World Cup 86 was characterised by prolific goalscorers, creative genius, and guile and cunning aplenty. There was a handy Argentinian fellow, too. Diego something or other...
There was something unsatisfying about Belgium’s progress, as they scuffed their way through the easiest group, had the benefit of a couple of unusual refereeing decisions to help their rearguard action against the USSR, and then needed penalties to beat Spain in the quarter-final before Maradona did for them
in the semis.
But throughout it, the awkward, brave, bony figure of Ceulemans stood out, as
a captain, a classic leader of the line and target-man. His diving header against Spain from Franky Vercauteren’s cross was true class.
Can one game lift a player to the pantheon? Yes, if he scores four goals to eliminate one of the best sides.
In the second round, Denmark were 1-0 up when, two minutes before half-time, Jesper Olsen passed across the top of his own box. Butragueno ran on, and beat Hogh without breaking stride. He then headed in from a corner, converted a cross from Eloy, and was brought down for two penalties, the second of which he converted in a 5-1 win. Nicknamed ‘The Vulture’, Butragueno feasted on Denmark long before the body was cold.
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