Guerin Sportivo World Player of the Year awards 1979-1986

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Vegan10, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    The Italian magazine of Guerin Sportivo has been around since 1912, located in Turin, and they started to have their own kind of Ballon d'Or or World Player of the Year awards starting from 1979. This award apparently concluded in 1986.

    What makes this particularly intriguing is that these awards were eligible for any player around the world. But it was not like World Soccer (British magazine) or Onze d'Or (French magazine), publications that allowed their readers (mostly local people) to choose the best players, in this sense it was different, perhaps unique, for example, that in 1986 it utilized votes from correspondents from not only Europe, but from South America, Central/North America and Asia. In that particular year it had 96 reporters involved, albiet over 30 coming from Italian publications - which is understandable - but it was the closest thing to reaching a real global award. The main difference with Guerin Sportivo from an award like France Football or El Grafico, was that from 1983 to 1986 reporters only handed their votes for the top player, never ranking who was the second, third, 4th or 5th best player in points in order to reach a conclusive point total for the winner. Another thing that must be clarified is how their method of reaching a winner was concluded from year to year. In 1979 they only picked the winner but did not conduct a poll or ranking. From 1980 to 1982 correspondents were asked to pick the best XI of the year and the winner would be decided on how many times he was included in that all-star team. From 1983 to 1986 this changed and journalists/coaches were just asked to pick the best player.

    So hypothetical conclusions may arise, like, would Platini have won 3 consecutive Ballon d'Ors with a Falcao, Zico or Maradona being eligible? Would Rummenigge have won in 1980 or 1981 with Maradona or Zico in contention? The same applies for Kevin Keegan in 1979. Or did Belanov (winner of France Football's Ballon d'Or in '86) ever stand any chance against Maradona in 1986?

    Bear in mind, most of this is not concrete proof and it's debatable of course, but for the aficionados that like to compile World Player of the Year awards, this might give them a better idea/hint on whom may have won or whom were the top nominees for each year from 1979 to 1986.

    I'll soon get into the details of the years one at a time.
     
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  2. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    As previously mentioned, in 1979 Guerin Sportivo only had one player chosen in their ranking, it was not Kevin Keegan, winner of France Football's Ballon d'Or, they instead opted for Diego Maradona. Apparently the main arguments being his sudden impact in the international game. Argentina's senior team toured Europe, Maradona became a headlining sensation, he was also the inspiration behind leading the youth national team to triumph in Japan. He also had an excellent domestic season, which all resulted in him being named Argentina and South America's footballer of the year. It was the year that put him on the map.

    This was the most difficult year to reach a solid conclusion of whom would have really won a global Ballon d'Or because Guerin Sportivo did not utilize access to the opinion of world correspondents. But it was possibly the only source that went out its way to elect a winner to any player in the world.

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  3. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    So, with Maradona elected as best player in the world in 1979 by Guerin Sportivo, the question is: Did Kevin Keegan (his main competitor) ever stand a chance against him had South-American, Central/North American, Asian and European journalists been eligible to cast their vote for any player around the globe? That's something that will remain an enigma and for you guys to ponder...

    I'll move on to 1980 in my next post.
     
  4. AD78

    AD78 Member+

    Jul 17, 2013
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Great post, I look forward to 1980 onwards.
     
  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Rummenigge 22 votes
    Kaltz 20
    Maradona 17
    Krol 15
    Zico 13
    Antognoni, Schuster and Pezzey 11
    Arconada, Hrubesch and Gentile 8
    Kempes and Passarella 7
    Stielike, Shilton and Viv Anderson 6
     
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  6. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    If Gentile was being considered purely as a right back in that year then there must be at least 34 voters I guess (Kaltz 20, Gentile 8, Anderson 6).
     
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    For comparison - the France Football Ballon D'or results:
    http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/europa-poy80.html

    Using a 4-3-3, this would be the outcome if the process was reversed (interpreting votes for top 5 players by Ballon D'or journalists into an XI) but of course South American players are not featured here:
    Zoff/Arconada; Kaltz, Krol, Pezzey, Anderson; Van Moer, Schuster, Platini; Rummenigge, Hrubesch, Ceulemans.
    (Putting Anderson at left back as no left backs got votes, and Krol was playing in the centre all the time then I think so didn't make sense to stick O'Leary in and move Krol over)

    Guerin Sportivo's combined overall XI would have South Americans Maradona and Zico plus Italian Antognoni in for Van Moer, Platini and Ceulemans. Interestingly Zoff losing out to Arconada though and Shilton too. No left-backs in the 16 players you listed Puck so possible I guess that people did select both Kaltz and Anderson sometimes and there were less voters; maybe some selected 3 or 4 random defenders?
     
  8. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    Thanks, mate.

    Yes, the order seems about right with a slight difference in the point total.

    In fact there was 25 "experts" that voted for the team of the year. Will post the info soon...
     
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  9. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    In 1980 Rummenigge won France's Footballer's Ballon d'Or and obtained that honour with Guerin Sportivo as well. But the way that it was determined was based on how many times a player was included in the team of the year. 25 journalists/managers from Europe and South America were asked to pick the team of the year, Rummenigge was listed in almost all of them, giving him the edge over Kaltz and Maradona.

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    Top 5:
    1.) Rummenigge 23 points
    2.) Kaltz 20 points
    3.) Maradona 18 points
    4.) Krol 16 points
    5.) Antognoni 12 points
    Pezzey 12 points
    Schuster 12 points
    Zico 12 points

    The All-Star team or best XI in the world in 1980 was the following:

    Arconada; Kaltz, Pezzey, Krol, Gentile; Schuster, Maradona, Antognoni; Rummenigge, Hrubesch, Zico.

    (Note: It seems that there was a typo mistake where it states that Maradona received 17 votes, because Maradona was included in 18 all-star correspondent votes out of 25, according to the lists.)

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    The list of the voters:
    [​IMG]

    And the all-star team of the year:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Thanks mate - I'll look forward to seeing it.

    EDIT - Ah, there it is already and there is an overall XI compiled by the magazine too I see along with the article on Rummenigge. Good work again!
     
  11. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    You are welcome. I just posted the results above.

    EDIT - I just realized you've seen them. Cheers!

    Obviously this was a different approach of reaching a conclusion, as opposed of just choosing the top player. But it does indicate how highly valued Rummenigge was viewed at the time. In 1980 Rummenigge was German league champ, Euro champ, German footballer of the year, winner of France Football's European Ballon d'Or and Guerin Sportivo's player of the year.

    Rummenigge's primary competitor for the world throne would have probably been Maradona, the previous Guerin Sportivo winner, since he was again winner of El Mundo's South American footballer of the year award and in the top 3 in Guerin Sportivo. But this time Maradona also would add a few more awards to his collection, the newly added El Grafico Americas player of the year award and France foot2 "man of the year" award. This clearly suggests that he would have seriously given Rummenigge a challenge for the top spot in a global award where everyone could vote. But this being a Euro year, with West Germany as winners, Rummenigge possibly still finishes at the top, with Maradona a close second.

    In 1981 things would be very tight between the top 3 players. To be continued....
     
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  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Brady (Ireland), Ceulemans (Belgium), Van Moer (Belgium) score high in both the Ballon d'Or and Onze d'Or, but take a nosedive in this Guerin Sportivo list (they get their own vote counts wrong?? :confused: ).
    http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/onze-awards.html

    Scoring high in all three lists: Shilton, Kaltz, Krol, Rummenigge, Hrubesch
     
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    'Kicker' magazine (indeed located in Nuremberg) only picks German players - classic. :D

    Italy - 5
    Spain - 4
    France - 3
    Yugoslavia - 3
    Brazil - 2
    Argentina - 1
    Austria - 1
    Bulgaria - 1
    Denmark - 1
    England - 1
    Germany - 1
    Romania - 1
    Uruguay - 1
     
  14. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    The selection entitled Redazione Guerin Sportivo (not sure if that could be a readers poll, or more likely a sweep of the writers?) interestingly seems to match exactly the overall XI of the consensus doesn't it?
     
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    It are the editors or the editorial staff of the magazine.
     
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  16. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Cabrini seems to be the most voted proper left back (Breitner was in midfield 100% I believe and assuming the same for Briegel). There are votes for Camacho and one each for Sansom, Hovenkamp and also Bossis who was in the Onze Mondial XI.
     
  17. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    Didn't Schuster play better at Euro80 than Rummenigge?
     
  18. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    That can be argued. But it's a matter of subjective opinion.
     
  19. Vegan10

    Vegan10 Member+

    Aug 4, 2011
    1981 would have been the tightest race thus far.

    Zico won South American footballer of the year by the Venezuelan newspaper of El Mundo, with Maradona runner-up. Zico 83 points; Maradona 77 points.

    Maradona won the Americas footballer of the year by the Argentinian magazine of El Grafico, with Zico runner-up. Maradona 572 points; Zico 524 points.

    (Note: Americas footballer of the year by El Grafico was an award that included over 130 journalists/tv broadcasters from all over the Americas continent. El Mundo newspaper was different, it comprised of 18 journalists from South America.)

    Rummenigge was again France Football's Ballon d'Or winner, with Paul Breitner runner-up.

    But for Guerin Sportivo there was a three-way tie at the top in points. 33 managers/journalists/players voted for the top team of the year and the top 3 most voted players finished with 26 votes each. So Guerin Sportivo decided that the tiebreaker should go to Zico for two primary reasons:

    1.) Maradona and Rummenigge had already won the award in the previous editions. This way the first three years of this award would be justifiably distributed evenly, in honour of what was viewed as the 3 best players in the game at that time.

    2.) Zico had an outstanding full year, with a remarkable finish to the season. He was the inspiration behind Flamengo's success in the state league, in the Copa Libertadores and finally in the Intercontinental championship in Tokyo. It was also a year where he reached 500 official career goals. He was also praised for growing into the leader of his club and NT sides.

    So Guerin Sportivo's top 5 ended like this:

    1.) Zico 26 points
    2.) Maradona 26 points
    3.) Rummenigge 26 points
    4.) Kaltz 22 points
    5.) Blochine 18 points

    (In their preference they decided to place Zico at the top, followed by Maradona and then Rummenigge).

    Interestingly, Rummenigge was among the panel of voters. His added votes for Zico and Maradona gave them an equal edge to himself, without them, Rummenigge ends at the top again.

    The All-Star team or best XI in the world in 1981 was the following:

    Arconada; Kaltz, Krol, Pezzey, Junior; Schuster, Breitner, Zico; Rummenigge, Maradona, Blochine.

    In sum, this definitely seemed to be the most competitive year so far and it's uncertain how it would have fared out had voters just chosen the best player. It could well have gone either way.

    [​IMG]

    The 33 voters:
    [​IMG]
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    The all-star squad:
    [​IMG]

    For 1982 things would change radically.

    To be continued...
     
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  20. Once

    Once Member+

    Apr 16, 2011
    #20 Once, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
    Gee, I had not noted that. Shameless.
    By the way, 4 of the 25 submitted teams in 1980 had zero South Americans in them.
     
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Talking about "shameless", not mentioned here or never mentioned in previous threads is that (state controlled) 'El Grafico' held intentionally their own poll before the Intercontinental Cup took place. As everyone knows, the Intercontinental Cup was and is quite important for South American countries (there's an interview in the same issue Flamengo players and directors talk about how important it was for them etc.). Therefore the by El Grafico selected journalists couldn't be swayed or influenced by the crown of the year event.

    [​IMG]

    Though admittedly in a wider perspective it's just a minor flaw.

    What is that for type of award? For type of magazine? How long was the magazine being run?
     
  22. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    The balance does change a bit for 1981 I've noticed - Corriere dello Sport and Gazetta dello Sport's selections containing 6 or 7 South Americans, and Rummenigge putting 7 in his.

    Good work again Vegan! Other things I noticed (apart from obviously the 3 way tie; I guess their idea at that stage was to give defenders as much chance as attackers so they didn't want people voting for a player to win on top of submitting an XI? Anyway they decided on Zico and the reasons make sense):
    - Seems like Scirea generally loses out to Krol again, with I guess people selecting mainly a more sturdy partner for Krol rather than have 2 sweepers in their XI. The ratings of DBS Calcio are indeed very good for Scirea at this time but even higher for Krol. Rummenigge went away from the Pezzey/Krol trend and did put in Scirea along with Passarella though.
    - Socrates seems to be selected a bit as an attacker (moreso than Zico for this year even perhaps? - ditto Maradona more than Zico which is a switch from 1980 in terms of the way the overall XI was presented at least - Maradona probably was more of a forward at Boca wasn't he, and Zico's play from midfield vs Liverpool and suchlike would have come to everyone's attention). Ze Sergio had beaten Socrates and other Brazilians to being selected in 1980.
    - Tigana is in a couple of selections already in 1981, including that of a Greek, so must have made himself widely known and rated.
    - Thijssen in there (won the English Player of the Year award) in one team although not many players from England (no Hoddle for example).
     
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  23. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Don Balon have included Beckenbauer. I'm expecting another 70's star, Cruyff, to be getting some inclusions too from 1982 onwards probably.

    Thinking of English-based players, I'll be interested to see if Dalglish's start to 82/83 gets him in any selections for 1982 rather than only 1983.
     
  24. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Another, seemingly stranger thing, re: Don Balon's vote (ofc Beckenbauer was back in German football, so not so surprising that one person might stick him in rather than Krol/Scirea etc).....

    They seem to be putting Paolo Rossi in as a protest vote?! I can't think of a different Rossi it might be.
     
  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I never really got a big International impression about Shoot (it was more focused on English football, as compared to say World Soccer was obviously) but again in 1981 (unlike 1980 there was no European Championships) Chris Davies has chosen a very International team (he did put in Sansom in 1980).

    Most of the selections seem to be quite varied like that. Obviously it would be expected that for example in 1980 the Brazilian selections choose a few more Brazilians or in 1981 the Belgian selection has more Belgian-based players and having a couple from neighbouring France is not too surprising either - perhaps Rocheteau and Platini both benefitted from the qualifying game vs the Netherlands where the former had a nice assist and the latter a great free-kick goal, but I should think the Belgians would have decent access to footage of French matches generally.
     

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