Ruud Doevendans has been an official columnist for a Dutch club and owns one of the largest
collections of soccer videos containing hundreds of World Cup matches. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
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Tardelli's run to nowhereland
Although the Brilliant Brazilians were considered as the best team of the
tournament, Italy and West-Germany are the teams to play the final in 1982.
In a packed Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, one-and-a-half billion people
watching the match on tv. Ladies and gentlemen, here are tonight's line-ups.
For Germany keeping goal Harald Schumacher, the world's most hated person
after he badly fouled Patrick Battiston. At rightback the man with the
"Bananenflanke" Manfred Kaltz, iron Karl-Heinz Förster, auzputzer Uli
Stielike and the Übermensch Hans-Peter Briegel at left. In midfield
threesome Dremmlah, Breitnah and Bernd Förstah, like German commentator
Fritz von Turn und Taxis usually pronounces their names. In attack injured
captain Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, always dangerous veteran Klaus Fischer and
weathercock Pierre Littbarski.
Then the Squadra Azzura. In goal 40-year old Dino Zoff, experiencing his 4th
youth. In defense Giuseppe Bergomi, who could have been Zoff's son, Italian
Mack the Knife Claudio Gentile, and the two centreback's, accurate and
rising stopper Fulvio Collovati and fabulous libero Gaetano Scirea. In
midfield, where playmaker Antognoni has to miss out, are Antonio Cabrini,
battling Gabriele Oriali and Marco Tardelli, the lungs of the team.
Tardelli, keep that name in mind, he will play the starring role in this
story. Centreforward is new hero Paolo Rossi, assisted by quicksilver Bruno
Conti on the right and bullish Francesco Graziani on the left. Let the game
But when the game starts, virtually nothing happens. The most important
thing is, that Graziani has to be replaced because of a shoulder-injury by
Alessandro Altobelli, whose nickname is "The Pin" and that's not because he
is small and fat. But it appears to be a dull game game and nobody's trying
a shot on goal. Even when Cabrini takes a penalty-kick, after Briegel tried
to cut Conti's head, he shoots it miserably wide. Something must happen,
somebody has to give it a serious try to score a goal. For tonight, we must
find the successor of Argentina.
Then suddenly after the break, the game explodes. Rossi reaches a low
Gentile-cross earlier than his shadow Karl-Heinz Förster. Schumacher can do
nothing about it and is beaten: 1-0 to the Italians. All at once we're awake
again. Is this going to be interesting? Is there anything going to happen
that will go into all historybooks? Yes, but we will have to wait until the
69th minute. Then Scirea gets the ball on his own half, and with an open eye
for the situation crosses midfield. There is a chance for a counter-attack!
Scirea sees Conti free on the right, the Roma-man receives the ball and
starts one of his famous dribblings. But then, as he turns away from his
marker Briegel, the ball is suddenly taken away from him by teammate Paolo
Rossi. On the sly, Rossi-like. The topscorer on his turn passes the ball
back to Scirea, who's in the German box now.
History is near. Scirea backheals the ball to Bergomi. Bergomi? What is he
doing on the German half? He seems to realize that himself, and the 18-year
young quickly passes the ball back to Scirea, on the verge of off-side.
Scirea waits and takes a look, waits and takes a look, waits and then he
sees the lungs of Italy, totally free on the circle of the box, free like
nobody's been before this night. Marco Tardelli picks the ball up but has to
do it with his left foot and the it bounces away from him about three
metres. In the end he reaches, with all fibres on a maximum tension, the
Tango again and thunderbolts it, while falling, diagonally and unreachable
for Schumacher, in the net: 2-0. What happens next, will make the world stop
turning for about 10 seconds. Anyone who saw it will remember.
Tardelli lost himself in an unmatched cry of joy, in total extasy, to
nowhereland. A thrilling sight: his in unbelief shaking head, soaked hair,
eyes as deep as a canyon, his mouth half-opened and screaming, his arms
spread wide. Beautiful and shocking at the same time. An expression of the
most unstoppable eruption of happiness and emotions, which was characteristic
for his whole career. In Italy he was often called "Schizzo", a wild
uncontrollable jet of water. And that describes exactly the way he used to
play. He ran all over the field, just like he did after scoring this most
important goal in his life. He couldn't stop, until he was caught and
brought down by Gentile, Conti and Cabrini. They dragged him to the ground
and the whole team fell upon Marco Tardelli, a leader on and off the field,
who gave the world something to remember. By the way, Altobelli made it 3-0
before Breitner scored a consolation goal. Sometimes, being complete is not
important. This match ended after 69 minutes.
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