Saturday, November 21, 2009

After mentioning the Soviet youngsters, to speak of new talent would be redundand. Perhaps, but not surely. Deep down the British football one Bobby Lenarduzzi played.
Reading played in Forth Division, far away from glory. Far away from success even on this level… and the young Canadian played with blue and white hoops. Unlike his older brother, Bobby was born not in Italy, but in Canada, which probably made his inclusion in the British club easier. But he was foreigner and foreigners were not exactly highly valued in England – 4th Division… may be. As for Bobby, he hardly saw himself a professional soccer player in North America at the time and went right to the source instead. He did not last in England, but eventually became a legend, at least in Canada, and the only player of this Reading team to play at World Cup finals. Hard to imagine in 1972 for the all-knowing British experts. Oh, well, Lenarduzzi had to wait until 1986 for the World Cup and playing for Canada was not precisely shattering news. Lenarduzzi may be nobody for the large football world, but his contribution to the North American football – continuing today on journalistic and administrative level – is undeniable.
Much more important player debuted in 1971-72 season:
Kevin Keegin as a young broom – Liverpool acquired him from Scunthorpe United for 35 000 pounds. Bill Shankly was skeptical… soon he was no longer skeptical: Keegan developed into one of the biggest stars of the 1970s.