dimanche 1 novembre 2015

Mundial 86 Lineups

  After "Mundial 82 best teams with Lineups", here is "Mundial 86 Lineups". The best teams on large rakes.

If the World Cup 1982 has been seen as one the best tournament ever played, with teams that satisfied on an creative/ offensive point of view, we can see the edition 1986 (played in Mexico for the second time after 1970 and awarded to the Latin-American country into strange circumstances, but that's another subject) as the beginning of a new era in Football with teams that plays in block with more "workers" at midfield. And count on a providential man to make the difference. Maradona's World Cup it is.

As the World Champion, the typical 11 of Argentina (that is also the one wich has been lined into the Final) opens the presentation of the teams.


No more no less than a 4-4-2 with a defence and a midfield in cross but with that particularity that Olarticoechea was a very offensive left back in this team and that the initial formation can transform easily in a 3-5-2 with Ruggeri covering the left part of the defense in that case - otherwise he was the stopper placed before Brown, the libero so he had to block the whole axxis, with a preference for the left hand of it.
That could transform into a 3-5-2, or a 3-4-3, given the freedom allowed to Maradona (but how it could be otherwise?) even though very often, Burruchaga compensated at midfield when Maradona played upfront so the idea of a 3-5-2 that dominates. But, once again, it was simply a 4-4-2 with that possible articulation into a 3-5-2. A block of 7 players behind the trio Burruchaga-Maradona-Valdano. That could even articulate in a 4-3-3 with two good ball-players at midfield in Giusti and Enrique who permuted as to know who played on the right and who played more on the left (that was turning). That doesn't necessarily mean the team was ultra-offensive because there was 7 players dedicated to the defensive duties when not in the possession of the ball and most of all, that was a very-organized team plus the genius of his number 10. This should not minimize the genius of Burruchaga too, but here, Maradona reached a level of performance rarely seen before into a World Cup, maybe never. At last, a little word on Valdano who was a complete striker, a bit #11, a bit #9, both things at the same time and onto wich Maradona could build on his actions, or more or less, as for the famous goal against England for the 2-0 when Maradona finally made it all alone for what is considered by manys as the "Goal of the Century".

Now the Runner-up, West Germany.

West Germany 1986

As they played in the Final. With Brehme placed on the right of the midfield in order to block Olarticoechaea's attacks as to cover Berthold's ones. Matthaüs was at the marking of Maradona otherwise the three midfielders would have been placed on the same line (whoever they were, there was multiple choices of men during the tournament, of formations too). Matthaüs being the most offensive of the three. Into the final that was Magath who was more into the number 10 role with a preference to evolve on the left hand of the pitch. Back to Matthaüs, he had been a menacing attacking midfielder during the groups stage plus the round of 16 before becoming more of a very normal midfielder that concentrates on more basic duties (like four years later). This is what Maradona (and probably Bilardo too) knew before the Final was played. He declared he was very confident since Matthaüs would probably be at marking him what by the way, would be a terrible waste for the German team, he added. That happened exactly like that, and we know the result.

Into the semi-finals, West Germany had beaten again France wich could not take his revenge after the classic match of 1982. France ranked 3rd of the tournament this time contrarily to the precedent edition where they lost to Poland into the classification game.

France 1986
An ageing team wich did his maximum based on a a totally new central defense wich did wonders with Bossis as the stopper and Battiston as the libero since then less shy than in his previous years and who could bring his powerful shoots in attack, a new asset of his game that he made the demonstration of at club level since some times as for into this second leg match in the Champions Cup semi-finals against Juventus one year before. A perfectly balanced central defence surrounded by two young players on the sides : Amoros who confirmed his high-leveled performances of 1982 (where awarded "Best Young Player") affirming him clearly as one of the very best of the World in his role, and Ayache who at the image of his partner four years earlier was one of the revelation of the tournament.
Thus, talkin of an ageing team can seem not very exact. But that is well because his two number 10s were at the end of their run that one can tend to qualify this team this way. Indeed, Platini and Giresse were out of form. Despite this fact they managed to help the team to reach the semis of the World Cup for the second time in a row. Until they totally disappeared, rightly so, during that match against West Germany wich comfortably qualified for the Final. Into that context, we can have seen Tigana and Fernandez takin more responsabilities at midfield, the first named beeing always that great rackers of baloons but also orchestrator and maybe most of all the player of Paris St.-Germain whose qualities of combatant have impressed numerous observators, without forgetting the moments he has been decisive as for his winning penalty scored against Brazil in Guadalajara or his precious goal against USSR in the first round (served by Giresse), an equalizing goal. Back to Platini, he still has for him the goals made against Italy and Brazil obviously.
In attack we finally can find Rocheteau as a member of the typical 11 for France, now aged 30 and after years during wich all the promises were not really fulfilled. The former winger was now a matured striker, true centre forward, a real pivot for the team with still, some of the skills of the overflowing player in his game. Unfortunately unfit for the semi-final.
Next to him, Stopyra who won his place in fine style instead of an unexperienced Papin who would know only the very beginning (first Round) and the very end (3rd place match) of the competition, incidentally scoring two goals still.
Platini being less present in the centre of the attack, real wingers being absent of the team (Bellone has only few time of play, was maybe not at his maximum him neither) the role of the full-backs was really important in this team - and that was a new tendency this World Cup displayed, the full backs replaced the wingers wich consequently became more rare. But with the lack of power upfront, this team suffered too much in the play against the Germans while Bats could not repeat his incredible saves as he did previously. But despite all the difficulties (also a bit thanks to that), this team was a real enjoyement - that relied a bit more on its defense for once. And they finished third, this time.

Now, we will not talk of who finished fourth, but well of Brazil without whom the 1986 Fench Team would not be the 1986 French Team. Because to make a great game, two great sides are needed.

Brazil 86
At the image of France, a team wich could not fully count on his two main creators, at their downhill : Socrates and Zico. If Socrates displayed some of his genius at times during the tournament and had not lost of his class, Zico was practically registered to the rubric "absents", only employed as a substitute to play the last minutes of the games. He had not lost of his class either, with his wonderful sense of the pass but once again struggled in a decisive game missing a penalty against France around the 70th minute, not long after his entry. A penalty he had provoked finding Branco into the box on a laser pass that surprised Bats, a bit late in his intervention even if it's debatable if it's a foul. As a symbol of the decline of the Brazilian creators, Bats would stop the shoot by Socrates in the penalty shootout too.
For the rest, Brazil could count once again on two extraordinary full backs in the unexpected Josimar and the very active Branco, two very-offensive-minded players of course, as usual, and also a very good central hinge with Edinho who made here probably his bet performance for Brazil and most of all Julio César who was among the very best centre backs of the tournament alongside Förster, if not the best (without forgetting Ruggeri, Bossis, Battiston etc.). At midfield, the very technical (but out of breath) Junior who was the left back of the Seleçao 1982 and Alemao, who as his nick tells it, brang athletism to the Brazilian midfield being the piston of it while not lacking of technique at all. Finally, the front-two was particularly terrific with that duo Muller-Careca, very complementary, Careca having here more the role of centre forward and Muller the one of free electron. Even though both of them could play the two roles being each one very complete so in the end it was difficult to really know who was more the number 9 and who was the second striker so they were very hard to mark. Young and very fast too. Probably the main reason why Brazil still finished amongst the best teams of the tournament. They could have been semi-finalist as well. If they had pushed more after their first goal, but they did not. And finally the French defense get away with these two devils of the attack Auriverde. Tight though (with all what happened in the match too, as seen before). And as it is well-known, a great game. With grand football produced by all the protagonists.

Belgium now, maybe? Because they did extremely well in the end to stand out into this competition.

Belgium 1986
Assuringly the big surprise of the tourney even though they were present and well present, in all the great competitions since 1980 and that Final of the Euro. A difficult first round before eliminating successively the Soviet Union and Spain against all the the odds. A team that became properly a team after this exploit against the Eastern Europe giant to finally encounter a Spanish selection that probably lacked of cohesion with his ancestral conflicts between the players from Real and the ones from Barça. Just like Belgium, at his level, knew a difficult cohabitation between his two main players, the "captain courage" Ceulemans and the young talented Scifo. Two different profiles, in the game as in life. So a not always coherent team in the intentions despite being formed of very good players in each line.
It starts with Pfaff in the goals, recognised as one of the best specialist at his position in Europe and who would also benifit of a lot of luck in Mexico. "Fortune favors the brave" as we say, and asurringly, Pfaff was brave. It continues with a defensive line that had not much too envy to the other nations with the inexhaustible Gerets on the right flank of it - combative and excellent crosser of the ball, also a leader - and a talented centre back pairing with the young libero Grün, a fairly technical but unexperienced defender and a Renquin here at his peak. On the left, Vervoort, a defender who does not fear to go forward if he's allowed to it (by the way, at the image of the Argentinean 11, that team could transform in a sort of 3-5-2 too with Gerets and Vervoort on the wings).
At midfield, a midfield in cross, the motor of the team, Ceulemans of Brugge, well-know for his energy, surrounded by the exquisite playmakers Scifo (of italian origins) and Vercauteren, who play together at Anderlecht. To make the tampon between the defence and the attack, the revelation player of the team, Demol, a very young player but already very precious in his role defensively, and also efficient at the start of the counter-attacks. So an impressive midfield at first sight, but wich was not that easy to set up.
No Vandenbergh in attack, him who had scored against Argentina in 1982 (1-0) but Veyt of Waregem and Claesen of Standard.
The first and last Belgian team to have reached the Semi-finals of a World Cup.

A team that was maybe a bit more expected than Belgium was Denmark, author of an excellent Euro in France. They did not get the easiest group however.

Denmark 1986
They exploded everything  (Scotland, 1-0, Uruguay 6-1 and West Germany 2-0) before being exploded by Spain in the Round of 16 (1-5) . On this occasion, Laudrup confirmed his grand talent... but also his inconsistency.

Spain :

Spain 1986
As they played against Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Chendo played here his single match, that was instead of Goikoetxea. La Selección played also here in a new system for them with this 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 (make your choice! Of course I have not make one myself so the presence of the laterals in an intermediate zone) instead of their usual flat 4-4-2 wich was like follows :

Spain 1986 (4-4-2 before the Q-f's)
First thing, Tomas and Reñones, it is the same player : Tomas Reñones (of Atl. Madrid). Then we can see that in this 4-4-2, Camacho was the left back. Also that Michel was the right attacking midfielder but him and Victor often switched positions (Victor was more defensive however), before the Madridista found a central place in the 5-3-2. Out of his ability to cross the ball he had also a powerful shoot, and could conduct well the plays from the centre too. Back to this pre-Belgium 4-4-2, we can find Francisco in it, the playmaker of Sevilla who mostly played at the groups stage, and Julio Alberto who played on the left flank - Caldéré taking the centre in that case even if here again, like Michel and Victor, Julio Alberto and Caldéré could switch positions into that flat 4-4-2). J.Alberto played here in the position known to be held by Gordillo since years but who was here unfit and only appeared on the pitch once, against Northern Ireland. Before this tournament, J.Alberto was more used on the right flank.
A last point, Butragueño and Salinas swapped sides a lot at the front of the attack. It is almost impossible to choose one side by default for each of them even if we can tend to think that the player of Real was more left side of the attack and the player of Bilbao (then Barcelona) more right side. Also, Butragueño is supposed to be and certainly is more the forward who turns around the other, but that could be otherwise as well. Quite often. And then, Butragueño has the best stats. But we know into wich game he made it. So it was Denmark. Like the Danish Dynamite, La Furia Roja was finally disappointing. There was big expectations on them as for the previous World Cups (even more) and if the result was not as catastrophic as in 1982, in their own country, that was still far of  the image that this team still projected. Into the imaginations more than anything else maybe.

The first victim of that astounding Belgian team in the knockout-stages was the Soviet Union. Coached by Lobanovsky, this team was made of a majority of Dynamo Kiev's players.

Soviet Union 1986
As they played against Belgium with Bal as the right-back. Blokhin was still part of this squad and like Rodionov, he could enter in attack. Protasov played the last groups stage game against Canada. Litovchenko (Dynamo Kiev) completed ideally this squad with his polyvalence and quality. However, he only played one game, against Canada too (Yevtuchenko being more used than him finally).
The midfielders were multi-functional in the sense that all could defend and attack as well (the Belarussian Aleinikov and the Ukrainians Yakovenko, Yaremchuk, Demyanenko). On the left, Rats could attack as well as Demyanenko, maybe the first one even did it a bit more than his teammate and they compensated well when one of them two was going forward. A very coherent team.
Bal, Bessonov, Demyanenko, Rats, Yaremchuk, Yakovenko, Zavarov, Belanov were all Dynamo Kiev players just as well as Blokhin, Chanov (gk), Yevtuchenko from the bench. On the bench, still from Dynamo Kiev, Lobanovsky who had the two jobs of coach of both Dynamo and of the Soviet team.

And to have all the quarter-finalist (what Soviet Union and Denmark were not), it only lacked two teams. First, England :

England 1986
It is the lineup that played against Argentina and also the default formation, the best 11 possible at the moment of the tourney since Robson was unfit or that Wilkins lost his place at midfield too after being red-carded against Morocco. So Hodge and Reid won their place at the occasion of the last groups stage's match against Poland (3-0).
In the offensive compartiment, Steven was finally preferred to Waddle so it was the choice of a right-midfielder over one more winger type of player who was more at his ease in attack than at midfield - it has been proven.
Hateley started alongside Lineker at the groups stage until Beardsley was chosen over him since the game against Poland - for the result that we know and a hat-trick by Lineker - and then for the knockout games.
Side-note : in defence, Alvin Martin replaced Terry Fenwick once due to the latter was suspended. That was against Paraguay in the round of 16.
A quite good team. Hoddle? He was good. At times. Rarely. That said, this Cup has been presented  here as the tournament for the providential man or men and, Lineker certainly has been the one for England. Without forgetting the input of Beardsley at one point, to some extent.

And... Mexico.

Mexico 1986
The hosts. Some interesting players for an average team. Well helped by the refereeing and first of all by a good draw at the first round stage (Paraguay, Belgium, Iraq).
So it is a condensate of the 11 that had been deployed. Flores quite quickly lost his place for España who played almost all the games by the way. But that was to have the initial 4-4-2 formation that had been used in the groups phase.
In the Round of 16 they have eliminated a tired Bulgarian team that qualified from a group with Argentina, Italy and South Korea into wich very bitter matches had been disputed. Since this stage of the competition, Mexico adopted a way more conservative formation than his previous 4-4-2 with two spearhead plus Negrete as the free electron placed behind them with first, a 4-4-2 with Negrete just behind Sanchez against the Bulgarian and then what was not far to be a 4-5-1 against West Germany since Negrete, always him, was way more dropping back at midfield. In fact, he was even forced to strictly play as a midfielder in this match, demanded to make the number at the heart of the game where the Germans were systematically superior in number. Then, if in possession of the ball, he was unable to pass the opponent's first riddle.
Certainly one the poorest match of the tournament. Wich ended in a 0-0 and wich has seen the German qualified after a penalty shootout. Amador had played on the left, and Servin on the right in this match.
Some interesting players...like most of all Negrete and his fantastic goal against Bulgaria. In the play, Sanchez was far to be the star of his team wich could count on some good midfielders nonetheless. Hopefully. And once again, only Negrete made the show from this 11, at times, with as his top action, this goal against Bulgaria. That's how Mexico's presence into that Cup would be remembered and still is today.

Paraguay had some interesting players and a really good team too.

Paraguay 1986
It is rare they do only figuration when they take part into the World event and here they have reached the Round of 16. Eliminated by England. 3-0 that said. But still. A very interesting offensive sector with Legends such as Cabañas and Romero (or "Romerito", former Cosmos player and at Fluminense since 1983). Cañete too. That was playing football. And that tremendous goalkeeper too, Roberto Fernandez. A 11 wich is the deserving successor of the 1958 team and that makes the link between those very ancient times and the generation 98-2000s in Paraguayan Football History.

Last and not least, the National Team of Morocco.

Morocco 1986
The very first African team to go through the first round of a World Cup (First of Group A ahead of England, Poland and Portugal). And that don't ruin anything, a team made to play football. With his remarkable number 10 Timoumi who, despite a severe injury one year before still shown great things on the pitch on the occasion of this World Cup. A "quite deep-lying attacking midfielder" inserted in a very offensive 4-4-2 wich was not organized in cross as often seen for the other teams, nor in a  flat alignment, but more like a 4-2-4 with real attackers on each of the two sides. Next to Timoumi, Dolmy "Le Maestro", elder of the group. A complete midfielder, combative and technical that the English should remember. In attack, the artists Bouderbala - very technical but unfortunately fragile - and the very fast El Haddaoui. The revelation Khairi and the Merry brothers Mustapha and Krimau the most experienced to European football who reached the UEFA Cup Final in 1978 with Bastia.
An offensive team, that finally scored only against Portugal (3-1) not helped by their opponents to produce more. At least they did not concede goals (0-0 with Poland and England), the sign that they could count on a solid defense as well. They did. With Zaki in the woods, an outstanding goalkeeper who continued his career in Spain after the World Cup or El Biaz his libero and Lamriss, the left back who did not hesitate to attack too. The gossips could tell that this Poland was not anymore the Poland of 1971-1982, that England was already qualified and that Portugal knew internal tensions and that would not be false. Also that the Germans were on autopilot in the Round of 16 so that short loss 1-0 (Matthaüs). Maybe this is also true. However, that team was a good representative of what African football is when it is well played and their performance remains historical.

Other teams involved into the competiton were :

Italy : the World title owner. "Old" or "past-it" to make it short. One satisfaction : Altobelli. Round of 16, eliminated by Platini's France.

Algeria : has not made as well as in 1982 : 1-1 with Northern Ireland, defeated 1-0 by Brazil (it could have make more) then 3-0 by Spain. In the defeat, the phenomenon of clans reappeared (between Algerians of Algeria and Algerians of France, sometimes called simply "French").

Portugal : Portuguese players were more concentrated on an issue with primes than on the matches to play.

South-Korea : played "physical". Managed to win one point against Bulgaria. Scored four times too.

Bulgaria : in a group A composed of the World Champion in title Italy and future Champion Argentina they opted for the defence above all. And drew twice, with Italy then South Korea before loosing to Argentina in the last match of Group. A tough Group, this Group A. Then eliminated by the hosts Mexico in the Round of 16. Extenuating circumstances are there if one wants but that team disappointed into what she has proposed.

Iraq : displayed good things. Far too be ridiculous. A real footballing Nation.

Hungary : the last Hungarian team in a major tournament, the end of a story. An end that had begun maybe since one decade or more. A very weak team so we can ask how they manged to qualify. They finished first of their group in Zone Europe ahead of the Netherlands (who would be eliminated by Belgium in the "Play-offs"). They shown nothing good in Mexico (excepted in their match against Canada).

Poland : that is the last good Polish team in an international football tournament up to date. With as noteworthy players, Smolarek in attack and still... and Boniek who was the leader of this team but could not do miracles despite all his efforts. Sad for this player who was still at the level.

Northern Ireland : has not made the same performance as in '82. It was over of their hopes in the last match of groups against Brazil (0-3).

Scotland had some celebrities in its team but did not show anything good. Like...

...Uruguay, with only Francescoli that could be qualified with the term 'footballer' in the team. Very contrasting with his teammates.
Scotland-Uruguay was terrible.

Canada : has been beaten thrice : 1-0 by France then 2-0 by Hungary and finally 2-0 again by USSR. A good surprise in the end as they were not ridiculous at all, did their best. They did not manage to score a single goal what would have been a good recompense above of this participation to the World tournament wich remains unique in the history of this team until now.

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