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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for stories of player, managers or whole teams who were completely written off, derided, underestimated or generally not given respect by the press, managers, players or the general public, who then went on to do great things, leaving their critics with egg on their faces.

My first vote goes to Aimé Jacquet, who was treated with contempt by the French football press in the run-up to WC98, and was given no chance of success by journo and Joe-fan alike. Once it became apparent that the side had a realistic chance of going all the way, the attitudes changed considerably, and we witnessed the nauseating sight of pressmen clambering to bestow their felicitations on Jacquet and his charges in a we-knew-it-all-along manner as opposed to the sorry-we-ever-doubted-you way their previous treatment of him deserved.
Resigning with dignity as the squad he built briefly became the world's darlings before losing its way as the smug, preening press looked on aghast, his achievement could finally be put into context.
 

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Arsenal's unbeaten run was fueled by this twisted comment made up by the media: "I think we can go unbeaten", when Wenger actually said something more along the lines "Yes, it's possible." The whole thing was a great big "**** you!" from Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal squad to the English media since we are, after all, their favourite topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
zack_manutd said:
'You can't win anything with kids'
A definite contender :)
 

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Maradona was treated like a fatty before 86....Pele was finished before 70..can't think of bigger ones...
 

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Yeah, or Senegal, Korea, Turkey and the USA in World Cup 2002. Incredibly enough, many if not most pundits said that none of those teams would make it beyond the first round, and yet they all ended up in the quarterfinals with Korea and Turkey obviously going on to the semis.

Another good story is that of Larsson. Many said he wouldn't ever be the same player after his leg break, and some said he wouldn't play competitive football again. Then he came back and gave 'em the tongue - 53 times to be exact. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The whole 'surprise-team making it far' isn't exactly in the spirit of it, as it's no shame on a pundit to not expect say Senegal to go far in a World Cup. It has to have that whole thing of being able to point and laugh at specific people :D
 

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dubh-ban said:
The whole 'surprise-team making it far' isn't exactly in the spirit of it, as it's no shame on a pundit to not expect say Senegal to go far in a World Cup. It has to have that whole thing of being able to point and laugh at specific people :D
So it would be more like Beckham having a second life at Madrid next year after all the criticism he's gotten, and going on and leading England to a World Cup title?
 

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Batistuta while at Fiorentina, had been battling with rumors that he was heading for Barcelona.

When he finally did go to the Nou Camp for a UEFA CUP tie...he scored the winning goal and celebrated with a "Shhhhh"

Was a real in your face to everyone.
 

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Henry glaring at Panathinaikos fans after scoring against them following a few of them making monkey chants toward him.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Isaac said:
So it would be more like Beckham having a second life at Madrid next year after all the criticism he's gotten, and going on and leading England to a World Cup title?
Pretty much, but we're trying to stick with examples that have actually happened ;)
 

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Before 1958 there was some people here(Brazil) saying "A team of brazilians are teams of losers, because they are irresponsables and only with european discipline brazil will ever won. Do not call this kind of players to the national squad"...This kind of players ? Black players, dribbling players, players of fantasy...

Benfica in the 1962 World cup final was losing only by 3 x 2 to Santos here and with the next game to be played in portugal celebrate the result...

Dunga of course. Ronaldo that would never play footbal again.
 

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Julinho Botelho in 1958 in the Maracana. In the first half he subsituted Garrincha in some 150 K audience in the stadium. The whole stadium started booing him. Then later on in the game he scored one of the most beautiful goals of the stadium, dribbling some 4 or 5 players of the opponent (i think it was England...not sure).... then he received a standing ovation.




In 1993, when Palmeiras had a super team and they went to play tiny Juventus from Sao Paulo. A journalist called Joao Zaforlin said it would be easier an Elepahnt go through a nail then to Juventus beat Palmeiras. At the end of the day, the game was 1x0 to Juventus, giving that Palmeiras it's first defeat of the season! :)


Liverpool 0 x 2 Arsenal , Anfield, May 1989. ):


Brazil 2002 :)
 

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Date: 18 May 1994
Venue: Spiros Louis Stadium (Athens, Greece)
Main Casts: Fabio Capello, Dejan "Il Genio" Savicevic, Daniele Massaro, Roberto Donadoni, Marcel Desailly & Paolo Maldini
Opponents: The Dream Team
Fixture: European Champions' Cup Final 1993-94

Capello's Milan went into the match as huge underdogs against Johan Cruijff's Barcelona, dubbed "The Dream Team", of Romario, Stoichkov, Koeman and a truckload of Spanish NT stars. Milan's task was made even harder by the suspensions of 2 key players (Franco Baresi & Billy Costacurta) from their impregnable Ministry of Defence backline which only conceded 15 goals in 34 Serie A games, and the lack of an out-an-out goalscorer to replace the great Marco van Basten :scared:

Before the match, Cruijff boasted that his Dream Team will steamroll Capello's Milan side, who had to play with a makeshift central defense of Paolo Maldini (at that time the world's BEST left back & central defense was a position totally alien to him then), and Pippo Galli, a player who has played less than 10 games for Milan that season.

Milan eventually won 4-0 (It was actually 5-0 as Panucci had a perfectly legitimate goal wrongly disallowed for a non-existent offside before Massaro began the massacre) thanks to a masterful display by Il Genio :proud: While the makeshift central defense of Maldini & Galli snuffed out the twin terrors of Barça's frontline, one of whom went on to become the MVP and the other the topscorer of WC 94.

Man I'll never forget Cruijff's facial expressions that night :stuckup: And Cruijff never had a positive word for Milan at interviews ever since :shades:
 

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here's one, in CL 2002-2003, when Juve drew 1-1 in delle alpi thans to goals from Montero and Saviola, then everybody said that barca are unbeatable in the nou camp and bla bla, then Nedved smacked the 1st goal then Zalayeta the pure winner that sent us into the semis x madrid :proud:

+ we had Davids sent off in that game..
 

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ilgenio said:
Date: 18 May 1994
Venue: Spiros Louis Stadium (Athens, Greece)
Main Casts: Fabio Capello, Dejan "Il Genio" Savicevic, Daniele Massaro, Roberto Donadoni, Marcel Desailly & Paolo Maldini
Opponents: The Dream Team
Fixture: European Champions' Cup Final 1993-94

Capello's Milan went into the match as huge underdogs against Johan Cruijff's Barcelona, dubbed "The Dream Team", of Romario, Stoichkov, Koeman and a truckload of Spanish NT stars. Milan's task was made even harder by the suspensions of 2 key players (Franco Baresi & Billy Costacurta) from their impregnable Ministry of Defence backline which only conceded 15 goals in 34 Serie A games, and the lack of an out-an-out goalscorer to replace the great Marco van Basten :scared:

Before the match, Cruijff boasted that his Dream Team will steamroll Capello's Milan side, who had to play with a makeshift central defense of Paolo Maldini (at that time the world's BEST left back & central defense was a position totally alien to him then), and Pippo Galli, a player who has played less than 10 games for Milan that season.

Milan eventually won 4-0 (It was actually 5-0 as Panucci had a perfectly legitimate goal wrongly disallowed for a non-existent offside before Massaro began the massacre) thanks to a masterful display by Il Genio :proud: While the makeshift central defense of Maldini & Galli snuffed out the twin terrors of Barça's frontline, one of whom went on to become the MVP and the other the topscorer of WC 94.

Man I'll never forget Cruijff's facial expressions that night :stuckup: And Cruijff never had a positive word for Milan at interviews ever since :shades:
I remember that match, everyone had Milan written off. Savicevic gave the best individual performances I've even seen from a player in that game.

Also Depro's win against Milan last season has to be up there. Eveveyone had Depor written off. Valeron played an amazing match. For me he's the best player in the world on his day.
 
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