Monday, November 11, 2013

Events and Consequences, Part Four

1- Event:
French player Xavier Gravelaine’s star performance vs. Real Zaragoza in the UEFA Cup on September 15, 1992 with Caen winning 3 to 2.

Xavier Gravelaine had been a Nantes youth product who had failed to make the grade there and had progressed through joining other smaller teams.
Following this one performance, there was a public clamor for him to be selected for the National Team and he was.
He became the revelation of the season.
He played in France’s next match, a World Cup Qualifier on October 14th vs. Austria (2 to 0 win). He played three more times for France into the following year and earned a transfer to Paris St. Germain.
His career stalled after this move as his first team opportunitites became less and less.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, February 1993
(Xavier Gravelaine in his second match for France, November 14, 1992, World Cup Qualifier, France 2-Finland 1)

2- Event:
England’s Friendly match vs. Mexico on June 1, 1969 (scoreless tie) about a year before the World Cup Finals.
When asked about Mexico, Alf Ramsey had a number of complaints.
He complained that a band played outside their hotel until 5 am every night and that a promised motorcycle escort failed to arrive on time.
He pointed out that his players were jeered and heckled by the crowd while inspecting the field.
A few days later, before the B-International with Mexico he pushed out Mexican journalists from the dressing room.

These incidents and statements were the main reasons why at the 1970 World Cup , England were mostly booed and unliked by the local crowds.
The resentment in the Latin World towards England from this episode might have also contributed to the farcical bracelet ‘theft’ incident in Colombia prior to the World Cup itself.

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer
(England Squad , June 1, 1969, Mexico 0-England 0, Top, left to right:  Geoffrey Charles Hurst, Keith Robert Newton, Brian Leslie Labone, Martin Stanford Peters, Terence Cooper, Francis Henry Lee,  Alan Patrick Mullery, Alan James Ball, Robert Charlton, Gordon West,  Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore)

3- Event:
AC Milan and Italy midfielder Gianluigi Lentini’s car accident on August 3, 1993.

Former Torino midfielder Gianluigi Lentini became the World’s most expensive player when he was acquired by Silvio Berlusconi’s AC Milan in the summer of 1992.
He was a regular for AC Milan and Italy and looked set for a starring role for Italy in the future.
This accident that nearly cost his life took him out of the game for many months and when he did come back he was naturally not fully fit and missed out on the 1994 World Cup adventure.
He did not regain his previous form and was confined to substitute appearances for AC Milan.
He had to leave AC Milan and joined his old Torino boss Emiliano Mondonico at Atalanta at the start of 1996/97 and actually somewhat regained his old form and even played in Arrigo Sacchi’s last match as Italy Manager vs. Bosnia in November 1996.

Photo From: Soccer International, November 1992

(Gianluigi Lentini with AC Milan 1992/93)

4- Event:
Uruguay goalkeeper Andrés Mazali breaking curfew at team’s hotel on the lead up to the 1930 World Cup held in Uruguay.

Mazali was dismissed from the team and sent home by Manager Alberto Suppici.
He missed out on the chance to win the inaugural World Cup at home.
Mazali who was a winner of the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, could have become a World Cup winner as well.

Photo From: IFFHS-Argentina (1902-1940)-Uruguay (1902-1940)
(Uruguay goalkeeper Andrés Mazali)

5- Event:
The Friendly match between English club Wolverhampton Wanderers and Hungary’s Honved Budapest on December 13, 1954, won 3 to 2 by Wolves.

The Wolves’ win vs. a team featuring Ferenc Puskas, Jozsef Boszik, Sando Koscis and Zoltan Czibor among others was greatly hyoed.
Hungary had demolished the English National team at Wembley just a year earlier.
The English press went overboard by declaring Wolves as the best team in Europe.
This led Former French International and now journalist Gabriel Hanot writing in L’Equipe to propose the idea of a European Cup where champions from each country would compete and thus the Champions Cup was born.

Photo From: L'Equipe, L'equipe de France de Football,La Belle Histoire
(Gabriel Hanot)

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