Football Special Report #9 – Aston Villa vs Barcelona, UEFA Super Cup-2nd leg, 26/01/1983

It feels like an age since our last online Football Special Report (with a Shelbourne Fanzine exclusive installment since then), when we examined Euro 84 game by game. As long term readers might remember from our look at the German east vs west post-reunification clash between Stahl Brandenburg and Bayer 05 Uerdingen, we also love a good “game descending into farce” with several red cards along the way and luckily the UEFA Super Cup of 1983 delivered on both fronts.

Credit to the YouTube uploaders who make these posts possible.

Background:

Since we have already looked at Aston Villa’s European Cup semi final of 1982 away to Anderlecht (People On The Pitch #1), that seems like a good place to start.

Amid crowd trouble and police intervention on the unsegregated terrace behind the goal, and indeed a supporter on the pitch, the 0-0 score at full time meant that Villa’s 1-0 win from the home leg was enough to take them through to the final for the first time. While it would be Villa’s debut at this stage in the competition, it was an unprecedented six in a row for English finalists (winning all of them), beating Spain’s five through Real Madrid in the 50s and early 60s.


Anderlecht and Aston Villa's European Cup semi-final 2nd leg is held up due to a pitch invader, April 21th, 1982.

The domination on the pitch was mirrored by the domination off – and sometimes on again – by the English clubs’ hooligans, who’s example was now being followed by many of their continental counterparts after meetings throughout the years in UEFA’s three tournaments. Or four if you count the UEFA Super Cup. The 1982 final between Villa and Bayern Munich in De Kuip, Rotterdam, seemed perfectly primed for trouble, with the Dutch lowlands a suitable battle-field for the invading English and German drunken armies.





Scenes before the 1982 European Cup final in Rotterdam, with a passed out Bayern fan above, and a dancing Villa supporter below, May 26th, 1982.

Of course arrests in the city before the game were inevitable, and the stadium had already been the scene of Feyenoord, the police and Tottenham’s infamous clash in the stands at the 1974 UEFA Cup final (and again the following year). But, with the two main sets of supporters kept far apart in either end and prevented by De Kuip’s imposing “railings” from any serious encroachment attempt, no major trouble broke out during the final.




Arrests being made before the European Cup final for minor incidents, Rotterdam, May 26th, 1982.

A segment of the Aston Villa end at De Kuip Stadium, Rotterdam, during the European Cup final vs Bayern Munich, May 26th, 1982.

Aston Villa completed the English “six in a row” (made 7 out of 8 a couple of years later), reaching the pinnacle of the club’s history with a 1-0 win over Bayern thanks to a 67th minute goal by Peter Withe. Elsewhere in Europe, IFK Göteborg of Sweden hit their own personal high by winning the UEFA Cup, defeating Hamburg over two legs in the final (a feat repeated in 1987 by beating Dundee United).

At the time of writing, this would have meant Villa and Göteborg – as the two continental cup winners – facing each other at the start of the following season in the “Super Cup”. But modern fans may forget that this was not always the case, as at one stage the long, lost Cup Winners’ Cup was considered equal to, or more important, than the UEFA Cup. After all, entrants to the Cup Winners’ Cup had – obviously – won something to get there, while the UEFA Cup sides had “merely” finished respectably the league without any silverware to show for it.

Therefore, Villa’s future opponents had been decided back on May 12th in the Camp Nou when Barcelona defeated Belgium’s Standard Liege 2-1 in the CWC final, powered by the Danish striker Allan Simonsen.


Barcelona fans celebrate, off and on the pitch, their side winning the Cup Winners' Cup final vs Standard Liege, May 12, 1982.

More differences to the modern version of the Super Cup – which was originally introduced following the 1972/73 season – included the fact it too was a two-legged home and away affair, rather than held in a neutral venue (until 1998 when Monaco’s Stade Louis II began 15 years of hosting a one-off game instead).  Another was that the matches were played in January of the following year, meaning that the culmination of the season that had started back with the preliminary round of the Cup Winners’ Cup on August 19th, 1981, didn’t arrive until early 1983.

So the 1982 Super Cup was actually taking place in 83 (it would turn out to be the last year of this practice as the next edition was scheduled for November and December, resulting in two Super Cup finals in the same calendar year). At the first leg on Wednesday, January 19th, in the New Camp – on front of only 40,000 compared to the 100,000 in attendance for the Cup Winners’ Cup final – Spanish international Marcos Alonso gave the Catalans a 1-0 lead to take to England for the conclusion a week later.

The Match:

Aston Villa vs Barcelona, Villa Park, Birmingham, 26/01/1983: As with the first match in the tie, Villa Park is by no means full for the second leg, although the 31,000+ is still a respectable number for a Wednesday night:

As you all should know from our What Football Is Supposed To Look Like galleries, we love classic graphics and we get some good ones here, including substitutes:

As glimpsed above, the away side are wearing one of their all-time great attires, featuring a red/blue vertical strip over the glorious yellow background:

The home club’s Le Coq Sportif kit is not too shabby either (with matching dual sweatbands as standard):

Early on we can see that several sections of terrace behind the goal are completely closed-off, accounting for some of the “missing” support:

Along with some empty seats on the far side of the pitch near the corner:

At the other, huge “Holt End”, it is a different story in the enclosures:

The Villa Park pitch is also looking in quite commendable condition (compare to a UEFA Cup game against Dynamo Kiev the year before):

The handsomely dressed – but, as it turns out, dastardly – Barca team quickly put themselves on the home crowd’s bad side, with this later report from one fan in attendance explaining why (according to a YouTube comment):

The most obscene team performance I have ever been present at in football. Barcelona that night were disgusting. Cynical and clinical fouls, atrocious behaviour shoving the referee and the like. Punches thrown, kicks and appalling tackles.
More on that later. But the real action – the “descending into farce” part – begins in the second half, starting with one of the more bizarre offences you’ll see on a football pitch.

As a Villa player launches the ball forward, defender Julio Alberto suddenly plucks the it out of the air with his hands in an almost instinctual manner. As the referee blows the whistle and the crowd loose their sh*t, some of Alberto’s teammates have the gall to protest his yellow card:

The move did no favours for the English perception of swarthy, spineless, cheating foreigners. Soon, stupidity is added to this list, or simply a wish to get sent off, as it is realised that Alberto is already on a yellow card (as many other Barca players by this stage):

The red card is presented much to the delight of the home fans and the disappointment of Julio Alberto, who had only joined Barcelona after they had won the Cup Winners’ Cup so he probably shouldn’t have been allowed there anyway:

Villa, of course, are more than happy to return in kind the actions of the “dirty foreigners”, as demonstrated by this punch that receives a yellow:

Before another tasty tackle from the away side:

The behaviour on the pitch has tens of thousands in the stands seething, yet Barca are still leading in the tie. In the 80th minute, however, a set piece attempt from Villa goes awry…:

…which inadvertently leads to the chance for Gary Shaw to make it 1-0 on the night and 1-1 on aggregate. The Holt End explodes:

The game goes to extra-time and on 100 minutes a Villa player is pushed down from behind in the box. Penalty:

Many of the players in yellow immediate rush to the referee – Alexis Ponnet of Belgium – to enthusiastically dispute the call:

But the clearly gallant and chivalrous goalkeeper Javier Urruticoechea – commonly known as Urruti – steps in to aggressively shield Ponnet from his teammates (literally hopping at them at one stage), much to the ref’s annoyance:

After order is restored, it initially seems that Urruti’s charity has resulted good karma as he saves Gordon Cowans’ penalty, but the future Bari player slots it in on the rebound. As Cowans lashes the ball into the net one more time in celebration, the ‘keeper suddenly scythes down the goalscorer – surely just an accidental slip:

The Aston Villa players don’t think so and advance. The brave Urruti rushes out to meet them, fists raised:

With a cheeky grin, Villa’s number 3 Colin Gibson – who is clearly reveling in all this fun – engages in a little shadow boxing of his own:

We also see that the Barcelona goalkeeper shirt is Adidas-made, rather than the Meyba jerseys of the outfielders:

Eventually everyone backs off:

Amazingly, only four minutes later a ball is swung into the box by the home side and met with a brilliant header from Scotsman Ken McNaught. Urruti’s palm is not enough to keep it out:

Now the score is 3-0 to Villa on the night, 3-1 overall. Barcelona’s chances of a comeback are diminished further before the ball is even kicked again, as, on the linesman’s advice, Ponnet jogs over to the hero from the 1st leg Marcos Alonso and presents him with a red card for an off the ball incident:

Barca captain Tente Sánchez passionately pleads with the ref that Alonoso himself had been the victim of an elbow. In the background, one of their comrades holds a sort of hanky to his nose as a clotting agent after an earlier incident, with blood already smeered across the front of his jersey:

After all this, there is still time for more. In the second half of extra time, Allan Evans – another Scot – lazily lunges at poor old Tente, who feigns retaliation before quickly turning his attention to the Belgian referee instead:

As the ref deliberates, we can see number 3, Migueli, is still playing on holding his bloody nose:

And his mess of a bloody shirt on the right:

It turns out to be Evans’ second yellow card offence and he too is off, much to his shock and dismay:

Finally, after quite an exhausting, violent and entertaining evening, the tie finished 3-1 to Aston Villa. It would turn out to be a fitting end to this golden-era, and their last piece of European silverware until an Intertoto Cup win in 2001. But that is a story for another day.

Rest in peace Javier “Urruti” Urruticoechea, who died in a road accident in 2001. Forever in the POTP Hall of Heroes.

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YouTube links:
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Champagne Kit Campaigns #6: Brazil, World Cup 1978

Welcome to the long-awaited sixth installment of Champagne Kit Campaigns, the series in which we have already featured some classic Norwegian, Russian, Dutch and Irish attires. For the first time we now turn our attention to a non-European nation in one of the world’s most recognisable and aesthetically pleasing teams, as seen during a suitably colourful era in which “modern” styles were slowly beginning to emerge.

Background:

From 1954 until 1976, Brazil’s famous yellow shirts, blue shorts and white socks were made by native sports-apparel manufacturers Athleta. No branding from the company appeared in any way on the exterior of the kits, as was the case for most nations at the time (but, since the late 60s, not all). Besides the trademark green collar-cuffs, green and yellow sock turnovers and crest, a lone, white stripe running down the side of the shorts was the only other design element in sight when the side played their last game of 1976 against the USSR.

When next in action – a friendly at home to Bulgaria on January 23rd, 1977 – there would be two small differences: the colour on the socks had been reversed from green-over-yellow to yellow-over-green; and on the shorts – which had remained a particularly light shade of blue throughout the 70s – the stripes had multiplied by three. There was apparently no other outward indication to say so (apart from the goalkeeper, see below), but it was clearly the beginning of the Adidas-era for the seleção (“selection”).


Brazil with (blurry) three stripes of Adidas on their shorts, vs Bulgaria, January 1977.

The same kit was worn for a scoreless World Cup qualifier in Colombia the following month, with the hosts graciously forgoing their – at this point – orange home shirt and wearing all-white instead. The Brazilians returned the favour when the two teams met again on front of more than 132,000 in the Maracanã Stadium in March, donning their blue and white away strip for the first time in the Adidas years, and were rewarded with a 6-0 win.

The darker shade of blue – for both the shirts and shorts trim – than currently seen on the home shorts made a future combination seem unlikely, yet it had already happened at the previous World Cup. The layout of the jersey remained identical to the home, continuing a lack of branding, but this time a trefoil appeared on the shorts of at least some of the players.


Brazil in away kit with trefoi-less (left) and trefoil (right) shorts, at home to Colombia, March 1977.

In the same group, which was in fact a preliminary stage before the final round, the only other country were Paraguay where Brazil traveled next a few days later. From this game comes the first confirmation of a trefoil on the home shorts (it may have already been worn by some players against Bulgaria or Colombia, but we have no visual evidence right now), as well as it seeming that both colour variations of the socks were in use within the team. After a 0-1 win and another draw at home to progress as group winners, a number of glamorous home friendlies (a rarity these days in the country with the money laying abroad) were scheduled for over the winter months.

The regular first-choice strip was used for the opener against England on June 8th (in which the English utilised a rarely-seen red/white/blue combination), before the visit of white-socked West Germany four days later gave an excuse to mix things up. Despite the fact that a sock-clash had recently been acceptable in a competitive setting against Colombia, plain blue (matching the shorts) alternates were chosen for this game, while again some players wore shorts with trefoils but some without.


A trefoil visible on Brazil's blue shorts, with blue sock combination, in the friendly against West Germany, June 1977.

The arrival of Poland with white jerseys on June 19th meant that the blue shirt was given another outing at home, and trefoil-less white shorts were preferred by (or forced upon) the majority. This was also the case when the home strip returned for games against Scotland on the 23rd and Yugoslavia on the 26th (where the goalkeeper, usually in blue or green, sported an interesting white jersey without the signature “Brasil”) but the logo was at least again present for the final friendly in the run against France on June 30th.


Brazil shorts clearly without a trefoil during the game vs Scotland, June, 1977.

The French game presents us with a bigger bombshell however: a faint trefoil and Adidas word mark were actually present on the chests of the jerseys, and possibly had even been there since an earlier match. We know this thanks to the great work done by Soccernostalgia and specifically their Soccernostalgia: Retro Soccer Magazines Facebook page (which exists besides their regular Facebook page) and a post showing close-up shots of the match that clearly reveal the presence of the trefoil (as does this match-worn shirt from the time)

In July, World Cup qualification concluded with a round-robin of three teams who were to play each other once on the neutral soil of Cali, Colombia. The top two would advance to the finals, but the third still got a second chance through a play-off with a European group winner. A 1-0 win over Peru (with “trefoiless” shorts again) on the 10th of the month put one Brazilian foot in the World Cup, and four days later an 8-0 bullying of Bolivia emphatically announced Brazil as qualifiers, and contenders, for the 1978 World Cup in neighbouring Argentina.

1978, pre-World Cup

The 8-0 was the last international for nearly nine months as Brazil would not play again until a tour of “return friendlies” in April, 1978, against the highest profile opponents from the year before – France, West Germany and England. The visit of exotic, South American “royalty” was exciting enough on it’s own for Europeans, but, unbeknownst to the public, this Brazilian side was also bringing a visual treat in the form of some of their greatest kits to date (in our subjective opinion of course).

Ahead of the game on April 1st in Parc des Princes against the French (where the visitors would end up as “fools” after a 1-0 loss), captain and veteran of two World Cups already Rivellino displayed the first part of the gear-evolution with an amazing raglan sleeved tracksuit top, complete with stripes and trefoil.


Style-icon Rivellino ahead of the game against France, April, 1978.

When the warm-up jackets came off, the real feast for the eyes was revealed in the form of Brazil’s new jerseys. Employing Adidas’s “World Cup Dress” template beautifully, the collar and cuffs were perfectly primed to incorporate the ever-present darkish green, and a trefoil returned in a more obvious way while stripes finally now did appear on the sleeves. As was standard on this particular design, the Adidas logo sat particularly high on the chest of the shiny material.


The new Brazil home kit with complete Adidas branding, as seen against France, April 1978.

Besides the shirt, a trefoil was now also standard on the shorts, and the seemingly random green/yellow or yellow/green sock turnovers were replaced with perhaps the piece de resistance of the kit: green, yellow and green hooped-stripes over the white background.

The strip was not quite “complete”, however, at least for some. On the backs of the starting XI’s jerseys, solid green numbers appeared, akin to those on the previous jersey and mirrored by smaller, white numbers on the shorts. But for the substitutes, who were really the ones wearing the kit in it’s truest form, Adidas’s trademark striped number font appeared for the first time.


Above, the sold numbers on starting Brazilian players's backs, and below, striped numbers on substitutes, during France vs Brazil, 1978.

In Hamburg four days later, another of the great Brazil shirts was on show as a slightly new away kit was used. Unlike in Paris, the shirt sleeves were devoid of stripes, but a white trefoil sitting parallel to the crest still gave the shirt an early-contemporary look much like that of their West German opponents’ Erima shirts.

There was more classic 1970s inconsistencies, however, as some players’ jerseys had no trefoil. Considering the sock situation last time, it also would have been nice to see Brazil use their alternate home socks from the year before to avoid the clash, but perhaps this royal blue/white/sky blue combination would have been considered a step too far.


Brazil wearing their away kit in West Germany in April, 1978.

After a two-week break for Brazil (having beaten the Germans 0-1), 92,000 packed into Wembley for the grand finale against the English (a 1-1 draw). While back in the home kit, strangely it would not be the same shirt as used against France, although just as good. The trefoil was now lower, like on the away jersey, and the material seemed of the the less-shiny variety. Finally, on the back, the striped-numbers were now standard, although the solid style remained via the shorts.


The amazing Brazil jersey, front on back, as seen against England in Wembley, April, 1977.

The use of two distinct home shirts on the tour suggests a similar situation to that of the Dutch during the same year (as we saw in CKC#2) who rotated between kits supplied by Adidas Ventex and Adidas Erima. Indeed, examining the label of a Brazilian shirt from the time (via ebay) with the “upper trefoil” positioning (a different collar means that it is a “Santos/Nacional” template rather than “World Cup Dress”) shows the Ventex trademark, while the label of a jersey apparently used against England shows Erima.

Besides the fact that an updated, fresh look for the upcoming World Cup was warranted, the new jerseys’ appearances coinciding with visits to the home of Ventex (France, worn by the French national team), and subsequently to the home of Erima (likewise West Germany, making the similar layouts of the two jerseys used in the German match even more “suspicious”), makes us wonder if they were picked up en-route, or perhaps “part of the deal”.

To conclude their World Cup warm-ups, Brazil welcomed Peru and Czechoslovakia to Rio for friendlies in May, 1977. The weather must still have been balmy heading into southern hemisphere winter as a short-sleeved version of “World Cup Dress” was seen for the first time, with the trefoil now back in it’s “expected” raised position evidentially meaning a Ventex model. After 2-0 and 3-0 wins kept the home fans upbeat heading into the tournament, the question on everybody’s minds must surely have been “which shirt version will be used at the finals?”.


Brazil in the kit used for final World Cup warm-ups against Peru and Czechoslovakia (pictured), May 1978.

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World Cup 1978, Argentina

At the draw in Buenos Aires on January 14th, 1978, top seeds Brazil ended up in group three of four along with all-European opposition: Sweden, Spain and Austria. As in 1974, when Brazil had finished 4th losing out to Poland in the third-place play-off, the group stage was to be followed by a second round of two more groups, with the top placed sides then ultimately progressing to the final.

With two of the teams in the group wearing yellow shirts as first preference, and three using blue shorts, clashes and combinations of some variety were inevitable. As always, stricter regulations on clashes in World Cups – in part due to those watching on black and white TVs – meant that some classic or unique kit mash-ups were already guaranteed.

Furthermore, following the dawn of World Cup finals kit branding in West Germany four years earlier, 1978 was naturally to be the most commercialised tournament to date. Most teams involved were now wearing some sort of visible trademark from the likes of Adidas, Puma, Erima, Umbro, and even Mexico’s Levis/Adidas hybrid.

Off the pitch it was also set to be one of the most politically charged, as sport was being used as a propaganda tool for not the first or last time. The deaths and disappearances of thousands at the hands of the ruling military Junta – for whom hosting was a proud honour and perfect PR exercise aimed at those home and abroad – resulted in Johan Cryuff famously boycotting the tournament, and, more clandestinely, rebellious groundsmen painting the base of each goalpost black to commemorate the victims of the regime.


First Round, Group 3:

Brazil
Sweden
Spain
Austria


Match 1: Brazil vs Sweden
Estadio José Maria Minella, Mar del Plata, 03/06/1978

Kicking off against Sweden on the third-day of the tournament in Mara Del Plata, it was finally time to see what Brazil were wearing. Seemingly the “non-shiny” Erima jerseys got the nod, complete with striped numbers, but notably absent from both shirt and shorts was the trefoil:

The fellow-yellows of Sweden, who like many others were also in the World Cup Dress template, had been drawn as the “away” side in the fixture and were hence wearing their own stunning blue and white change strip:

Showing that the Brazilian’s lack of manufacturer logo had nothing to do with the rules, the Swedes’ version of the same design quite clearly displayed a white trefoil (plus a wordmark, which evidently shouldn’t have been allowed judging by the Netherland’s cover-up job) that contrasted the otherwise yellow trim beautifully (the icing on the cake being the yellow numbers on the back):

Having gone 0-1 down on 37 mins, Reinaldo equalised for the seleção just before half-time to give us a good look at all those great yellow shirts and light blue shorts through the celebrations. Given it was winter in Argentina, which was apparent by the hats and jackets in the crowd, long sleeves were used by all squads throughout the tournament, much to the delight of stripe aficionados like ourselves:

The score would remain 1-1 until the last play of the game when one of the most bizarre incidents in World Cup history occured. With a corner to Brazil as the clock ticked past 90, the ball was swung in and headed into the goal by Zico:

But to his and his teammate’s dismay, the ref – Clive Thomas from Wales – had simultaneously blown for full-time:

As Thomas sternly walked away, while indicating that time had indeed ran out, the “neutral” Argentinians in the crowd enjoyed the disappointment and anger of their South American rivals:

Result: Brazil 1-1 Sweden


Match 2, Spain vs Brazil
Estadio José Maria Minella, Mar del Plata, 07/06/1978

Brazil returned to Estadio José Maria Minella – named after a former esteemed midfielder for the local club, but built by the Junta only two years earlier – four days later for the second of three consecutive visits to the stadium in the first group stage. However they were suddenly now the “away” team, which against the “blue-shorted” Spanish created the next noteworthy situation:

Due to the blue vs blue clash, Brazil emerged in their away shorts (also without trefoil if you’re counting) to recreate a great look also seen at the last World Cup – yellow/white/white:

The trim on the shorts was of course blue to match the away jersey, so the strip that had been created consisted of three different stripe-configurations across the shirt (green over yellow), shorts (blue over white) and socks (green, yellow, green over white). Of course this was also the case for the home kit, considering the usual white stripes over light blue, but there it was “intended”.

Other interesting highlights from the match included huge the Spanish flags surrounding much of the pitch, presumably the work of Argentine-based ex-pats:

…and the state of the pitch, which had not sufficiently recovered from the first game was clearly hampering play in certain areas:

Spain were incidentally one team without any branding at all on their kits, as one of the last hold-outs along with Italy. It would turn out to be their final World Cup wearing traditional plain shirts and shorts, while the Italians impressively saw out the rest of the century before giving in.

The pitch surely won’t have helped matters for either side and a 0-0 draw was played out. Following the robbery of victory through a certain Welshman already, a slightly worrying situation for Brazil had suddenly developed going into the last group game:

Result: Spain 0-0 Brazil


Match 3, Brazil vs Austria
Estadio José Maria Minella, Mar del Plata, 11/06/1978

Next up for the so far underwhelming Brazil was a surprisingly strong Austrian side, who had already won both their other matches. Back in the home kit, through the Brazilian team photo we see an interesting detail in that some players (see Oscár, no.3) were in jerseys with narrower outer-stripes on their sleeves. As demonstrated by this Nantes 1976 team photo, and later Sochaux in 1981, the variation wasn’t uncommon in France, perhaps meaning Ventex after all (although we don’t know if it was also used by Erima).

On the 40th minute, the 24 year old with boy-band-esq looks and a name to match, Roberto Dinamite, put his side in front for the first time in the tournament:

Austria were the only side repping Puma at the World Cup, and did so in a very smart template with black shorts and socks:

It was, of course, the Austrian’s third game in a row facing teams in blue shorts. Against Spain, they had combined their white shirts with the white shorts and red socks of their red-shirted away strip, but when facing Sweden, who used the same shade of shorts as Spain and with the added white/yellow TV clash, both sides were strangely allowed wear their full home kits. While we’re on the subject, Spain achieved one of their all-time great unintentional combinations at same time as the Austria-Brazil game through their meeting with Sweden, where their white away shorts were inserted into the otherwise home kit.

In the end, the single first half goal was enough to win it for Brazil, giving them second place and qualification ahead of Spain. Finishing behind Austria was a shock, but would it necessarily mean a more difficult “path” to the final? (since another group was more like a carpark than a path).

Result: Brazil 1-0 Austria


Elsewhere
, it transpired that Brazil weren’t the only big team to under-perform in the first round. In Group 2, West Germany’s 0-0 draws with Poland and Tunisia meant they finished runners-up, saved by a 6-0 demolition of Mexico in between. The Netherlands in Group 4 also drew 0-0 with Peru before a 3-2 loss to the Scottish, but progressed on goal difference after an opening 3-0 defeat of Iran.

In Group 1, the hosts had secured their qualification early with back to back 2-1 wins over Hungary and France, but a 0-1 loss at the hands of the Italians on the last day meant they too would be condemned to 2nd. Overall, these results mean that Austria, Peru and Poland were progressing as unlikely group winners, with Argentina, Brazil, West Germany and Netherlands making up a formidable list of runners-up.

Poland and Peru were the real losers in this, as the would have hoped to have been facing Austria rather Brazil in their group, along with either Argentina or Italy. As it was, they were up against all-South American opposition, while the plucky Austrians were rewarded for their round 1 performances with the delightful prospect of Italy, Netherlands and West Germany.

Second Round, Group B

Argentina
Poland
Brazil
Peru


Match 4, Brazil vs Peru
Estadio Ciudad de Mendoza, Mendoza, 14/06/1978

Having ended up in the South American-heavy Group B in Round 2, Brazil finally “escaped” Mar del Plata and headed west to Mendoza. The familiar faces of Peru were the first opposition in this new pool, with the two teams jousting for the third time in less than a year.

In the home kit once more (with the thin stripes again noticeable), that kid Dinamite was on hand to win a penalty that would help his side go 3-0 up:

But wait, what’s that on the shorts? For the second time in this CKC, it’s another bombshell:

While slightly blurry above, a trefoil was clearly visible. As with the year before, perhaps some had already been wearing shorts with the Adidas’s trademark off-camera, but certainly the intended World Cup kit had been meant to be sans-trefoil. However, like how we saw with the Netherlands it was not unheard of for squads as this World Cup to bring slightly different versions of their kit.

Against a hapless (later suspiciously hapless while playing the hosts) Peru, 3-0 it ended. At least the opponents’ famous sash shirts get a look in here:

Result: Brazil 3-0 Peru

 

Match 5, Argentina vs Brazil
Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario, 18/06/1978

Another fixture that was no stranger to the international calendar awaited in Rosario four days later, and on paper it was the toughest the date for Brazil. Argentina had beaten Poland 2-0 on the same day that Brazil defeated Peru, and, assuming both Brazil and Argentina would repeat these results when they switched opponents, this meant the game between the two was a near semi-final.

When usually facing each other, including at the most recent Copa America in 1976, both would wear their regular home strips. But interestingly, the last time they had played at a World Cup  in 1974 (also first World Cup meeting), Brazil wore their blue/white/white kit, with Argentina in grey socks avoiding a clash on that level.

The jersey change was slightly odd back then considering that it meant both teams ended up wearing alot of blue, and one would have assumed that Argentina’s vertical stripes gave enough distinction as it was. A lesson may have been learned, as this time Brazil repeated the look from the Spain game, while Argentina substituted their white socks for black creating an equally fetching look:

Again, it at least appears that no trefoils were found on anyone’s shorts, but, given what we have seen, there may have been one lurking somewhere among the squad. One of what there was definitely not, though, was goals, as the supposed play-off ended in a 0-0 stalemate. The results of both final games were now crucial.

Result: Argentina 0-0 Brazil


Match 6, Poland vs Brazil ,
Estadio Ciudad de Mendoza, Mendoza, 21/06/1978

Back in Mendoza one last time on the southern hemisphere’s shortest day of the year, a repeat from 1974 again lay in store for Brazil in the final group game. Back in West Germany it had been the 3rd place play-off, and now Brazil or Poland could well end up there again next. But a win could potentially take either to the World Cup final too, especially in the unlikely event that Peru beat Argentina later in the evening.

Again the “away” side, the allocation luckily gave the need for the away kit to be finally used in possibly it’s last chance. It was confirmed that, like the home, the blue shirt was devoid of a trefoil, but stripes and stripy numbers were now seen on a senior Brazilian away jersey for the first time ever:

This was another case of a different set of kit-colours being used from the previous World Cup, when Brazil wore the yellow/white/white strip against Poland’s all red. The Polish, in a home outfit nearly as amazing as Sweden away, were another side in World Cup Dress, wearing what appears to be the Ventex version:

Like Argentina before, Poland added their red away socks to the white shirt and red shorts of their home kit to accommodate Brazil’s ever present white pairs. In retrospect, the fact that the whites were the Brazilian’s only option seems like a significant oversight, as the onus was always automatically on the opponents to change. But this sort of thing is of course typical when considering the lack of regulations from era, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.

We mentioned our love for sleeve stripes earlier, and one great thing about this age of World Cups is the lack of official badges that would later haunt the sleeves of modern tournaments. For Argentina 78 in the winter, this meant satisfyingly long, uninterrupted stripes on the Adidas team’s jerseys, with the very notable exception of left Polish arms:

Instead of some sort of juicy political gesture (which probably would not have been allowed even by 1970s standards), the badge, containing a letter C with a heart in the middle, was strangely to represent a children’s hospital in Warsaw that had opened the year before.

At the this late stage, we finally take a look at the goalkeeper kit worn by Brazil’s – or “Brasil” as his jersey said – number 1, Émerson Leão. Since goalkeeper attire was always a bit different in the 70s and 80s (sometimes featuring far more branding and occasionally of a different make altogether) and therefore in a category of their own, we haven’t drawn too much attention to the fact that his “shades of green” strip featured trefoils throughout the tournament :

In the game, three Brazilian goals – including two from Roberto D. – and some South American class were enough to were enough to take the two points (three points for a win wouldn’t be introduced until USA 94), with one consolation goal in return from the Poles:

Two points clear and with a six goal advantage over Argentina, Brazil were in top spot. For now. But their fans celebrated like they were already in the World Cup final:

Result: Poland 1-3 Brazil


Of course
a couple of hours later, Brazil and the rest of the world would watch on as one of the most infamous matches in World Cup history unfolded. Peru completed their hapless destiny (losing all three games in the phase and without scoring a goal) and were suspiciously beaten by the six needed for the Junta’s team to advance.

Without losing a game, incredibly Brazil were out of the tournament. Except for one last thing.


Third Place Play-Off

Match 7, Brazil vs Italy
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, 24/06/1978

At last Brazil had made it to the stage of the World Cup final, except a day before the actual final itself between Argentina and the Netherlands. Instead, River Plate’s Estadio Monumental was also the host of the 3rd/4th place play-off on June 24th.

For the game against Group A runners-up Italy, the full Brazilian home kit was worn one more time with the trefoil shorts again used by at least Roberto:

Before leaving the World Cup, we also get once last look at those great sock turnover hoops:

Italy, for their part, were notable at this tournament for tiny, numbered pockets on the front of their shorts, and uniquely styled numbers on the backs of their jerseys. Often incorrectly attributed to brand-less Adidas at this World Cup, Italian firm Baila Landoni produced the kits:

With the Italians having taken the lead (as evident by above) on 38 minutes, Rivellino – in what would turn out to be his last cap for Brazil – attempted to settled his team mates:

In the second half, Nelinho pulled one back on 64 minutes:

…before Dirceu scored his third of the tournament seven minutes later to win it for Brazil, with the wild celebrations displaying how much this “meaningless” play-off actually still meant:

Result: Brazil 2-1 Italy

BRAZIL – THIRD PLACE

Breakdown
Team: Brazil 
Year(s): 1978
Competition: World Cup 78
Kit Supplier: Adidas
Competitive Games: 7
Kit Colour Combinations: 3
Kit Technical Combinations: 5


Aftermath:

After initial disappointment in the first round Brazil had ended up third in the world, which was at least an improvement on the last tournament, and without having lost in seven games. Furthermore, they could quite legitimately claim that they were “cheated” out of a win in the first game, and a possibly even a place in the final.

Brazil would continue wearing Adidas into 1979, including during that year’s Copa America (held across several countries). In the January summer heat, a short sleeved, “trefoiled” version like that seen before the World Cup was back, but the Adidas logo was level to the crest rather than raised on some player’s shirts.

By 1980, the three stripes and trefoils were gone, replaced by logos of the kit manufacturer for the next decade – Topper. The brief, highly underrated Adidas era – our undisputed favourite for Brazil – was over. Or at least at senior level it was, as their Adidas-produced Olympic 84 and 88 (with, shockingly, green shorts) kits provides us with what an alternative timeline might have looked like where they had stayed on for a few years longer.

*****

YouTube Links:

Brazil vs Bulgaria, 1977
Brazil vs Colombia, 1977
Brazil vs West Germany, 1977
Brazil vs Scotland, 1977
France vs Brazil, 1978
West Germany vs Brazil, 1978
England vs Brazil, 1978
Brazil vs Czechoslovakia, 1978
Brazil vs Sweden, 1978
Spain vs Brazil, 1978
Brazil vs Austria, 1978
Brazil vs Peru, 1978
Argentina vs Brazil, 1978
Poland vs Brazil, 1978
Poland vs Brazil, 1978
Poland vs Brazil, 1978
Brazil vs Italy, 1978
Brazil vs Italy, 1978

*****

 

Heroic Hang Jobs #7 (Gallery)

Welcome back to another installment of Heroic Hang Jobs, the series that celebrates old-style flag and banner hanging. As per usual, here we look at a selection of different clubs and countries, from different eras and to different scales, but some specialised episodes of HHJ are in the pipeline.

Shelbourne vs Glenmore Celtic, Tolka Park, Dublin, FAI Cup quarter-final, 1993:

Ajax Amsterdam vs Lokomotive Leipzig, Olympic Stadium, Athens, Cup Winners’ Cup final, 13/05/1987:

Ajax Amsterdam vs KV Mechelen, Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg, Cup Winners’ Cup final, 11/05/1988:

KV Mechelen vs Ajax Amsterdam, Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg, Cup Winners’ Cup final, 11/05/1988:

Ireland vs Scotland, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, friendly, 30/05/2000:

PSV Eindhoven vs AZ Alkmaar, Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Eredivisie, 28/09/1985:
West Germany vs Spain, Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover, friendly, 15/10/1986:

Wisła Kraków vs ???, 1990s:

Bayern Munich vs AC Milan, Olympic Stadium, Munich, European Cup semi final-2nd leg, 18/04/1990:

Bayern Munich vs AC Milan, Olympic Stadium, Munich, European Cup semi final-2nd leg, 18/04/1990:

Bayern Munich vs AC Milan, Olympic Stadium, Munich, European Cup semi final-2nd leg, 18/04/1990:

Northern Ireland vs Ireland, World Cup qualifier, Windsor Park, Belfast, 14/09/1988:

Dinamo Zagreb vs Red Star Belgrade, Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Yugoslav First League, 13/05/1990:

Ireland vs Turkey, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, European Championships qualifier, 17/10/1990:

Cagliari vs Cremonese, Stadio Sant’Elia, Cagliari, Serie A, 15/09/1992:

Royal Antwerp (featuring Feyenoord) vs Club Brugge, Bosuilstadion, Antwerp, Belgian First Division A, 27/02/1988:

Japan vs Iraq, Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar, World Cup qualifier, 28/10/1993:

US Pergocrema vs US Allasandria, Stadio Giuseppe Voltini, Crema, Serie C2-Group B, 06/02/1988:

*

YouTube links:

Shelbourne vs Glenmore Celtic, 1993
Ajax vs Lokomotive Leipzig, 1987
Ajax vs Mechelen, 1988
Ireland vs Scotland, 2000
PSV Eindhoven vs AZ Alkmaar, 1985
West Germany vs Spain, 1986
Bayern Munich vs Milan, 1990
Northern Ireland vs Ireland, 1988
Dinamo Zagreb vs Red Star Belgrade, 1990
Ireland vs Turkey, 1990
Cagliari vs Cremonese, 1992

Royal Antwerp vs Club Brugge, 1988
Japan vs Iraq, 1993
Pergocrema vs Alessandria, 1988

*****