Victorious Czechoslovakia featured prominently in the 1976 XI, with Ivo Viktor, Ján Pivarnik and Antonín Panenka among six representatives.
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Ivo Viktor (Czechoslovakia)
The 34-year-old enjoyed the best week of his career when it mattered most. His performances against the Netherlands and even more so West Germany were the stuff of legend. After several telling saves, some bordering on the miraculous, he was voted into third place in the 1976 Ballon d'Or. Five times the Czechoslovakian Footballer of the Year, the Dukla Praha No1 ended his career in 1977 with 63 caps.
Ján Pivarník (Czechoslovakia)
Pivarník went into the tournament buoyed by success with Slovan Bratislava but recovering from a knee operation. Yet the 1974 Czechoslovakian Player of the Year showed courage and determination in his side's victory. He never did reclaim the captaincy that was his before his operation, but glory in Belgrade made up for his lost armband and the frustrations of the 1970 FIFA World Cup, when he travelled to Mexico but did not play. Became a coach, mostly in the Middle East.
Ruud Krol (Netherlands)
One of the central figures in the emergence of Dutch 'total football' during the 1970s, Krol was a classy, authoritative defender. Came to prominence with Ajax, winning back-to-back European Champion Clubs' Cups, but it was here and at the 1974 World Cup where he really made his name. Went on to captain his country to another World Cup final, in 1978, and accumulated a then national record 83 caps. Coaching career took him around the world.
Anton Ondruš (Czechoslovakia)
Captain of Czechoslovakia's triumphant side, Ondruš led by example in Yugoslavia. Superb against the Netherlands and West Germany, the tall, tough centre-back was dominant in the air. Scored the opener against the Dutch, a towering header, and buried the third successful penalty in the shoot-out victory over West Germany in the final. He eventually bowed out with 58 caps.
Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
One of the all-time greats, Beckenbauer confirmed his international class as West Germany captain in 1972 and two years later when they won the World Cup on home soil. Led hometown club Bayern to a hat-trick of victories in the European Champion Clubs' Cup (1974–76) and was twice European Footballer of the Year, in 1972 and 1976. The final here was his 100th international appearance. Prospered as West Germany coach too, winning the 1990 World Cup.
Rainer Bonhof (West Germany)
Bonhof was instrumental as West Germany came from two goals down in the semi-finals and final, the Mönchengladbach midfielder providing two assists in the showpiece. The youngest member of the 1974 World Cup-winning team ended his international career in 1981 with 53 caps and nine goals. Honours included four German titles, two German Cups, the UEFA Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Jaroslav Pollák (Czechoslovakia)
Though dismissed in the semi-final, he had dominated the game and destabilised the Netherlands with his ceaseless industry and clever link-up play. Czechoslovakia won the trophy without him but there were many who regretted that Pollák, who won 49 caps and also starred in qualifiers against England and the USSR, was unable to make a greater contribution.
Antonín Panenka (Czechoslovakia)
The standout moment of Panenka's long career came in Belgrade on 20 June 1976 when he scored the winning spot kick against West Germany in the final shoot-out. The midfielder’s audacious chipped penalty past the diving Sepp Maier into the centre of the goal would forever bear his name. The Bohemians Praha playmaker featured at the 1980 finals and the 1982 World Cup and also helped Rapid Wien to the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup final.
Dragan Džajić (Yugoslavia)
A dazzling dribbler, Džajić was named his nation's Golden Player to mark UEFA's Golden Jubilee in 2004. Won more caps for Yugoslavia than any other player – 85 from 1964–79 – and saved his best for 1968, scoring the late winner in the semi-final and opening the scoring in the final. Džajić's attachment to Crvena zvezda, for whom he scored 287 goals in 590 games, extended to multiple spells as club president.
Zdeněk Nehoda (Czechoslovakia)
A fabulously unpredictable all-round centre-forward, Nehoda played a then record 90 times for Czechoslovakia, scoring 31 goals. Strong in the air and gifted on the ground, the Dukla Praha striker was an upcoming star in 1976, where he headed the winning goal in the semis against the Netherlands. Scored twice at the 1980 finals and played in his only World Cup in Spain two years later.
Dieter Müller (West Germany)
Müller's international debut was truly remarkable. Came on in the 79th minute of the 1976 semi-final against Yugoslavia with West Germany 2-1 down – within three minutes he had headed them level and the Köln striker then scored twice more in extra time. The 22-year-old struck again in the final to become the tournament leading scorer and went on to top the Bundesliga goal charts for the next two seasons. Also scored twice at the 1978 World Cup.