Uli Stielike and that penalty miss from 1982

Mister Football Roar Guru

By Mister Football, Mister Football is a Roar Guru

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    An interesting aspect of following Asian football, and in particular the national teams qualifying for and playing in the Asian Cup, is that you never know who you will come across in the management stakes.

    Over the past decade, there have been some truly big names managing Asian national teams, far too many to mention. They have not always brought success mind you, but it is always a buzz to come across such notable ex-players.

    In the lead-up to the Australia versus South Korea game on Saturday night, I noticed for the first time that South Korea was being managed by one Uli Stielike.

    I recalled a famous Stielike playing for Real Madrid and Germany in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Not knowing, or remembering, his first name I wondered if Uli Stielike was one and the same.

    Sure enough, Uli Stielike is the Stielike of that era (pronounced Shtill-ee-ker, with the accent on the first syllable).

    Saturday night belonged to Uli, much to the chagrin of Socceroo fans, but let me take you back 30 plus years to a night which carries less fond memories for Uli (for him personally, even if his team actually triumphed).

    Stielike spent nine seasons with Madrid, was part of many trophy winning teams, and he himself won four consecutive awards for best foreign player in La Liga, so you can be assured that he was no slouch as a player.

    As far as the national team goes, from early on he was groomed to replace Franz Beckenbauer in the libero role. He was equally adept in central midfield, being capable of winning the ball (with plenty of vigour) as well as using it with intelligence and accuracy.

    Old timers will recall that Stielike played in Germany’s World Cup losing side of 1982 (against Italy), but above all, he is probably best remembered for his part in one of the most famous matches in World Cup history: the 3-3 semi-final against France in 1982.

    This match is actually the very first World Cup game to go to penalties, and it probably has never been surpassed for drama, so is fondly recalled by all fans of the world game.

    As great as Stielike’s professional career was, it’s fair to say that his part in this semi-final and the subsequent final loss are low points.

    Stielike’s miss from the spot temporarily put West Germany behind in the penalty shoot-out against France. We all recall Stielike slumping to his knees, and virtually having to be carried back to the rest of the group, completely inconsolable. He missed his teammate, the infamous Harald Schumacher, make a save from Didier Six’s penalty, who too takes a cue from Stielike and slumps to the ground.

    After Platini’s penalty, Schumacher then saves the spot kick from Maxime Bossis, who turns around to look at his teammates with an expression of: sacre bleu!

    The final penalty falls to the strapping, blond, and aptly named, Horst Hrubesch, who unceremoniously smashes it into the net to give the Germans an unlikely victory (noting that at one point they trailed 3-1 in extra time).

    But back to Uli Stielike. I believe that penalty miss is the only miss any German player has ever made in the whole history of the World Cup and European Cup.

    This article would not be complete without remembering his famous miss and response to that miss (from 1:30, and note Pierre Littbarski’s reaction upon Schumacher making the next save).

    Good luck to Uli and the South Koreans for the remainder of the Asian Cup.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • January 18th 2015 @ 8:06am
      Sandy said | January 18th 2015 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Good article. And nearly right (“I believe that penalty miss is the only miss any German player has ever made in the whole history of the World Cup and European Cup.”): Uli Hoeness missed a penalty in the 1976 European Championship (which Czechoslovakia won, following Panenka’s penalty, yes the one that established “the Panenka” penalty).

      Those are the only two penalties missed by Germany in WC/EC tournaments.

    • January 18th 2015 @ 9:11am
      Uncle Junior said | January 18th 2015 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Good trip down memory lane. But, Uli Stielike is not the only German player to miss in the penalty shootout at a World Cup and European Cup. The other German to miss is Uli Hoeneß, who missed in the first penalty shootout ever in the final of the 1976 European Championship against Czechoslovakia. That penalty shootout will also forever live in the minds of football fans for the introduction of “the Panenka” – the cheeky chipped penalty by Antonín Panenka that made the Czechs champions of Europe.

      • Roar Guru

        January 18th 2015 @ 10:25am
        Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        Thanks for the correction UJ, so it was probably correct to just say in World Cup history.

        • January 18th 2015 @ 11:34am
          Brian said | January 18th 2015 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          Not a shootout but Podolski missed a penalty against Serbia in 2010.

          Interesting game to bring up Stielike. It was the first game I ever watched as a kid and I disliked Germany for years thereafter.

          • Roar Guru

            January 18th 2015 @ 2:22pm
            Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

            Yes, it was very easy to dislike Germany in those days, especially when we all felt that the French (“the last of the romantics”) had been somehow wronged in losing that semi-final.

    • January 18th 2015 @ 9:24am
      The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Ahhh…Espana ’82…Memory lane indeed. The first World Cup I tuned into as a young nipper back in Europe. I still own a complete Panini stickers album from that world cup. A little worse for wear but it might be worth something.
      Swapping stickers with your class mates. Happy days…
      And on Harald “Toni” Schumacher? What a thug!

      • Roar Guru

        January 18th 2015 @ 2:23pm
        Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        hopefully you noted that I did refer to Schumacher as the “infamous” Schumacher!

        • January 18th 2015 @ 3:09pm
          The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          Indeed. Just between you and me and the rest of the world…I come from Austria and we can’t stand Germans. I was cheering for the French (I know..it’s hard) all the way just so Germany didn’t get to the Final. 🙁

        • Roar Guru

          January 18th 2015 @ 4:42pm
          Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 4:42pm | ! Report


          You may not be old enough to recall that in the 1978 WC, in Argentina, Austria had a famous 3-2 win against West Germany in the 2nd round, effectively knocking West Germany out of a top 4 placing.

          • January 18th 2015 @ 5:09pm
            The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

            I’m old enough and it’s LEGENTARY…. 🙂

            • January 18th 2015 @ 5:15pm
              The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

              Let me indulge a little…
              We all remember it well…

              • Roar Guru

                January 18th 2015 @ 5:29pm
                Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                Fantastic stuff – I really enjoyed that.

                Back in 1978, we only got a handful of games telecast live (there were more in 1982, and then they started to get serious about it in 1986).

                Anyway, I recall they telecast the Holland v Italy game, which I’m pretty sure was played at the same time as the Austria v W Germany game (as all four were in the same 2nd round group).

                It was a unique system in 1978, only the winner of each group would go directly into the final, and Holland was in the box seat courtesy of a very large win against Austria, they only needed a draw against Italy, whereas Italy needed a win to progress.

                It’s history now that Italy took an early lead via an own goal, and that Holland then scored two second half goals from outside the box to win the match, but my very clear memory is the commentator saying that Austria had just taken the lead in the other game.

                Anyway, I’m pretty sure that’s Rumminigge opening the scoring, with the sort of finishing he was renowned for, but who is that no. 9 for Austria? They are two spectacular goals!!

              • January 18th 2015 @ 5:33pm
                The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                Don’t get me started. They’re still sucking the marrow out of the bone in Austria 37 years later…. 😉

              • January 18th 2015 @ 5:37pm
                The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                The Austrian number 9 was Hans Krankl…..a prolific goal poacher for Rapid Vienna and Barcelona for a couple of seasons..

              • Roar Guru

                January 18th 2015 @ 7:14pm
                Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

                I looked him up – they are extraordinary stats, pretty close to a goal per game for most of his career.

    • Roar Guru

      January 18th 2015 @ 10:29am
      Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 10:29am | ! Report

      One other small correction I need to make to the article.

      I refer to Uli playing for Germany. Of course, back then, it would have been West Germany, with unification having occurred the following decade..

    • January 18th 2015 @ 10:48am
      Anthony Ferguson said | January 18th 2015 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      Winning the ball “with vigour” is an understatement. Uli was a bit of a thug, but nonetheless, a hugely successful player. I remember that semi final with a sense of injustice. That wonderful French team deserved to win it, and the final would have been greater with them in it.

      • Roar Guru

        January 18th 2015 @ 2:30pm
        Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        the understatement was clearly intentional, but I do want to stress that he could actually play, afterall, he was taking over some very big shoes in the libero role for West Germany.

        Every non West German fan who watched that semi-final felt a great sense of injustice for the French, and no doubt is one of the reasons why the 1982 WC is so memorable (along with one of the greatest Brazilian teams whichever graced the pitch).

        Now I could be wrong here, and it is very easy to be wrong about such things when you are relying on your memory alone, but I’ve got a feeling that it was Martin Tyler’s voice we heard in most of those live broadcasts back in 1982.

        Whoever it was, I can recall him describing Stielike as “the hard man of German football”, and he may also have been the one to coin the French as “the last of the romantics” (with the Brazilians having failed to reach the semi finals in their memorable loss to a Paolo Rossi inspired azzurri team).

        • January 18th 2015 @ 5:49pm
          The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

          Play the Battiston thing…..just to give people a reality check. 😉

          • January 18th 2015 @ 5:54pm
            The Minister said | January 18th 2015 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

            Here it is.

            • Roar Guru

              January 18th 2015 @ 7:16pm
              Mister Football said | January 18th 2015 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

              Ha, ha, loved this comment from an obvious Les Bleus fan:

              quel gros batard ce Schumacher !!

              • January 19th 2015 @ 4:56am
                Sandy said | January 19th 2015 @ 4:56am | ! Report

                Schumacher should have been arrested for attempted murder. Not even a free kick.

              • Roar Guru

                January 19th 2015 @ 8:46am
                Mister Football said | January 19th 2015 @ 8:46am | ! Report

                That’s the most amazing aspect about it. Clearly a red card offence, but not even a free kick was given – incredible all round.

            • Roar Guru

              January 19th 2015 @ 8:49am
              Mister Football said | January 19th 2015 @ 8:49am | ! Report

              Peu avant l’heure de jeu, le gardien allemand agresse, dans une action les plus mémorables (hélas) du football français, le défenseur français en demi-finale de la Coupe du monde 1982 en Espagne. Patrick Battiston aura une fissure à une vertèbre cervicale et perdra trois dents. Harald Schumacher ne sera pas inquiété par l’arbitre.

              So Battiston ends up with a vertebrae fracture and he loses three teeth, but the ref didn’t even say boo to Schumacher.

              • January 19th 2015 @ 8:54am
                The Minister said | January 19th 2015 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                Battiston was concussed and apparently lost 3 teeth. Dental surgery wasn’t so good in those days.
                Football Schumi will rot in hell. 😉

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