1958 World Cup Best IX (by Dr. Friedebert Becker, 1958)

Discussion in 'Soccer History' started by Gregoriak, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    These are the Best XIs Dr. Friedebert Becker selected two weeks after the 1958 World Cup final:


    TEAM A

    -----------11-Lennart SKOGLUND-----9-VAVÁ-----7-Helmut RAHN

    ------------------------------10-PELÈ ----8-Just FONTAINE

    ---------------------6-Horst SZYMANIAK---4-Yuri VOINOV

    ----------3-Erich JUSKOWIAK----5-Bengt GUSTAVSSON----2-Djalma SANTOS

    ------------------------------------1-Harry GREGG




    TEAM B

    -----------11-Peter McPARLAND-----9-Agne SIMONSSON-----7-GARRINCHA

    ------------------------10-Gunnar GREN -----------8-DIDI

    ------------------------6-Dave BOWEN----4-Danny BLANCHFLOWER

    ------------3-Nilton SANTOS-------5-Branko ZEBEC------2-Ovar BERGMARK

    ------------------------------------1-Lev YASHIN




    TEAM C

    -----------11-Jean VINCENT-----9-Raymond KOPA-----7-Kurt HAMRIN

    -------------------10-Roger PIANTONI ------8-Fritz WALTER

    ---------------------6-Jean-Jacques MARCEL---4-Dobrosav KRSTIC

    ----------3-Alf McMICHAEL-----5-Herbert ERHARDT------2-Georg STOLLENWERK

    -----------------------------------1-Jack KELSEY




    TEAM D

    -----------11-Florencio AMARILLA-----9-MAZOLA-----7-Omar CORBATTA

    -------------------10-Dragoslav SEKULARAC ------8-Pavol MOLNAR

    ---------------------6-Josef MASOPUST---4-Armand PENVERNE

    ----------3-Mel HOPKINS-----5-Hideraldo BELLINI------2-Juan LOMBARDO

    -------------------------------1-Colin McDONALD


    Dr. Becker noted that not single game performances were decisive, but the overall performances over the course of the tournament, with one notable exception: Djalma Santos, who only played in the final, but left such a good impression.

    I wrote down some of the things Dr. Becker said about the selected players:

    Yashin: inventive, original, modern, intuitively, fantastically multi-sided, "gorilla catch"
    The British goalkeepers: commanding, thoroughly clinical
    Gustavsson: weak in the final, but on average the best stopper of the tournament
    Bellini: always an intelligent analyst, but not as outstanding as Gustavsson or Erhardt
    The outside rights: Corbatta had even more tricks than Garrincha but Rahn bettered both in terms of scoring and his mutli-faceted dribbling
    Kopa: could just as well be declared a withdrawn linkman as Fontaine could be declared a center forward


  2. babaorum

    babaorum Member

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    He ranked Kopa very low whereas at that time he was considered by some as the most consistent player of the tournament.
  3. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member

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    Good stuff, thx.

    Didi not in the Team A?
    I'm surprised.
  4. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

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    I'm surprised too, that Djalma Santos was pick to Team-A since De Sordi was the brazilian starter, also that Didi and Kopa wasn't there.

    But, interesting post.

    PS. Who's Dr. Friedebert Becker??


  5. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Dr. Friedebert Becker was the editor of "Kicker" magazine. He was the person who coined the term "WM" in the early 1930s. He was a noted chronicler of football between the 1920s and the 1980s and witnessed all World Cups between 1934 and 1982.

    You can read an article by him about the "Enigma of Systems" which he wrote in celebration of 100 years of soccer tactis in 1977:

    http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/the-enigma-of-systems.908356/
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  6. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

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    Wow!!
    As we said in spanish "palabra mayor" among world soccer's lovers.
    Great info as ever.
  7. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    First it's very good to see other's opinion over history ... (thanks GReg)

    However, Iam not overly impressed with his selection at all (in teamA_)

    1- IN attack:
    Lennart SKOGLUND was NOT a pure striker (should be Fontaine) and he should NOT be slected at all (1single goal asw striker in that era was totally unimpressive_) admittedly he was a very fine forward in skills - 1 WRONG

    J,Fontaine should be the first striker even before Vava (who could play next or slightly behind with Pele ) 2 WRONG

    2- Midfield:
    Both Horst SZYMANIAK and Yuri VOINOV could NEVER replace the star of that tournament in DIDI - 3 WRONG

    3- Defense:
    While he selected D.Santos (1 great final game) there on the right (as no competitor, Nilton Santos should be the first choice of left back ! - 4 WRONG
  8. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    James how many games of the 1958 WC did you watch?
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  9. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member

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    This. :D
  10. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    I have some old video collection from quarter to final. Group stage I only got games for Brazil.

    Should I go back (to my garage to dig them out) and re-watch them? If that's what you meant!
  11. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    I mean that given the lack of footage that exists of 1958, it is difficult to describe as wrong someone who almost certainly saw a huge amount more than yourself.
  12. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    When I found this I figured it might be a tiny bit controversial. Rahn over Garrincha, Szymaniak over Didi, Juskowiak over Nilton Santos. It does taste a bit like he was favoring German players a little bit there. This might be explained considering that there was no team he was exposed to as much as Germany during that 1958 World Cup, as covering them was his primary task as a German journalist. It was impossible at that time to watch every game played at a World Cup - like it is possible today with recordings available for every game - hence his observations certainly did not cover the whole tournament.

    However, as Comme rightly implied, he certainly saw much more games of that tournament than anyone of us will ever be able to, hence his observations in any case exert more authority than any of our hindsight knowledge does.

    It should be noted that Dr. Becker did not intend his team selections to be set in stone, which he made clear in his foreword, where talked of the whole thing being a "spielerei". The English translator gives the following words for "Spielerei": Baublery, Gimmick, Shenanigan, Fooling. You see he wasn't too earnest about it.
  13. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    Ok, my bad ... as I overlooked that (bold) statement ! SO it's very fair and it's a good reference (only) since like Comme said there was lacking footage of the games many years later. Those names (in his selection) deserved also a mention besides the other "bigger names" i.e. Garrincha, Didi ... for such event.

    However, as "rule of thumb" you don;t quite often hear the names " Rahn" but instead Garrincha. Same with Didi, Nitlon Santos over Szymaniak, Juskowiak when talking about that WC58.

    Another reference is from FIFA worldcup all stars team (were added 1999, right before the 20th century end) in which list is more 'suitable" and "justifiable".
  14. RoyOfTheRovers

    RoyOfTheRovers Member

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    [Dr. Becker was an EXTREMELY knowledgeable football journalist & editor. Those four all-tournament XIs are pretty accurate w/everything that I've ever heard about the '58 WC. Of course, anyone can always argue about a player being moved from the B XI to the A XI and so forth.]
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  15. RoyOfTheRovers

    RoyOfTheRovers Member

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    Even though I was just "talking up" Dr. Becker, two glaring omissions (IMO) are Mel Charles of Wales & Billy Wright of England, which Brian Glanville brings up in this article:


    http://hindu.com/tss/tss2603/stories/20030118006710700.htm


    This article is also a pretty good reflection on Wright's career, even though some of Glanville's conclusions, such as how Wright approached the wing-half position, seem to be a little wobbly IMHO.
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  16. dor02

    dor02 Member

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    I'm surprised that Mazzola aka Jose Altafini made Team D! He probably shouldn't have made any team.
  17. Gregoire

    Gregoire Member

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    Kopa is too low.
  18. RoyOfTheRovers

    RoyOfTheRovers Member

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  19. yoni

    yoni New Member

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    Hi,

    My eleven are ( no in order):

    Pele - Didi - Nilton Santos - Gilmar ( goalkeeper ) - Bellini - Kurt Hamrin - Agne Simonsson
    Just Fontaine - Raymond Kopa - Helmut Rahn - Hans Schäfer & Peter McParland.

    Regards,

    Yoni
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  20. Krokko

    Krokko Member

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    Exactly: Hamrin MUST be in a selection like this one. He was far better than "Nacka" Skoglund in this WC (at least according to contemporary Swedish press). And he also happened to score a goal like this one:
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  21. dor02

    dor02 Member

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    This was a great goal. Too bad people overrate Pele's first goal from the Final. This goal was just as good, if not better.
  22. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member

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    I have to agree. When I saw the game for the first time it hit me by surprise that a goal like that is scored in a WC final and hardly ever gets mentioned.
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  23. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    because he is NOT Pele .. and Pele meant ... G.O.D

    J/k ... but becuase Pele had proven great since his first WC58 at only 17yrs old ...
    Whatever the "first time" would always be"special" ... YET .. years gone by not many players could have repeated Pele's goals anyway ... (remember the goal he filpped over 3 DF head, and also the GK before scoring vs Juventude (Brazil) ? That's classic and hilarous humourous .... and circus like
  24. dor02

    dor02 Member

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    As good as Pele's first goal was in the Final, his goal against Wales was very good too. The way he spun past the Welsh defence was amazing.
  25. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

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    indeed ...
    Look at last WC10 and Euro2012, Van Persie, Torres and Robben missed dearly with some clear chances and people were so "AMAZED" with Ballotelli 's long shot - in fact that shot was enough to put his name in this year ballon D'or contender!!!

    Shamefully if we put that goal compared to any of Pele's goals at WC58 and being a 17yrs old boy

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