The All-time Auction Draft

Discussion in 'Draft Games Forum' started by Annahnomoss, May 13, 2015.

  1. May 22, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    A LAW UNTO HIMSELF

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    Artiste and assassin, entertainer and executioner, showman and swordsman - Denis Law. The name simply shimmers and sparkles with charisma. It whisks you off to a golden, bygone era when football truly was the beautiful game. Performing for his country, he was the Dark Blue Pimpernel, a character with a rare and spectacular combination of elegance and menace; a debonair destroyer; a master of improvisation; a contortionist in the box.

    Denis was the showman supreme. He was more than a mere goal scorer whose cavalier thrusts and menacing darts brought panic to opposing defences. Law was an inspiration to those around him at club and country level and to younger generations of fans everywhere. Team-mates adored him, opponents feared him and fans revered him. He was a free spirit, an extrovert, a complete one-off, a rare combination of impudence and intelligence, class and clout. Denis Law is, was and always will be The King.

    Huddersfield Town and Torino

    Law started off his career at Huddersfield Town where he established himself as one of the game's most promising young talents.

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    He is the bespectacled kid in the bottom right hand corner :lol:



    At the age of 20, he moved to City, despite attempts from Liverpool and United, for a British record transfer fee of £55,000.

    Although he enjoyed his time at City, he wanted to play for a less shite club who weren't hovering around relegation places, and thus after one season, he moved on to Torino for a whopping £115,000. For better context, 26 year old Luis Suárez - in his pomp, having won the Balon d'Or and several other trophies - moved to Inter Milan from Barcelona for a world record fee of £152,000 in the same window.

    Law didn't have the greatest of times in Italy as he found the football there to be joyless and overly defensive, with him being subjected to violent man marking and heavy tackling on a frequent basis. It did prove to be an eye-opening experience for the young Scotsman though.

    Although his time in Italy was mixed, Law was voted the best foreign player in Italy ahead of Kurt Hamrin and the legendary Luis Suárez.

    Manchester United :devil:

    Once Law was on the market once more, Matt Busby was keen to sign him once again, but Chairman, Harold Hardman, hesitated as it would require payment of a record fee. Busby persuaded him, and Denis Law signed in August 1962 for yet another new British record - £115,000 - all by the age of 22.


    In the summer of 1962 Lawmania would hit Old Trafford as fans instantly recognised a player brilliant enough to win games almost single-handedly. Over the next six years, he proved the catalyst for Matt Busby's final push for European glory and, though he missed the final in 1968, few doubted his influence. As distinguished Manchester United historian Brian Hughes makes clear, Law, more than any other player, typified United's flamboyance in this period.

    Denis Law proved to be a pivotal figure in his first season, as Untied won their first trophy since post Munich, the FA cup. He came 4th in the Ballon d'Or voting as he notched 29 goals in 44 appearances. Law particularly had a great cup campaign, as he scored 6 goals in 6 FA cup games and would leave an indelible mark on the final.

    Banks and Law would go on to have plenty of great duels for both club and country with Banks commenting "I thought Denis was a great competitor. The press often referred to him as the Electric Eel. I think Electric Heel would have been more appropriate. He had such fast reactions in the penalty box that it was as if he was plugged into the mains. I will always remember - with mixed feelings - his remarkable performance for United against Leicester in the 1963 FA Cup Final. He produced one of the greatest forward displays ever seen at Wembley and inspired United to a 3-1 triumph."

    Law would then go on to bang in a stunning 46 goals in 42 games in the next season - an unprecedented feat which landed him the prestigious Ballon d'Or, making him the first ever Untied player to win it.

    Law himself was surprised with the award - “Maybe there was a mistake in the mathematics,” he suggested humbly.

    After all, Luis Suárez was the mastermind of Inter Milan’s 1964 European Cup and World Club Championship double. For good measure, he was the best player in the year’s European Nations’ Cup, which Spain won.

    However, Law's stunning goalscoring exploits were too much to ignore, albeit it being in a trophy-less season and he won the Ballon d'Or over Luis Suárez by 18 points.

    United fans absolutely adored him and idolised him. The King duly repaid their adulation with 237 goals in 404 matches during 11 seasons, which produced one FA Cup (1963), two League Championships under his captaincy (1965, 1967) and the European Cup (1968).

    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  2. May 22, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    Continued...

    One of his many personal highlights came when he was selected to play in a FIFA World XI, where he found himself rubbing shoulders with his hero Di Stefano.

    And so there The King was, poised to stride forth into the world stage ready to strut his stuff alongside the 'Black Panther', The 'Black Octopus', The 'Blond Arrow' and the 'Galloping Major'.






    After the Wembley extravaganza, the much decorated Brazilian defender Djalma Santos, winner of two World Cup medals in 1958 and 62, was asked who he believed was the most accomplished performer in the game. In a hesitant combination of Portugese and English, he answered, 'Number eight. Law. Muchos'. Anyone who had ever witnessed Denis Law going through his unrivalled repertoire at his unsurpassable peak, would have known exactly what Santos meant. No translation was required.

    The mid-sixties saw Denis rightly don the mantel 'King' of Old Trafford, for while Bobby Charlton was respected and George Best adored, Law was a fan's footballer, living out the dreams of his admirers before the Stretford End. Even his (non-existent) role in United's eventual fall from grace and relegation to the Second Division didn't dim the supporters' affection for him. Quite simply he remains 'the King'.
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  3. May 22, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    Playing Style

    Many seem to have this warped conception that Law was a speedy and pure goalscorer in the mould of a Greaves or a Romario, who primarily operated on the shoulder of the last man and solely focused on putting the ball into the net. No. Law had much much more in his locker. Whilst Law was a goal-scoring supremo, do not make the mistake of underestimating his all-round game. As a player, Law had everything - flair, bravery, the ruthlessness streak, technique and the magical ability to keep fans right on the edge of their seats.

    As Law himself said

    A perfect compilation which illustrates the multi-faceted game-play of the cultured, jet-heeled Scot. I advise anyone and everyone to watch it.




    On his all-round game



    On his fiery and competitive yet light-hearted nature

    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  4. May 22, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    Continued...



    Playing alongside him

    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  5. May 22, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    Continued...

    Funny anecdotes

    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  6. May 22, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    That's a great clip Joga, lovely stuff.
  7. May 22, 2015

    Edgar Allan Pillow Ero-Sennin

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    I think we should just start a thread on Player Profiles and collect these there for future reference. We have some genius work here and it's a shame to let it go waste on draft threads. These are so much more.
  8. May 22, 2015

    Šjor Bepo Full Member

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    :lol::lol::lol:
  9. May 22, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    Great shout. Brilliant stuff as per usual @Joga Bonito
  10. May 22, 2015

    rpitroda Full Member

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    Brilliant idea.
  11. May 23, 2015

    Annahnomoss Full Member

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    Yes! No need to list trophies etc, but nothing against it either. The importance is their individual abilities in this three year peak rather than what their team won. Of course their team winning can't be a bad thing.
  12. May 23, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    While I agree with the sentiment, I think it's best like this. I actually read Joga's piece on Obdulio and for the first 3-4 paragraphs I wondered if he had plagiarised previous stuff of mine (particular the PIVOTAL MOMENT #1/#2 stuff) but then as I read on I found tidbits or perspectives I hadn't come across before.

    The point is: everyone makes the effort to sell their players, and in the process they learn a lot about their players, as we do. The moment you have a go-to thread to find out "what you should think" about certain players you remove a lot of what makes these drafts great. It also sort of makes certain profiles "official" when

    1. managers notoriously overhype their own, obviously;
    2. context is everything, e.g. Euro draft would drive you to focus on that and profile the player accordingly, World Cup is different, decades also are...
  13. May 23, 2015

    Pat_Mustard Full Member

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    A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
    Watching more of him when researching him for the British/Irish draft was a real eye-opener for me in that regard. He was a thrilling player to watch with excellent dribbling and passing, and it pissed me off no end that he seemed to get minimal plaudits in that draft compared to Best and Charlton. That video is easily one of my favourite player compilations on Youtube.
  14. May 23, 2015

    Šjor Bepo Full Member

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  15. May 23, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    Indeed, he usually just seems to be taken for a legendary goal poacher, a better Chicharito who would score with his bum if needed but with zero participation in build-up play. It's actually quite worrying how many put forward Law-Charlton-Best in the thread on the best front trios. WTF? Clearly never saw much of them :(

    Superb clip, agreed, I wish there were more clips like that around the web and not just goal compilations.
  16. May 23, 2015

    Joga Bonito Full Member

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    Aye, tbf though, he did have the playmaking Charlton and the electric Best to share the limelight with. That does explain in part why his all-round game has gone under the radar a wee bit.

    I wouldn't say he is underrated, he does have a statue after all and many recognise him as a top notch player, just under-appreciated in regards to his all-round game. It was more or less his signing and his goals, which heralded our glory years in the 60s and proved to be turning point after the Munich disaster, as he augmented the re-developing team quite fantastically. It's a pity that quite a few fans (I hope) seem to have him as 'just' a footnote in the holy trinity and someone who 'just' put the ball in the net, after Charlton and Best had done all the work. Clearly wasn't the case.
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  17. May 23, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    The forgotten great of German football... Karl-Heinze Schnellinger

    The consensus amongst the best sites on the history of football (4d football, discusssoccer.org) is that Schnellinger is the greatest german full back of all time and is one of the all time defensive greats irrespective of position..many mention him in the top ten if not 20. Yet in his home country, he is very much forgotten as he apparently played all his best football in Italy despite starring for the national team in 4 world cups. As Schnellinger put it himself, he feels like a stranger when visiting his homeland since and he was not invited to a recent get together of the greats of German football.

    Despite universal acclaim his style of play remains very sparsely reported on. Little is known on him other than he is claimed to be a top notch defensive left back who was great going forward in equal measure and is ranked alongside Facchetti, Nilton Santos and Marzolini as the best left back of his era. A man who was equally capable of playing sweeper to a world class level as he was as a full back. Yet what does that mean.. what style of player was he, what were his main attributes?

    Well first thing to note, he was a predominantly right footed left back... the trailblazer for the likes of Breitner/Brehme/Lahm who came after hm. From the footage I have seen he was much more Breitner in that he loved coming off the wing and joining in with the midfield than your orthodox providing width type of attacking full back, and he was very strong and powerful.. typical German in that respect and Fachetti-esque in terms of stature and poise although goals like below came very few and far between where he was concerned. He contributed more to to the buildup and would drift across central midfield areas rather than making an impact in the final third.


    4 things which struck me about watching him..

    1) very strong in the air - There is a reason why he could operate in central defensive positions, he was very strong aerially for a full back.. great leap in addition to a strong frame. He would drift across into centre mid from goal kicks and try and win the ball with the first header.. or nip any counter-attacks/clearances in the bud.

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    2) robust and clinical in the tackle - he didn't think twice when going in for the ball and he anticipated when to go in for a tackle very well. Similar to Maldini, rock solid defensively. Below is a collection during the 69 CL winning season where he shackled the likes of Bestie in the semi final, Johnstone in the quarters and Piet Keizer in the final.

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    v Piet Keizer

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    3) very composed on the ball even in midfield areas, he would go into the defensive midfield role, drift over to RCM.. get the ball and one touch pass it to someone in a forward position, very very influential in terms of build up play. He often especially for Germany where he had more tactical freedom played as a left back, sweeper, centre back rolled into one all in the same game.

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    4) intelligent movement in and out of possession - probably his most key attribute. Putting out fires is probably the best way to put it, if he sensed his team was exposed in a certain area on the pitch, he took it upon himself to release himself from his role and go in and sort it out but never recklessly he ensured someone else was always covering for him in case he got left stranded which just didn't happen.. his innate ability to know when to leave his station was priceless.

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  18. May 23, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    I posted a thread on him after I recruited him for the British and Irish draft... just couldn't believe my eyes how good he was, absolute sensation of a player. Very few all round strikers like him to have ever graced the game, when you think that someone like Harry Kane is worth £30m in the current market, Law would be £200m+.. he'd be perfect in that Suarez role for Barcelona.
  19. May 23, 2015

    harms Way Staff

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    xtraimmortal has Vogts as the 6th best fullback of all-times, with Schnellinger as 12th and Brehme as 13th. So that's a wrong statement - one of, surely, but not the greatest. There is no clear standout between Schmellinger and Brehme on the left and Vogts and Lahm on the right, imo.
  20. May 23, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    Actually you're right but there is two sites with Xtra in the title, and a third which uses the same template .. hence my confusion. Yep I wouldn't say one is superior to the others, but Schnellinger is rare in that his defensive brilliance is closely matched to his excellent attacking play (bar the final third). Vogts - defensively brilliant, Lahm.. quality going forwards.. Brehme is probably the most like him in terms of balance, Schnellinger is better than him defensively though but is not as good as him as a pure attacking threat. They're all solid though, each one of them is worthy of gracing a draft final here.

    http://www.xtratime.org/forum/showthread.php?t=243262

    http://discusssoccer.myfreeforum.org/archive/the-greatest-defenders-of-all-time__o_t__t_44.html
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  21. May 23, 2015

    Annahnomoss Full Member

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    Very good job Raees! Great read. I think we all get a little bit overly critical of full backs in these drafts. Carlos/Alves are pretty much as poor as having Terry, while in reality they did play at the very highest level and were very good defensively.

    Alves is an absolute beast in the 1 vs 1 game especially and he's one of the hardest full backs to beat like that. His positioning is his achilles heel and he sometimes misjudges a cross completely leaving his winger behind him for a good chance.

    Carlos was similar in that way but not really poor with his positioning either, just so attacking that it often meant there would be space behind him. But it isn't as if playing him in his attacking LB role was a disaster or anything like that for the defense and he had huge amounts of great defensive performances too.
  22. May 23, 2015

    Edgar Allan Pillow Ero-Sennin

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    Where does Briegel rank amongst German left backs? Same level as Brehme and Schnellinger?
  23. May 23, 2015

    Balu Full Member

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    No, my top 4 German leftbacks would be 1. Brehme 2. Schnellinger 3. Breitner 4. Briegel . At rightback it's 1. Lahm 2. Vogts 3. Janes 4. Kaltz.
  24. May 23, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    Very much the same for me, with the caveat that the four leftbacks are better than the four rightbacks. Also far more balanced than the set of rightbacks, if you wanted the top four all-rounders -and better fit to modern tactics- it would be Brehme, Schnellinger, Lahm and Briegel IMO. Could be Lahm second, dunno, but you get my point.
  25. May 23, 2015

    Balu Full Member

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    Yeah, leftbacks are better than rightbacks. Which is very odd because they're all rightfooted, all 8 are. Maybe we should try to use left footed players at right back and see if it helps.
  26. May 23, 2015

    crappycraperson "Resident cricket authority" Scout

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  27. May 23, 2015

    Šjor Bepo Full Member

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    feck, monday is the only day next week that i cant :lol:
  28. May 23, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    It isn't odd but a natural outcome of there being more right-footed people. You can play the more limited rightback out right but it would be a disaster to have them on the left, so the ones who are better and more adept at using both feet usually wind-up playing leftback so that the disaster waiting to happen stays on the right.

    A similar (somewhat opposite) thing happens with stoppers, the better ones are usually comfortable on the left CB role. Why? Because most people are right footed, so most ball-playing CBs will be right-footed and they are better used on the right, so if you aren't that good on the ball but a great stopper you'd better learn how to get by on the left because over the course of your career you will keep finding time and again that the ball-player is played on the right.

    Of course there are loads of exceptions, but probability dictates that those outcomes will be the more usual ones.
  29. May 23, 2015

    crappycraperson "Resident cricket authority" Scout

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    Tuesday
  30. May 23, 2015

    Šjor Bepo Full Member

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    fine by me :)
    @Annahnomoss
  31. May 23, 2015

    Edgar Allan Pillow Ero-Sennin

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    I thought Breitner would be raked higher. Not that it matters, but lots of sites have Breitner over Brehme.
  32. May 23, 2015

    harms Way Staff

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  33. May 23, 2015

    Edgar Allan Pillow Ero-Sennin

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    Thanks @harms I remember that post of balu's, but strangely in almost all the sites I use to read about players, be it an article, other forums etc they always have Breitner a shade over Brehme in left back position. Strangely none even consider Breitner in the midfield lists. Do you by chance have any Breitenigge clips?
  34. May 23, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    Agreed, always felt it was handy that Breitner could be played at leftback, but don't think I ever picked him only with that role in mind.
  35. May 24, 2015

    harms Way Staff

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    Don't have any clips, you'll have to wait until someone reunites them in one team and decides to dig deeper :)
    I feel a lot like Balu here - he was absolutely fantastic left-back, but his best attributes were of a central midfielder and not of a wing player, so, instead of regularly cutting in, he just moved to the centre position full-time in his peak years.

    Not sure about midfield/defence lists. Would you show me the ones you are using? The only one I'm feeling relatively comfortable with is the one on xtraimmortal, and it's still just a start and not a reliable source - the guy/guys did an amazing job there, but there are some mistakes and subjective opinions there too, of course. And it has Breitner as a midfielder - more so, it has him as 7th/5th best central midfielder in history, and probably rightly so.

    At left back he still was a young player - an amazing young player, who was probably the best at his position in the world at the point, but Brehme was better suited for that role and played in his peak there, while being an equally talented player.
  36. May 24, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    The Napoleon of Football - Raymond Kopa

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    Introduction

    While Just Fontaine's thirteen goals took the headlines in the 1958 World Cup, France's undoubted star of the tournament was Raymond Kopa, his brilliant striking partner, the "Napoleon of football", and the first in a line of creative French playmakers continued by the likes of Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.

    As part of a St Ettiene team playing what he describes as "Champagne football", at first Kopa received his fair share of criticism from journalists, who felt he was playing too much for himself and not for the team. His manager, Albert Batteaux, warned him he would be left out of the team if he didn't change the way he played. While dribbling was one of his most potent weapons, Kopa adapted his game according to Batteaux's words of wisdom, and become a great playmaker/winger that moved from wide on the right to playing as a creative centre forward, in a deep-lying position. With Kopa's magic in the side, Reims won the French League title in 1953 and 1955. In 1956, Reims reached the final of the inaugural European Cup, losing to the great Real Madrid side of Ference Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano. Kopa signed for Real before the start of the next season. At Real, he won three European Cup titles in as many years.

    Kopa's second season at Real Madrid was the pinnacle of his career. Having been released by his club for the World Cup in Sweden at the end of the season, Kopa joined his French team-mates, and helped turn a team no-one considered as challengers into a side that finished third in the World Cup Finals. Kopa was also awarded the European Footballer of the Year title in 1958, beating his team-mate Di Stefano, who won in 1957 and 1959, to the title.

    In 1970 he became the first French Footballer to receive the Legion d'Honneur, and in 2000 a poll in France Football magazine ranked Kopa the third greatest French player of the century, behind Platini and Zidane.

    Early History (From Kopaszewski to Kopa)

    Kopa was born in Nouex-les-Mines, northern France, and inherited from his father, Polish, surname full of consonants and unusual for a Frenchman.Miner's son, Kopa started working as a child in the coal mines of the region located 612 meters below the ground. At just six years old, he had an accident when a rock fell from a cart and it crumpled the index finger of the left hand, which had to be amputated.Because of this, he went on to receive a disability pension and began to take taste for football from there.The young man turned celebrity in the city team playing offense and tore the various accolades for speed and showed superb technique with the ball at his feet - even with the frail and short stature.

    Football was important to Kopa from an early age. He remembered how when visiting his grandparents’ he had looked in awe at people playing football at the stadium close by. His first experiences playing the game were however with a gang of local kids in Nœux-les-Mines: ‘When I was eight years old I created my first football team. Most of my friends were of Polish descent, so we set up two teams and the Poles played against the French. Most of the time we didn’t use a football but kicked around a bundled-up rag or even a tin-can.’

    The young Kopa also did his best to play football at the town stadium. Indeed his autobiography speaks of the battles that local youths had with the stadium’s security guard who tried to stop them from playing on, and thus as a consequence ruining, the turf. Kopa spent all his free-time kicking a ball or thinking about kicking one; something which is of course common amongst those who make it far in the game. But he never considered that his passion for football would lead anywhere – it was just something he loved to do in his free-time and helped him forget about his day-to-day worries. His future was to be in the mines and seemingly nothing could prevent this fate.

    Kopa was however unusually talented at the sport. The first person to notice him was the coach of Nœux-les-Mines, Constant Tison, who told Kopa when he played in the club’s youth team at 14 that: ‘You little man will go far, just make sure to put enough effort in.’ His first big break was as an 18 year old when he took part in a competition in Lille to decide the best player in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Kopa did excellently in the northern French city and made it to the final in Paris. There he came in second place and caught the eye of the famous L’Equipe journalist Gabriel Hanot who was a judge in the competition.

    This event put his name on the French football map and many clubs sought to acquire his signature. It would have been natural for a club from the north to sign Kopa due to his miner background but for some reason neither Lens or Lille took a chance on him. Kopa himself believed that these clubs saw him as: ‘too small, too thin and too much of an individualist…or too bolshie.’ Whatever it was the clubs missed out on the most talented player to ever come from their region and, in 1949, Kopa was swooped up by second division club SCO Angers. After finishing second contest of the young footballer, 1949, Raymond Kopaszewski was identified by the SCO Angers.Upon his arrival in Angers football coach Camille Cottin presented and declared that he would no longer be Kopaczewski Raymond, but Raymond Kopa! A star was born...He played two seasons before leaving then for Stade de Reims.

    Rising star of Reims

    Agile, clever and very creative, Kopa was critical to the national title in Reims 1952-1953 season, when he scored 13 goals and contributed several assists for the top scorer Bram Appel.The title served to him silence the critics who say he dribbled aimlessly and others held the ball. In fact, he was the living embodiment of the beautiful game with bewildering feints that always ended with a sublime pass to the closest companion or even a virtuoso solo goal started and ended by Kopa.This new adapted style of play was a recommendation from Batteux coach himself, who "threatened" the midfielder said: "In the day that you do not dribble more, do not hesitate to you to take the time!".It was the same time as the ace won his first calls for the French national team, debuting in Colombes, on October 5, 1952 in a friendly against Germany won by 3-1 by the French.In his third game with the blue mantle, Kopa scored two goals in the 3-1 victory over Northern Ireland and never left the team.In 1954, the young man was part of the squad that traveled to Switzerland to compete in the World Cup and was on the field in the two games of the French team.In the debut defeat by 1-0 to Yugoslavia.Then victory by 3-2 over Mexico (with Kopa goal), but insufficient for qualification.

    Back in Reims, Kopa won more titles and become the greatest talent of his country at the time.Such fame increased in the 1955-1956 season, when the French team played the first edition of UEFA Champions League and reached the final against Real Madrid with Kopa as the main man destroying teams across Europe. Playing in Paris, Reims opened 2-0 and could have made it 3-0 Kopa did not have a goal taken off the line by a Madrid player.As a result, the Spanish team drew level, Hidalgo put the Reims again the lead, but it was the real winner of the duel, which ended 4-3 for the meringues. The defeat in the first European final hurt the French, but Kopa left the field with his next destination virtually sealed.The Spaniards were delighted with the exquisite football the French maestro was capable of conjuring and made sure to hire the ace already for the season 1956-1957 for about 520 000 francs.Remember that a year earlier, in 1955, Kopa had caught the Spaniards with a gala performance in the victory of France by 2-1 over Spain, in Madrid, with one of the goals scored by playmaker and that earned applause from over 125,000 spectators at the Bernabeu - occasion that gave rise to the term "soccer Napoleon" after a chronicle of journalist Desmond Hackett on the performance of quality.

    At Reims he was the leading light of a club which loved to play the game the ‘right’ way – the ball was to be caressed and moved between players via short passes. Kopa flourished here under Albert Batteux, the most decorated French league coach ever. Batteux was an inspiration to Kopa who trusted the coach instinctively, Batteux in turn saw Kopa as central to his way of playing. Kopa’s main skill was dribbling; from early in his career he was famed for taking the ball past an opponent in this way.

    So intoxicating were Kopa’s ball skills that there were even heated debates in the press over his dribbling. The Communist sporting press adored Kopa’s skills – seeing them as being redolent of a more romantic care-free age – whereas the more rightist press such as L’equipeoften saw Kopa’s dribbling as running contrary to the modern quality of efficiency. The player himself tended to stay out of political disputes but that did not stop newspapers from attaching political meaning to his actions on the field and off it.
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  37. May 24, 2015

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    Galactico at Madrid...

    [​IMG]


    When he arrived at Real, Kopa feared the fact that Di Stéfano, the great name of the team, held the position where the Frenchman was used to playing. However coach Jose Villalonga Llorente shifted Kopa to the right to fit all the stars in. Playing alongside Di Stéfano, Gento, Mateos and Rial, Kopa became a key component of the meringue attack and won the title in season 1956-1957 La Liga and the European cup the latter with decisive actions of the French playmaker, who scored the opening goal in the victory 2-0 over Rapid Wien-AUT, in the second round, provided an assist against Nice, in the quarter, and scored a a goal in one of the duels against Manchester United in the semifinal. In the decision, against strong Fiorentina-ITA, Kopa was once again superb acting at the deep lying forward as well as out wide, exchanging positions with Mateos. Real won 2-0 and won the European championship.

    http://www.europeancuphistory.com/euro57.html

    In season 1957-1958, Kopa was at his career peak. In Spain, the playmaker returned to celebrate a national title and scored eight goals in 27 matches, and contribute to several assists for much of the 71 goals scored by Real. In the Champions League, the Frenchman left his mark on the rout 6-0 on Royal Antwerp-BEL, the first phase, scored two goals in the memorable 8-0 over Sevilla-ESP, in the quarterfinals, and in the final was sensational against a legendary Milan side containing Liedholm, Schiffiano. Madrid won 3-2 (Kopa dribbled several Italian during the game and made the move of Di Stéfano's goal that opened the scoring). With a devastating attack, Real Madrid had no opponents in Europe and caused a stir wherever he went. Kopa used to say that the attack was priceless and said, told the FIFA website, the pleasure of playing for the club at the time:

    "They were three fantastic years. The climate in the games was incredible, with 125,000 people at the Bernabeu waving white handkerchiefs. We had no sponsors or TV broadcasts, so friendly disputávamos the world to sustain the club. It was even another time

    Star of the 1958 world cup (Ballon D'or)

    To crown a magnificent career was, Kopa focused for the World Cup race of 1958 in Sweden, with a French national team that had the foundation of great Stade de Reims and a fantastic firepower thanks, of course, Kopa, the prolific striker Just Fontaine and Piantoni talented.In the French premiere at the World Cup, against Paraguay, the pair Kopa-Fontaine was simply devastating. He quietly gave the passes to the first two goals of Fontaine in the game, in the first half, he scored in the second half and took another pass to Vincent close the score at 7-3 to Les Bleus, which debuted in the best possible way in Cup.The next duel against manly Yugoslavia, the French light lost by 3-2, but Kopa returned to give a pass to Fontaine make their mark.In the decisive duel in Group B, the French beat Scotland by 2-1 with the goals scored by Kopa, 2 in the first half.

    in the quarterfinals, France faced Northern Ireland and returned to trouncing: 4-0, with two goals from Fontaine originated after precise passes Kopa.The pair seemed to play telepathically and let rivals no action so fast, technical and dominance.Only a great team could stop them.He appeared in the semifinals: the Brazil of Pele, Garrincha and company, who took advantage of the chances and control the game to win by 5-2, although France has played much of the match with 10 men because defender Jonquet went off very early during the game and at the time no substitutions are allowed.In the match for third place, France thrashed Germany by 6-3, with a penalty goal scored by Kopa. This was the best French finish at the World Cup until 1998 and the team received great praise from the press, who described the team as the second best at the World Cup, behind only champion, Brazil, and ahead even of the runner-up, Sweden. Kopa was elected to the team of the World Cup and, months later, awarded the Golden Ball Best Player in Europe.



    Peak of his fame... end of career

    Known worldwide and fame in the highest, Kopa returned to shine in the season 1958-1959. In Spanish territory, the playmaker failed to raise another glass, but won another continental trophy in the Champions League. In the second round, the French scored one of the goals in the 2-0 victory over Besiktas-TUR, the waiter was 7-1 on the Wiener Sport-Club-AUT, in the quarter, and kept the brain in the classic football against Atletico Madrid-ESP, in the semifinal. In the decision, the 7 shirt rediscovered his old friends from the Stade de Reims, but had to leave the heart aside to help Real win the duel by 2-0 and bill another title. Also in 1959, the playmaker returned to the podium of the Ballon d'Or and took second place behind Alfredo Di Stéfano.

    See again the Stade de Reims seems to have moved with the head of Kopa, who signed a new contract with the club alvirrubro and returned to France for the season 1959-1960. Playing next to Fontaine to, he hoped to reissue the double so remarkable selection and win, finally, a Champions League with Champagne Team shirt.But the most he got was the glory in the French Championships of 1959-1960 and 1961-1962. Even in 1962, Kopa put last shirt of France in a friendly against Hungary in Colombes, won by the Magyars by 3 to 2. In the following years, the firm quietly followed the Stade de Reims, but the club came to time difficult and was even demoted. In 1967, at age 35, Kopa decided to retire once the sport to devote his son, who suffered from leukemia, and to demand better working conditions for French players.

    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  38. May 24, 2015

    Skizzo Full Member

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    De Kromme - Willem van Hanegem

    Ask a hundred people in Holland to name the three best Dutch players in history, and Willem van Hanegem is one of the names you’ll hear the most.

    Ask a hundred people outside of Holland to name the three best Dutch players in history, and there’s a good chance Willem van Hanegem won’t be mentioned once.

    Indeed, Van Hanegem was notably absent from Pelé’s list of 125 best living footballers, which did feature such comparatively mediocre Dutch players as the Van der Kerkhof brothers. Pelé’s list confirmed what had been known for a while: Van Hanegem’s fame ends at the Dutch borders.

    The reasons behind his relative obscurity are twofold. Van Hanegem appeared in only a single World Cup (1974), and in that tournament, the playmaker played second violin, in the service of Johan Cruyff. Furthermore, aside from a stint in the NASL, Van Hanegem spent his entire career in Holland. Not that he never received offers, but he always turned them down.

    [​IMG]

    Personal Tragedy

    In the summer of 1944 the German 15th army was fleeing northward from Calais to Holland. On 11 September the Allies bombed the Wehrmacht near the ferry terminal at Breskens. Citizens had fled the town but Lo and Izaak van Hanegem, Willem's father and older brother, went back to get supplies. They hid in a shelter, which was hit. Both died. Van Hanegem later lost a brother and a sister to the war. His hatred was summed up after the 1974 final, "I didn't give a damn as long as we humiliated them. They murdered my father, sister and two brothers. I am full of angst. I hate them". After the game (with Germany winning 2-1) Van Hanegem left the field in tears.

    But merely by being in that final he had already exceeded all expectations.

    Late Bloomer
    Playing on the street until a late age, Van Hanegem was first discovered by Daan van Beek, the coach of local club Velox. During training sessions, Van Beek noticed a young lad standing behind the fence, kicking back balls after missed shots, with remarkable accuracy. Van Beek asked him to participate. Six months later, Van Hanegem, aged 18, was already a starter in the first team.

    But not everyone was impressed by the young midfielder. “Too slow. Too fat. Can’t do anything with his right foot. Too reckless”, they said. The skepticism wasn’t enitrely underserved. At 1.83m, his 93 KG qualified him as overweight. And what nobody knew at the time: his eye-sight was terrible. “I saw everything as in a haze”, he later admitted. But despite his weight, his technique was such that he dribbled for fun. And despite his eye-sight, his vision and understanding of the game were such that he could create countless chances with perfectly curved through passes. His bent passes and his bent posture, gave him his nickname: De Kromme (The Crooked).

    In 1968, Ajax-chairman Jaap van Praag noticed Van Hanegem excelling at Xerxes. He told Ajax coach Rinus Michels that he planned to purchase the left-footed midfielder. Michels vetoed the transfer. “Too slow and too one-dimensional. Not suited for modern football”, Michels stated. The Ajax coach would soon regret his decision. Van Hanegem moved to Ajax’s rivals Feyenoord and within two years led them to the first Dutch triumph in a European Cup final.

    As the absolute key player of the team, Van Hanegem excelled not just as the team’s playmaker, but also as ball-conqueror, using his strong physique to make rock-hard tackles and, at least as important, intimidating fouls.

    Letting his dog decide his future
    Once, in 1972, Olympique Marseille had offered him a lucrative contract. Van Hanegem wasn’t sure what to do. He debated the matter with his wife and friends. They held a vote: 2-2. Van Hanegem suggested that his dog now had to break the tie. The plan was as follows: Van Hanegem would say ‘Marseille”, and if Wodan barked, that counted as a yes. If he stayed silent, Van Hanegem would stay at Feyenoord.

    Wodan didn’t bark.

    The anecdote illustrates the remarkable character of a man known for both his rigid outward attitude yet emotional inner nature.

    Total Football

    Playing for Holland, van Hanegem was an integral part of the 1974 Dutch side that shook the football world in the World Cup held in West Germany. In previous years, the Dutch team weakened itself due to the two camps in Dutch football – Ajax and Feyenoord – almost never being willing to work together as a team. This had changed in 1974 and the result was a breathtaking new take on how football could be played (still known today as “Total Football”). Being Feyenoord’s main man, Wim van Hanegem’s acceptance of Johan Cruyff’s unquestioned leadership was one, if not the main component of making this experiment work. At the age of thirty, Wim van Hanegem had reached the pinnacle of his career, being Dutch champion, UEFA Cup winner as well as highly respected World Cup participant. He remained a fixture of the Dutch team during the next two years, but by the beginning of the 1976-77 season, Dutch coaches began to look for younger players. However he had a brief comeback in time for the 1978 World Cup, but then didn’t make the squad, as Austrian coach Ernst Happel was not willing to guarantee him a place in the team, he decided to walk out of the training camp, officially reasoning that the season which had just ended had taken too much out of him, claiming that he really needed a rest. However van Hanegem later claimed the real reason was a dispute on money (not uncommon for Dutch players of his generation). Some people argue that van Hanegem’s absence was more crucial to Holland than that of Johan Cruyff, as van Hanegem was considered to be the best passer available to Holland at the time. A year later, van Hanegem made another brief comeback for Holland versus Belgiun, now aged 35, but then finally retired from international play.


  39. May 24, 2015

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    That's an interesting take. Thought the most obvious conclusion was: Pelé is a moron.
  40. May 24, 2015

    Gio ★★★★★★★★

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    I would be cautious with some of these sites that rank players, especially the Xtraimortal set-up which is an impressively wide-ranging piece of research but one which is not always consistent with local opinion. Certain players get over or under-rated on here as a result of their ranking on that and other similar sites.