For today’s episode of Greatest Games, in association with The Blizzard, we’re joined by another member of the Football Ramble Daily parish: Andy Brassell! He’s here to discuss the 1971 European Cup final, where Rinus Michels’ imperious Ajax side took on Ferenc Puskás’ Panathinaikos.
Ferenc Puskás’ return to Wembley - eighteen years after his miraculous display in Hungary’s 6-3 hiding of England - was most significant achievement in his coaching career. He led an unfancied but hugely talented Panathinaikos side past Everton and Red Star Belgrade in the latter stages of the competition to the final, against one of the most significant teams in football history. Captained by Velibor Vasović and featuring a Johan Cruyff at the peak of his powers, this era-defining Ajax side went on to enjoy huge success with their Total Football philosophy, and this final may well have been the sliding doors moment at the beginning of it all.
We discuss the match itself, the political landscape surrounding Panathinaikos at the time and this pivotal moment in Dutch football history, which Jonathan sums up via a splendid gardening metaphor!
For more stories from the annals of football history, visit www.theblizzard.co.uk to explore their archives that contain over 700 articles of stories just like this one!
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