Ballon D'Or 1970-1989

1970- Gerd Müller   Bayern Munich & West Germany 

1971- Johan Cruyff Ajax & Netherlands 

1972- Franz Beckenbauer  Bayern Munich & West Germany 

1973- Johan Cruyff Barcelona & Netherlands 
1974- Johan Cruyff Barcelona & Netherlands 

1975- Oleg Blokhin Dynamo Kiev & USSR

1976- Franz Beckenbauer Bayern Munich & West Germany 

1977- Allan Simonsen Borussia Mönchengladbach & Denmark 

1978- Kevin Keegan Hamburg SV & England
1979- Kevin Keegan Hamburg SV & England

1980- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge  Bayern Munich & West Germany 
1981- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge  Bayern Munich & West Germany 

1982- Paolo Rossi Juventus & Italy

1983- Michel Platini Juventus & France 
1984- Michel Platini Juventus & France 
1985- Michel Platini Juventus & France 

1986- Igor Belanov Dynamo Kiev & USSR

1987Ruud Gullit Milan & Netherlands

1988-  Marco van Basten Milan & Netherlands 
1989- Marco van Basten Milan & Netherlands 



Italy's Annibale Frossi won an Olympic Gold medal in 1936 wearing glasses and JF Mitchell wore his specs in an FA Cup Final. In the modern era, however, the wearers of spectacles have been, it seems, confined to Netherlands and Belgium. 

Jef Jurion-in his 20 year career (1954-74) Mister Europe played for Anderlecht, Gent and Lokeren. He won 64 caps for Belgium. 

Rinus Israël-Israël played most of his career with Feyenoord and then PEC Zwolle. He represented the Netherlands 47 times (1964–1974). He was known as IJzeren Rinus.

In a career lasting from 1967- 81 Joop van Daele played in the main for  Feyenoord and Fortuna Sittard. He Famously got his glasses broken playing against Estudiantes in the Intercontinental Cup final. 

Edgar Davids has an impressive CV that includes several giants- Ajax, Milan, Internazionale,  Juventus, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur... He played 74 times for Netherlands.


Ballon d'Or- 1950s & 1960s

1956- Stanley Matthews Blackpool & England

1957- Alfredo di Stefano Real Madrid & Spain 

1958- Raymond Kopa Real Madrid & France 

1959- Alfredo di Stefano Real Madrid & Spain

1960- Luis Suarez Barcelona & Spain 

1961- Omar Sivori Juventus & Italy 

1962- Josef Masopust Dukla Prague & Czechoslovakia

1963- Lev Yashin Dinamo Moscow & USSR

1964-Denis Law Manchester United & Scotland 

1965- Eusebio Benfica & Portugal 

1966- Bobby Charlton Manchester United & England 

1967- Florian Albert Ferencvaros & Hungary

1968- George Best Manchester United & Northern Ireland 

1969- Gianni Rivera AC Milan & Italy


Dragan Džajić

During his career with FK Crvena Zvezda Džajić won 5 league Championships, 4 National Cups and the Mitropa Cup. He played more than 600 games for Crvena Zvezda, scoring 370 goals (playing wide on the left!) and represented Yugoslavia 85 times. 

The double- achieved 3 times.


Sir Bobby Robson

Bobby Robson of West Bromwich Albion and England.  Sir Bobby played 257 games for West Bromwich Albion and 370 for Fulham. He won 20 England caps.
Sir Bobby was treated appallingly by the English press during his tenure as England manager, during which they reached the quarter finals and semi finals of successive World Cups.


World Cup Finals...

08.07.90 Straight red 65 min
08.07.90 Second yellow 87 min
12.07.98 Second yellow 67 min
09.07.06 Straight red 110 min
11.07.10 Second yellow 109 min


Denmark 1986

back , l-r: Preben Elkjaer-Larsen (Hellas Verona), Frank Arnesen (PSV), Jan Molby (Liverpool), John Sivebaek (Manchester United), Michael Laudrup (Juventus), Soren Busk (MVV Maastricht); 
front, l-r: Henrik Andersen (Anderlecht), Jesper Olsen(Manchester United), Morten Olsen(Anderlecht), Lars Hogh (Odense), Soren Lerby (Bayern Munich). 

Some teams are considered great having narrowly missed out on major honours (Hungary 1954, Netherlands 1974). In the 1986 World Cup Denmark suffered a second round hammering at the hands of Spain, but are still remembered as one of the most stylish sides ever seen. In their group matches they managed a 1-0 win over Scotland and then beat Uruguay (6-1) and West Germany (2-0). 



Overseas players were not common in England in the pre Premier League era. Now almost 70% of top flight players are foreign.
Right back in the 19th century Walter Bowman (Canada) played in the Football League, later on came Denmark's Nils Middleboe, French international Eugène Langenove and the Egyptians Hussein Hegazi and Tewfik Abdallah. South African Gordon Hodgson played for England. I won't count Max Seeburg or Ted and Jorge Robledo- they were children when they came to Britain. Similarly Bert Trautmann didn't enter the country as a footballer.
During the 1950s and 1960s there were 2 remarkable men from Southern Africa playing in English football-Steve Mokone and Albert Johanneson, More about them soon...
In the late 70s and early 80s the influx of overseas stars began. This is not a list of all of those players who came to Britain to play, just some of the ones I remember...

Kazimierz Deyna (Poland) 
Legia Warsaw- Manchester City 

Alberto Tarantini (Argentina) 
Boca Juniors - Birmingham City 

                      Osvaldo Ardiles (Argentina) 
Huracán -Tottenham Hotspur 
                        Ricardo Villa (Argentina)
Racing Club de Avellaneda-Tottenham Hotspur 

                        Arnold Mühren (Netherlands)

FC Twente- Ipswich Town 

Frans Thijssen (Netherlands)  
  FC Twente- Ipswich Town 

                       Džemal Hadžiabdić (Yugoslavia)  
Velež Mostar -Swansea City 

Ante Rajković (Yugoslavia)  
FK Sarajevo -Swansea City 

                        Allan Simonsen (Denmark) 
Barcelona -Charlton Athletic 

                        John Metgod (Netherlands)  
Real Madrid -Nottingham Forest 

Didier Six (France) 
Mulhouse - Aston Villa 


Jesper Olsen (Denmark)
Ajax - Manchester United 

Jan Molby (Denmark) 
Ajax -Liverpool