Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another significant moment of 1977 – the Golden Shoe award. Already familiar name became the top goal-scorer of the continent:

Dudu Georgescu – the Romanian deadly striker scored a new record 47 goals for Dynamo (Bucharest). Astonishing number – 47 goals in 34 championship matches. There was no fuss about his gials – they appeared legit, for Georgescu constantly scored a lot and already won the Golden Shoe in 1975. Persistent doubts existed only about the nature of classification – it was clear that a championship of 12 clubs was not able to compete with championship of 20 clubs: less games – less opportunities for goals. It was also clear that deadly defenses in Italy made impossible for an Italian striker to win the Golden Shoe. Low scoring championships, like the Soviet one, were out of the race too. And highly competitive, tough championships, like the English and the Spanish were out of the race. The Golden Shoe, based on just total number of goals, seemingly benefited middle-of-the-road championships, with few dominant club in a generally weak league. Like the Romanian league – the best players were concentrated in Steaua and Dynamo, thus Georgescu had great advantage to be helped by the most talented in the country, having weak opposition in the same time. It was one thing to score, say, Arsenal (London), and entirely another and much easier to score against Bihor (Oradea). But this was the general problem of the award. Georgescu was just a great goal-scorer, a rare talent, no matter the relative strength or weakness of the local championship.

Georgescu was not very fast and probably did not excel in any particular aspect, if measured that way, by Gerd Muller was probably more 'limited', when compartmentalized and scrutinized. Georgescu excelled in the air, though. His headers were great and he scored many goals 'English fashion'. Fans love spectacular headers, of course – Georgescu is fondly remembered as a crowd pleaser. Since he scored regularly and consistently, no doubts were raised, although most certainly he was 'helped' by Romanian officials – 'help' was typical in Communist Eastern Europe. But it was not orchestrated in the last minute, like in the late 1980s – Georgescu scored all the time, and most importantly, he was prolific goal-scorer internationally – playing for the relatively weak Romanian national team of the time, he still scored quite a lot. He was natural goal-scorer, no doubt about it, and in 1977 he set new record. Significant in its own time, but even more from a distance: the record is still unbeaten, and most likely will stay unbeaten for ever. The highest number of goals scored in a single year - 47! Unimaginable in the reality of 21st century.
Dudu Georgescu in more recent time, displaying his two Golden Shoes. Truly great goalscorer by any standard. And also making 1977 the most significant year in the history of the Golden Shoe.