Subject: Greatest Game Ever
From: (Paul Adam)
Date: Mar 23, 1997

Given the following criteria - major championship, end to end action, drama 
to the last minute, etc. What is the greatest single soccer game ever played 
and why?

Some suggestions:

Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3, 1996 and 1997. - Winston 

Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2, we all know the year. - Steve Jones 

Italy 3 Brazil 2, WC82. But the wrong team won! - "Jim Madden" 

Belgium 4 Russia 3 in WC86;
Holland 2 Germany 1 in EC88 SF. - "Frank Damen" 

Italy 4 Germany 3 in WC70 SF, aet (90': 1-1);
France 3 Germany 3 in WC82 SF, aet (90': 1-1); 
Brasil 1 France 1 in WC86 QF, aet -  

Italy 4 Germany 3 in WC70 SF;
Argentina 2 Romania 3 in WC94 QF. - (Gustaaf Van Moorsel)

England-Cameroon WCQF WC90 - am462@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (John Moore)

Hungary 3 Brasil 1 WC66, Goodison Park. - gaborzinho 

Colombia 4 USSR 4, WC62; Colombia came back from a 0 to 4 deficit. - William Viteri 

Belgium 4 USSR 3 WC86
Germany 3 England 2 WC70
Poland  Argentina , WC74
Tschekkoslovakia 2 Germany 2, EC76 - (Reijo T Sarmaja)

Brazil 3 Netherlands 2, WC94 - (Bob Riggs)

From: Kaisers 
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 24, 1997

> Italy 3 Brazil 2, 1982 World Cup. But the wrong team won!

    It would be interesting to know the number of people around the
world who were in tears when that matched finished. Tens of millions, I
would guess--myself among them.  
    I could not possibly pick France-Germany 82 or France-Brazil 86
because a game decided on penalties cannot possibly be the greatest
    Certainly one of my favorites of which I never get tired (I own lots
of tapes) is Holland-Germany 1978--certainly the most exciting draw I
ever saw, and a very, very important game that year.

    However, I have to agree with those who have said W. Germany - Italy
1970 (altough W Germany - England wasn't far behind.)  Fantastic action
for about the last 75 minutes of regulation as Germany storms and storms
trying for the equalizer--by the mid-second half they are playing with
five forwards--Lohr, Grabowski, Muller, Seeler, Siggy Held--with
Beckenbauer and Overath behind them!  A fantastic climax when the ref
finally has his revenge on the Italians by playing 2 + minutes of injury
time. Five extra time goals.  Unbelievable.
    I sure wish I could see England-Hungary 1953--did anyone get the
tape from Hungarian TV?--or Uruguay-Hungary, Brazil-Hungary, or the
final from WC 1954.  Those sound like they were classics too.  But of
the ones I've seen, these were the best. Belgium-USSR was in the same
class, certainly.

From: Massa Sugano 
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date:  Mar 24, 1997

For me, Brazil 0-1 Japan in the Atlanta Olympics.  

The great Brazilian Olympic team, with three above-age players in Bebeto, 
Aldair, and Rivaldo, together with superstars such as Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, 
Juninho, Flavio Conceicao, etc.  Better than the World Cup winning team, the 
folks said.  And then on the field...... a '76 counter strike from Itoh after 
a scramble by Dida and Aldair.  26 shots Brazil, 4 shots Japan.  And yet, we 
won.  Defense closed off the Brazilians just in time, and goalie Kawaguchi 
stopped one impossible shot after another. Seriously, with the two keepers 
switched, the score would have been 5-0 for Brazil. Japan didn't make the 
quarterfinals, eliminated by the eventual champions Nigeria, but the match 
was pure gold.

Come to think of it, I think it should benefit all to have Kawaguchi traded 
for Ze Maria, Cruz, Rivaldo, Elber, and all others that Brazil won't be 
using.  Let's have Havelange bend the rules a bit.  After this trade, Brazil 
should be able to win the next World Cup and Japan can make the top 8.  Yes, 
let's go ahead.

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 25, 1997

You can be certain that you have not seen the greatest game ever.

The 1930 WC final was the greatest game ever. None of us saw it.

The 1924 gold medal game was the greatest game ever. Idem.

The 1928 gold medal game, a preview to that 1930 match. Idem.

The 1934 WC final, Italia and some Oriundi.

Maracanazo. How can any game be above this one.

1954 WC final and Hungary, sans the injured Puskas, finally loses a game.

In the late 60's, Copa Libertadores, Estudiantes needed to come back 
and score. They only had 8 players left on the field. They scored.
The first little club to win the Libertadores.

In the late 70's, Talleres de Cordoba was beating Independiente, and the
championship was on the line. Independiente had only 8 players and needed 
to score. Bochini scored. Independiente got the championship.

There are other games. There are the games everyone has seen, and these 
are great. But of the ones listed above, who has seen them all, to be able 
to compare them? What we would give to see any of them.

From: (Karel Stokkermans)
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 27, 1997

> You can be certain that you have not seen the greatest game ever.

While I agree with the sentiment, I can't really see I'm longing to see 
either Estudiantes' Copa Libertadores triumph or Independiente v Talleres de 
Cordoba. While it is an achievement of sorts to score with 8 players, both 
beg the questions: 1) how many players had the other team left? and 2) what
happened before in order for Estudiantes and Independiente to have 3
sent off (or so many injured)? 

I don't particular admire brutality, and certainly not teams who made it
an instrument of their game.  Estudiantes may be applauded for winning the
Copa Libertadores as a little club, but one can't much admire the way in
which they did it.  Estudiantes probably did more harm to football than any
other team, including Herrera's "Inter Catenaccio".

And while I admit I'm biased and haven't seen anything before 1974: the
greatest match I saw was the first 1988 European championship semifinal,
the greatest goal from an individual effort was Maradona's second against
England in 1986 closely followed by Marco's overhead kick against Den
Bosch in the same year, for a collective effort probably Romania's 2-1
versus Argentina in 1994 but perhaps I have to think a little longer,
and the best football was probably that of the Netherlands in their 5-0
demolition of Belgium in 1975 (that Belgian team was pretty good).  (All 
restricted to what I saw myself live.)

From: Riffster 
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 25, 1997

> France-Germany 1982
Great contest and the regrettable incident of Schumacher 
devastating Battiston at the end just adds to the reputation
of this game. I loved watching France play in 1982 -- a 
wondrous, classy side. Aside from Schumacher's brutal
moment, the Germans did rise to meet the level of their
opponents in that game at least.
> Italy - Germany 1970.
Great pick -- an old timer like me remembers Franz Beckenbauer playing
with his (right?) arm in a sling after breaking it early in the game.
One of several great games in that Cup. I would also add Brasil-England
from that Cup as well with Gordon Banks making "The Save" against 
Pele. Brasil won 1-0 but it was the most difficult match they had in
the Cup and one that all English soccer fans should be proud of. I for
one think that the 1970 English side was at least as good as the one
that won the Cup in 1966.

I myself have trouble picking out a game beyond those of the great 
1970 World Cup (which remains the best competition ever in my humble
opinion) Not only did you have the all-time great Brasil, but you 
had Italy, England and Germany with fine teams as well as watching
the legendary Cubillas in a last shining moment. An enjoyable WC.

Also, the sheer joy that Mexico had in hosting that competition! The
crowds were enthusiastic yet well-behaved. I have not seen its like
in the WC since.

From: bj531@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Artur Faya)
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 26, 1997

I will never forget the Intercontinental Cup final Santos x Milan in
November 1963, in Maracana. Milan had a great team. Among its players:
Maldini, Trapatoni, Rivera and the Brazilians Altafini and Amarildo.
Pele', injured, didn't play.

Milan totally dominated the first half and led after 45 minutes 2-0 with
Altafini scoring both goals. A light rain started between halfs and made
the turf very slippery.  Santos' left wing, Pepe, made use of the surface
conditions and scored two goals from free kicks. Two other goals came from
Lima and Almir who played in Pele's position.  Final score Santos 4-2 Milan.

At that time the cup was decided in two games (home and away). Milan had
won the first game in Milan, 4-2. So a third was played in Maracana and
Santos won 1-0, a penalty kick converted by the left back, Dalmo.

TV Record, of Sao Paulo, had a tape of that game but in the late sixties
an arsonit put TV Record headquarters on fire. Not only the videotape of
that game went up on smoke but also hundreds of goals scored by Pele' at
the peak of his career in the early sixties.  No, TV Record did not back
up the videos...

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Mar 26, 1997

Well what do you know. This game is included in that long interview of
Luis Carniglia that I am going to translate someday. Here is the excerpt
from an interview that appeared in El Grafico on February 4:

[Carniglia gets fired from his job as trainer of Roma after having some
conflicts with the club directors] That was when Milan called me. I took 
over in the 1963/64 season. Since Milan was the European champion, it 
played the Intercontinental Cup with Pele's Santos. I was enthusiastic. It 
was going to be the culmination of my career. In San Siro Trappatoni marked 
him and we won 4-2. Pele pulled a muscle. Milan had all the omens it needed 
to win in Maracana. But when we were in Rio, Dino Sani, a brasilian that 
played in Milan and that had passed by Boca Juniors [Carniglia's old club] 
without much success, warned me: "Don Luis, I heard something..." And he 
told me that they had bought the referee. It was an Argentinian. Juan Brozzi 
was his name. I conveyed my concerns to the club directors, who immediately 
offered to the CSF that instead of Brozzi the whistle should go to Praddaude, 
who was going to be the linesman. The South American directors refused. The 
president of the CSF was another Argentinian, Raul H. Colombo...

--What took place?

Maracana was full: 185000 people. After a few minutes Milan was winning 2-0.
It was impossible for the Cup to escape our grasp. But in the second half
the referee began to play. He would not let the Milan players cross the 
midfield line. And when Santos advanced, he invented a free kick. 
Domineeringly, they scored four goals on us: three by free kick and the 
fourth bowling over the goalkeeper. It was terrible. From Milan they asked 
us to withdraw the team, but the CSF threatened FIFA sanctions. We had to 
playoff in 48 hours. Guarantees were sought but, in incomprehensible fashion, 
they assigned Brozzi again. This time he won the game right away. Trappatoni 
did a chilena in the penalty area and he charged penal. Maldini protested and 
Brozzi ejected him. Three minutes had been played. With that penal Santos 
won 1-0. Thirty thousand people went to receive the team at the Milan airport 
and they gave us a million lira prize, as if we had won the Cup.

--A good consolation...

Not for me, I wanted to win that Cup. Imagine how Brozzi's actions must have
been that in Italia, for a long time, the referees instead of being insulted
were called "Brozzi! Brozzi!".

From: John Douglas (
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Apr 3, 1997

You have to be almost a wrinklie to remember this one - the 1960 
European Cup Final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt played 
at Hampden Park.  The very large crowd fully expected to see an 
Eintracht victory after they had beaten Glasgow Rangers in the 
semi-final by 6-3 and 6-1 but Real Madrid gave an exhibition of 
exactly how 'the beautiful game' should be played. Ferenc Puskas 
scored four goals and Alfredo DiStefano scored three in a 7-3 victory. 
I thought it appropriate to mention this game today as it is Puskas' 
70th birthday. They don't make footballers as good as that any more!

From: Stig Oppedal 
Subject: Re: Greatest Game Ever
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997

It's nonsensical, for a variety of self-evident reasons, to declare a
single football match the greatest one _ever_. However, by common
consent one of the greatest games of the color-TV era was the legendary
1982 World Cup semi-final between France and England. 

What an epic! The first half saw Clive Littbarski give the islanders an
early lead, only for Michel Platini to equalize through the penalty
spot. After half-time came the infamous "ironbutt" incident where poor
Batiston was mauled by the vicious English keeper Stuart Schumacher.
Each time we see this ugly episode we still expect the referee to show
the red card, and we're just as outraged when he doesn't.

In extra-time the French took a seemingly unassailable 3-1 lead through
Tressor and Giresse, but this only signalled a dramatic comeback from
the spirited English. The great Ian Rumenigge came on, and you could
hear the anticipation of the crowd and sense the panic in the French
team. Sure enough, Ian pulled one back, and soon after Les Fischer
scored on a spectacular overhead kick to make it 3-3. So for the first
time in World Cup history, a game was decided on penalties. It takes a
brave man to bet against the English in these situations, and after
several dramatic hits and misses the French were duly - and cruelly -
knocked out.

Another factor in making this game a classic was the unbridled passion
of the indomitable English supporters. From the first-half kick-off and
all the way to Nigel Hrubesch' decisive penalty kick over two and a half 
hours later, they kept up a non-stop barrage of chants of "Eng-er-land,
Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land" and "Go on England! Go on England! Go on 
England!". Given their enthusiasm, I am extremely glad I wasn't the one 
who had to break them the news that it was in fact West Germany, not 
England, who had progressed to the finals. 

Really, someone should have let those guys know before the game started.

Subject: World Cup Greatest Games Rated
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 10:13:55 -0500
From: Riffster 

A panel of 50 of the greatest players ever in soccer named the 1970
World Cup semifinal game which ended in a 4-3 win by Italy over 
West Germany as the greatest game ever in the World Cup. The panel
included the likes of Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Di Stefano and Bobby

Charlton was one of the 12 players who choose the 1970 final between
Brasil and Italy as the best game, to put that game just one vote behind
the Italy-West Germany thriller as the best ever. The panel, which also
included Platini, Matthews, Eusebio and Zico, had made a total of 454
appearances in the World Cup, including 102 in the final game.

Third was the 1982 second round match in which Italy beat Brasil 3-2,
fourth was the 1982 semifinal in which West Germany beat France on
penalties after a 3-3 tie in extra time. Fifth was the 1966 final when
England gained a controversial 4-2 win over West Germany.

The 1970 semifinal was a truly remarkable game which at one time
appeared to be heading for an unremarkable finish. 

Italy had gone ahead in the seventh minute through Roberto Boninsegna
and had defended resolutely until almost the very last kick of the match
deep into injury time when Karl-Heinz Scnellinger equalised for West
Germany to force extra time. 

Five minutes later the Germans went ahead through Gerd Muller, but five
minutes after that Tarcisio Burgnich made it 2-2. Another goal quickly
followed when Luigi Riva put Italy 3-2 ahead after 104 minutes, only for
Muller to score five minutes later with his 10th goal of the tournament
to make it 3-3. The Germans had hardly stopped celebrating when a minute
later Italy finally clinched the game.

With 111 minutes on the clock golden boy Gianni Rivera scored the sixth
goal in a 21-minute burst to make the final score 4-3. 

(Let us hope for at least one match in the 1998 WC that comes close to
 these classics. I have been fortunate to see all but the 1966 final
 in their entirety and I couldn't agree with them more. I remember the
 atmosphere in Italy during the 1970 WC -- electric!!! The Italian 
 team at that time was largely composed of Inter and Milan players,
 in fact Schnellinger, the West German who sent the game into extra   
time, was a Milan player at the time! Facchetti, Mazzola, Burgnich,   
and Boninsegna from Inter started for Italy with Rivera, Albertosi,
 and Benetti from Milan also contributing. Riva from Cagliari (fresh
 off their stunning win of the scudetto, a first ever for a southern
 club at that time) was the main attacker. His powerful kick was com-
 plimented by Boninsegna's Gerd Muller-like nose for the goal. All
 wonderful memories. Pele, Tostão, Jair, Gerson and Carlos Alberto were
 in their glory for the greatest team ever, Brasil. Beckenbauer, Muller, 
 Sepp Maier and Berti Vogts were in their prime for West Germany. 
 England had Banks, Bobby Moore, the Charltons....the list goes on and
 on. 1982, despite a more negative approach to soccer prevalent at 
 that time, also had classic matches. Let's hope for more of the same 
 in la belle France!)

Subject: Re: World Cup Greatest Games Rated
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 21:10:02 GMT
From: (Snaps)

My Top 10 of the best (ie, most dramatic) World Cup games since 1970 is
as follows:

1.  Italy 4-3 Germany (1970)
2.  Germany 3-3 France (1982)
3.  Germany 3-2 England (1970)
4.  Germany 1-1 England (1990)
5.  Romania 3-2 Argentina (1994)
6.  Italy 3-2 Brazil (1982)
7.  Belgium 4-3 USSR (1986)
8.  Germany 2-1 Holland (1990)
9.  France 1-1 Brazil (1986)  
10. England 3-2 Cameroon (1990)

The last one was particularly hairy.
The lack of any real knock-out phase in the 74 and 78 formats would seem
to have been a mitigating factor in the absence of any truly epic games.
England's 'refusal' to play in these tournaments didn't help, either.
Honourable mentions also go to Germany Vs Austria, 1982; Norway Vs
Ireland, 1994; Argentina Vs Anyone, 1990.

Subject: Re: World Cup Greatest Games Rated
Date: 10 Jun 1997 11:22:00 GMT
From: (Karel Stokkermans)

Interesting how 6 of those involved extra time.
There were at least two epics in 1978 though: Netherlands v FR Germany 2-2 
(which got Germany out of the race for the title) and Netherlands v Italy 
2-1 (a bit brutal that one, perhaps).  Both finals were all in all rather 
good games too (better than any final ever since, anyway, though it wasn't 
too bad in 1986).

In 1974, there essentially were two semis (Netherlands v Brazil and FR Germany
v Poland) anyway (though in both cases, one team could afford a draw (and
eventually won, in Germany's case on a pitch that never should have been
approved)). (Mario Mastrangelo) writes:
> Do you mean Englands 'refusal' to play in the 74, 78 WC's?
> Because if you do, they failed to qualify on both occasions.

I'm sure Snaps is aware of that.  He no doubt means that England couldn't
possibly deny better and more enterprising teams like Poland (74) and Italy
(78) their participation, and therefore decided not to win those groups.
Both Poland and Italy ended up playing for third place against Brazil.

> Or do you mean their refusal to play in the 30, 34, 38 WC's?

Now, as an Italian, you better not start discussing the 1934 Cup...