April 1979: As Internazionale and Juventus meet at San Siro, the sides are level on points. The hosts eke out the visitors on goal difference. Both, though, are unhappy with their position, sitting a respective fourth and fifth in the Serie A. With six matchdays remaining Milan are four points ahead. Only the winners could reasonably hope to catch them.
Nearly half of the Italian World Cup winning squad of 1982 is on display. Six future champions lace their boots for Juve in this match, four feature for Inter. The two coaches who would help shape this emerging generation of Italian talent were recent managerial additions for their clubs. Eugenio Bersellini had only just taken over as the Nerazzurri head coach in the summer of ‘77. In his first season in charge, Inter finished fifth but claimed their first Coppa since 1939.
Giovanni Trapattoni had a year’s head start on Bersellini. In 77/78, his second of ten seasons in Torino had netted the second consecutive Scudetto. Of 30 matches the Bianconeri only lost one. Defence was their claim to fame. A stretch from late November ‘77 to mid March ‘78 saw Juve concede just two goals in 16 league matches, one coming via penalty. Goals were hard to come by at both ends of the pitch. Roberto Bettega was the team’s top goal scorer with just 11 goals to his name. For contrast: young Paolo Rossi had netted 24 times for Vicenza. Continue reading →
For most of the ’90s Milan and Juventus had a stranglehold on the Serie A. But, as the new millenium dawned, Rome ruled the roost. Lazio won the 99/00 Scudetto, while Roma claimed top honours in 00/01.
Lazio were able to spend silly money under the ownership of Sergio Cragnotti, bringing in a slew of stars every summer. It was fun while it lasted. And, in March 2001, Lazio were still very much in the mix. As they hosted Juventus both needed to win in order to catch up with Roma who led the pack. We watched the match.
We’ve made it. The match we’ve been working towards. The mother of all comebacks. Of course we went so far down the rabbit hole, that we split the episode up.
In Part One we cover the Champions League season 1998/99, and in detail the path the finalists took to get to Barcelona: Manchester United of England and Bayern Munich of Germany. Topics include Beckham’s summer ’98, the managerial musical chairs of Munich and the learning curve of United’s Class of ’92. Throw in some extra tangents and you end up with a stand-alone episode and a great nostalgia trip.
The minutes, in case you want to jump around:
0:00:00 Memories of the night
0:05:45 England’s exit at France ’98, backlash against Beckham
0:12:45 United’s mentality under Ferguson, missing out on silverware in ’97/98, re-tooling
0:20:40 CL format, qualifiers
0:24:00 State of Bayern Munich in the 90s (managers and performances)
0:35:00 Enter Hitzfeld
0:42:00 Group D for death (United vs Bayern I & II)
0:53:30 Knock-out draw, Quarter-finals (United vs Inter, Bayern vs Kaiserslautern)
1:04:00 United in the CL before ’98/99 retrospective
1:11:30 Semi-finals, United vs Juve
1:16:30 Bayern vs Kiev, a Basler restrospective
1:24:00 End of the season run-ins
As full games go, here’s the match that sent United to Barcelona – their semi-final win in Turin:
After covering the history of Real Madrid in-depth in Part 1 as well as looking at the 97/98 season and the lead-up to the final, it’s time to actually talk about the match: Juventusareback for a third CL final in a row, having won their first and lost their second. Real Madrid have been waiting 32 years for La Séptima.
Here’s the audio (the arrow in the top right corner gets you an mp3 to download):
Here are the minutes, if you want to jump around:
0:01:30 What are Elo ratings? And how do they apply in (historical) football?
0:06:30 The eve of the match
0:11:00 Refs, kits, line-ups
0:18:00 Kickoff, frantic start, general approach
0:25:30 Zidane’s influence, penalty to Madrid?
0:30:00 Madrid closer to the opening goal (Raul, Morientes)
0:36:00 Davids vs Seedorf Pt 1, Madrid in command after the break
0:42:15 Juve’s tactical changes & resurgence (Inzaghi twice), but Madrid
0:46:00 Juve dial up the pace, finally throw in Conte
0:51:30 Again no plan B for Juve?
0:55:00 Handbags all around, Davids vs Seedorf Pt 2
1:00:00 Awards & recommendation
1:04:45 Aftermath, Heynckes out, Italian media reaction
1:07:30 Court case against Juve’s medical team & doping in football
1:22:00 Signing off
Awards! Our Man Of The Match went to Fernando Hierro, Best Hair to Antonio Conte. Clarence Seedorf and Edgar Davids earned commemorative plaques for their Outstanding Contribution in Man-to-Man Combat on the field. Case in point:
In the aftermath we covered the Juve doping scandal in detail. (YouTube to follow!) Years after their mid-90s dominance Roma’s former coach Zdeněk Zeman made thinly-veiled accusations that Juve’s success might have been aided by pharmaceuticals of the banned variety. This prompted an investigation, a court case, fines and jail sentences. To find out more, jump to around the 1h07m mark in the episode.
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.
Much like the rest of the footballing world, we are gearing up for next season. Production on fresh episodes is underway, but in the meantime we thought it wise to remix parts of our more recent shows. People might have missed it and it really stands on it’s own as well. Also its a bit shorter, so easier to get into than maybe the three hour behemoths.
With this episode you’ll first get our Incomplete history of Juventus, then Borussia Dortmund.