Stars Of BTLM – Just Fontaine

Stars of BTLM is another of our new regular features with each edition reappraising the career of one this blog’s favourite 20th century footballers. There’s some basic criteria that will underpin our choice of featured players as we try to focus on those whom we believe have not been as well served by history as they should have been. The reasons such players are underrated can be diverse: some had injury blighted careers, some played for the wrong club or the wrong manager at the wrong time and some have just been swept into a dark corner of football history through simple bad luck. Stars Of BLTM is our own modest attempt to recalibrate reputations to match the talents of our featured players.

Just Fontaine

It’s probably contentious to make a case that a man who remains to this day the fourth-highest scorer in World Cup Finals history can ever be underrated. But therein lies the problem. Fontaine’s career is almost exclusively defined by those 13 goals he scored in just 7 games during the 1958 World Cup. While his career was tragically cut short through injury, focusing solely on his exploits over a 3 week period in June 1958 does great disservice to a prolific striker who was one of the most complete centre forwards of his age. Continue reading

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West Germany Vintage 1951-66

GermanyThis is probably an apt Vintage post this week. This first eclectic collection of West German retro images featuring some of the country’s outstanding footballers of the era, often in the sort of context you’ll never have seen them in before!

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FKS World Cup 1978 Soccer Stamps

Our final FKS stamp collection takes us to the competing nations and players at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. You might notice something of an anomaly with this particular collection. There are a number of nations, England being the most prominent, who feature here but were nowhere to be seen in the Argentine as ‘they didnae qualify’ (c/o Ally’s Tartan Army by Andy Cameron). Fellow home nation non-participants Wales and Northern Ireland are here too and their inclusion appears to be shameless pandering to the UK market, comfortably FKS’s biggest.

Thanks again to Stuart Clapham for his collaboration on these posts.

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FKS World Cup 1970 Soccer Stamps

Another set of FKS Soccer Stamps for you today, this post featuring the full set from the 1970 World Cup. We’ve gone to town with stickers and stamps these past few weeks on BTLM, but these old albums are too great not to share and we wanted publish them while this World Cup tournament is ongoing. I’m sure we’ll have had our fill of all things World Cup come next week.

As ever, click any of the images to open the gallery in full-screen.



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FKS World Cup 1966 Soccer Stamps

We’ve been reproducing some of the old Panini World Cup albums here on BTLM recently and if you’re a fan of such things, stick with us – you’ll enjoy this week’s postings. Thanks to the help of one of our followers, Stuart Clapham, we’ll be publishing the Official FKS albums for the 1966, 1970 and 1978 World Cup tournaments too.

And what is FKS I hear you asking. Well, FKS Publishing was a London-based rival for Panini who produced domestic and international stamp albums between the mid-60s and early 80s – with notably lower production values.  Note the use of stamps here as these were the days before self-adhesive stickers became the norm, so the stamps had to be glued into the album.

Today’s collection covers the 1966 World Cup; just click on any of the images to open the gallery. Do also check out Stuart’s new football group on Facebook too.

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Alfredo Di Stéfano – A Career in Quotes

ArgentinaRIP Don Alfredo, the total, total-footballer. We’ll leave the words to those who knew him best – the stars who played with him, played against him or were privileged enough just to watch him in action.

Di Stefano, Placar cover 1947“He was simultaneously the anchor in defence, the playmaker in midfield and the most dangerous marksman in attack.” Helenio Herrera

“I really don’t know if I was better than Pelé, but I do know that Di Stefano was better than Pelé. The mere mention of Don Alfredo fills me with pride.” Diego Maradona


River Plate, 1947“To list Real Madrid’s team is to chronicle greatness. And the greatest of all, the undisputed leader of the side was Di Stefano – a great among greats.” Michel Platini

“He was my favourite player and what I most loved about Di Stefano was everything he did he did for the team.” Johan Cruyff

Di Stefano, Kopa & Bernabeu, 1956“Di Stefano turned still photographs into the cinema” Arrigo Sacchi


“He made Spain Madridista. And he it was who carried Real Madrid across borders” Ramon Calderon

Continue reading

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Panini World Cup Album 1990

Italy ’90 is the third World Cup tournament to feature in our short series of Panini sticker album reproductions.

Perhaps the most notable element of this competition was the final World Cup appearances of several its historical powerhouses in pre-break up Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

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