Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Awards completed the year. Just like everything else in 1975, the best individual players were strange. The Golden Boot went to Dudu Georgescu. The Romanian striker of Dinamo Bucharest was barely known around Europe, but this was hardly surprising: since the requirement was simply the most number of goals scored, the Golden Boot was very likely to be won by inferior player from gutter championship. Romanians were not at their best football in mid-70s, but still not terribly bad. Georgescu was rising star, at least locally. He topped Europe with his 33 goals – in the 18-team Romanian league that made almost a goal in every match: 33 goals in 34 games. Actually, very good as far as percentages go.
Dudu Georgescu celebrating yet another goal.
And much more somber Georgescu posing with the Golden Boot and surrounded by worthy company: left to right: Riedl (Royal Antwerpen and Austria, Bronze Boot), Onnis (Monaco and Argentina, Silver Boot), Yazalde (Sporting Lisbon and Argentina, Silver Boot), Vogts (Borussia Moenchengladbach and West Germany, The Best Defenseman of the Year), Georgescu (Dinamo Bucharest and Romania, Golden Boot), Geels (Ajax and Holland, Silver Boot).
Georgescu was not trouble – the numbers were trouble. His 33 goals were the lowest number so far in the history of the Golden Boot. Looked like goals were increasingly difficult to score, which may have been due to tougher defenses (no wonder Bertie Vogts is really at the centre of the picture), or due to decreasing number of great strikers. Three Silver Boots were awarded for three players were tied at 30 goals each, but none played in really big championship. Total football was king and goals were less? Troublesome contradiction. One thing was more or less sure in retrospect: the decline of the Golden Boot and the controversy surrounding the award can started in 1975 – from this year it was clear that great strikers were not to win it, for they played in tough leagues. Anonymous Joes from small leagues were to be best goalscorers of Europe. Dudu Georgescu, to his credit, was not among the small fry – he was born goalscorer and in different times would have fared much better. Unfortunately he played in time when Romania was ‘rebuilding’ and made no impression on international football. And Romania did not export players during Georgescu’s career, so he had no chance for playing in better club and getting true recognition. He continued to score, though.