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 Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 19:49

Since there will be no Euros this summer and I am in the age range to be struck down by plague I will record my opinions of great European players for prosperity. All teams are a compromise since you can’t just put in the best eleven players in their positions. There is always the danger of ending up with too many Chiefs and not enough Indians and since there are at least 7 international captains in my selection maybe that has proved a problem. Then what formation do you play? And how can you judge players across different generations when their tactical requirements have changed so much? Here goes.

1. GOALKEEPER: LEV YASHIN (USSR)



There have probably been several goalkeepers as good since and maybe a few that were better, but I will let my heart rule my head and plump for Lev Yashin. In Russian language the area inside the posts and the cross bar is not called ‘the goals’ but the ‘gates’ which conjures up images of workers defending the gates of Moscow from Napoleon or Hitler. Lev was evacuated from Moscow aged 13 to do his bit for the war effort in a freezing aircraft factory, acquiring a stomach ulcer that plagued him the rest of his days.

At 6’2 Yashin had height and reach plus that legendary agility, but most importantly he was the first of the modern goalkeepers in that he commanded his entire penalty area. Defenders were ordered to push out and give him the space to claim shots and crosses without interference. With his proletarian cap and dark blue (not black) labourer’s jersey Yashin’s easy, warm smile made him an obvious poster boy for Soviet propaganda. Even after his death, players like Beckenbauer, Seeler and Eusebio would visit his family when they were in Moscow to pay their respects.

For me the sign of the great keeper is that he makes all the defenders in front of him feel confident whilst at the same time convincing the opposing attackers that the goal looks smaller than it actually is. Yashin could create that illusion and also saved 150 penalties, his secret being to look straight into the kicker’s eyes before committing. Lev was ahead of his time on food and nutrition. His advice? Have a fag to calm your nerves, and then a strong shot of vodka to loosen the muscles. A true goalkeeper hero of the workers’ state.


No star shape from Lev; just the old technique of a diving block

sammer
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 19:58

Thats scary sammer I was only thinking about him after my post about keepers back in the day not being the best ......He was one of the best
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: 1970par  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 20:09

No, I think the great Gordon Banks was a better keeper, much as it sticks in my throat to nominate an Englishman for that accolade

His save against Pelé is the greatest save in history and as a World Cup winner (ahem ahem, stuck in throat again) he deserves to be in the frame as best no1
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 20:23

1970par ...Banks 5 penalties against four conceded one saved 35 clean sheets
Yashin 150 penalty saves 270 clean sheets
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 20:24

I do wonder how the back pass rule would affect the brilliance of these pre '90 keepers though I suspect it would of had a greater effect on defenders.

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 23:06

Saw the great Jose Iribar play at EEP - nominated as one of the alltime 10 greatest international goalkeepers.

Bert Paton put one past him.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 23:15

It is all opinions and I think goalkeeping might be the hardest position to judge. Jock Stein never quite got it right after all, although replacing Herriott with Connachan might have been one of his better moves in 1961.

I agree Banks and Shilton were top notch, in fact Shilton maybe the better of the two. Jennings was also a great UK goalkeeper who reassured his defence, in contrast to Shilton who never stopped criticising them and that could cause problems on occasion. Banks was also bummed up by the English media which makes it hard for us to judge him fairly; he lost three near post goals v Scotland in 1966 and nobody said a thing apart from we Scots. The goal he conceded to Law the year before was worse than anything Haffey or|Kennedy ever did at Wembley. Even Clemence survived his boob in 1976 at Hampden. So great goalkeepers can lose bad goals, but should not make it a habit. Average goalkeepers can make an outstanding save- like Geir Karlsson v Hibs in 1974- but that does not expunge the saveable shots they might let in over a season.

The best keepers I have seen in Scotland were Goram and Niemi of Hearts, who I thought could have been a top international keeper.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 23:28

Iribar was very highly rated across Europe so Bert did well to slot one in. In the 1966 WC tournament it was widely assumed three keepers stood out: Banks, Yashin and Iribar. The rest were average to poor, although the North Korean played with a do or die mentality I have never forgotten, despite being around 5'8. He came for most crosses and claimed the majority. He flew through the air rather than jumped. And he got his clean sheet v Italy. What a hero!
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 23:36

Sammer Niemi was Finnish!
He's only 28!

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Fri 20 Mar 23:47

TOWK,

Nice one. I had forgotten that. Was the caller who suggested Niemi should play for Scotland serious do you think, or was the joke already there?

Niemi played for Hearts and Southampton most of his career but I suspect if he had got a start at a big club he would be regarded like Schmeichel now. Hew really impressed. One of his best games was the 6-2 hammering from Hibs when he was the best Hearts player on the park.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 00:06

If that caller scripted that then he was a comedy genius. Perfect timing and delivery. I'm going to believe it wasn't, makes it all the funnier.

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 00:55

Grant will be along shortly to tell everyone that De Gea is a much better keeper and yer Russian bloke wouldn't be able to keep goal for Kelty Hearts these days
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sadindiefreak  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 08:05

Yashin is the only goalkeeper to have won world player of the year.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 10:51

"Jock Stein never quite got it right after all, although replacing Herriott with Connachan might have been one of his better moves in 1961."

Sammer - was Connachan not number one choice when Big Jock came to the club and he promoted Herriot to his deputy ?

One the top goalie theme - Yashin and Iribar were keepers for USSR (1960) and Spain (1964) when they became Euro champions respectively.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 11:22

Quote:

red-star-par, Sat 21 Mar 00:55

Grant will be along shortly to tell everyone that De Gea is a much better keeper and yer Russian bloke wouldn't be able to keep goal for Kelty Hearts these days


Impossible to say, I've only ever watched highlights of Yashin.

Goalkeeper is a hard one to judge, even from 20 years ago you're top, world class keepers like Kahn and Schmeichel might struggle with today's game, where if you're a top class keeper you need to be competent with the ball at your feet.

From back in Yashins time he had the back pack pass rule which was hugely favourable to goalkeepers, and those heavy balls everyone likes to talk about made it easier for goalkeepers compared to today's one which move around allot more.

Are you judging players for how good they were in there respective time? Or are you judging them for how good they'd be now?

If it's the first, then you'd pick Yashin, I don't think any other goalkeeper has ever won the Balon d'or, if its the second, you'd probably pick someone from the last 15 years. Even trying to pick the best goalkeeper from the last 15 years would be controversial.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 11:23

Quote:

Grant, Sat 21 Mar 11:22

Quote:

red-star-par, Sat 21 Mar 00:55

Grant will be along shortly to tell everyone that De Gea is a much better keeper and yer Russian bloke wouldn't be able to keep goal for Kelty Hearts these days


Impossible to say, I've only ever watched highlights of Yashin.

Goalkeeper is a hard one to judge, even from 20 years ago you're top, world class keepers like Kahn and Schmeichel might struggle with today's game, where if you're a top class keeper you need to be competent with the ball at your feet.

From back in Yashins time he had the back pack pass rule which was hugely favourable to goalkeepers, and those heavy balls everyone likes to talk about made it easier for goalkeepers compared to today's one which move around allot more.

Are you judging players for how good they were in there respective time and there achievements during it? Or are you judging them for how good they'd be now with the laws and demands of today?

If it's the first, then you'd pick Yashin, I don't think any other goalkeeper has ever won the Balon d'or, if its the second, you'd probably pick someone from the last 15 years. Even trying to pick the best goalkeeper from the last 15 years would be controversial.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 14:31

Fwiw my side would be, with striking a compromise between the two points above...

Gk- Gianluigi Buffon

Rb-Phillip Lahm
CB-Cannavaro
CB-Baresi
CB-Maldini

Cm-Xavi
Cm-Zidane
Cm-Iniesta

Fw-Cruyff
Fw-Henry
Fw-C Ronaldo

I had a pretty good idea of what I fancied but I actually struggled more with the striker and the midfield, if you were building a midfield you'd want someone more defensively minded, Makalele? Viera? However Iniesta and Xavi dominated football, and midfields to such a degree I don't think you could leave either out, likewise with Zidane.

Upfront Ronaldo and Cruyff are stick ons but I was less sure on Henry, feel like I'm forgetting someone quite obvious.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 15:21

You know who Zidane considered to be the best midfielder in Europe when he himself was in his pomp? Paul Scholes.

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sonofpetrie  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 15:24

Quote:

Grant, Sat 21 Mar 14:31

Fwiw my side would be, with striking a compromise between the two points above...

Gk- Gianluigi Buffon

Rb-Phillip Lahm
CB-Cannavaro
CB-Baresi
CB-Maldini

Cm-Xavi
Cm-Zidane
Cm-Iniesta

Fw-Cruyff
Fw-Henry
Fw-C Ronaldo

I had a pretty good idea of what I fancied but I actually struggled more with the striker and the midfield, if you were building a midfield you'd want someone more defensively minded, Makalele? Viera? However Iniesta and Xavi dominated football, and midfields to such a degree I don't think you could leave either out, likewise with Zidane.

Upfront Ronaldo and Cruyff are stick ons but I was less sure on Henry, feel like I'm forgetting someone quite obvious.


Maradona 😉

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary"
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 15:32

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Sat 21 Mar 15:21

You know who Zidane considered to be the best midfielder in Europe when he himself was in his pomp? Paul Scholes.


I was actually going to put him in but banged in Xavi instead.

Unashamedly a massive fan boy of Scholes, what a pler.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: the saline hill puma  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 16:28

Quote:

Grant, Sat 21 Mar 14:31

Fwiw my side would be, with striking a compromise between the two points above...

Gk- Gianluigi Buffon

Rb-Phillip Lahm
CB-Cannavaro
CB-Baresi
CB-Maldini

Cm-Xavi
Cm-Zidane
Cm-Iniesta

Fw-Cruyff
Fw-Henry
Fw-C Ronaldo

I had a pretty good idea of what I fancied but I actually struggled more with the striker and the midfield, if you were building a midfield you'd want someone more defensively minded, Makalele? Viera? However Iniesta and Xavi dominated football, and midfields to such a degree I don't think you could leave either out, likewise with Zidane.

Upfront Ronaldo and Cruyff are stick ons but I was less sure on Henry, feel like I'm forgetting someone quite obvious.


No Hamish French??? .... Terrible

Post Edited (Sat 21 Mar 16:28)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 17:16

Yeah your forgetting about Van Basten

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 19:22

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Sat 21 Mar 17:16

Yeah your forgetting about Van Basten


Ah well, that's CR7 on the bench then?

He will NOT like that!......



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 19:32

Jaap Stam
Eric Cantona
Up there with the best
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 19:37

Ronaldo is coming in off the left. Regardless if it was a choice between them both it would obviously be Ronaldo.

Unsure on Van Basten, I was aware of him, done the Ajax stadium tour last year and he's absolutely revered there. However it's hard to judge how good a player he could've been due to his horrendous problems with injury, I think Henry achieved more in harder leagues.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 20:44

Van Basten won two European Cups and three scudettos at Milan which included an invincible season. He only played for two senior clubs, Ajax and Milan, playing 280 games and scoring an incredible 218 goals. His performances and goals for the Dutch at Euro 88 are legendary and his goal in the final one of the finest ever. I'd have him in my greatest all time team.
Alan Shearer would be in with a chance as well. Not only a great goal scorer but a scorer of great goals.

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Sat 21 Mar 21:03

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Sat 21 Mar 20:44

Van Basten won two European Cups and three scudettos at Milan which included an invincible season. He only played for two senior clubs, Ajax and Milan, playing 280 games and scoring an incredible 218 goals. His performances and goals for the Dutch at Euro 88 are legendary and his goal in the final one of the finest ever. I'd have him in my greatest all time team.
Alan Shearer would be in with a chance as well. Not only a great goal scorer but a scorer of great goals.


Aye, there's a bit of a misconception that Van Basten's ankles were made of chocolate, but in fact he was only significantly sidelined during his first and last season at Milan - in between he was a regular starter and scorer. Not only that, he was named European Footballer of the Year 3 times.

His injury prone reputation doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. It was more to do with the vicious "tactics" unscrupulous defenders employed to stop him. Along with Maradona, he was the most fouled player of his time in Serie A.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 11:55

"Unashamedly a massive fan boy of Scholes, what a pler."

Often exposed at low tide though.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Paralex  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 13:31

Eusebio and George Best deserve at least a mention.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 17:16

BEST EURO BACK FOUR

2. RIGHT BACK PAUL BREITNER West Germany)



I’m not sure Paul Breitner ever played right back but I am confident he would have played there better than anyone else. I first saw him man marking Franny Lee at Wembley, using his powerful thighs and hips to bully the muscular Man City striker into oblivion. He had pace enough too and knew how to time a tackle as Lee discovered. In the 1974 WC Breitner played left back but had liberty to come forward which allowed him twice to place thunderous shots into the top corner in the early stages, against Chile and Yugoslavia. In the final he won a struggle with Neeskens near his own corner flag, then within ten seconds had combined in a move which saw a penalty awarded, which he pushed- not even stroked- into the corner of the Holland net. Absolutely nerveless. Breitner made a few vital interventions in a torrid second half as Holland turned the screw for he was one of these players who always seemed to have something in reserve if things were going wrong.

Breitner later moved to midfield for both Real Madrid and West Germany and he is part of that elite group to have scored in two WC finals. He was good midfielder but a great full back who answered every question asked and posed more than a few himself, Nobody could find a way past him and yet he could invariably create an opening when he carried the ball forward himself. His hippy, Maoist outlook seemed to chime with the Baader-Meinhof, Fassbinder years of the ‘Raspberry Reich.’ And it seems Breitner was no great friend of the conservative Beckenbauer for all that their interplay in tight defensive positions was considered revolutionary in its time.


5. SWEEPER: WILLI SCHULTZ (West Germany)



Schultz, who started as a centre half, was one of the earliest sweepers and despite the efforts of Moore, Scirea and Baresi he remains the best. If you ever wanted a man to draw a bolt behind the door of your full backs and centre half then Schultz was your man. The West German manager, Helmut Shoen, would not allow Beckenbauer to play in his preferred position of sweeper so long as Schultz was available, so I will do likewise.

Schultz had bandy legs and slightly stooped shoulders which reflected the fact he was always poised on alert. He moved like a panther to snuff out the first hint of danger. What distinguishes the great defender from the good one is the quality of his decision making and that is why Schultz remains the best. His experience allowed him to judge when to attack the ball and when to hold his position to cover the space. Once that decision was made it was executed with total commitment, whether that entailed delaying the challenge or launching a sudden sliding challenge on a forward in the process of shooting. Schultz’s timing was immaculate so he could tackle confidently inside the penalty area and he also loved to charge down shots.

You’ve all the heard the myth of how Bobby Charlton being subbed cost England their 3-2 defeat in the Mexico WC of 1970. The real truth is that Schultz, nursing an Achilles injury, was brought on by Schoen and immediately starting making interceptions, snuffing out England attacks and carrying the ball into midfield where Beckenbauer and Overath could now take the game to England. He’s been described as a BMW to Beckenbauer’s Mercedes and that glorious backhanded compliment is why Willi Schultz is playing in central defence.



6. CENTRE HALF: FERNANDO HIERRO (Spain)



Modern gurus like Guardiola don’t really like centre halves, seeing them as dinosaurs from an earlier era. However the great Spanish team of tiki-taka had a brute of a centre half in Puyol and since he departed they have won little since. Maybe Sergio Ramos is no more a centre half than John Stones and to win things you need a player capable of dominating your defensive area.

Fernando Hierro was twice the player that Puyol was but he is associated, like Fernando Torres, with an earlier era when Spain promised much but never quite delivered. That is unfair since he was not just, as his name suggests in Spanish hard as iron, but a great all round footballer. Hierro was 6’2 and could handle big strikers as a man to man marker if need be for he was a tenacious competitor. His blotting out of nippier players like Inzaghi and Del Peiro in the 1998 Eurochamp final was a masterclass of its kind in a 1-0 victory. Hierro was also a stylish player who carried the ball out of defence when opportunity arose and accurate driven passes from defence to wide areas were a feature of his game.

Although Hierro also played as a defensive midfield player with great effect his scoring record is astonishing, for he notched over 100 goals at club level and is only one behind Law and Dalglish for his country, scoring 29. Even allowing for headers, free kicks and penalties that is evidence of a natural footballer, a man who ran hard and straight and when in attack could lash the ball into the opposition goal. Hierro was not a touch player, more an assertive driving type and he is probably not fully recognised in his native land.



3. LEFT BACK PAULO MALDINI (Italy)



A pretty obvious choice as the best all round left back. Maldini could do everything well and whatever the situation he seemed to be in command of what was going on around him, even when the opposition had the ball. Italians seem to enjoy defending more than any other nation and Maldini never seemed more in his element than when bolstering up his defensive colleagues around the edge of the penalty area.

He was tall, athletic and handsome and very much the image of the great AC Milan team for which he played over such a long period. Everything was slick, measured, smooth and controlled. Other full backs were dashing back retrieving their ground or maybe scooting up the wing to put in a cross, but Maldini seemed capable of carrying out both these duties without breaking sweat. He timed his slide tackles so well he would often to turn defence into attack and he could pass off either foot, being well balanced on both. His mid range passing was better than most defenders and his crossing more than decent. Like any defender Maldini could be beaten but his response was to make a recovery challenge, just as it seemed his mistake might prove crucial, and restore order. In positional terms he seemed to have an inbuilt compass that told him where he should be.

In the 1990 WC Final, due to injuries and substitutions in the match, Maldini was asked to play three different defensive positions but adapted effortlessly, for he was also a fine central defender. He was so calm and composed he made the art of defending look easy which is why he is probably the greatest European left back in my lifetime.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 17:26

BEST EURO MIDFIELD
I’m a 4-3-3 man at heart and like to have at least one wide attacker but I’m going for 4-4-2. This team has to face a South American forward line along the lines of Garrincha, Pele, di Stefano, Maradona and Rivelino so cannot go toe to toe with that quality.

7. RIGHT MIDFIELD: JOHAN NEESKENS (Holland)



Neeskens was not an Ajax academy product but was bought as an uncompromising right back from the Dutch equivalent of Raith Rovers. He possessed an impressive physique and as he souped up his energy levels he was moved into midfield where he probably changed the way football has been played in the last 40 years. Things now taken as standard- the pressing game, high defensive lines and sweeper goalkeepers- all stem from Neeskens showing how it was possible to compress space on a football pitch.

Neeskens was unleashed at the 1974 WC and led the ‘Orange Squash’ which squeezed the life out of Uruguay and Argentina as they tried to pass their way out of their own half. He stalked their playmakers like Marvin Hagler cutting off the ring and bullied and bruised them into submission. He had a K.O punch as well: a powerful right foot shot which screamed into the net, often from a first time finish. His finest hour came in the 2-0 defeat of Brazil, who he harried to distraction, being hacked down repeatedly for his efforts. The final assault on him was a waist line foul followed by a stamping which resulted in a red card. Neeskens had the last laugh, for his controlled volley on the run was the goal which knocked the stuffing out of the holders.

Shooting aside, Neeskens was no more than average with the ball at his feet. But his coverage of the pitch made him an extra defender or extra attacker as required and heralded the emergence of the athlete as footballer. Lothar Matthaus came close to all that but without the bold, buccaneering spirit epitomised by the young Johan Neeskens.



4. DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD: FRANZ BECKENBAUER (West Germany)



Of all the great footballers Franz Beckenbauer is the one where no argument is made for a rival being better. Sammer and Rijkard were good but nobody could seriously imagine a better creative wing half than Beckenbauer so he is an automatic choice for any world X1 never mind a European one; the only argument is about his position.

As a sweeper, his preferred position, Beckenbauer created the concept of playing football from defence, in a country where stolid defence had been the norm. Those who tried to copy his relaxed style failed to realise he was extremely quick across the grass and the merest tilt of his ankle could nudge the ball into a different passing angle. Beckenbauer played off the front foot, clipping passes with the outside of his Adidas boot right into the path of team mates. He used anticipation rather than tackling to break up attacks and like Maldini always gave the impression of being in total control, sometimes carrying the ball through the traffic in his own penalty area to find a good pass. (Warning: Don’t try this at the Rex Park.)

Beckenbauer could see the whole pitch and, like Zidane, regularly demanded the ball the better to set the tempo of play. When he changed gear he could cut holes in the opposition and was a great give-and-go player who finished calmly, like the striker he had been in his youth. He had everything a midfielder needs really: great awareness, precise passing, smooth running and a telling final pass or shot. Wherever he was on the park Beckenbauer was always thinking creatively, probing for a weakness in the opposition. There was nobody better than Beckenbauer before and there has been nobody better in his position since.



8. ATTACKING MIDFIELD ZINEDINE ZIDANE (France)



Zinedine Zidane was no youthful prodigy, being in his mid twenties before he established himself as a great European player. When Blackburn manager Kenny Dalglish tried to buy him from Bordeaux for £2 million his chairman said: ‘What for? We have Tim Sherwood.’ Zidane’s talent had been obvious from the start but his work rate was considered rather low and he was also a prickly character with a short fuse.

Standing over six feet tall and solidly built Zidane was not a man to be brushed aside and he moved surprisingly quickly, seeming to stamp on the ground as he ran with the ball. He had a wide repertoire of technical tricks but picking out the right pass was his most effective weapon. He didn’t have the gliding quality or two footed shooting power of Bobby Charlton but whereas Charlton could win a game of football, Zidane gave the impression of orchestrating it. Team mates at Juventus, Real Madrid and France all accepted his right to be the main playmaker, the man who set the tempo of play. Maybe Zidane should have scored more often but he saved his goals for big occasions such as WC or European finals, famously holding his nerve to place two dead balls past David James in the 91st and 93rd minutes in a last gasp 2-1 victory over England. Cometh the hour, cometh Zidane.

France collapsed at the 2002 WC so Zidane was lured from retirement and dragged them to the 2006 final. Zizou was much loved by football fans worldwide because he never lost the hardness he’d picked up in the Marseilles housing estate but fused that with a command of the game’s poetry. He was a warrior-poet and retains heroic status in the banlieues across France.



11. LEFT MIDFIELD ANDRES INIESTA (Spain)



Iniesta might have been the most difficult player to dispossess in the history of the game for although he rarely beat a man outright, he was nimble with two fast feet and just kept moving out of tackling range. He looked like he was gliding on ice skates as opponents slid and slipped trying to pin him down. He performed too many Figures of Eight for my liking, sometimes weaving his way to the bye line before coming all the way back again, but that was just evidence of how Iniesta was impossible to box in. In old terminology he combined the left half and outside left positions.

Could he play in a team not schooled in the finer arts of tiki-taka? The answer has to be yes. Iniesta’s abilty to retain the ball in tight situations makes him a dream to play alongside and he was always on the move, making himself available for a quick, short pass. Unlike Zidane, Iniesta always put in a good defensive shift and could be found winning the ball around his own penalty area since he had great stamina. Yet there remained an understated quality about Iniesta’s game, a man so committed to the collective effort that despite scoring a winning WC goal he never quite achieved the heroic status afforded to others in this European X1.

So much the better. The quiet intelligence and utter dependability of Iniesta serves as a crucial antidote to inflated egos and should remind everyone that football remains a team game. More than Messi or even Xavi, Iniesta was the symbol of possession football taken to its limits, a transfer of the 5-a-side football ethos into the full sized arena where it could flourish on good quality pitches supported by strict refereeing.

sammer
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 18:03

Loving it sammer
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Stanza  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 21:21

Great thread, and I was really swept along by sammer's roll-call of the great.

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: thenatural  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 21:54

Really enjoying this. Great choices and descriptions but what’s the 1998 Eurochamp final you refer to Hierro playing in? 98 was a World Cup year. Also, Maldini didn’t play in 1990 World Cup final. That was between West Germany and Argentina.
Nit-picking aside, look forward to reading forward selections.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 22:12

Sorry for the slips.
For Hierro I meant the Champions League Final 1998 and Maldini's versatility was in 1994 when the WC Final ended 0-0 with Brazil.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 22 Mar 22:24

Did Baresi come into your thoughts at all Sammer?

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 00:02

TOWK,

He certainly did, in fact I mentioned him in passing when considering sweepers. Baresi was top level although he did not make the Italian 1982 WC winning side whereas Bergomi, who was younger, did. By 1990 he was the best central defender around. Anytime I talk with others about great sweepers, the names of Moore and Baresi always come up.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 07:29

I too, am enjoying this thread very much. Sammer not only has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game, but he's a wonderful wordsmith, conjuring up vivid pictures of the great players of yesteryear. His talents are underused on Dotnet and he should probably be writing for a quality newspaper*. I would describe him as a cross between Bob Crampsey and Hugh McIlvanney. You may not agree with all of his selections, but he certainly sets their case out very well.

I'm a bit surprised Gaetano Scirea didn't get a mention for the sweeper role. He was good enough to keep Baresi out of the Italy team in both 82 and 86 and died in a road traffic accident in Poland aged just 36.

* I wish I could remember the name of the journalist who had a similar writing style to Sammer. After England's crushing 6-3 defeat to Hungary at Wembley in 1953, he described a goal in which Puskas dragged the ball back with his studs before dispatching it into the top corner....

"Billy Wright went rushing past, like a fire engine on its way to the wrong fire...." ☺



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 09:01

I was expecting sammer to favour Sammer.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Johan_Cruyff  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 10:24

Schmiechel
Maldini
Cannavaro
Stam
Lahm
Iniesta
Zidane
Best
Cruyff
Dalgliesh
Van Basten

Versus

Buffon
Baresi
Beckenbauer
McGrain
Cole
Stoichkov
Hagi
Xavi
Scholes
Shearer
Suker





Post Edited (Mon 23 Mar 11:26)
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 RMcIlvanneye: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 10:43

Quote:

GG Riva, Mon 23 Mar 07:29
You may not agree with all of his selections, but he certainly sets their case out very well.


Of course if you choose to beleive them then that's very much your problem.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 11:03

It's not a question of belief; it's someone's opinion and if you agree or disagree with them it's not a problem either.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: MDCCCLXXXV  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 12:17

 Bent Martin

Willie Callaghan
John McGarty
Roy Barry
 John Lunn

Ian Lister
Tommy Callaghan

Hugh Robertson
Alex Edwards

Pat Gardner
Bert Paton





https://youtu.be/_AE9KdaQ6Pk

East End Park is a symbol of all that is DAFC.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 12:26

I'm still trying to get ma heid around the suggestion that the lack of a pass back rule before 1992 meant that keepers prior to then were of lesser calibre !!!
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: parathletic  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 12:29

Desailly,Blanc and Thuram were some defensive unit for a few years at the end of the 90's.

Koeman was some player too-193 goals in 535 games club games and 14 in 78 games for Holland is some record for a defensive player! He was a great sweeper spraying passes about.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 12:53

Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 12:26

I'm still trying to get ma heid around the suggestion that the lack of a pass back rule before 1992 meant that keepers prior to then were of lesser calibre !!!


Certainly worse with the ball at there feet, because you know, rather than worrying about controlling a dodgy back pass and getting it away they could simply pick it up. Goalkeepers in todays games are expected to be very, very, very competent with the ball at there feet, look at the top class goalkeepers of today, no world class side would have a goalkeeper who isn't comfortable with the ball getting passed around his six yard line.

Surely if you're going to judge any player it would be the rules employed in todays game?

I'd also say the same of defenders, couldn't give a rats bottom if he was "tough as nails", if the way he tamed opposing attacking players was by kicking lumps out of them safe in the knowledge the ref wasn't going to book him he shouldn't be anywhere near any great side, it's not good nor great defending, it is cowardly though.

I'm expected Arhur Kinnaird to appear in Sammers list at this rate.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 13:17

How do you know goalkeepers of the past wouldn't have been comfortable with the ball at their feet? They picked it up because they were allowed to.

Oh, and it's 'their' not 'there'. Schoolboy error!
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 14:28

How does being able to pick the ball up (or not) prevent opposition players thundering in shots and headers etc ?

That arguement is just guff.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 14:56

I never said it does, or doesn't.

But it is however a massive part of the game now.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 15:51

Quote:

wee eck, Mon 23 Mar 13:17

How do you know goalkeepers of the past wouldn't have been comfortable with the ball at their feet? They picked it up because they were allowed to.


Who knows, it's impossible to judge someone on the actions they don't commit. However we're judging players based on what they've done, and what they were.

The back pass rule, which co incided with the Premier league and increased professionalism was one of the big rule changes along with the slight change in the offside rule in 1990, changed the game.

Where do we draw the line in discussing who is the best ever? What about those who first played the game in England where it was all about head down and charging up the field in a pack, why do we not say they're the greatest European side?

Why not the Scottish side that then showed passing the ball was the way to go about things?

Why not the teams in the mid 1920s who first played the WM formation?

Why is it when people talk about the greatest European sides and players we talk like football began in 1960? At 60 years ago now it's as close to us as 1910 was to it, in there day do you think they were saying there 1910 stars were better than those that played then, and then surely by association would mean better than those that played now?

I'm genuinely interested as to where people are drawing a line. Football has changed an awful lot through the years, with rule and tactical changes, an increase in professionalism and money giving the sport an entirely different look to what it had in the 1980s.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:05

I would imagine posters on here are comparing teams and players they have seen in their lifetime. They could hardly include any from an earlier era as there is little footage of them available.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:16

Quote:

wee eck, Mon 23 Mar 16:05

I would imagine posters on here are comparing teams and players they have seen in their lifetime. They could hardly include any from an earlier era as there is little footage of them available.



There's plenty footage of the 60s,70s and 80s, whenever I mention that the standard is awful fans of that generation seem to get very uptight.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:33

BEST EURO ATTACKERS

9. STRIKER JOHAN CRYUFF (Holland)




What do you look for in the perfect forward line? A speedy right winger; a schemer; a target man; a poacher; and a dribbling left winger? If so, Johan Cryuff is your man for he would occupy all those positions in the course of one game: he was a one man attack! When Cryuff burst on the scene for Ajax in a 5-1 defeat of Liverpool a bewildered Shankly complained: ‘It’s ridiculous! They played defensive football.’

Whether a single dressing room could contain the egos of Beckenbaeur, Zidane and Cryuff I’m not sure but it would be an interesting experiment. Cryuff, like George Best, was balanced like a cat for he always landed on his feet: when hurdling a challenge he still had time to point out where a team mate should move and even swear at the referee, before landing. He would dribble at great pace, check, then accelerate at a different angle to bamboozle opponents. His crossing off either foot was accurate, particularly when bent with the outside of the foot to tempt the goalkeeper off his line. Speed of thought made Johan Cryuff a prolific goalscorer throughout his career, and that is before we consider the number of goals he created.

Cryuff was an unusual leader in that he retained a boyish air, sometimes verging on petulance, yet no one doubted he was the skipper on board of the Dutch Clipper, a restless voyager seeking to explore unchartered waters.
Without their skipper the Holland team in 1978 was a shadow of the vibrant orange wave which had swept over the World Cup in 1974, for total football without Cryuff was like The Beatles minus John Lennon.

Ron Greenwood described football as, ‘Chess on Wheels.’ Cryuff was a Grand Master.



10. STRIKER FERENC PUSKAS (Hungary)



If you were looking for an example of a star player from yesteryear who would struggle to adapt to the athleticism of the modern day game then Ferenc Puskas would seem a good place to start. Even in his prime Puskas, in boxing terms, was struggling to make the weight and like Zidane he often seemed to be loitering on the pitch rather than putting himself about. But be careful. George Best told a story about the retired Puskas, his weight now ballooned, being ignored by teenagers he was supposed to be coaching. Best walked over and placed six footballs along the 18 yard line and said to them: ‘Watch this!’ Puskas smashed the first five off the crossbar, then juggled the last ball before volleying it off the bar and back over their heads. The boys watched on in awe.

It can be no coincidence Puskas was a major figure in both the greatest international team and the greatest club team of his generation, while his 90% scoring rate stands comparison with anyone. Yet he never played off a target man, relying on deep lying centres or wingers to place the ball into the area he was moving into. From there it was a matter of two touches: the first to lay the ball onto his left foot and the second to make a clever pass or, if he was within 25 yards of the goal, simply leather the ball into the corner of the net. Team mate Bozsik said, ‘I could find Ferenc blindfold in the dark,’ in tribute to his astute positioning.

Puskas combined the shooting power of Eusebio with the link play of van Basten and the unerring goal instinct of Gerd Muller. He looked containable- until you had to play against him.



12 SUBSTITUTE GEORGE BEST (Northern Ireland)



The only British player to get pitch side and certainly the most talented with the ball at his feet. You want a substitute to change things and Best could unlock defences with a swivel of his hips or a twist of the shoulders. He was comfortable on either wing and had a good scoring record for a wide attacker. The Belfast boy also had the knack of making defenders look a bit clumsy which gives a psychological edge. A potential matchwinner. Look at that balance after being fouled!


14. SUBSTITUTE CRISTIANO RONALDO (Portugal)



It might be beneath Cristiano’s dignity to warm the bench but a Ronaldo entering the pitch with a point to prove could prove a trump card. Like Best, the Portuguese is too much of a moody, individual player for my taste but his ability to break through defences is unquestioned. His ability to hit a controlled strike across the keeper when running at full tilt is the equal of Eusebio or Pele.


MANAGER: HELMUT SCHOEN



The old fox from Dresden rarely got it wrong and transformed the way Germans approached the game, introducing more technique and tactical awareness to compliment their traditional virtues of power and running. His rheumy eyes and weathered face betrayed little emotion, even when outwitting Rinus Michels in the 1974 WC Final. And he often wore a Scottish bunnet which must be a good sign.

sammer
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:38

''There's plenty footage of the 60s,70s and 80s, whenever I mention that the standard is awful fans of that generation seem to get very uptight.''

I was referring to the period before 1960.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:52

I happened to catch a programme on the Free Sports channel this afternoon featuring the speedy Real Madrid and Spain winger, Francisco Gento. He said at Real they just left Puskas up front because he couldn't run!

By the way, it's C-R-U-Y-F-F, sammer, but that's all I can find fault with.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: auldpar  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 16:57

'His talents are underused on Dotnet and he should probably be writing for a quality newspaper'

He is already writing for a quality football programme!
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 17:10

''There's plenty footage of the 60s,70s and 80s, whenever I mention that the standard is awful fans of that generation seem to get very uptight"

An opinion that that standard was awful from somebody who wasn't around to watch it in the flesh is just stupid nonsense.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 17:14

Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 17:10

''There's plenty footage of the 60s,70s and 80s, whenever I mention that the standard is awful fans of that generation seem to get very uptight"

An opinion that that standard was awful from somebody who wasn't around to watch it in the flesh is just stupid nonsense.


I take it as well as adding 20 pounds the camera also lies about football ability?

While I don't want to presume too much, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Sammer hasn't watched every game, of every player he's listed above, I will though presume due to the detail he's written in that he's seen plenty footage of them, on some form of T.V, streaming service. I'm sure Sammer will be honest on how many times he's seen each player in the flesh.

For those he hasn't can you tell him his opinions are stupid nonsense? In the interest of fairness of course.

Post Edited (Mon 23 Mar 17:21)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 19:41

"For those he hasn't can you tell him his opinions are stupid nonsense? In the interest of fairness of course."

On the contrary, his highly detailed recall of games from years ago which he attended convinces me that his observations are top drawer opinions.

His knowledge and insight is clearly comprehensive.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 19:48

Why does every great entertaining thread on here turn into trivial arguments
Come on guys Its one mans opinion but written in a very informative manner
It is wide open for conjecture of course and many of us will have different opinions, views and memories of who they thought was the best... just cut out the playground tantrums
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 20:01

This is a fantastic thread here by Sammer. I've said it before and will likely say it again, but Sammer is without doubt the best poster on this site- his work puts columnists in football magazines and sports pages to shame. In my opinion, his knowledge of the game and quality of his writing is on a par with the likes of Keir Radnedge and Bob Crampsey. I don't know if he is a writer by trade but he should be.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 21:13

Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 19:41

"For those he hasn't can you tell him his opinions are stupid nonsense? In the interest of fairness of course."

On the contrary, his highly detailed recall of games from years ago which he attended convinces me that his observations are top drawer opinions.

His knowledge and insight is clearly comprehensive.


So he's watched every game with the above players? Sammer is a very well travelled man but I'm not sure how he was able to watch Puskas and Lev Yashin back in the day, from his postings I presumed he was watching Dunfermline in the 60s.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 21:19

Quote:

Grant, Mon 23 Mar 21:13

Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 19:41

"For those he hasn't can you tell him his opinions are stupid nonsense? In the interest of fairness of course."

On the contrary, his highly detailed recall of games from years ago which he attended convinces me that his observations are top drawer opinions.

His knowledge and insight is clearly comprehensive.


So he's watched every game with the above players? Sammer is a very well travelled man but I'm not sure how he was able to watch Puskas and Lev Yashin back in the day, from his postings I presumed he was watching Dunfermline in the 60s.


With all due respect Grant maybe you could go and do some more research and leave this thread for the people that know what they are talking about, you have already proved you don't
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Ronaldo  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 21:22


"I don't know if he is a writer by trade but he should be."

Spot on, red star. I always enjoy reading your posts, Sammer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Journalism's been my trade for 40 years now and, if I may say so, your writing's among the best I've ever read. It would be great if one day you could produce a book about the Pars and their glory days. Judging by the snippets you've produced over the years, that would be one to savour.

"Why does every great entertaining thread on here turn into trivial arguments"

Couldn't agree more, Buspass. :o)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: MikeyLeonard  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 21:36

Quote:

Ronaldo, Mon 23 Mar 21:22





"Why does every great entertaining thread on here turn into trivial arguments"


Well he started it....
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 21:49

A teacher at Blacklaw Primary, Abbey View, once told me that if you don’t believe in what you are writing why should anyone else? ‘Write what matters to you.’ Wise words, from a real Pars fan as it happens. That was in the mid 1960s but he still has a season ticket for EEP after all these years and attends all the home games. He must be close to 80.

I have enjoyed doing my Greatest Euro X1. My opinions are worth no more than Grant’s at the end of the day but I have tried to justify them. Of course I am rooted in the 1960s and 1970s, but I have recognised greatness beyond that era. I won’t be alive when Grant, or his son, is defending the greatness of Mbpabbe and Haaland but I am sure they will be making as good a case I have tried to do.
BTW I omitted Coluna, Eusebio and Gentile because I think they should be available to the greatest all African team. 4

Grant is also correct to question my first hand knowledge. Most of my opinions have come from televised football which is not a primary source, especially when the Holland shirts were blurring our first colour TV sets before he was born. It's a good source and offers a better view of the actual game although I am the first to say it is not first hand history. But I am bound to say to Grant, have you ever seen Ronaldo in the flesh?
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 23 Mar 22:40

"So he's watched every game with the above players? Sammer is a very well travelled man but I'm not sure how he was able to watch Puskas and Lev Yashin back in the day, from his postings I presumed he was watching Dunfermline in the 60s."

Puskas played three European Cup matches for Real Madrid in Scotland in the 1960s, and Yashin played for the USSR at Hampden in 1967 - maybe Sammer did get around a bit ?



Post Edited (Mon 23 Mar 22:43)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 06:46

Quote:

red-star-par, Mon 23 Mar 21:19

Quote:

Grant, Mon 23 Mar 21:13

Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 19:41

"For those he hasn't can you tell him his opinions are stupid nonsense? In the interest of fairness of course."

On the contrary, his highly detailed recall of games from years ago which he attended convinces me that his observations are top drawer opinions.

His knowledge and insight is clearly comprehensive.


So he's watched every game with the above players? Sammer is a very well travelled man but I'm not sure how he was able to watch Puskas and Lev Yashin back in the day, from his postings I presumed he was watching Dunfermline in the 60s.


With all due respect Grant maybe you could go and do some more research and leave this thread for the people that know what they are talking about, you have already proved you don't


With absolutely no respect red star I've done plenty research on my part, I've watched many games from that era, hundreds of clips and all that good stuff, talking on matters they have little clue about hasn't stopped many posters on this site, I'm no certainly not going to lose sleep on talking on a matter I've got a reasonable grasp off but of which you disagree with.




Quote:

veteraneastender, Mon 23 Mar 22:40

"So he's watched every game with the above players? Sammer is a very well travelled man but I'm not sure how he was able to watch Puskas and Lev Yashin back in the day, from his postings I presumed he was watching Dunfermline in the 60s."

Puskas played three European Cup matches for Real Madrid in Scotland in the 1960s, and Yashin played for the USSR at Hampden in 1967 - maybe Sammer did get around a bit ?


It wouldn't shock me if he had, of course it would be foolish in the extreme to judge a player based on one game to then proclaim them the best European in that position 50 years later, instead I reckon Sammer has heard about the greatness of these players, and then in turn watched them whenever the chance would present itself, whether that be through watching them at a European game, or most likely watching them whenever he'd have a chance when they were on the box. There's nothing wrong with this of course and it doesn't detract from his opinion, there's no way anyone who's ever going to compile a team of this standard will have seen them so much in the flesh they could provide an in depth report on the manner Sammer has done, that doesn't detract from his point and you'd be absolutely mental, and wrong to say it does, which is what you were. This is exactly the point I'm getting at, I've watched the clips and the videos, the re runs when they're on sky and whatever other channel, and unless I'm much mistaken I highly doubt the camera does infact lie. We'll undoubtedly look through the games with different eyes, watching them will no doubt please Sammer more, they'll take him to a time when he was probably more in love with the game, when he may have enjoyed the rules, whereas I'll watch them effectively cold, with no ties or memories to attach the games too, and it's with that I then cast my judgement. The Maradona game against Scotland is a prime example, people at the game or who were around for it have told me it was an incredible performance from Maradona who was unplayable, when I then watched the re run of the game and the highlights which were also helpfully posted up earlier, the standard of the defending in particular was comedic rather than international standard. I've heard it said often enough from fans of that era that the defenders from the 70s and 80s were real defenders with real tackles and I can't help but disagree, the goalkeeping and the defending seemed the weakest part by a distance, and with that I then find it laughable when posters proclaim that the strikers and attackers of today have it easy.

To say that unless you've watched them in the flesh, it in turn makes you unable to comment is quite frankly nonsense, you know it, I certainly know it, everyone knows it. If you truly believed that you'd deride everyone putting up one of these lists. No man on this earth is that well travelled they'll have watched every great player from the 1960s hundreds of times each. As it were you decided to attack me for it, very odd.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 08:29

Your opinions, apparently as a self professed expert, seem to be entirely based on watching video footage etc. - so it's a bit rich to criticise the opinion of others who offer a view from a similar perspective.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 09:16

Quote:

veteraneastender, Tue 24 Mar 08:29

Your opinions, apparently as a self professed expert, seem to be entirely based on watching video footage etc. - so it's a bit rich to criticise the opinion of others who offer a view from a similar perspective.


It's not rich at all, I'll disagree with sammer because I beleive my opinion is correct, he'll back his up because he thinks he is right, that's how most conversations go with regards to greatest teams, that's not a drama.

The only one criticising anyone for making an opinion through video footage is you, aimed at me. As I said at length it's perfectly acceptable to have an opinion based on video footage because no one is going to have watched enough of these players in the flesh, the only one who has a problem with that, is you.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 09:24

Real v Frankfurt is often held up the greatest European club game ever but as decent as the some of the goals were the standard of defending and goal keeping was comical.
https://youtu.be/1pc1wBGnMDY

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: allparone  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 09:39

If you put up one of today’s premiership teams against defenders like that then I’d be surprised if they were able to keep the score below 20. I’m not sure if the music helped tbh. Had a Benny Hill theme to it lol.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 09:42

I thought the same thing about the music!

No one would talk much in society if they realised how often they misunderstood others
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 09:48

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Tue 24 Mar 09:24

Real v Frankfurt is often held up the greatest European club game ever but as decent as the some of the goals were the standard of defending and goal keeping was comical.
https://youtu.be/1pc1wBGnMDY


Yep, from memory that Frankfurt team absolutely slapped a Rangers team in the semi.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: eastendalloapar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:01

I believe that game was used to teach prospective teachers at Jordanhill how to play well.

matt forsyth
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:25

I've just rewatched the highlights on the Real Madrid-Eintracht game. For the folk who lived through that era, it was indeed regarded as the gold standard for football at the time. Kids of my generation could readily recite the Real Madrid forward line that day - Canario, Del Sol, Di Stefano, Puskas and Gento.

We schoolboys each had a hero we wanted to emulate from that side. The wee wingers wanted to be Gento, the strikers Di Stefano, the playmakers Puskas, the defenders would mostly opt for Santamaria. Those guys shaped Scottish football in the early/mid-60s just as much as the Famous Five at Hibs did in the Fifties.

The crowd at Hampden that day was a stunning 127,621.

Oh, how we miss those mighty terracings at Hampden.

I first stood on them in 1965 when we lost the final to Celtic, then in '66 when Scotland drew with Brazil in a friendly with the great Pele starring, in 68 when we won the cup, and again in 69 when we played WC qualifiers, thrashing Cyprus 8-0 and drawing 1-1 with West Germany.

That night against West Germany, standing in amongst 100,000 fans and taking part in the legendary Hampden Roar, was just the most breathtaking experience.

Sad to say, the new Hampden just doesn't have the same resonance with fans.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:31

"the only one who has a problem with that, is you."

Based entirely on your statement that football of the 60s, 70s and 80s was awful. which of course is nonsense.........in my opinion of course.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:34

Most sports do improve through the decades. I mean look at tennis from the 70s and then imagine them trying to compete with Messers Federer and Nadal.

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:46

Having been at the old Hampden I can concur that the atmosphere was something else.

The Czechoslovakia WC qualifier game 1973 and Scotland v England 197?? with 137,000 in the ground was magical. The look on Frank Worthington's face when he looked up at the "Ranger's end " was brilliant, he never kicked a ball all game!

Real Madrid v Eintracht was a life changer, next morning Dollytown was festooned with laddies in white t shirts, shorts and socks, along with black shoes. The high ankle, brown cork studded boots were a thing of the past!

Still looking for a clip of the 1975 Scotland v England game at Wembley when the Scottish fans stopped Ed Stewart and the brass band playing with a rendition of "You'll never walk alone " absolutely spine tingling.

That was of course before a certain Glasgow Club highjacked it!😎🏁🏁🏁

Post Edited (Tue 24 Mar 12:51)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: allparone  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:50

“The crowd at Hampden that day was a stunning 127,621.”

Did many fans travel in those days? I take it the vast majority of fans there were Scots?
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:56

Yes, they were mostly Scots. But I do remember seeing some Germans there with flags, maybe a thousand.

[EDIT: Sorry allparone, I misread your post and thought you were referring to the Scotland v West Germany game, not the Euro Cup Final.]



Post Edited (Tue 24 Mar 13:57)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 12:12

Quote:

veteraneastender, Tue 24 Mar 11:31

"the only one who has a problem with that, is you."

Based entirely on your statement that football of the 60s, 70s and 80s was awful. which of course is nonsense.........in my opinion of course.



Compared to the standard of today it just simply isn't as good in my opinion, that's true of every sport (that I can think off) it shouldn't take away from the enjoyment of that era of course, but you can't seriously watch that Madrid v Frankfurt and say its fantastic defending?
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Stanza  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 12:27

I was at Hampden for the Real-Eintracht match, my dad got me right down at the front so I could see. We had been to the Rangers-Eintracht semi-final (tennis match score, 6-3, 6-1), and there was a feeling that perhaps Eintracht could end Real's unbeaten European Cup run. For the Scottish football public, Real were a revelation, and showed how far behind Scottish football was.

With that background, it might be thought I would favour the POV that the great players of that era were better than the great players of today - I don't. Today's players at every level in the game are bigger, faster, stronger, healthier, more tactically aware and (arguably) spend more time developing whatever level of inherent skill they have.

Modern players are of course helped by a lighter ball, better pitches and less tolerance of dangerous tackles. It's probable that the greats of the past would have been even greater if they had had access to these advantages plus better nutrition and training facilities, but they didn't.

Football is not capable of statistical analysis over generations, but in every other athletic activity which is, standards have improved iver the years.

TBH I don't care who is objectively the "greatest", because it's an impossible argument to reach consensus on. I have loved this thread, because it brings back so many memories of the great players I've seen over the last 60 years. Please don't spoil the thread by personal arguments - enjoy the memories.

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 16:02

Great Post Stanza
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 16:32

Since you seem to be in lockdown in the UK here’s a link to a treasure trove of football archives, which is free.

https://footballia.net/?locale=en

It contains all the World Cup games and European finals from the 1950s onwards. One problem with highlights is you see lethal attackers (they never miss) and useless defenders (they never prevent an attack.) On offer here is the full game and if you’re as obsessed as me you can watch Willi Schultz defend over 90 minutes in a stalemate 0-0 draw with Argentina at Villa Park. Some games like England 6 Hungary 3 I’ve watched a good few times all through, along with Italy 4 West Germany 3, Peru 3 Scotland 1 and anything including Holland in 1974. Seeing the complete game again can shift your perspective of players that had been established the first time round.

Regarding the Real Madrid Eintracht game and poor defending, the Germans had hammered Rangers and really fancied they could go toe to toe with an ageing Real side. For about 20 minutes that looked a good idea, but unlike now there was no tactical adjustment made once Real took command and the game remained an attacking contest all the way through. Playing man for man against di Stefano and Puskas was really a suicide note.

Bars still open here in Moscow but rumours of over 65s being banned. I’m nipping out to get some hair dye.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: ianbd6  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 19:56

I am surprised neither Here Muller or Karl Heinz Forster have been mentioned two top top players in their respective positions. the reality is we could probably pick a new eleven every day. In the 60s and 70s there were so many brilliant players who were never really given the credit they deserved because there was someone else who was favoured by a certain manager or were tied to a club who were not seen as fashionable.we all have our favourites who we thought were the best there was(mine were Eddie Gray,Billy Brenner and Jimmy Johnstone) we just have to respect other folks choices. Every player mentioned above would have graced any pitch in any team.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 22:20

Hampden holds the record for largest ever attendance at any European competition match - and it wasn't the 1960 EC final.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: ianbd6  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 22:37

That would be Celtic v Leeds
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 22:54

Correct - a wise decision to move it to Hampden to double the crowd capacity.

Maximising gate receipts might also have been a factor !!!
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 08:19

I remember being at the Scotland v Italy world cup qualifier I think there was 112,000 that night
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 11:07

Ruud Guillit has done his all time eleven and had Davie Cooper in his.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52005807

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: TAFKA_Super_Petrie  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 11:15

Going off on a tangent slightly but re: Cooper.

Why did he and so many of our other genuinely top guys in those days (and earlier) win so few caps for Scotland?

---------------------------------------------------------------


"People always talk about Ronaldinho and magic, but I didn't see him today. I saw Henrik Larsson; that's where the magic was."
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 16:32

Real Madrid v Barcelona from 2004/05 is currently on the Free Sports Channel featuring some great names from the recent past, including a very young Iniesta.



Post Edited (Wed 25 Mar 16:35)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 16:48

Topic Originator: veteraneastender like | nolike
Date: Tue 24 Mar 22:20

''Hampden holds the record for largest ever attendance at any European competition match - and it wasn't the 1960 EC final.''

Topic Originator: ianbd6 like | nolike
Date: Tue 24 Mar 22:37

''That would be Celtic v Leeds''

The attendance at the above is listed as 136,505

I'm fairly certain that there were two games played at Hampden just before WW2 that are believed to have recorded an even higher attendance.

Scotland v England and the Scottish Cup Final, Celtic v Aberdeen both in 1937.

Amazing. It would have taken an age for them to leave the ground after the game. I wonder how well attended bread and butter league games were at that time.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: QPR_Par  
Date:   Thu 26 Mar 02:39

"It would have taken an age for them to leave the ground after the game."

Never mind leaving, getting in was a challenge on it's own. There's a photograph of the crowds outside here, you'll ned to scroll down a bit to get to it:

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/gallery/archives-days-fans-flocked-football-4741168

"I'm fairly certain that there were two games played at Hampden just before WW2 that are believed to have recorded an even higher attendance.

Scotland v England and the Scottish Cup Final, Celtic v Aberdeen both in 1937."

Both those games were in 1937 GG, and both attendances are European records.

149,415 for the England game is the European record attendance for an international match and 147,365 is the record for a club match. According to Wikipedia 20,000 were locked out for the Cup Final and at least 20,000 got into the England game without tickets. There's a decent article here:

https://onsideview.com/football/international-football/heyday-hampden-park/

The Celtic v Feyenoord attendance is the record crowd for a UEFA competition match and the Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt crowd is the highest for a UEFA competition final.

I remember as a kid my Dad showing me his old Cup Final and International programmes and was mesmerised at the aerial photographs of Hampden with huge crowds. I used to work beside a guy who was adamant that the only reason so many folk got in was because people were emaciated due to rickets!!

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Thu 26 Mar 09:21

Celtic v Feyenoord? Do you mean Celtic v Leeds which was the semi before the Feyenoord match?

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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Thu 26 Mar 09:24

I spotted that as well TOWK.

A typo error.

The attendance at the 1970 EC final Celtic v Feyenoord was 53,000 odds.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: QPR_Par  
Date:   Thu 26 Mar 13:00

I did TOWK, sorry, call it my first senior moment :)
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: partime  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 16:28

I note that Sammer selected the 2 Jews that were involved in the 1974 WC Final

Helmut Scoen and Johann Neeskens
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 18:40

Quote:

partime, Wed 1 Apr 16:28

I note that Sammer selected the 2 Jews that were involved in the 1974 WC Final

Helmut Scoen and Johann Neeskens


Do you think this influenced his thinking? I'd have thought they were German and Dutch, respectively.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 18:45

It did strike me as a strange thing to stay. Does that mean he chose 9 Gentiles? Who tracks the religion of footballers anyway?
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 19:01

Who tracks the religion of footballers anyway?

It used to be a relevant issue for scouts not so long ago in Scotland unfortunately.
The Danny McGrain myth is built around the idea that Rangers would not be interested in signing a Catholic so turned him down due too his name. McGrain has claimed this was not the case. He was playing in a high profile youth match where scouts were in attendance but says they would have been able to find out quite easily that he did not attend a Catholic School. In addition, by his own account McGrain played poorly and believes that was why Rangers lost interest.

I did mention the Jewish influence on Danube football on another thread, and that Ajax have traditionally had a Jewish influence within the club despite the efforts of the SS in Amsterdam. But I was unaware of any player's religion and would be astonished that Helmut Schoen could have survived the Nazi regime if he was Jewish himself.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: thenatural  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 19:12

I think he’s making a terrible joke about their names almost referring to circumcision. Poor stuff.
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 Re: Greatest Euro side
Topic Originator: Mon-pa  
Date:   Wed 1 Apr 20:20

Sammer - a thoroughly enjoyable read - especially J Cruyff; almost poetry!

ARTY
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