Monday, April 19, 2010

But nothing remains empty in football – new players always replace the old. A giant stepped retired, new unknowns disgrace the holly grass… Jean-Marie Pfaff debuted in 1973. Nothing fancy and nothing memorable – Beveren, a rather run of the mill Belgian club, sported new goalie. Small clubs, being small, may take greater risks and field suspect youngster in the futile hope of major turn of luck. Alas, nothing doing… neither Beveren, nor Pfaff attracted attention.

Pfaff debuted for the Belgian national team in 1976, but in general he was under the radar in the 1970s – he was recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in the world during the 1980s. Little we knew in 1973… well, little we know about the future anyway. For Jean-Marie it turned out to be great future. He was going up.