From the 1979-80 edition of Rothmans (dealing with season 1978-79): European Footballer of the Year 1978 When Kevin Keegan finished runners-up as 1977 European Footballer of the Year, one thought that his best chance to take the title had disappeared. After all, he was the star performer in that season's Champions' Cup final, a game which usually tilts the balance as far as the panel members are concerned. In any case, '78 was a World Cup year, and it is traditional that the leading European player is chosen from those who take part in the global confrontation. As far back as 1958, Raymond Kopa was elected, to be followed by Jozef Masopust, Bobby Charlton, Gerd Müller and Johan Cruyff in subsequent World Cup years. But the panel bravely ignored the obvious claims of certain players, and put the brilliant Hamburg-based Englishman on top of the heap. Keegan was an excellebt footballer when with Liverpool, but since he has been playing in West Germany, his all-round game has improved a great deal. Now, he is able to outfox close-marking defenders as well as teams which prefer the English-style zonal marking system. Against N. Ireland, Keegan scored a courageous goal when his quick-thinking put him a step ahead of all those around him. Later in the same game, a classic back-headed pass gave Latchford the easiest of chances to score. Kevin Keegan, known as the 'mighty mouse' in Germany, is a world-class player, he excels in the role of goal-maker and goal-taler alike, and is a worthy recipient of this, one of the highest honours in the game. Hans Krankl, the Austrian scoring machine, finished second, and the mercurial Robby Rensenbrink, third. Leslie Vernon I always wondered when zonal-marking took over from man-marking in English football. Here we see that already by the late-1970s, zonal-marking was the preferred system in English football. I wonder when the change started and when the gradual process finished. Also astounding, considering the not-so-progressive reputation of English football back in those days ("kick and rush"), that zonal-marking had been adopted already that early. In Germany, for example, it didn't fully take over until the early-2000s to become the accepted norm. In Germany, there was a long-ongoing conflict between the protagonists of man-marking and zonal-marking which started in the late-70s. But apparently in England it was a smooth and unnoisy change. Does anyone know how and when the change from man-marking to 100% zonal-marking came about in other countries?