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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Inter Milan 1993 - No.10 Bergkamp.


Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp attracted the attention of several top European clubs as a result of his standout performances for Ajax. Johan Cruyff advised him to join Barcelona, but Bergkamp was insistent on playing in Italy. He considered Serie A "the biggest league at the time" and agreed a £7.1 million move to Inter in 1993. 

One runs out of superlatives in describing Bergkamp as a player: his perfect touch, passing of incredible vision, sublime finishing, out of this world skills, not to mention selflessness.
Bergkamps first season had many highlights. The Dutchman scored a spectacular volley against Rapid Bucharest and with 8 goals out of 11 games he helped Inter to win 1993-94 Uefa Cup.

However his time with the Nerazurri was marred by injuries, a managerial merry go round, the demanding Italian press and a defensive setup of the team that Bergkamp didnt feel played to his strengths. It seemed Cruyffs theory, that Italian football was not suited to Bergkamp, was correct.
Having opted to leave, Bergkamp's decision to join Arsenal was made quickly.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Uruguay 1984 - No.9 Francescoli.


Enzo Francescoli is one of the best players in Uruguay's history, and a huge favourite with fans. “El Principe” holds the record of most appearances for an outfield player in the national team and helped Uruguay to win Copa America three times. He also won the South American footballer of the year in 1984 as well as 1995.

As an attacking midfielder he was noted for his vision, grace and fluid abilities on the ball. These qualities would later influence the style of French midfielder Zinedine Zidane, who has stated that Francescoli was his favorite player as a young boy and even named one of his sons Enzo as a homage to him.

He was an oasis of light in a dark time for Uruguayan football – A gifted play maker, once described as a football architect, Francescoli was also just about the only member of the hard-as-nails Uruguay team who did not seem primarily driven by the urge to kick his opponent off the field.

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Flamengo 1981 - No.10 Zico.


Zico spent the majority of his career with his hometown club, making a total of 504 appearances in all competitions between 1971 and 1983. It was a golden period for the club, including six Rio State titles and three Brazilian Championships. Their most successful year was 1981, which saw Flamengo win both the Copa Liberatadores and the Intercontinental Cup.

For his role, Zico, then arguably the worlds best player, earned numerous individual accolades, including being named man of the match in the '81 Intercontinental Cup Final, for creating all three goals in Flamengo's 3-0 win over Liverpool in Tokyo's National Stadium.


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Paris Saint-Germain 1973.


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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fiorentina 1978.


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Away.

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AC Milan 1990 - No.9 van Basten.


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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

LA Aztecs.

No.14 - Cruyff

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No.11 - Best


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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Czechoslovakia 1976 - No.8 Panenka.


Penalty shootouts are normally associated with nerves and jitters, for both the taker and the keeper. Antonin Panenka’s penalty in the final of Euro 1976 was all the more so, Uli Hoeness had just missed the previous penalty for the reigning champions West Germany – the title would be Czechoslovakia’s if he scored.

Hence all the pressure was on Panenka as he stepped up to take what could be the most important kick in his nation’s history. He took a long run-up, then did the unthinkable – slowed down and chipped the ball into the centre of the net as the keeper, Sepp Maier dived to his left. It was the first time something so audacious had been attempted and this style of penalty became known as "the Panenka."


After the match Panenka revealed "I chose the penalty because I realised it was the easiest and simplest recipe for scoring a goal. It is a simple recipe."
Now many illustrious players like Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Ramos and more have successfully executed this enigmatic skill, but the invention will always immortalise Antonin Panenka.

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Barcelona 1899.


Since its foundation the club has played with a crest on the shirt. The club's original badge was a quartered diamond-shaped crest topped by the Crown of Aragon and the bat of King James, and surrounded by two branches, one of a laurel tree and the other a palm.

Several competing theories surround the choice of blue and red shirt colour. In Catalonia the common perception is that the colours were chosen by founder Joan Gamper and are those of his home team, FC Basel.

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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Italy 1993 - No.10 Baggio.


Widely regarded as one of the greatest Italian footballers of all time, Roberto Baggio came fourth in the FIFA Player of the Century Internet poll.
The best player of his generation, he inspired awe throughout the footballing world, and was beloved back home, yet never quite won over his, usually conservative, Italian coaches.

In 1993, Baggio was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or.

Blessed with perfect poise and control he almost single-handedly led Italy to the World Cup Final in 1994, but missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out against Brazil.
It proved to be another near-miss for one of the greats of the modern game.


Nicknamed the 'Divine ponytail' due to his hairstyle and buddhist beliefs, Baggio is the only Italian ever to score in three World Cups, 1990, 1994 and 1998, and holds the record for most goals scored in World Cup tournaments for Italy, along with Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri.

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AEK Athens.


Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos (Athletic Union of Constantinople), more commonly referred to as AEK, is a Greek club based in Athens.
Established in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War, A.E.K. is one of the more successful clubs in Greek football, having won 11 Championships, 14 Greek Cups, 1 League Cup and 3 Super Cups.

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