Farewell Adamec, the hero of ’68

IN 1969, when football in eastern Europe was still something of a mystery, Jozef Adamec finished joint 15thin the Ballon d’Or voting, with the same number of points as Manchester United’s Bobby Charlton. This was no mean feat and underlined that Adamec had made a significant impact on football writers across the continent. This week, Slovak football is in mourning for the man who became … Continue reading Farewell Adamec, the hero of ’68

Spiegler – a star in the Middle East that never got to shine

  IN 1970, West Ham United’s manager, Ron Greenwood, a student of the global game, returned from Mexico with what he thought was a trump card. He was interested in signing  Israel’s captain and star player, Mordechai Spiegler. His fascination with overseas talent preceded the late-1970s trend, which gained fresh legs through Tottenham’s audacious acquisition of Ardiles and Villa, by some eight years. But 1970 … Continue reading Spiegler – a star in the Middle East that never got to shine

Carlos Alberto and a night in London SW6

AS WE WALKED down the steps into Chelsea’s old West Stand lower tier, the uncomfortable bench seats that used to provide budget-priced  accommodation for fans that didn’t want to try their luck in the maelstrom that was the Shed, we attempted to play “I spy a World Cup legend.” “Is that Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer?..Who’s that tall fellow…the Brazilian…it’s not Pele, is it? No, … Continue reading Carlos Alberto and a night in London SW6