squad was unable to make any headway.

Photo From: Onze, March 1977
(Captains Jean-Michel Larqué and Emlyn Hughes shaking hands)

In the first half, Clemence made only two saves.
After the break, Saint Etienne were in better form and took the initiative and started attacking with purpose.
With a quarter of an hour left, Piazza was booked after a dangerous foul on Callaghan. This suspended him for the return leg.
Photo From: Onze, March 1977
(Patrick Revelli celebrating St Etienne’s goal scored by Bathenay)

Photo From: Onze, March 1977
(Piazza being booked that would lead to his suspension for the return leg)

A few minutes later, Jean-Michel Larqué took a corner and after Janvion fumbled his volley, Bathenay scored the winner.
Many were surprised they won due to their current poor form in the League.
Despite the loss, Keegan seemed confident for return leg and predicted 3 goals.

Photo From: Onze, March 1977
(Callaghan tackling Synaghel)

March 2, 1977
Association Sportive de Saint-Etienne Loire (France) 1- Liverpool Football Club (England) 0
Champions Cup- Quarter Finals, First Leg   
Venue: Saint Etienne- Stade Geoffroy Guichard
Attendance: 38,000
Referee: Karoly Palotai (Hungary)
Goalscorers: (AS Saint Etienne): Dominique Bathenay 78
 (Liverpool): None
AS Saint Etienne:
1-Yvan Curkovic (Yugoslavia), 2-Gerard Janvion, 3-Gerard Farison, 4-Oswaldo Piazza (Argentina), 5-Christian Lopez, 6-Dominique Bathenay, 7-Dominique Rocheteau, 8-Jean-Michel Larqué, 9-Jacques Santini, 10-Christian Synaeghel, 11-Patrick Revelli

Coach: Robert Herbin
Booked: Piazza 77

Team Captain: Jean-Michel Larqué
Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Le Coq Sportif
Shirt Sponsor: None
Uniform Colors: Green Shirts, White Shorts , Green Socks

1-Ray Clemence, 2-Phil Neal, 3-Joey Jones (Wales), 4-Phil Thompson, 5-Ray Kennedy, 6-Emlyn Hughes, 7-Terry McDermott, 8-Jimmy Case, 9-Steve Heighway (Republic of Ireland), 10-John Benjamin Toshak (Wales) (15-Tommy Smith 80th)11-Ian Callaghan

Coach: Bob Paisley

Team Captain: Emlyn Hughes
Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Umbro
Shirt Sponsor: None
Uniform Colors: Red Shirts, Red Shorts , Red Socks

The second leg, on March 20th, was played in Liverpool’s Anfield Road Stadium.
Keegan was back in the Liverpool lineup, with McDermott out.
Tommy Smith was back in the Liverpool defense with Phil Thompson out injured.
With Piazza suspended for Saint Etienne, Alain Merchadier took his place as stopper.
Liverpool scored after two minutes after Keegan’s cross went in untouched as Curkovic had his eyes on Toshack in front of him.

Photo From: Onze, April 1977
(Bathenay tying up the score)

This forced Saint Etienne to come out and play and they did so for the rest of the half with Merchadier controlling Toshack to great effect.
In the 50th minute, Bathenay tied the score with a long-range shot. He scored in both matches.
Less than ten minutes later, Ian Callaghan crossed for Toshack who headed to Ray Kennedy to score.

Photo From: Onze, April 1977
(Rocheteau and Hughes)

Around the 74th minute, Merchadier nose was bloodied after an accidental collision with Toshack.
Merchadier chose to remain, but the referee asked him to go off.
Herbin replaced Merchadier, a defender, with Hervé Revelli. Revelli moved in the midfield, as Bathenay was pushed back in center of defense to replace Merchadier.
This disrupted Saint Etienne’s system and subsequently failed to function.
Photo From: Le Livre d’or du Football, 1977
(Rocheteau between Hughes and Neal)

Photo From: Onze, April 1977
(Kennedy tackling Jean-Michel Larqué)

At the same time that Merchadier was substituted, Toshack was also replaced by super sub David Fairclough, who had a reputation of scoring key goals late in matches.
Fairclough scored Liverpool’s third with minutes remaining in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.
Photo From: Onze, April 1977
(Fairclough sealing Liverpool’s win with Christian Lopez looking on)

Photo From: L’Annee du Football, 1977
(Toshack and Merchadier)

This loss ended Saint Etienne’s glorious European runs that included wins over Hajduk Split, PSV Eindhoven and Dinamo Kiev.
Liverpool on the other hand, went on to defeat FC Zurich in the semi finals and Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Final.
Despite Keegan’s transfer to SV Hamburg in the summer, Liverpool retained the trophy the following season with the addition of Kenny Dalglish as Keegan’s replacement to great effect.

March 16, 1977
Liverpool Football Club (England) 3-Association Sportive de Saint-Etienne Loire (France) 1
Champions Cup- Quarter Finals, Second Leg
Venue: Liverpool-Anfield Road
Attendance: 56,000
Referee: Charles George Rainier Corver (Holland)
Goalscorers: (Liverpool): Kevin Keegan 2, Ray Kennedy 59, David Fairclough 84
 (AS Saint Etienne): Dominique Bathenay 50

1-Ray Clemence, 2-Phil Neal, 3-Joey Jones (Wales), 4-Tommy Smith, 5-Ray Kennedy, 6-Emlyn Hughes, 7-Kevin Keegan, 8- Jimmy Case, 9-Steve Heighway (Republic of Ireland), 10-John Benjamin Toshack (Wales) (12-David Fairclough 74th), 11-Ian Callaghan

Coach: Bob Paisley
Booked: Toshack

Team Captain: Emlyn Hughes
Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Umbro
Shirt Sponsor: None
Uniform Colors: Red Shirts, Red Shorts , Red Socks

AS Saint Etienne:
1-Yvan Curkovic (Yugoslavia), 2-Gerard Janvion, 3-Gerard Farison, 4-Alain Merchadier (12-Hervé Revelli 74th), 5-Christian Lopez, 6-Dominique Bathenay, 7-Dominique Rocheteau, 8-Jean-Michel Larqué, 9-Jacques Santini,10-Christian Synaeghel, 11-Patrick Revelli

Coach: Robert Herbin

Team Captain: Jean-Michel Larqué
Official Kit Supplier/Designer: Le Coq Sportif
Shirt Sponsor: None
Uniform Colors: Green Shirts, White Shorts , Green Socks

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Old Team Photographs-Part 10b

Photo From: World Soccer, May 1968
(Napoli squad, 1968)
Photo From: World Soccer, February 1966
(Valencia squad, 1965/66 season)

Photo From: World Soccer, August 1977
(Juventus squad, 1977)

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1972
(Fiorentina squad on the cover of World Soccer)

Photo From: World Soccer, December 1961
(Penarol squad)

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1969
(Italy squad prior to their match vs. England in 1934)

Photo From: World Soccer, July 1967
(Celtic Glasgow on the cover of World Soccer)

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, April 1994
(Arsenal, FA Cup Winners 1993, May 15, 1993, Arsenal 2-Sheffield Wednesday 1)

Photo From: Onze, April 1988
(Ajax Amsterdam squad, 1987/88)

Photo From: Onze, February 1988
(Valencia squad, 1987/88 season)

Photo From: Onze, January 1984
(Gremio squad, Intercontinental Cup, December 11, 1983, Gremio 2-SV Hamburg 1)

Photo From: Onze, October 1976
(Anderlecht squad, May 5, 1976, Cup Winners Cup Final, Anderlecht 4-West Ham United 2)

Photo From: Onze, Hors-Serie 30, 1987
(Bordeaux’s stars during 1986/87 season, top, left to right: Alain Roche, Jose Toure, Phillipe Vercruysse, Phillipe Fargeon, bottom, left to right: Zlatko Vujovic, Jean-Marc Ferreri, Zoran Vujovic)

Photo From: Onze, Hors-Serie 11, 1981
(AS Saint Etienne squad, 1981/82)

Photo From: Mondial, June 1979
(Malmo squad, Champions Cup Finalists 1979)

Photo From: Mondial, January 1987
(Real Madrid squad, 1986/87)

Photo From: Le Livre d’or du Football, 1991
(Olympique Marseille squad prior to the 1991 Champions Cup Final vs. Red Star Belgrade on May 29, 1991, Top left to right: Pascal Olmeta, Bernard Casoni, Bruno Germain, Carlos Mozer, Chris Waddle, Basile Boli, Bottom, left to right: Laurent Fournier, Jean-Pierre Papin, Abedi Pele, Manuel Amoros, Eric Di Meco)

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, October 21-27, 1992
(Fiorentina squad, 1955/56)

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, April 16, May 2, 1989
(VfB Stuttgart squad, 1988/89, UEFA Cup Finalists)

Photo From: Goal, December 1996
(Ipswich squad, September 15, 1982, UEFA Cup, AS Roma 3-Ipswich Town 0)

Photo From: Goal, August 1997
(Real Madrid, 1996/97)

Photo From: Goal, April 1997
(Manchester United, 1910)

Photo From: Fussball Magazin, June 1986
(Werder Bremen squad, 1985/86)