S01E06.1: An Incomplete History of Real Madrid, CL Season 97/98 in Review

Turns out, when you talk about the biggest club in the world of football, you could spend hours on their history. We tried to keep it to a manageable duration but decided to split the episode into two parts again. So with this part you’ll get the Champions League season 1997/98 (format, qualifying, groups, knock-out stage etc), Juve’s and Real’s domestic season and the lead up to the final. And the largest part of the episode is devoted to the Merengues.

In talking about the history of Real Madrid we track the club’s achievements and evolution through the decades by following a lineage of legends: Santiago Bernabéu Yeste, Francisco Gento, Santillana. We touch on the biggest stories and the important players and teams. It’s an “Incomplete History” as we look through the lense of 1998.

Here’s the show on Soundcloud, the little arrow in the top right let’s you download:

And here are the minutes:

  • 0:00:00 Intro & plugs
  • 0:02:20 Culture re-cap, Affleck vs Damon vs DiCaprio
  • 0:11:50 Champions League format 1997/98, Qualifying rounds
  • 0:18:50 Juve’s season (champions of Italy, out in QF of Coppa)
  • 0:24:20 Juve vs Kiev in the CL Quarters & vs Monaco in the Semis
  • 0:29:40 Real the biggest club in the world?
  • 0:32:30 Foundations of the Madrid Foot Ball Club, Santiago Bernabéu Yeste joins
  • 0:39:10 Construction of the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín
  • 0:45:30 The transfer of Alfredo Di Stefano to Real Madrid
  • 0:56:00 Real’s romp through Europe during the late 50s, Francisco Gento and the Ye-Ye
  • 1:02:00 Santillana, Quintra Del Buitre, drought in the early 90s
  • 1:07:45 Spanish league structure 95/96, Fabio Capello’s season at Real
  • 1:11:15 Jupp Heynckes’ coaching career & arrival in Madrid
  • 1:15:30 Real vs Leverkusen in the CL Quarters & vs Dortmund in the Semis

Let us know what you think about the episode, down below in the comments, over on Facebook or via Twitter.

Further reading:

Hilarity before the Champions League semi-final 1997/98 between Real and Dortmund after one of the goals fell over before kick-off; clip off of German TV show years later:

And here’s a full match for you, Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Cup final 1960 in front of 127K people in Glasgow:

S01E05: CL Final 1996/97, Dortmund vs Juventus

After this delightful foray into present-day football, we once again looked back at past matches. This proved to be a true trip down memory lane. Dortmund and the Bundesliga were naturally closer to us while growing up, while ~’96 is just about the time when we started following football in earnest. Or rather: we understood what we were looking at.

We decided to condense the content a bit more, so as not to split up the episode into multiple parts again. Let us know, if you have a preference either way. [Insert subtle plug for our Facebook fanpage and Twitter account here…]

The topic of discussion is the fifth ever Champions League final, contested between holders Juventus and German champions Dortmund. A good chunk of the first half of the episode is reserved for the BVB club history: from humble beginnings on the Weiße Wiese (white meadow) up until the mid 90s dominance.

As always, the show is available on Soundcloud for download, as well as on iTunes, Stitcher, PlayerFM, your podcast app of choice and YouTube.

Here are the minutes:

  • 0:00:00 Intro
  • 0:03:00 Pop culture re-cap, incl. the best ever sports documentary When We Were Kings
  • 0:10:30 CL qualifiers, Juve’s domestic and international season 96/97, CL QF vs Rosenborg, SF vs Ajax
  • 0:21:00 Foundation of Borussia, ever-changing German league structure and Dortmund’s (lack of) success pre-WWII
  • 0:32:00 Dortmund in the Oberliga Westfalen, their three championships in the 50s & 60s and Cup Winner’s Cup title in ’66
  • 0:39:00 Relegation & financial worries in the 70s & 80s, resurgence under Meier, Hitzfeld
  • 0:51:00 Building a team for the mid 90s, Dortmund domestic season 96/97
  • 1:00:00 Dortmund in the CL 96/97, QF vs Auxerre, SF vs ManUnited (in depth)
  • 1:14:00 Lead-up to the final, line-ups, general set-up
  • 1:34:20 Kick-off, Juve’s attacking rhythm
  • 1:48:00 Riedle’s 1-2-punch
  • 2:00:30 Ricken upstages Del Piero
  • 2:09:15 Awards & Aftermath

Our Man of the Match went to Karl-Heinz Riedle. A first, as we normally shy away from just giving it to the goalscorer, but Riedle turned the game around virtue of his finishing ability, at a moment in the match when it looked almost certain Juve would score and, you know what, just listen to the episode.

Our award for the best hair went to Jörg Heinrich.

Here is the complete match, if you want to re-watch:

Instead of further reading we have a few further viewing recommendations, at least to skip through:

 

S01E04.2: CL Final 1995/96, Ajax vs Juventus & Bosman ruling

Battered, bruised, completely knackered, shinguards sticking out of his socks, Moreno Torricelli cut the perfect figure to sum up the Champions League Final 1995/96. His side had held out against Ajax’ free-flowing style for two hours. By hook or crook they dragged the reigning champions into extra time, penalties even. It may have not been pretty to look at, but it was effective.

We did look at it though, talked about it as well.

But first, here’s Marcello Lippi all suave, smoking a cigar on the sideline at the match:

 

We already covered the lead-up to the match extensively in Part 1 of the episode, reviewing the Champions League season 1995/96, as well as re-capping Juve’s greatest sides and players. Listen to Part 1 here.

If you want to catch up with Juve’s history quickly, take a look at our “YYFP Shorts: An Incomplete History of Juventus” on our YouTube channel:

Coming into the final Ajax had retained the Dutch championship, whereas Juve only finished fourth in Serie A. Ajax beat Dortmund and Panathinaikos in the QF and SF respectively, Juve went through Real and Nantes.

Here’s the episode. As always, you can download from Soundcloud, and listen via iTunes, Stitcher, PlayerFM

Minutes:

  • 0:00:00 Intro, plugs for all the channels, Facebook and Twitter
  • 0:03:00 Quick re-cap and preamble for the final (refs, venue, kits and ceremony)
  • 0:08:00 Line-ups (Kluivert on bench, Overmars injured)
  • 0:17:20 Kick-off, Juve intensity and general set-up
  • 0:28:00 Ajax tactical approach, 1:0 to Juve, Ajax’ response, Del Piero’s role
  • 0:40:00 Goalkeeping by van der Sar and Peruzzi, Ajax equalize, Conte injured, Musampa off
  • 0:46:15 Ajax’ adjustments at Half-time, penalty to Juve? changes by both sides
  • 1:01:00 Extra time, defensive adjustments by Juve; Ajax dominate first half of ET, Juve the second
  • 1:06:00 Penalty shoot-out!
  • 1:10:00 Awards!
  • 1:17:45 Aftermath, Bosman ruling
  • 1:33:00 Ajax players infighting, moving on
  • 1:40:30 Holland at the Euros 1996, bust-up
  • 1:50:00 Signing off

This will have been the last time Ajax appear in our first series, so we took an extensive look at the Dutch giants in our aftermath. First we rolled up the Bosman ruling, which allowed EU players to transfer on a free once their contracts were up. The ruling passed in December 1995. Ajax were the first side really hit by it in the coming summer. Within a few years almost the entire squad of 1994-96 had moved on. Van der Sar and Litmanen held out the longest, until 1999.

The break-up had been some time coming though, as Ajax were strapped for cash when compared to the European heavyweights. This subsequently pitched the old guard and the youngsters on opposing sides. It didn’t help that the media spun this power struggle into a racial narrative.

Elftal at the Euro96, catch the story behind the picture in our show!

Elftal at the Euro96, catch the story behind the picture in our show!

Hope you enjoy Part 2 of the fourth episode. If you do, give us a like on Facebook, or leave us a review on iTunes.

Here is the full match, should you want to watch it. First half:

Second half:

Extra time & Penalties (Spoiler! yeez..):

S01E04.1: An Incomplete History of Juve, CL Season 95/96 in Review

Imagine for a second Roberto Baggio converting his penalty. That penalty. You know which one, because him skying it, somehow seems to define his whole footballing career. As if the nearly two decades Baggio played don’t matter.

An incredibly talented trequartista, Baggio’s career was almost over before it got started. Just after his move to Fiorentina in 1985 was confirmed, he ruptured his ACL. Baggio only made five league appearances in his first two seasons with the Viola.

Further reading: In Celebration of Roberto Baggio: The Divine Ponytail (These Football Times)

By the time the World Cup 94 rolled around, the 27-year-old had become world class. Baggio was voted WPOTY in 1993. He single-handedly dragged a mediocre Italy side into the final of Pasadena, scoring five goals in the process. In the shoot-out against Brazil Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro also missed their penalties. And Baggio skyed his.

Why bring this up here, now?

For one, it shows how narrowly we think about past players. If Baggio makes the attempt and Italy win the World Cup, Il Divin Codino enters history as the greatest Italian player of all time. He’s still in the conversation, as he well should be, but at what point is he brought up? And does he get past the caveat that moment carries?

Further reading: Roberto Baggio: A Love Letter to Italy’s Forgotten Genius (Sabotage Times)

Two, and more imporant – at least on here – if Baggio makes that penalty, there is no chance in the world Juventus sell him a year later. And who knows what happens then in 95/96.

Further reading: Baggio vs. Lippi: The Anatomy of a Feud (These Football Times)

As it went down Baggio fell into a hole in 94/95, battling his own demons, the media and injuries.

Enter Pinturicchio: With Baggio sidelined, a 19-year-old Alessandro Del Piero bursts onto the scene and seizes the opportunity. By scoring goals like these.

Juve win the Scudetto in 94/95 for the first time in almost ten years. Throw in a Coppa to boot and we have our challenger for an Ajax side still firing on all cylinders.

Mercifully we split up Episode 4 into two. Part one clocks in at just under 2 hours and we only got up until the final. A big chunk is devoted to covering the history of Juventus, a trip through the decades highlighting their greatest sides and players, and of course the bust-up of Lippi and Baggio.

You can find the episode on Soundcloud (incl. MP3 to download), Stitcher, iTunes, or just use the nifty player here, minutes below:

  • 0:00:00 Intro
  • 0:04:15 Culture re-cap: Academy Awards 1996, Wrestlemania XII
  • 0:14:00 Kanu and Nigeria at the Olympics ’96, Diego Simeone and Argentina at the Copa ’95
  • 0:18:40 CL qualification round feat. Anorthosis vs Rangers, Rosenborg vs Besiktas, Anderlecht vs Ferencvaros
  • 0:23:30 Dinamo Kiev banned for attempted bribery, Groups A and B
  • 0:30:45 An overlook of Juve’s history, their greatest sides and triumphs
  • 0:48:30 Juve in 1994: Marcelo Lippi comes in, Roberto Baggio is led go
  • 1:00:00 Difference in coaching approaches between Lippi and van Gaal
  • 1:06:00 Juve’s domestic season (95/96), quality of Serie A, Milan, Sampdoria
  • 1:16:30 Ajax’ moves in the summer, early trophies
  • 1:25:00 Quarter finals feat. Real vs Juve, Nantes vs Spartak Moscow, Ajax vs Dortmund, Legia vs Panathinaikos
  • 1:35:15 Nantes founding history and ’60s success; semi finals feat. Nantes vs Juve, Ajax vs Panathinaikos
  • 1:50:00 More theories about the impossibility of defending the CL title

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S01E03: CL Final 1994/95, Ajax vs Milan

Three episodes in and we seem to have found the sweet spot: two and a half hours to cover a single game. Well and the season leading up to it.

Because this Ajax team was bonkers. Over the course of the 94/95 season they went unbeaten in their domestic league, only lost in extra time to Feyenoord in the Cup quarterfinals and stormrolled through Europe. For comparision: Ajax scored 106 goals in 34 league matches, Milan 53, exactly half. Our math is on point for this episode btw.

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In the lead-up to talking about the final we focus on Ajax. For more background on Milan feel free to go back to 92/93 and 93/94.

Here is a small taste of what this Ajax team was capable of:

Louis van Gaal was at the helm of the Dutch champions, his first engagement as a head coach. He had spent a few years as assistent manager to Leo Beenhakker.

Further reading: These Football Times covering van Gaal’s management philosophy while at Ajax.

What made Ajax so dangerous and succesful was a group of highly talented youngsters coming through the ranks at the same time rolled into an offensive-minded, high risk, high-tempo tactical system.

Further reading: Talking About Football breaking down Ajax’ tactical approach in the group games against Milan.

So we have the young up-and-commers going against the much older, more experienced veteran champions. Here’s the episode (as always you can download the mp3 from Soundcloud; or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher):

Protocol with minutes to jump around:

  • 0:00:00 Intro (plugs for Facebook, Twitter)
  • 0:02:30 Culture re-cap for 1994/95 including a murderer’s row of films and an abysmal Wrestlemania main event
  • 0:13:30 Is there a curse of Tapie? / Another format re-design
  • 0:20:00 Qualification round feat. Galatasaray, Split, Rangers / run-down of groups
  • 0:29:00 Ajax background feat. Rinus Michels, Total football, Johan Cruyff
  • 0:38:50 Louis van Gaal, 52 games unbeaten / Ajax vs Milan in the 60s and 70s
  • 0:48:45 Quarterfinals: Ajax vs Split, Bayern vs Göteborg, Milan vs Benfica, Barca vs PSG
  • 1:05:00 Paris’ form going into Semi against Milan / Kouffour to blame for Bayern losing to Ajax?
  • 1:21:30 The final: venue, line-ups, referee fun facts / Age comparision: Ajax 24,72 vs Milan 28,27
  • 1:29:45 Ajax with the kick-off / Opening exchanges
  • 1:34:30 Ajax tactics, general set-up and formation / Milan getting frustrated quickly
  • 1:41:15 Ajax wing-play, vertical passing, movement (Is this a LvG team???)
  • 1:51:10 More urgency from Milan, chances / Desailly vs Litmanen, LvG vs the air
  • 2:00:30 Brilliant defence from Maldini / Milan sitting back / LvG brings Kanu and Kluivert, tactical changes and mindgames
  • 2:14:40 Kluivert achieves immortality at just 18 years of age
  • 2:22:15 Awards!

Finidi George was our pick for MOTM as most of Ajax offense went through his flank even though he was going up against Maldini.

Best hair went to Edwin van der Sar for his beautiful bowl cut. Bonus points for his awful jersey.

Lastly the match itself garnered a favorable rating and a recommendation to go back and re-watch it with an eye on Ajax’ tactics.

This is the complete match on Dailymotion:

S01E02: CL Final 1993/94, Milan vs Barcelona

Change of plans: Turns out these episode tend to be longer than expected. Way longer. Going from episode one to two we nearly doubled the runtime. Our second ever episode clocks in at a whooping 2 hours and 35 minutes. Since we’d like to release more than a handful of episodes a year, we’re putting the video part on hold.

While recording that will also allow us to go into some rabbitholes without worrying too much about how that syncs up to video. Or where to even get highlights to random Bundesliga games from the early 90s.

Instead you’ll get extended shownotes, links to more background and maybe video highlights on this website. We’ll also embed the full games as long as we find them. Lastly we’re now on iTunes, so hit subscribe over there.

Without any further ado…

Milan are back with a vengeance. Having lost to Marseille in ’93 after dominating the early phase of the game the Italian champions are now facing Barcelona. However the Rossoneri are more reliant on their defence than ever as Marco van Basten missed the complete season. Other injuries and suspensions (Lentini, Baresi, Costacurta) saw Milan go into the match as underdogs. Especially when looking at the opposition.

The Blaugrana had re-emerged from 80s obscurity thanks in no small part to Johan Cruyff. The Dutch legend revamped the tactical approach as well as the club academy. A slew of Spanish players coming through the youth ranks and foreign stars Koeman, Romario, Stoitchkov and Laudrup formed an impressive team. In 1993/94 they seemingly peaked just at the right moment. Going into the final they had not lost a match in three months.

Enjoy the show! You can also download the mp3 by clicking on the little arrow button in the top right corner.

The protocol to the episode:

  • 0:02:00 Pop culture in 1993/94, including Academy Awards, celebrity power couples and Wrestlemania 10
  • 0:08:00 Fallout of L’Affaire OM and rundown of first time participants
  • 0:19:00 Linfield go to Tiblisi and Bulgaria eliminates Germany from the WC94
  • 0:29:30 Van Basten was injured all along, Cruyff takes over at Barcelona in ’88
  • 0:45:00 The finalists join the action against Kiev, A. Vienna and Aarau, Copenhagen respectively
  • 1:00:00 Group stages rundown, who remembers Wynton Rufer?
  • 1:15:00 Referee trivia, Semi finals and league run-ins
  • 1:25:00 Your advertisement here?
  • 1:28:30 Line-ups, match expectations, kick-off
  • 1:42:00 Barca distribution from the back, Desailly, more Desailly, 1:0
  • 1:57:30 Tactical observations
  • 2:05:30 Milan break Barca physically (2:0) and psychologically (3:0)
  • 2:16:30 Desailly secures MOTM award, 4:0
  • 2:26:00 Final thoughts

Awards! Desailly won Man Of The Match by a landslide. Bakero got Best Hair through a lack of options. The match itself garnered a very favourable rating and a clear viewing recommendation.

If you watch anything from this match, make it the 3:0 of Savicevic. If you want to watch the whole match: