Saturday, June 29, 2013


1974 World Cup emblem

The world cup 1974 will be remembered because of the two European giants who fought to play in the final. The tournament took place in West Germany. The 1974 tournament was played from 13th June till 7th July.

It was Holland and West Germany who played in the final. To reach the final West Germany had to play hard in its group to qualify for the 2nd round.

In group 1 there were West Germany, East Germany, Chile and Australia. West Germany beat Chile by 1-0. It then played Australia and won by 3-0. It then played with their big political rivals East Germany and it went down by 1-0. That made East Germany top leaders of group 1. West Germany was the second with only 4 points. Chile was the 3rd with 2 points while Australia secured only 1 point which they got on their match against Chile. The result of Australia versus Chile was a 0-0 draw. The 2 winners of the group would advance to the 2nd round and that is what happened.

Holland Squad. Photo by:

West Germany Squad. Photo by:
Holland was in group 3 with Sweden, Bulgaria and Uruguay. Uruguay was not an easy team to play with and I think was the most feared team in the group because of their history of winning the world cup twice in history. Holland played Uruguay and won by 2-0. The other match was against Sweden where it ended on a goalless draw. Holland then played Bulgaria and they won by 4-1. Holland qualified as the group winners followed by Sweden. Holland collected a total of 5 points in three matches they played, and with 6 goals.

       In the second round West Germany was placed in group B with Poland, Sweden and Yugoslavia. West Germany won their games in a spectacular fashion. It actually won all three matches in group B and collected all 6 points to top the group. Muller scored the only goal against Poland to give the Germans a victory of 1-0. This match was observed by 59,000 spectators in the Waldstadion, in Frankfurt.

       West Germany played another match against Yugoslavia, and they won it by 2-0. Breitner scored the opener in the 39th minute, and then Muller finished with the second goal in 8 minutes before the end of the match. The victory of 2-0 against Yugoslavia gave the Germans a lot of courage and zeal to win the remaining group matches.

West Germany vs Holland 1974 FIFA World Cup Final

      When they played with Sweden, there was a festival of goals. This big victory was not an easy thing for the Germans. In that tie Sweden started to score the opener in the 24th minute. Normally when your opponent goes one step ahead of you especially in football, it somehow brings a shock on the other side. The only wise thing to do before anything is to return the scored goal. Ralf Edstrom, the Swedish striker created some pressure to the Germans after scoring the opener.

     After playing so hard the Germans, being supported by a lot of home fans in Rheinstadion in Dusseldorf city, they equalized in the 51st minute. Wolfgang Overath lifted up the hopes of the Germans and they were back in business again.  
The match between West Germany and Sweden was so fascinating. This is because in 3 minutes, three goals were obtained. In the 52nd minute the Germans went ahead when Rainer Bonhof scored the second goal for his side. Not so long after the Germans have scored their goal, in the 53rd minute, the Swedish players responded with an equalizer. This time it was Roland Sandberg who revived the Swedish team with the second goal. The match went on and it seemed that the result could be 2-2.

The Germans continued to build their attacks and in the 76th minute they scored the 3rd goal. Just one minute before the end of the game the Germans got a penalty. Uli Hoeneb finished the score board by winning a penalty and making the score board read 4-2 in favour of the Germans. In that way, West Germany qualified to the next stage after winning all three games thus collecting 6 points and a total of 7 goals.

In group A there were Holland, Argentina, East Germany and Brazil. Holland’s 1st match was against Argentina. Holland played very well being backed up by the famous total football and they defeated Argentina by 4-0. The 1st goal was netted by Johhan Cruyiff in the 11th minute and the last goal was scored by Cruyiff again in the 90th minute.  After playing well and winning their 1st match they encountered East Germany.
     Holland punished the East Germans by 2-0. The first goal was scored by Johan Neeskens in the 7th minute and the second goal was netted in by Rob Rensenbrink in 14 minutes after the second half. Holland had to play with Brazil and they won their match with Brazil by 2-0. Holland goals were all obtained in the 2nd half. Neeskens scored the opener in the 50th minute and Cruyff finished the chapter by scoring the second goal in the 65th minute.

Holland was predicted to win the world cup in 1974 because their total football style was so hard to be deciphered by their opponents. Try to imagine that Holland won all their matches and secured all 6 points. They scored a total of 8 goals and this made them stay at the top in group A. This style of total football has been shown by FC Barcelona recently from the times of Luis Van Gaal to Frank Rijkaard to Pep Guardiola and recently Tito Vilanova. This style made Barcelona win everything in 2009 under Pep Guardiola.

The final match brought together the winners of group A and B. It was a very tough match on my opinion because Netherlands was playing with the hosts. On the other hand West Germany was playing against a Team which won all the matches in group A without conceding any single goal. Their goal keeper went on holiday. The other fact comes from the reality that Holland had their style of total football which was not easy to dismantle it and many teams faced a very hard time to win against Holland.

 As soon as the match started Holland got a penalty. This was only 2 minutes after the game has started. Cruyiff was dropped down by Uli Hoeneb. Neeskens scored a penalty and put Holland ahead. In the 25th minute the Germans got a penalty and Breitner scored it to equalize. The score board was now 1-1. In the 43rd minute Muller scored a second goal for West Germany. The match went on half time with a score of 2-1 on favour of West Germany.
    This final match had something interesting in that all the goals were obtained in the 1st half. The second half was played but no team allowed another goal from the opponent. The total football did not win. The Holland fans and players will remember this match. It seems the same scenario came again in the 2010 world cup in South Africa where the Netherlands lost to Spain by 1-0. What should be done by the Netherlands to win the world cup? Can they make it in the next year in Brazil?


Thursday, June 27, 2013


Antonio de Oliveira Filho (Careca) was a famous Brazilian footballer in 1980’s. Careca started to play football in his home soil in the state of Sao Paulo. His 1st local team was Guarani. In those days most Brazilian players who were selected in the national team played at home, as compared to these days where most Brazilian players play outside Brazil. Careca started to play for Guarani FC in the year 1978.

Careca played for Guarani FC from 1978 – 1982 and scored a total of 38 goals. With Guarani FC Careca played a total of 63 matches.

Careca has played a total of 64 matches for the Brazilian national team (Selecao) and he scored a total of 30 goals. Careca was involved in the national team in 1982 and continued to play for Selecao for about 11 years. The last year for him to appear in Selecao was 1993. In 1984 and 1988 Careca did not play in the national team.

In the year 1986 Careca scored many goals as compared to all years of his career in the national team. He scored 8 goals in that year. In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Careca was the 2nd top scorer just behind Lineker the English player.

Brazil vs France world cup 1986 (Careca in the squad)

There are some years in Careca’s history with Selecao where he played several matches without scoring any single goal. For example in 1982 he played for Selecao four times but didn’t score any goal. In 1991 he appeared only once for Selecao and didn’t score a goal.

In 1983 and 1986 are the two years which Careca played most matches than all years of his career with Selecao. In those two years I have mentioned Careca played a total of 11 matches. In 1983 he scored 5 goals and in 1986 he scored a total of 8 goals.

In 1982 which was the last year for him to play for Guarani FC Careca played a total of 17 games and scored 18 goals. This was an average of about 1 goal per match.

In 1983 till 1987 Careca joined another Brazilian team called Sao Paulo FC. He scored a total of 54 goals in all the appearances for Sao Paulo FC. In 1986 Careca played a lot of games for his side and scored many goals more than any season since he joined Sao Paulo. In that most successful season he played 31 games and scored a total of 25 goals.

After a successful career in Sao Paulo FC Careca moved to Italy and played for Napoli FC in 1987. He played for Napoli from 1987 till 1993 in the serie A. In his 1st season with Napoli he played a total of 26 matches and scored 13 goals. The season of 1991/1992 was the most successful season for Careca in the serie A. He made a total of 33 appearances and he netted a total of 15 goals.

While at Napoli Careca mad a very strong combination with Diego Maradona, and Bruno Giordano. This combination made Napoli win the UEFA Cup in 1989. In 1990 Careca with team mates won the serie A or Escudetto. 

Careca participated in both 1986 in Mexico and 1990 world cup in Italy. After staying in Italy from 1987 to 1993, Careca moved to Japan. In Japan he joined a club called Kashiwa Reysol. He played for Kashiwa Reysol for 4 years from 1993 until 1996. In 1993 and 1994 Kashiwa Reysol participated in the Football League (First Division League). In 1995 and 1996 Kashiwa participated in Japanese premier league called J-League.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The Mexico national team is one of the strong teams in both North and South America. Whether it plays against Brazil or Argentina or USA then we expect beautiful tactical football by the Mexican side. The quality of Mexico team can be revealed by the rankings in that the team has never exceeded position 33. It is currently ranked 17th in the world. Mexico national team is nicknamed El Tricocor.  

The current team coach of Mexico is Jose Manuel de la Torre. The top goal scorer in Mexico national team history has been Jared Borgetti. Jared has netted a total of 46 goals.
The player which has played many times in the national team of Mexico is Claudio Suarez, and he has played a total of 178 matches.

Brazil vs Mexico in 2013 FIFA confederations Cup

In the 1990 FIFA world cup, Mexico was not allowed to participate because of recruiting the players which exceeded the age limit allowed by FIFA in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. This disqualification applied even to the Mexico senior national team, and Mexico was banned out.
Probably, the disqualification of Mexico from participating in the 1990 world cup, gave them a special eagerness in the Copa America tournament in 1993. In that competition, Mexico fought hard and reached the final. In the final Mexico played against Argentina and lost 2-1.

In 1999 it was another success time for the Mexico national team. Mexico hosted the FIFA confederations cup. A total of 8 teams participated in the confederations cup. Mexico was in group A with Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and Egypt. Mexico started its campaign with Saudi Arabia and it won by 5-1. With Egypt the match ended on a 2-2 draw. The other match was against Bolivia where Mexico won by 1-0.

Mexico led group A with 7 points and faced USA in the knock out stage. In the match against USA Mexico continued to shine as it won the match by 1-0. Mexico played in the final with Brazil. At the final match there were a total of 7 goals and Mexico won by 4-3. Brazil reached the final after defeating Saudi Arabia by 8-2. Ronaldinho scored a hat trick in that match. 

Mexico vs Netherlands FIFA World Cup 1998

In CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011 Mexico was placed in group A with Cuba, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Mexico won all their matches and exceeded in the quarter finals where they met Guatemala. Mexico defeated Guatemala by 2-1. In the semi-finals Mexico won their match against Honduras by 2-0 to reach the final. In the final match Mexico played against USA. Honduras came from behind in the final match when USA was two goals ahead and overturned the results to become 4-2. At last Mexico won the CONCACAF and qualified for the 2013 confederations cup.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The Iran players celebrating. Photo by:

At last Iran has secured a place to next year FIFA world cup after beating Korea by 1-0. Carlos Queiroz team worked so hard to make sure that they qualify for next year’s competition. Following the spectacular win of the Iran team, Carlos Queiroz has extended his stay with the team.

Thanks to Reza Ghoochannejhad who netted the goal in the 60th minute to disappoint the Korean side in their own soil. Iran topped the group and secured one of the two tickets to Brazil.

Iran players celebration. Photo:

Football fans in Iran were very happy following their team’s victory in Korea.
Before playing South Korea Iran met with Lebanon and they won by 4-0. This win probably gave them an encouragement to play positively with South Korea.

In group A, Iran leads the group with 16 points, followed by South Korea 14 points, then Uzbekistan 14 points and lastly Lebanon with only 5 points.