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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Boca Juniors 1997 - No.10 Riquelme.


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Marseille 1991 - No.9 Papin.

Away.


Jean-Pierre Papin achieved his greatest success while playing for Olympique de Marseille between 1986 and 1992, where he won four French league championships in a row, a French league and cup double in 1989 and reached the final of the European Champions Cup in 1991, losing to Red Star Belgrade after a penalty shootout.

During this period, Papin was the French league's top scorer for five consecutive seasons.
He epitomised the clubs motto Droit Au But - "Straight to the Goal" - and his talent was recognised in 1991 when he won the Ballon d'or. He is the only player to win this award while playing for a French club.

In 1992, Papin joined Italian giants AC Milan for a world record fee of £10,000,000, and was the first high-profile French player to join the Italian league since Michel Platini. However, he never established himself as a regular first team member with the rossoneri mainly due to injuries and came on as a substitute in the 1993 Champions League Final where Milan lost to his former club, Marseille.

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Home.


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Thursday, 23 January 2014

SC Internacional 1975 - No.5 Falcao.

Away.


Paulo Roberto Falcão began his career at Sport Club Internacional of Porto Alegre, where he played from 1973 to 1980, winning three Brazilian National Championships and reaching the finals of the 1980 Copa Libertadores.
He went on to have an amazing career and was widely considered one of the best players in Internacional and Roma history, and one of the most talented midfielders of all time, especially at his peak in the mid-1980s when he was the world's highest paid footballer.


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Home.


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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sampdoria 1991 - No.9 Vialli.


A domestic league has surely never been as superior as Serie A in the late 80s and early 90s. It was so seductively chic that the world's best players flocked to Italy including the likes of Maradona, van Basten and Francescoli. Goals may have been at a premium but the entertainment was of a subtler kind. Serie A wowed its disciples with an intimidatingly high technical and tactical quality.
It is in this context that we must understand Sampdoria's first and only scudetto in 1990-91, one of football's great modern fairytales, was a gloriously improbable triumph.

At Sampdoria Gianluca Vialli formed a prolific strike partnership with team mate and childhood friend Roberto Mancini, earning the nickname The Terrible Twins.
They complemented each other perfectly: Vialli was ruthless, powerful and irrepressible while the impish genius that was Mancini made mischief in the hole behind him.


With Vialli at his best, Sampdoria had the most successful era in its history. In the scudetto season Vialli was the league's top scorer with 19 goals - celebrating many of his goals with a backflip. He scored both goals in the 2–0 win over Anderlecht in the UEFA Cup final of 1990, and was key in three Italian Cups (1985, 1988 and 1989). They also reached the European Cup final in 1992, losing to Barcelona 1-0.
Vialli transferred to Juventus for a World record £12.5 million soon after.

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1991 Home.


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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Yugoslavia 1974 - No.11 Dzajic.


It could be claimed that Dragan Dzajic is a forgotton footballer. Remaining in their own country, their careers began, developed, peaked, declined and ended – and the world barely took notice. 
Dzajic, a left winger blessed with demonic dribbling skills, brilliant ball control, speed, a great cross, a superb free kick, and a sharp eye for the goal, played 590 games for Red Star Belgrade, scoring 365 goals. Exceptional figures – but with the Yugoslav league being an obscure affair for the rest of Europe, it was only during international tournaments that people had the chance to witness Dzajic in action.

Euro 1968 launched his status as world class winger. In the semi-final against England, Dzajic scored the winning goal by lobbing the ball over Gordon Banks. The British press dubbed him "the magic Dragan."
Yugoslavia lost the final to Italy, but Dzajic was elected as the player of the tournament. 
“Dzajic is the Balkan miracle – a real wizard. I’m just sorry he’s not Brazilian because I’ve never seen such a natural footballer.” the great Pele once remarked.

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Barcelona 1992 - No.11 Laudrup.


At his very best, Michael Laudrup was arguably an equal for football history’s genuine elite. Indeed it was often said that, although Johan Cruyff was unique, Laudrup was the player who came closest to his style and quality.

Blessed with vision, terrific technique and a devastating change of pace, the Dane was the focal point of any side he played in, with the Dutch legend himself saying “When Michael plays, it’s like a dream, a magical illusion. No-one in the world comes anywhere near his level.”

As if to give his personal approvals to the comparisons, of course, Cruyff then went and signed Laudrup for Barcelona, seeing him as the perfect supply route for Bulgarian goal machine Hristo Stoichkov.
With the Dutch mastermind on the bench, Laudrup casting spells in midfield and Stoichkov adding the finishing touches, Barça at last made the leap from big name to continental powerhouse.

Together, they won four La Liga titles between 1990 and 1994, and beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the 1992 European Cup Final at Wembley, all attained with a swagger that earned them the tag of the 'Dream Team'.


Maybe Barca fans would hold Laudrup closer to their hearts had he not joined Real Madrid in 1994 after falling out with Cruyff, but even the most cynical fan could not deny that Laudrup helped transform the fortunes of the Catalan giants, creating the platform for the world beaters they are today.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 1977.


Having won the German championship in 1959, Frankfurt were one of the founding members of the Bundesliga in 1963.
Despite no Bundesliga titles they have won the German Cup 4 times and beat rivals Monchengladbach to win the UEFA Cup in 1980.
Eintracht famously lost the European Cup final to Real Madrid on 18 May 1960 at Hampden Park 7–3 in front of 127,621 spectators. It is one of the most talked about European matches of all time, with Di Stéfano scoring 3 and Puskás scoring the other 4 for Real.

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