Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Second Acts and comebacks, Part Four

1- Enzo Scifo and Auxerre, 1989/91
Belgian Star Enzo Scifo’s career seemed to be in tailspin when he joined unfashionable French club Auxerre in the summer of 1989. His big transfer to Internazionale Milano in 1987/88 had been a fiasco. He had been loaned to French powerhouse Bordeaux. This move also turned sour as Bordeaux endured their worst season in over a decade. However, Veteran Manager guy Roux was able to convince him to join Auxerre to resurrect his career. He did just that and slowly got back to his standing of previous years. His reward was a transfer back to the Italian Serie A with Torino in 1991.

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 58, November 1993
(Enzo Scifo at Auxerre, 1990/91)

2- Emmanuel Petit and Arsenal 1997/98
French defender Emmanuel Petit was seen as a teenager as the bright hope of France’s future while at AS Monaco. He was however, one of the scapegoats of France’s failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. For years he was off the radar as far as the national team was concerned. This all changed when his former Manager Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal in the summer of 1997. He took to the English League with delight and was eventually selected as part of Hosts’ France’s World Cup of squad of 1998. During the tournament, he established himself as a starter and scored France’s third goal in the Final itself.

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 117, October 1998
(Emmanuel Petit at Arsenal)

3- Wim Kieft and PSV Eindhoven 1987/88
Dutch striker Wim Kieft’s national team career had stalled for a number of seasons. He had been in playing in the Italian League for four seasons without much success. Big spending PSV Eindhoven signed him in the summer of 1987 after they had transferred the likes of Gullit and Rene van der Gijp among others. Kieft took delight in playing for a top squad again and started scoring like his old Ajax days. He was Holland’s top goalscorer that season and earned his way back in the National team.  That summer he was part of Holland’s 1988 UEFA European championship winning squad and helped in with a key goal vs. Republic of Ireland that saved them from elimination in the first round.

Photo From:  Onze, Issue 149, May 1988
(Wim Kieft at PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88)

4- Massimo Crippa and Parma, 1993/96
Italian and Napoli midfielder Massimo Crippa had been selected first by Azeglio Vicini at the International level. When Arrigo Sacchi took over as National team manager in late 1991, his national team career seemed all but over.  A transfer in the summer of 1993 to ambitious Parma ,along with teammate Gianfranco Zola, changed all that as both excelled in the new surroundings and became key members of the glorious Parma squad of the 90s. Crippa also earned his way back to the National team during the 1994/95 season. He was selected as one of the three overage players in Italy’s 1996 Oympics squad.

5- Klaus Aughentaler and West Germany 1989/90
Following the 1986 World Cup, Franz Beckenbauer seemed to have given up on the idea of Bayern Munich captain Klaus Aughentaler as his libero. For a number of years he persevered with Mathias Herget without much success. Finally in the fall of 1989, Beckenbauer decided that Aughentaler would be his libero. Aughentlaer stayed in the team and was one of West Germany’s starters in their run to win the World Cup in 1990.

Photo From: Mondial, new series, issue 98, May 1988
(Klaus Aughentaler at Bayern Munich)

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