vendredi 29 mai 2015

The Day Savicevic hit a passing shot to Nadal. (with video)

Well, I'm not here to detail everything on that Champions League Final 1994 FC  Barcelona - AC Milan but to add a very special goal to the serie "European Nights Goals".

That said to set the context a bit, one can remember all the odds were in favor of FC Barcelona who was ruling Spanish football at the time under the commendmant of local (and beyond) hero Johan Cruyff to the point they were nicknamed "The Dream Team". Doing good things enough in the European competitions too since some years with notable results as the wins in the Cup Winners Cup 1989 and then, most of all, two years before that '94 Final in Athens, the first win of the Catalans in the biggest European Cup. 
Moreover, Milan cannot count anymore on his Dutch trio wich consisted in Rijkaard, van Basten and Gullit. Gullit was now at Sampdoria (before to be repatriated to Milan, and then to return to Genoa), Rijkaard was back to Ajax where a became more and more a "Libero" to achieve his career and Basten's one was almost over even if not officialy yet. He had played his last match in the precedent Champions League Final won by Marseille. So that was about the past but at the time the main interrogation was about how the defence would countain the attack of Barcelona with Romario at the top of it since captain Baresi and Costacurta, the usual and now legendary central defence of the Rossoneri was missing due to suspension.  Also, Capello could not count on Papin, injured, since long weeks and Massaro, even if on good form in terms of goal scored on that 1993-94 season (finishing was not his specificity up to that year), was certainly not the most intimidating weapon so the two extremities of the team were not here to impress much the Catalans and at midfield the Barcelonistas had the habit to make run the ball well and very intelligently.
But the quality of the players available was still of an exceptionnal level on the side of Milan despite the team could not really compare with the Sacchi's era's one on an individual and collective point of view (surely this is related ). But maybe because of all these extraordinary crippling conditions and circumstances, the players of Milan found again the energy or simply, the will to apply one of the main precept of Sacchi: the pressing, that as high as permitted on the pitch. Or at least a commitment worthy of the name. That was really needed to keep the duo Romario-Stoichkov as inoffensive as possible.
Also the credit goes to Capello who had the brilliant idea to align the offensive talent and magical left-foot Savicevic as a right-forward in the front-two alongside Massaro. From that position he could move between the lines of Barcelona and cut in this defence wich merely consisted of three defenders given that Sergi was more of a side-midfielder on the left and that it was more of a 3-4-3 than anything else like a 4-4-2 or the famous 4-3-3. That line of defence, from the right to the left,  consisted in Ferrer, Koeman and Nadal. The two last named not being the fastest. It is from this zone, from that space between Sergi and Nadal that Savicevic would construct and score one of the most unforgettable goal in the history of the European Cup, unmolested by Koeman, no more than worried by Zubizarreta.
Once again, the credit goes to Capello...and to Savicevic and his talent extraordinary. As for Cruyff, he had benched Laudrup.

European Night Goal – Savicevic - Milan x Barça 94


The day Savicevic hitted a passing shot to Nadal...and lobbed Zubizarreta.

Well, when I start to speak...but there are plenty of things that describe this Final over the internet... and out of the inernet too. As for the goal itself, what to say...just watch, and re-watch, that's what I do! Idon't know if there is some litterature on it but it could be a source of inspiration for a poet or any artist, that is certain. When football joins art... is art.

Available for consultation: Savicevic matches and goals in European Cups.

If one wants to be a little naughty, one could say that Nadal was already a bit of an uncle by then. But nobody wants to do such things.

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