1960 team of the tournament
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Ballon d'Or winners Lev Yashin and Josef Masopust were included as the three Communist contenders, having dominated the 1960 finals, monopolised the select XI.
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GK: Lev Yashin (USSR)
One of the best goalkeepers the game has ever seen and the only custodian to win the Ballon d'Or. Yashin claimed that trophy in 1963 after winning a sixth Soviet League title with his one and only club, FC Dinamo Moskva. Always dressed in black, he was imposing and extraordinarily agile. The UEFA European Championship contributed considerably to his legend and he was in especially brilliant form against Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia as the USSR won the inaugural title in 1960. He was greatly mourned, both inside and outside Russia, when he died in 1990.
DF: Vladimir Djurković (Yugoslavia)
Djurković excelled as a 22-year-old at the first UEFA European Championship, offering defensive solidity and attacking penetration at right-back. Although Yugoslavia missed out in France, he won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics that September. Djurković played with FK Crvena zvezda before making a name for himself with AS Saint-Étienne, winning three French League titles and the Coupe de France twice. He died tragically when mistakenly shot by a policeman in Sion, Switzerland in June 1972 at the age of 36.
DF: Ladislav Novák (Czechoslovakia)
The captain of Czechoslovakia in 71 of the 75 internationals he played, Novák was the leader of the talented team that finished third at the 1960 UEFA European Championship and runners-up at the 1962 FIFA World Cup. Especially strong in the air, he was a commanding presence on the domestic scene, too, winning eight Czechoslovakian titles with FK Dukla Praha. He claimed the title with Dukla as a coach in 1982 and took charge of a number of Belgian clubs during the 1970s and 1980s as well as the Czech national team.
MF: Igor Netto (USSR)
Netto (pictured left) led his country to glory at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and the inaugural UEFA European Championship in France. An inspirational leader and exceptional footballer, he is probably best remembered for an extraordinary act of sportsmanship at the 1962 FIFA World Cup when he told the referee to disallow a goal against Uruguay in the group stage as the ball had entered the net from the wrong side. Netto's devotion to FC Spartak Moskva brought him five USSR championships and three domestic cups. He died in March 1999.
MF: Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia)
The first player from the former Communist Bloc to win the Ballon d'Or, in 1962, Masopust was a midfield general of the highest order. The 1962 FIFA World Cup was his finest hour as he masterminded the team's run to the final against holders Brazil, where he opened the scoring only to end up on the losing side after a 3-1 defeat. He managed ten goals in 63 caps for his country, despite often having to curb his attacking instinct. A serial champion with Dukla Praha, Masopust later coached the club and also took charge of the national team during the mid-1980s.
MF: Valentin Ivanov (USSR)
A loyal servant to FC Torpedo Moskva, Ivanov twice won the Soviet title but was probably more famous for his international exploits. He scored 26 goals in 59 appearances for the USSR, including four at the 1962 World Cup in Chile where he was the joint-leading scorer. He won the inaugural UEFA European Championship in 1960, scoring twice in the 3-0 semi-final defeat of Czechoslovakia, and was again on form four years later as the USSR reached another final. He coached Torpedo four times, winning one league title and two domestic cups. He died in November 2011.
FW: Slava Metreveli (USSR)
A pacy right-winger, Metreveli (pictured right) made his mark on the 1960 UEFA European Championship – and Soviet Union football history – by scoring the equaliser in the final against Yugoslavia. It was his fourth goal in an international career that would last for another decade, earning him trips to the 1962, 1966 and 1970 FIFA World Cups. The Georgian played for FC Torpedo Moskva from 1956 to 1962, winning two championships and one USSR Cup, before going home to join FC Dinamo Tbilisi. He died in January 1998.
FW: Milan Galić (Yugoslavia)
With 37 goals in 51 internationals for Yugoslavia, Galić stands second in the country's all-time goalscoring charts, just one behind 1950s icon Stjepan Bobek. Both were star strikers for FK Partizan, with Galić playing for the club in the 1966 UEFA European Champion Clubs' Cup final, but it was in the blue, white and red of Yugoslavia that they established worldwide reputations. Galić was on target in every round of the 1960 UEFA European Championship and repeated the trick in winning a gold medal at the Rome Olympics.
FW: Viktor Ponedelnik (USSR)
The first player to be called up to the Soviet Union national team while playing for a second division club (FC SKA Rostov-on-Don), Ponedelnik justified the selection by hitting a hat-trick on his debut in a 7-1 win against Poland in May 1960. A few weeks later he became the toast of the Soviet Union as he headed in the extra-time winning goal in the UEFA European Championship final. Ponedelnik (which translates as Sunday) amassed a total of 20 goals in his 29 international appearances before being forced into premature retirement at 29.
FW: Dragoslav Šekularac (Yugoslavia)
A maverick inside-forward whose showman skills made him a celebrity footballer in Yugoslavia during the 1950s and 1960s, Šekularac spent the bulk of his career with Belgrade giants FK Crvena zvezda (he is one of five individuals in their hall of fame) before exporting his talents to West Germany and Colombia. A debutant at 18, the 1960 UEFA European Championship proved to be a particular highlight though he was also present at the FIFA World Cups of 1958 and 1962. His popularity was such that he starred in a 1962 full-length movie, Šeki snima, pazi se.
FW: Borivoje Kostić (Yugoslavia)
Kostić did not get his name on the scoresheet at the 1960 UEFA European Championship final tournament but the predatory striker was responsible for getting Yugoslavia to France with three of their six goals in the quarter-final tie against Portugal. He further enhanced his reputation with seven goals in five games at the Rome Olympics later that year, including one in the final against Denmark. He was no less prolific with FK Crvena zvezda, for whom he remains the all-time leading marksman with 158 league strikes.