Tuesday, 17.07.2018

1997/98 CL Group C: Lobanovskiy’s Dynamo trounce van Gaal’s Barcelona

In the span of two weeks, Dynamo Kyiv managed to secure a couple of their most impressive wins in their club history. Through being drawn against FC Barcelona in the Group Stages of the 1997/98 Champions League, some of Europe’s managerial titans were able to square off. Valeriy Lobanovskiy would be matched against Louis van Gaal. In the matches, Dynamo were too much for Barcelona thanks to their well-designed strategy, despite having inferior talent.

How Borussia Dortmund beat a brilliant Juventus side in the 1997 Champions League final

The 1997 Champions League Final pitted Juventus against Borussia Dortmund. The Bianconeri were under the stewardship of the legendary Marcello Lippi. This was in some ways a game of typical of nineties football however there were some impressive modern features from the iconic Italian side. In a guest analysis James Curzon delves into the game’s details.

Team Analysis: Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s USSR

Pressing, Gegenpressing, total football … those are all terms usually associated with the Dutch national team from 1974 or, recently, with Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and Bayern Munich. But, during history, there have been other divisive figures who contributed to modern football. Valeriy Lobanovskyi has long gone underappreciated but he put his mark on the sport, and his USSR team gave a strong contribution to the game.

1992 European Cup final: Barcelona – Sampdoria 1:0

With the sad passing of one of football’s greatest yesterday, I decided to visit footballia and analyse his European Cup win with a great Barcelona side featuring numerous stars such as Guardiola, Laudrup and Koeman – all of whom would progress onto a coaching career. Their opposition was a talented Sampdoria side who, despite struggling domestically, found themselves in the final and challenged Cruyff’s side well with a squad containing Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Vialli.

1998 World Cup final: France – Brazil 3:0

The 1998 World Cup final went down as one of the greatest days in French history as they won their first World Cup over a Brazil side containing legends such as Rivaldo, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and an (famously unwell) Ronaldo. The French team had their own players of similar stature too with the likes of Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram and eventual man-of-the-match Zinadine Zidane.

1995 Champions League final: AFC Ajax – AC Milan 1:0

A final played between two historic clubs in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion (named after the great innovator and coach) in Vienna, Austria. Both Louis Van Gaal and Fabio Capello were young coaches 20 years (!) ago at the time of this final. Neither team had any trouble reaching the final, as Ajax beat Hajduk Split 3-0 and Bayern Munich 5-2 – and AC Milan beat Benifica 2-0 and PSG 3-0 to reach Europe’s biggest stage. Though both teams were dominant on their road to the final, neither team played well enough to create more than a few chances – which resulted in the only goal coming in the 85th minute.