Montreal ’76 : Future Stars On Display


========================================================
The two national team captains both currently starring in Italy’s crack Serie A, Brazil defender EDINHO (4) of Udinese Calcio and France midfielder MICHEL PLATINI of FC Juventus Turin, exchange the respective national football federation banners crafted specifically for the occasion just prior to the start of the memorable 1986 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match ultimately decided on penalties at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara.
========================================================

Because the so-called Eastern Bloc countries had figured out how to manipulate the eligibility rules from the get-go, the Olympic football tournament was often viewed as little more than the Warsaw Pact Intramural Championship.

But even if those attending the matches in the Canadian cities of Montreal, Ottawa, Sherbrooke and Toronto may not possibly have been able to realize such, the football competition at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games witnessed the appearance of many noteworthy players from a wide variety of Western countries who went on to distinguish themselves greatly at the highest levels of both the European professional as well as international game; perhaps, only hindsight allows for the fullest sense of appreciation to be harvested.

BRAZIL brought no fewer than four youngsters who would mature and, collectively, appear at 10 FIFA World Cup final tournaments over the course of their careers. Standout left back JUNIOR of CR Flamengo went to star for FC Torino and Pescara in Italy’s crack Serie A during the 1980s and was selected 70 times by the senior national side. Fellow defender EDINHO of FC Fluminese, who also later found lengthy employment in the Italian top flight with Udinese, earned 59 caps and made three World Cup squads for Brazil as would the first choice goalkeeper in Montreal, CARLOS from AA Ponte Preta.

========================================================

========================================================
West Germany prepares for the corner kick with 1.FC Kaiserslautern fullback ANDREAS BREHME (3) guarding the near post while Vfb Stuttgart central defender KARL-HEINZ FOERSTER (4) marks Mexico striker HUGO SANCHEZ (9), the host nation’s popular legionnaire then under contract to Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid, during the scoreless 1986 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match ultimately decided on penalties at the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey.
========================================================

MEXICO arrived with a freshly-turned 18-year-old forward who later achieved lasting goal-scoring fame throughout the 1980s in the Spanish La Liga. HUGO SANCHEZ first signed with Atletico Madrid before moving to cross-town rival Real Madrid, where he would win five consecutive domestic league titles from 1986 thru 1990 as well as a Golden Boot for being the top shot in all of top flight European professonal football. Sanchez, who appeared at three different World Cups in three different decades, eventually totaled 29 goals in 58 games for the Mexican national team.

Standing between the sticks for SPAIN in Montreal was LUIS ARCONADA of Real Sociedad, the 22-year-old who, six years on, was the first choice for senior national team when Espana welcomed the 1982 FIFA World Cup final tournament. Arconada collected 68 caps and backstopped Spain to the Final of the 1984 UEFA European Championships, as well. On the prowl up front in Canada was would-be two-time World Cup forward JUANITO of CF Burgos, the 21-year-old who later scored eight goals on his 34 appearances for Spain and spent 10 seasons with powerhouse Real Madrid.

=============================================

=============================================
LUIS ARCONADA of Real Sociedad and Spain
=============================================

Considering the fact that the tournament, itself, was hosted by an iconic city of French-speaking Canada, it is, perhaps, appropriate that the footballer at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal who would put together the most impressive post-Olympic list of accomplishments was to be found on the roster of FRANCE.

21-year-old MICHEL PLATINI actually went on to establish himself as one of the very best football players of all-time while competing at three World Cup final tournaments from 1978 thru 1986. The attacking midfielder’s signature moment would coincide with the 1984 UEFA European Championships, which were won by the host nation when France defeated Spain 2-0 at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Platini, who piled up 41 goals while making 72 appearances for the senior French national side, accounted for the first goal of that match with one of his trademark free kicks (and a little help from Arconada).

Platini, while in Italy turning out for Serie A giant FC Juventus of Turin, would also win the prestigous Balon d’Or symbolizing the best player in all of Europe three straight years from 1983 to 1985.

========================================================

========================================================
France midfielder MICHEL PLATINI (10) of Italian side Juventus Turin puts his hands on his head in despair as West Germany goalkeeper HARALD “Toni” SCHUMACHER of 1.FC Koeln smothers the ball properly during the 1986 FIFA World Cup semi-final match at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara … for the second time in as many World Cup tournaments, West Germany thwarted neighboring France at the penultimate stage.

Advertisements

Comments Off on Montreal ’76 : Future Stars On Display

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.