The best players of the season 1981-2

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I said before that I was trying to create a "rangliste" for the whole of Europe from some historical seasons starting with 1980-1.

    I've listed below a draft of the best players by position for Europe for 1981-2, and would like some feedback and suggestions on players. Who've I missed out, who shouldn't be included?

    If any of you want to have a stab at assigning the three ratings (world class, international class and national class) to the players then please feel free to. The players are in no particular order.


    Bernd Franke
    Jean-Luc Ettori
    Dino Zoff
    Peter Shilton
    Jozef Mlarnyczek
    Harald Schumacher
    Giovanni Galli
    Luis Arconada
    Manfred Kaltz
    Manuel Amoros
    Genaro Celayeta
    Kenny Swain
    Antonio Cabrini
    Kenny Sansom
    Hans-Peter Briegel
    Santiago Urquiaga
    Eric Gerets
    Nenad Stoijkovic
    Claudio Gentile
    Holger Hieronymus
    Gaetano Scirea
    Orlando Pereira
    Ruud Krol
    Alan Hansen
    Walter Meeuws
    Karl-Heinz Forster
    Sergio Brio
    Wladyslaw Zmuda
    Jan Fiala (CB or FB?)
    David O’Leary
    Glenn Hysen
    Humberto Coelho
    Miguel Tendillo
    Bruno Pezzey
    Alexandr Chivadze
    Steve Perryman
    Central midfielders
    Paulo Roberto Falcao
    Bryan Robson
    Graeme Souness
    Paul Breitner
    Felix Magath
    Alain Giresse
    Jean-Francois Larios
    Glenn Stromberg
    Ricardo Gallego
    Lothar Matthaus
    Jesus Zamora
    Rene Vandereycken
    Miguel Alonso
    Uli Stielike
    Soren Lerby
    Attacking midfielders
    Liam Brady
    Michel Platini
    Glenn Hoddle
    Manfred Burgsmuller
    Dieter Hoeness
    Zbigniew Boniek
    Ruud Gullit
    Radoslav Zdravkov
    Vladimir Petrovic
    Juan Lozano
    Franco Causio
    Pierre Littbarski
    Bruno Conti
    Steve Coppell
    Bruno Bellone
    Roberto Lopez Ufarte
    Remaz Shengelia
    Daniel Bertoni
    Ludo Coeck
    Tony Morley
    Jesper Olsen
    Kevin Keegan
    Kenny Dalglish
    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
    Oleg Blokhin
    Alan Simonssen
    Walter Schachner
    Ian Rush
    Roberto Pruzzo
    Torbjorn Nilsson
    Horst Hrubesch
    Delio Onnis
    Rui Jordao
    Jacques Pereira
    Andrej Szarmach
    Wim Kieft
    Kees Kist

  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I don't know whether Gullit should be categorized as attacking midfielder for Haarlem. That is a difficult one.

    I also believe, but I acknowledge that I'm biased, that Cruijff deserves one star, at the least.

    Before his comeback was Ajax third in the table with 20 points (of 30), 9 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses, 51 goals for, 25 against. They were five points behind leader PSV.

    After comeback they had, in the games where he featured, 29 points (of 30), 14 wins, 1 draws, 0 losses, 59 goals, 14 against. They won the league with five points ahead of PSV - helped by a 3:0 win over them, and a 3:2 win over direct competitors AZ67 (15/05/1982) which was their championship-winning game. He had the assist to the winning goal of Vanenburg, when the scoreline was 2:2.

    Did not play in:
    24/04/1982 - Go Ahead Eagles - Ajax 1:2
    02/05/1982 - Ajax - Utrecht 1:0
    09/05/1982 - Roda JC - Ajax 1:1
    22/05/1982 - Haarlem - Ajax 1:3
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    This was the podium for the "footballer of the year" award in the Netherlands.

    1. Martin Haar (Haarlem)
    2. Jesper Olsen (Ajax)
    3. Jan Peters (AZ67)

    Non-ranked nominated players were, in no particular order: Halvar Thoresen (PSV), Hans van Breukelen (Utrecht), Dick Schoenaker (Ajax), Jan Poortvliet (PSV), Manuel Sanchez-Torres (Twente), Ronald Koeman (FC Groningen), Soren Lerby (Ajax).

    Edward Metgod (Haarlem) was the 11th guy who just fell out.

    Cruijff played not enough games to be eligible for the award. Gullit played 31 games but was punished for the fact that he had also a few weak games - according to the journalists.

    Rankings for Belgium are posted in a separate thread.
  4. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    You should move Dieter Hoeness to the strikers' category (he was Uli Hoeness' younger brother you might have confused them subconsciously as Uli Hoeness was a attacking midfielder).
  5. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I think I was also confusing him with Dieter Muller and then in turn with Hansi Muller. Overall, a very confused picture. Thanks for the tip.
  6. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Nice one. Thanks for that. It's really useful.
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Picking up on Puck's points re: Gullit and Cruyff:

    I remember Gullit's 'mentor' at Haarlem discussing his time there on Gullit's Football's Greatest episode, and I think he referred to him playing as sweeper - if not then I've picked up that info elsewhere. I seem to recall he might've played in more than one position and am unsure regarding 81/82 (his last season at the Club). Puck has already added great info and I wouldn't want him to be taking vast amounts of time searching but I don't know whether he might be able to provide sources for match reports etc like he's done for Cruyff's matches (Haarlem may be more difficult with scarce/limited info perhaps)?

    On Cruyff, I agree based on what I know/have seen that he still had the quality but just as he didn't play enough games to be considered as Player of the Year in Holland, comme I guess you may prefer more games to be completed for included players? I notice he came 8th with 3% of the vote in World Soccer's Player of the Year voting for 1982 (checked on rsssf just now, I remember comme that you brought that award and it's history to people's attention before actually). I don't think that award is a perfect measure, but as it is a straight vote for 1st place in this case it does hint at/confirm some stand-out form from Cruyff. Again highlights don't give a full impression, but some of his compilations do include some outstanding play from that period at Ajax (don't know from which season other than the goal where he dribbles through and chips the keeper on his 'second debut' that I've seen discussed by Jordi Cruyff). The record posted by Puck is a good indicator of his effect on Ajax's form and results I think too. There is the 1982/83 season that could be considered as well as the following one at Feyenoord (I'm sure Puck will have more to contribute; again I don't know whether he can access many match reports from that period - apologies if already on the Cruyff thread - there is a lot of info on there!).

    I was thinking of a young Michael Laudrup but again 82/83 might seem more appropriate.

    In terms of other players, though it's hard to go back and pick out a specific season, I wonder about Tigana (again as I think I mentioned him for 80/81 too) and maybe Rocheteau.

    I see a few Tottenham players there comme, but perhaps Steve Archibald has a chance too for a 1-star mention?
  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Was 81/82 a season where you'd read that Dasaev was struggling for form?
  9. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Actually, as I'm sure you know, Archibald's goal return was much lower in 81/82 than the previous season it seems so on that basis I guess he shouldn't be included.
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I think the above list missed the "defensive midfielders category". For that category is Rijkaard a good inclusion. He was in fact part of the top 10 but did not play enough games, 27 games. Because 30 games (IIRC, can also be 28 or 29) was the treshold he just fell out.

    Another known name where I thought about was Gerald Vanenburg but he was not consistent enough - in above list most names are defensive minded people anyway.

    Unfortunately I do not know the ranking of places 3-10 (wikipedia mentions that Rijkaard was on 4th place but I cannot check that) but the article mentions the various nominees and also candidates like Gullit, Vanenburg, Rijkaard, Cruijff and a few others and explain why they miss out.
  11. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Without wanting to have a French obsession or to suggest that certain players are included in multiple adjoining seasons without specific reasons, I also feel that Bossis and Battiston may be worthy (perhaps there are reasons why this season was not their best though).
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I did yesterday but I cannot give the call. Line-ups note him as sweeper, as mid-fielder (in a three-men midfield) and as forward (the famous comeback game of Cruijff was against Haarlem and Gullit played as center-forward on that occasion).

    Some reports say that when he played as midfielder he was "supportive to his striker" while in some other matches he is described as "shield in front of his defense". It is a difficult call and on two occasions I saw he also played as second center-back next to Martin Haar (who was certainly the libero/sweeper if he played in defense).

    Anyhow, he had according to the journalists a few weak games in the season but he made such an impression that Feyenoord signed him. Gullit had his doubts but the board of Haarlem themselves said "you're too good for us" and stimulated him to leave.
    PDG1978 repped this.
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    He was excellent at the World Cup I believe
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Champion in that year was AS Monaco. If I'm correct the creative star players were Ralf Edstrom, Umberto Barberis (was voted 'foreign player of the year') and Bruno Bellone. Some of that side seems to deserve an inclusion esp. because they edged out St. Etienne.
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    That was my thought too, and likewise for Bossis, Rocheteau and Tigana. It's irrelevant to comme's criteria but does at least confirm their capabilities at the time. I also watched the France v Holland game from '81 as you know where Rocheteau provides a very good assist (and was clearly a first choice player for France). Rocheteau seems to have had a limited season with PSG (just over 20 apps, scoring about 1 in 2 games) and I don't know the details of his form though.
  16. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    I also miss the DM category.

    BTW, i think Magath, Stromberg and Zamora could be suited better in AM list.
    I thought that Brady was a CM. I'm not so sure.
    I also agree that D.Muller was a striker.
  17. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    In World Soccer's preview of the USSR squad they spoke about Chivadze and others being "strong, cool and reliable" then said:

    "Unfortunately the latter adjective cannot be applied to keeper Renat Dasaev. There are doubts about his consistency even though he has been a regular keeper for three years. All Soviet keepers must withstand comparisons with the legendary Yashin, and it is not surprising that none has stood up to the comparison. Dasaev took a lot of stick after letting in four goals when Spartak played West Germany's Kaiserslautern in the UEFA Cup."

    Not a definite steer that he was playing badly, but that was what put me off.
  18. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    In relation to leaving out a specific DM category I did it, because I just wasn't sure it was completely right. Very few teams were playing with designated DMs and many of the best were effectively two way CMs.
  19. babaorum

    babaorum Member+

    Aug 20, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    Any particular reason you didn't pick Bossis and Battiston ?
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Is that on tape?
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Why was it not popular to use back then? In the 1970s you had many good DMs
  22. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I didn't see anything which pointed me towards picking them with the exception of the fact that both were great players over the course of their careers.

    Pretty much everyone picked in the list had something in particular to make me include them (either a high rating by kicker etc, a nice write up from World Soccer, an award).
  23. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Quite possibly, but I don't have it.
  24. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    IMO most of them (Neeskens, Van Hanegem, Bremner etc) were two way players rather than a Makelele or Gattuso type.
  25. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I was looking for the Madrid-Spartak game of 1981 too because Dasaev made (according to you) a mistake in that game too but I could not find it. Did you see the goals and mistake of that game?

Share This Page