Monday, September 6, 2010

Nobodies win nothing. The common sense wisdom is supported by plenty of evidence. Celebrating evidence, then… with what? Nobodies are notoriously hard to find: at least pictorial evidence of them, just because they are… nobodies. Meet CS Fola from Luxembourg:
Founded in 1906, CS Fola is the oldest football club in Luxembourg. At first they were mildly successful, winning 5 national titles (1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1930) and three Cups (1923, 1924, and 1955). After 1955 – nothing, and although they normally play in the First Division, even at their home town – Esch-sur-Alzette – they are dwarfed by much better rivals – Jeunesse. It is a sheer miracle CS Fola exists today, but they do – and stubbornly rejected merger with Jeunesse during the 1990s. The minions of minions… the smaller club in a tiny town of diminutive country. On European scene they appeared only once – after losing the Luxembourg Cup final, CS Fola secured a place in the Cup Winners Cup. Their participation was short and, so far, unrepeated.
Top, left to right: two administrators, Ronkoni, Smolarski, Wagner, Tonner, Heger, Ferrero (France), Hopp – masseur, Schaak – the coach in 1972-73, already gone by the fall of 1973.
Bottom: Hummer, Fiorese, Jubert, Reiter, Melde, Stephan, Wairich.
Well, I am not certain of the spelling of the names… and I am not certain what exactly they were: a club like that in the darkest zone – amateurs? Semi-professionals? These are not players who go to big clubs and fame, yet, there is a foreigner among them – the French player Ferrero. So, they appear to be a mixed squad – just like the big clubs… local and imported stars. The ‘stars’ were well aware of their strength: drawing the Bulgarian Beroe in the first round of the Cup Winners Cup, they proposed to play both legs in Stara Zagora, Beroe’s home town, to save money. Naturally, they lost – collecting 11 goals in their net, but they scored once and this goal is their meager European achievement. That huge was the division in European football back then: Beroe were insignificant club in the European pyramid, even in Bulgaria, yet, they were parsecs above the universe occupied by CS Fola. Nobodies making no news and quickly sifted out in the preliminary round of any European competition. At least a glimpse of them remains, for the most of their kind leave no picture of themselves.