Eighty years, 18 World Cups, a million memories
West Germany 3-3 France (aet, West Germany win 5-4 on penalties)Semi-final
West Germany had only got through their first-stage group with a contrived win over Austria, and their football throughout the tournament had been dull and boorish.
France, meanwhile, had found a beautiful, hypnotic rhythm, based on the midfield of Michel Platini, Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana. Even at kick-off, the semi-final was a battle of grace against effort, but a moral element was added just after the hour.
Patrick Battiston had been on the field less than 10 minutes when he chased a Platini through-ball. He got to the ball, and prodded it past Harald Schumacher.
The goalkeeper, though, turning in the air, jumped quite deliberately into the line of his run, so Battiston took his hip flush on the side of his head. Absurdly, Charles Corver, the Dutch referee, saw nothing wrong, and gave a goal-kick, which Schumacher stood impatiently waiting to take even as his victim lay stricken.
After the game, he sarcastically offered to pay for Battiston’s crowns. “There are many things you’d do differently with the benefit of hindsight, but you can’t when you’re in the heat of the moment,” Schumacher said later. “If I was still keeping goal today, I’d have come off my line in exactly the same way. What I’d do differently nowadays is this: my behaviour while he was being treated and after the match was just not acceptable.”
Battiston was knocked out cold, broke his jaw, and lost two teeth – and as he hit the ground, Platini admits he thought he was dead. Senselessly, the Spanish police force had prevented the Red Cross from manning the touchline, so it took three agonising minutes for a stretcher to be produced from a basement storeroom.
As Battiston was carried off, Platini took his limp hand. At the touchline, he kissed it, and turned back to his team. “We were psychologically affected, but in a positive sense,” Platini told FourFourTwo. “We were full of rage: against the Germans, against the ref, against everything.
I would even say it’s my greatest memory in football, even though we lost. It was the most extraordinary game – it had everything, pure drama. It was better than any movie; any theatre; any novel.”
France had fallen behind after 17 minutes, Pierre Littbarski drilling in after Jean-Luc Ettori had saved at the feet of Klaus Fischer, but they levelled with
a Platini penalty 10 minutes later.
Thereafter, play flowed one way, then the other. Manuel Amoros hit the bar in the final minute, but it wasn’t until extra-time that the game lurched – briefly – towards France.
Marius Tresor volleyed in Giresse’s free-kick, then Giresse, capitalising on some splendid hold-up play from Didier Six, arced a shot past Schumacher and in off the post: 3-1.
Effectively deprived of one of their subs, though, France became tired, the energy of their righteous fury spent.
Just three minutes before half-time in extra-time, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, on as a substitute, poked in a Littbarski through-ball. And then, just after half-time in extra-time, Horst Hrubesch headed down a Littbarski cross and Fischer equalised with an overhead kick.
And so the game went to the World Cup’s first shootout, by which stage it had become good against evil: Ettori saved from Stielike, but as Six and Maxime Bossis saw their kicks saved by Schumacher, evil won.
“I’m happy I was there,” Platini said. “The whole team, sat there in the dressing room after the game, furious, raging, lost for words. Later, it helped me to learn to get things into perspective; nobody had been killed, our families were safe, it was only a match, but it was extraordinary.” Written by Jonathan Wilson
West Germany 1-2 Algeria First round, Group Two
World Cup first-round ‘shock results’ are now a common thing, but in 1982 almost nobody fancied tournament debutants Algeria to trouble the powerhouse West Germany: coach Jupp Derwall even said he’d jump in the Mediterranean if they did.
The Desert Foxes were a decent side, however – their early-’80s vintage is still known as the ‘golden era’ back home – and were built around Rabah Madjer, the country’s greatest ever player.
He bagged Algeria’s first goal, with Lakhdar Belloumi adding a second on 68 minutes. What followed later in the tournament, however, would sour the achievement. And Derwall never even dipped his big toe in the Med…
West Germany 1-0 Austria First round, Group Two
Arguably the most shameful game in the tournament’s history.
Algeria had played their third match the day before, so both West Germany and
Austria knew that a German win by one or two goals would qualify them
both, while a large victory would qualify Algeria over Austria.
The Germans scored 10 minutes in, and both sides then spent 80 minutes punting the ball round aimlessly. Neutrals were enraged, angry Algerians waved banknotes, and one offended German fan even burned his country’s flag.
Algeria protested to FIFA, but were overruled. In future, final group games would be played simultaneously.
INTRODUCTION: ¡Viva Espana!VIDEO: The 10 best goals at Spain 82
* News * Interviews
* HomeInteract: Twitter
* Facebook * Forum
Fine write up. But really, how can you not include Italy-Brazil? It's The Greatest Game of All Time! And the final match was outstanding too.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Nigeria claim Africa Cup of Nations crown
Mali sink Ghana in Nations Cup play-off
CAF clear Pitroipa to play in Nations Cup final
Renard warned over Nelspruit pitch comments
Hayatou defends referees but admits mistakes
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010