THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

European Cup final, Hampden Park

EintrachtvReal15018 May ~ Fifty-six years on from the most famous European Cup final of all time, Eintracht Frankfurt are about to contest a relegation play-off game with Nuremberg to avoid the drop from the Bundesliga. This magnificent, goal-soaked game played out in front of an appreciative Glasgow audience remains the German club's sole appearance at such an event, although they won the UEFA Cup in 1980. Real Madrid, meanwhile, will later this month aim to lift the trophy for the 11th time.

The match programme was very much about Scotland, though, with SFA president Robert Kelly proclaiming that when it comes to football, "in no city will you find such surging enthusiasm and forthright criticism". Pre-match entertainment included various massed bands playing top tartan historical hits such as Because He Was A Bonny Lad and The Kilt Is My Delight. Not to forget a ten-minute display by The Glasgow Keep-Fit Movement.

Between 6.53pm and 6.58pm various former international players were set to demonstrate the Kiki-Football-Training-Method "used by the Union of European Football Associations". A Google search provides no clue as to what this method may have been, and how it could have been showcased in five minutes just prior to "the international 5,000 metres race" (featuring only English and Scotsmen). Still, I'm going to stick my neck on the block and declare that the modern game is crying out for a Kiki Revival and speculate that it should be granted credit for prompting Bradford-born Pauline Matthews to adopt the stage name Kiki Dee in 1963.

Back to President Kelly, who in his pertinent pre-match hype talks of "the knowledge that we shall be regaled by the artistry and genius of the finalists, [who] should make this one of the most memorable matches in the history of the game". Eintracht had put 12 goals past Rangers in the two semi-final games, so Scottish fans – knowing the game had the potential to be a classic – turned out in droves and raved about the game for decades. 

Of Pomp and Prose Little compares to the linguistic acrobatics of yesterday's profile writers. Frankfurt's Walter Eigenbrodt "gave a particularly impressive exposition" against Rangers. Richard Kress is "a gay deceiver". Dieter Lindner is "a weaving, light-footed schemer who carries menace in every thrust". Real's Francisco Gento is "the 26-year-old mesmerist" prone to "jet-actioned raiding". And those who whispered that the 32-year-old Alfredo Di Stéfano "would be compelled to give way to insurgent youth" had, of course, been proven wrong when the Argentinian "disclosed his genius" against Barcelona in the previous round.

Result Real Madrid 7 (Di Stéfano 3, Puskás 4) Eintracht Frankfurt 3 (Kress, Stein 2)
Crowd 135,000
Real Madrid Domínguez, Marquitos, Santamaría, Pachín, Vidal, Zárraga, Canário, Del Sol, Di Stéfano, Puskás, Gento
Eintracht Frankfurt Loy, Lutz, Höfer, Weilbächer, Eigenbrodt, Stinka, Kress, Lindner, Stein, Pfaff, Meier

Ian Plenderleith

The paperback edition of Ian Plenderleith's book Rock n Roll Soccer: The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League (Icon Books) has just been published and is available here for just £7.99

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