Words: Jack Morrison
Images: Offside Sports Photgraphy
Dutch clothing bosses Lack of Guidance are back with their latest jersey. A long-sleeve white tee with a graphic print based on the logo from the 1974 World Cup. Unsurprisingly, it’s really good. You'll have to wait until this Thursday to see it, though. They're odd like that.
In the meantime, here's some other bits about the '74 World Cup.
Qualifying for their first and last World Cup, Zaire’s second match 9–0 loss against Yugoslavia was also the second biggest World Cup defeat in history. Furious, the Zaire’s President Mobutu sent his guards to threaten the team—informing them that if they lost by four or more goals to Brazil they wouldn’t be allowed back into the country. That threat is the reason that Mwepu Ilunga famously ran and kicked the ball away when Brazil lined up to take a free kick. The defender was buying time, not wanting to concede and face the wrath of his President. Brazil did score another to make it 3–0, but luckily there would be no fourth. The team were allowed to return home. Ilunga later claimed it was an intentional act of protest because the squad didn’t get paid for qualifying.
2) NEW TROPHY
England’s Jules Rimet may still be gleaming, but 1970 would be the last time it was presented to the winners of the competition after Brazil, having won the iconic chalice for a third time, exercised the right to keep it, leading to ’74 marking the debut of the gold and green and curves of the current iteration.
3) CRUYFF TURN
You’ve tried it in the back garden, in the playground, on the pitch. You’ve made a fool of yourself in your bedroom. You’ve tripped over a Coke can and steadied yourself on a bin in front of a bus stop. You’ve lost the ball doing it on a Sunday morning, and they’ve gone down the other end and scored straight away.
Cruyff did it first, here, and nothing’s been the same since.
4) THREE STRIPES
’74 was the first tournament where manufacturers featured prominently on the shirts. From no sponsors at Mexico ‘70, four years later ten of the teams sported the three adidas stripes, two wore the Umbro diamond, and four kept it old-school and remained unbranded.
Of course, though, there was the Johan Cruyff situation. Because of a brand endorsement with Puma, he flatly refused to wear the three stripes, with the Dutch football association eventually bowing to his demands and making him a custom two-striped one resembling a proper gnarly fake from the market in town.
5) TOTAL FOOTBALL
TOTAL FOOTBALL CHANGED EVERYTHING. LOOK. AT. HOW. THE. NETHERLANDS. MOVED. A. FOOTBALL. AROUND. A. FOOTBALL. PITCH.
6) EAST MEETS WEST
The Cold War made its way on the pitch for the first time as East faced West in a group game, the only time the two sides met on senior national team level, with the erstwhile GDR beating their neighbours 1–0. Although the West went on to win the competition, with the East finishing sixth, subsequent requests from the World Champions for a rematch were frequently declined. This was despite strong interest from East German players, coaches, and fans. A German reunification special match between the two former countries was planned for 21 November 1990 in Leipzig but was cancelled after the fatal shooting of a supporter by the police at a game between FC Sachsen Leipzig and FC Berlin FC Sachsen Leipzig earlier that month.
The ‘74 World Cup was a cult classic of the genre.