No mystery in Europe – Franz Beckenbauer was voted the Player of the Year.
The great rivalry Cruiff or Beckenbauer was established… well, who was best? The attacker or the defenseman? It is futile… but really: Ajax won every possible cup in 1972. West Germany won the European title without any Dutch seen around. Club football or national teams competitions? And what is this attack versus defense? Neither Cruiff was traditional attacker, nor Beckenbauer traditional defenseman. However unjust, the choice was just – Beckenbauer was on the top world scene since 1966. Cruiff – only a club star so far. Beckenbauer was great in 1972. Was he the greatest? Who cares… voting is never truly objective. Nothing is ever really objective. Impasse. And somehow it is clear why Beckenbauer was number one in 1972.