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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Vasco da Gama.

No.11 - Romario


Fans called it ‘the attack of dreams’, for defenders it was the partnership of nightmares.
Fourteen years ago, Romario and Edmundo, the self-proclaimed ‘Bad Boys of Brazilian Football’ both rejoined their boyhood club, Rio de Janeiro side Vasco da Gama.

The combination of extremely talented, egotistical men with explosive tempers battling for supremacy could be compared to a Shakespearean plot – but this was real life – and whilst on-field the pair’s lethal goal scoring made them near-undroppable, away from match days, there was much animosity between the two which descended into name calling and constant sniping in the media.

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No.10 - Edmundo


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Belgium 1984 - No.11 Ceulemans.

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Playing as an attacking midfielder Jan Ceulemans was a prolific goalscorer for club, Brugge, and country.
Well known for his stamina, aerial ability and technique, he is his country's most capped player with 96 international appearances. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys in the Eighties and it was during this period that Belgium recorded some of their finest results, which included reaching the final of Euro '80 and fourth place at the 1986 World Cup at which he was captain.

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Away.

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Olympique Marseille 1990 - No.8 Waddle.


One consequence of the exclusion of English clubs from European Competition as a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster was that many of England’s top players chose to move to other leagues in order to compete at the highest level.
Chris Waddle was one of those, and the £4.5M move from Spurs was the third highest of all time.

The addition of Waddle sealed Marseille’s dominance, domestically at least, and they achieved three league titles in the following three seasons (1990-92). Waddle was a huge crowd favourite and his carefree style and trickery on the ball delighted the passionate Stade Velodrome faithful, who gave him the nickname ‘Magic Chris’.


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Genoa.


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This shirt is available to purchase for £25.99 ref:323Seiko
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Fiorentina 1992 - No.9 Batistuta.


Though the season itself was far from Fiorentina’s finest moment (they were relegated from Serie A for the first time in 55 years after dive-bombing down the table from sitting second behind Milan in December), their 1992/93 away strip was very nearly a wonderful piece of work.

With a relatively reserved design (considering we’re talking about the early-to-mid 90s here!), a cool 'pop'-culture sponsor and a Viola-drenched colour palette that was rather pleasing to any young burgeoning Football Italia addict’s eye, Fiorentina’s garb was a joy to behold through innocent, unknowing eyes.

Sadly though, there was one small, purely coincidental design flaw that rendered La Viola’s change strip controversial – it was covered in swastikas!
Rumours quickly spread that the club – who were infamous for their fascist tendencies during WWII – had purposefully included the covert symbol into the design, though Fiorentina and manufacturer insisted that the design was purely accidental.
Regardless the shirt didnt appear the following season...

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Boca Juniors 2007 - No.10 Riquelme.


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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Vancouver Whitecaps 1980 - No.3 Krol.


Capped 83 times for his native Holland, Rudi Krol was a defender of the highest order. He spent most of his career playing for his home town club, Ajax, until 1980 when he moved to the North American Soccer League to join Canadian outfit Vancouver Whitecaps where he played for just one season before leaving to play in Serie A with Napoli.

A crucial component in the Total Football Dutch and Ajax sides of the Seventies, Krol mainly played as a sweeper or left-back, however he could play anywhere across the back four or as a defensive midfielder.

Krol will always be remembered for a 25-yard screamer he scored against Argentina in the 1974 World Cup and being one of the best players to fail at the final hurdle in two finals.

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hamburg SV 1978 - No.7 Keegan.


Its fair to say Kevin Keegan’s three seasons in the Bundesliga were quite eventful. He managed to win the German title, the Ballon d’Or twice,  play in the European Cup final against Nottingham Forest and release a top-10 smash hit.

It was a golden period for the German team as well under the rigid, systematic approach of Yugoslav Branko Zebec. The addition of the target-man Hrubesch allowed Keegan to flourish – to some extent Hrubesch-Keegan was Toshack-Keegan revisited. With the imaginative Magath prompting behind these two, HSV now possessed one of the most lethal forward lines in the league.

Central to it all though was the little man from the north of England, a scampering dribbler with a bubble-perm taking on and beating Europe’s best. As much as anyone else, Keegan was the catalyst for HSV’s rise.

Yet, in his typically forward-thinking way, he was already pondering the next step. As it had been for his Liverpool career back in 1977, the European Cup final would be a curtain call for Keegan at HSV. Although it did not end in glory, 'Mächtig Maus' had made himself part of Hamburg folklore.


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Argentinos Juniors 1979 - No.10 Maradona.


Raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diego Armando Maradona Franco was spotted by a talent scout aged 8 and became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the youth team of Argentinos Juniors.

When Diego came to Argentinos Juniors for trials, I was really struck by his talent and couldn't believe he was only eight years old. In fact, we asked him for his ID card so we could check it, but he told us he didn't have it on him. We were sure he was having us on because, although he had the physique of a child, he played like an adult. When we discovered he'd been telling us the truth, we decided to devote ourselves purely to him."
—Francisco Cornejo, youth coach who discovered Maradona

On 20 October 1976, Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors, ten days before his sixteenth birthday. After the game, Maradona stated: "That day I felt I had held the sky in my hands".
Many years later the club would name their ground, Estadio Diego Armando Maradona in honour of him.

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Friday, 30 October 2015

AC Milan 1999 - No.3 Maldini.


Arrigo Sacchi arrived to manage Milan in 1986 and along with the celebrity signings of Gullit, Rijkaard and van Basten, he also entrusted the left-back slot to a local, 17-year-old boy - Paolo Maldini.

Partnering Maldini were probably three of the greatest defenders in the world at the time. Tassotti, Costacurta and captain Baresi formed probably the strongest defensive unit the world has seen to date.

Maldini was the Milan and Italy captain for many years and was considered a leader by fellow footballers, leading to the nickname "Il Capitano" (the Captain).
Obviously with such a lengthy career Maldini holds the records for most appearances in Serie A, with 647, and in UEFA Club competitions, with 174. He is also the record appearance holder for Milan, with 902 appearances in all competitions.

He spent all 25 seasons of his career at Milan, before hanging up his boots at the age of 41 in 2009. He won 26 trophies with Milan, including the Champions League five times and seven Serie A titles.
Like they had done with Franco Baresi, Milan retired Maldini’s No.3 shirt upon retirement.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Napoli 1989 - No.10 Maradona.

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Napoli will always be tied with the confectionary company Mars – primarily because the shirt sponsorship deal coincided with one of the clubs Scudetto winning seasons and the prominance of the best player to ever appear for the club, Diego Maradona.

In 1989 Napoli managed to win an international trophy for the first time, defeating Stuttgart 2-1 and drawing 3-3 in the two-legged Uefa Cup final. Napoli could not keep pace with Inter in Serie A, but recorded a second place, its fourth consecutive podium finish in the final standings.


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Away.


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Monday, 26 October 2015

Torino 1984.


In 1984 Torino managed to beat local rivals, and clear favourites for the title, Juventus in the final standings. But despite this feat, it was not enough for an 8th league title, with Hellas Verona surprisingly taking the laurels.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Bordeaux 1989 - No.21 Dugarry.


Christophe Dugarry came through the youth ranks at Bordeaux alongside future France teammates Bixente Lizarazu and Zinedine Zidane. The highly skillful and tempremental winger spent eight years at Bordeaux, scoring 34 goals in 187 appearances. Moves to Milan and Barcelona followed before a return to Bordeaux in 1999.
A player that divided opinion from all sides, Dugarry never hid from his critics and thrived under the spotlight he found himself under whenever he played.

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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Fiorentina 1986 - No.10 Baggio.


The mercurial Roberto Baggio's performances for the Fiori elevated him to hero status among the fans and rioting broke out when he was sold to Juventus in 1990.
Baggio replied to his fans, saying: "I was compelled to accept the transfer".

In his first match for Juventus against Fiorentina Baggio refused to take a penalty, stating that Fiorentina's goalkeeper knew him too well. Then when substituted, he picked up a Fiorentina scarf thrown onto the field, a gesture which caused outrage amongst the Juventus supporters, who were initially reluctant to accept Baggio. He later claimed: "Deep in my heart I am always purple".

His characteristics led former Fiorentina playmaker, Miguel Montuori, to state that Baggio was: "…more productive than Maradona; he is without doubt the best number 10 in the league", also stating that Baggio had "ice in his veins", due to his composure in front of goal.

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Friday, 18 September 2015

Juventus 1998 - No.7 Di Livio.


Comfortable on either flank, his tireless running and quality crossing made Angelo Di Livio an important element in the dominant Juventus starting lineup from 1993 to 1999, during one of the most successful periods in the club's history.

Nicknamed the 'little soldier' by team mate Roberto Baggio, he won three Scudetti and the Champions League title in 1996.
On leaving the bianconeri, Di Livio joined Fiorentina and showed his dedication by being the only player to stay with the team after they went bankrupt, as he played through the depths of Italian football on the climb back to Serie A in 2004.


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