Before kick-off a group of dignitaries including President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing are introduced pitchside to the players. The digital copy of an old janky VHS starts just as Nice’s captain Jean-Marc Guillou has gone through his rank and file. Waiting, somewhat impatiently, to take over is Nancy’s 22-year old sensation Michel Platini.
Despite his young age, Platini was not short on experience. Having come through the youth ranks at Nancy, he had been a mainstay in the adult side for more than four seasons by this point. The XI he led out to his first major final was altogether very young: Jean-Claude Cloët was the oldest at just 26, the average age in the side was 22.8.
For contrast, Nice fielded six players 29 or older. And, for the first part of the match, experience seemed to be the deciding factor on the day. Continue reading