Duckadam Saved Steaua’s Day


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Steaua Bucharest goalkeeper HELMUTH DUCKADAM delights after stopping a fourth consecutive spot kick of FC Barcelona to clinch the 1986 European Cup Final on penalties after extra time at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville, Spain. (Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
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Although HELMUTH DUCKADAM did earn two caps for Romania early in his career, the 27-year-old goalkeeper was either an experienced nor highly-acclaimed international; still, on the grand and prestigous stage of the 1986 European Cup Final, it was the Steaua Bucharest backstop who outperformed potential headliners such as West Germany international midfielder BERND SCHUSTER, Scotland international striker STEVE ARCHIBALD or any of the cadre of Spain national team players on FC Barcelona.

Even on his own side, the Steaua Bucharest goalkeeper had to cede top billing to others.

Duckadam was called on to make just two saves, the same number as his counterpart for FC Barcelona, the 1986 Spain World Cup deputy URRUTI. However, the Romanian was, by far, the busier of the two goalkeepers in the 1986 European Cup Final at Seville. Duckadam came off his line to catch a few high balls and punched quite a few others to safety, as well.

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(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
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The army goalkeeper was also alert to come out and take the ball at the feet of FC Barcelona’s FRANCISCO CARRASCO after the tricky Spain international winger dribbled through the Steaua Bucharest defense along the goal line late in the game.

As for the penalty kick shootout at the end of the 120-minute scoreless draw between Steaua Bucharest and FC Barcelona, the unsung goalkeeper was absolutely sensational.

Both the West German Schuster, who scored 10 goals in 22 La Liga games during the 1985-86 season, and the Scot Archibald, who had finished third in La Liga with 15 goals during Barcelona’s champioinship season the year before, had been brought off by FC Barcelona’s English manager TERRY VENABLES.

Nevertheless, Duckadam was needed as, one by one, the FC Barcelona kick-takers hit the target; four saves in all, then, a remarkable showing under such pressure-packed circumstances.

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(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

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