Sweden introduced a new formula of the championship – after the regular season the top 8 teams of First Division proceeded to the next phase: cup-like direct elimination culminating with a final. The bottom 4 teams went to promotion-relegation play-offs against the top 2 teams of each Second Division group.

Djurgardens IF won Division 2 Norra with 30 points, followed by

Gefle IF, also with 30 points, but worse goal-difference.

Division 2 Sodra was won by

Mjallby AIF with 31 points and

BK Hacken finished 2nd with 30 points.

Those four teams were to meet the last 4 in the First Division. At the end of the regular part of the season they were: Atvidabergs FF, 12th with 10 points, AIK, 11th with 18 points, IFK Norrkoping – 10th with 19 points and Kalmar FF – 9th with 19 points.

Kalmar FF – 9th with 19 points.

Gefle played with Kalmar FF and won; Hacken won against Norrkoping, and Mjallby – against Atvidabergs. Three of the second division teams were promoted. Only AIK kept its place in the top league after beating Norrkoping – thus, the champion of Division 2 Norra was not promoted.

The first phase of the championship mattered only for qualifying to the direct elimination phase, which practically meant that the 8th placed team had a good chance to emerge as champions, no matter how poorly they performed in the regular season.

Halmstads BK was 8th with 21 points.

Örgryte IS was 7th also with 21 points.

IK Brage – 6th with 24 points.

Östers IF – 5th with 24 points.

Malmo FF ended 4th with 25 points.

IF Elfsborg was 3rd with 26 points, Hammarby IF – 2nd with 28 points, and IFK Goteborg – 1st with 29 points.

The direct elimination stage acknowledged the regular season – the 1st played against the 8th, 7th against 2nd, and so on – thus, chances of the weakest teams winning the title were reduced, but still had good chances. Theoretically. In fact, the stronger clubs won easily and not just at the quarterfinals – in the ½ finals IFK Gotebord completely destroyed Malmo FF – 3-0 and 5-1. Hammarby, thoug, got the sacre – IF Elsfborg won the home leg 3-1 and Hammarby managed to reach the final only after winning 3-0 their home leg.

So, nothing unusual happened – the top two teams of the regular stage reached the final. The first leg was in Goteborg and the first surprise happened: Hammarby won 2-1. Looked like they had the title in the bag… but in Stockholm happened the second surprise – IFK Goteborg prevailed 3-1 and snatched the title.

Hammarby IF, pictured here together with their women team and wearing something like Christmas hats, did very well this year. They lost the title, unfortunately, but 2nd place was good enough at the end.

The Cup final opposed IFK Goteborg to Östers IF. Naturally, both teams had their own ambitions. May be because of that, may be because Goteborg was popular team, but the final in Stockholm was well attended – after reaching the all-time lowest attendance in 1981, when only 2200 fans showed up, this year the number jumped to 13 859! Not an impressive number for almost any other country, but this is Sweden – people were not all that crazy about football, and such a number was high. The finalists delivered dramatic match and IFK Goteborg extracted a 3-2 win. The Cup was theirs.

Östers IF came close, but left the final emptyhanded. Still, well done. Standing from left: Tommy Svensson, Mats Rhodin, Peter Truedsson, Andreas Ravelli, Peter Svensson, Thomas Nyman.

Middle row: Leif Widén, Per-Olof Bild, Jan Matsson, Karl-Gunnar Björklund, Mats Nordgren, Vilmos Varszegi, Stig Svensson

Sitting: Gudmundur Steinson, Johnny Gustavsson, Thomas Ravelli, Stefan Gustafsson, Greger Hallén, Tommy Evesson.

Young Thomas Ravelli was making his name, although his best years were to come between the goalposts of another club – no other, but IFK Goteborg.

IFK Goteborg ended the season with a double. Wait… a treble! They won the UEFA Cup before conquering domestic football.

Third row from left:   Dan Corneliusson, Thomas Hansson, Stig Fredriksson, Torbjörn Nilsson,  Conny Karlsson, Glenn Strömberg, Glenn Hysén, Thomas Karlsson, Ruben Svensson

Middle row: assistant coach Gunder Bengtsson, coach Sven-Göran Eriksson, Tommy Holmgren, Martin Holmberg, Jan-Erik Nilsson, Jerry Carlsson, Tord Holmgren, Glenn Holm.

Sitting: Glenn Schiller, Thomas Wernersson, Ove Tobiasson, Håkan Sandberg.

This became the best ever squad of the club – at least to date, but very likely the best ever even now. The first Swedish team winning European tournament, adding a domestic double – the boys won everything this year. It was their 8th title and 2nd Cup. It was their first domestic double. The whole team was becoming instantly famous – and with that: the trouble. No Swedish club was capable of keeping star players and coaches. It was just a great opportunity for the new stars to get good foreign contracts – and if some names are very familiar even today, they are associated with other clubs… Sven-Goran Eriksson, Dan Corneliusson, Glenn Hysen, Torbjorn Nilsson, Glen Stromberg – all of them made their names this year with IFK Goteborg. So far, the strongest ever Swedish team – after all, the strong Malmo FF of the 1970s lost international finals.


Greece the Cup

The Cup final opposed lowly AE Larissa (10th in the championship) to Panathinaikos. It was a matter of ambition and pride – of course, Larissa, never winning anything so far, wanted to get a trophy at last. Of course, Panathinaikos had to win something to salvage the season. So, contrary to expectation, it was tough final – eventually Panathinaikos won, but only 1-0. No matter – winners are winners.

The new Cup winners were curiously similar to their arch-enemies Olympiakos: domestic players were the real stars of the team. The foreigners were almost unknown – the Romanian import Nicolae Doru (his name somewhat made sounding Greek – shortened to Nicolae) in his second season with PAO, the Norwegian national team striker Arne Dokken, and two anonymous Argentines – Roberto N. Agueropolis and Juan Ramon Rocha. May be not very impressive squad, but they won the Cup for 7th time.

Greece I Division

The Greek First Division went through very familiar season – 2 hopeless outsiders, so nobody else worried about relegation, and two favourites at the top, going shoulder to shoulder to the end. The traditional strong clubs stayed strong, the not so- strong continued to be not so-strong. Nothing new.

AE Korinthos was 18th with 16 points. AE Kavala -17th with 18 points. Those were the relegated.

Panserraikos (Serrai, or Serres) fininshed 16th , but with 25 points. Lowly, as ever, but not for a minute in danger of relegation.

PAS Giannina was slipping down – 14th this season. Their good years were already over for some time.

The top of the table was occupied by the usual suspect, finishing quite to the point of traditional ranking:

Panionios (Athens) was 7th with 36 points.

Iraklis (Thesaloniki) was 6th with 40 points. They had two new recruits this season – the former Bulgarian national team defenders Angel Rangelov and Boko Dimitrov. The duo never played together before, but apparently clicked well together in the center of Iraklis defense.

Aris (Thesaloniki) finished 5th with 41 points.

AEK (Athens) ended 4th with 45 points. They also had a new Bulgarian recruit – one of the best ever players of the country and the best internationally known Bulgarian of the 1970s: Christo Bonev. He helped, but unfortunately was too old already – he was 34. There is confusion about his latest playeing years – don’t read Wikipedia, because the article on him states he played for AEK between 1979 and 1982. And then went to play ‘briefly’ for English Oxford United. Real statistics show different picture: he played for AEK only this only season and returned back to his beloved club, Lokomotiv (Plovdiv), to captain it to its first trophy in 1982-83.

PAOK (Thesaloniki) was 3rd with 46 points.

And above those familiar names – above and out of reach – the eternal battle between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos went through another chapter. The bitter rivals ended equal, both with 50 points. If goal-difference was a factor, Panathinaikos should have been the winner – they had +30 to Olympiakos’ +25. But it was the decisive factor and championship play-off was played in the city of Volos (the city with 3 second division teams and none in the first division). Olympiakos clinched 2-1 victory and collected one more title.

One may say Panathinaikos was unlucky, but in such a rivalry luck is hardly the big factor – the measure is always simplistic: win or lose. Panathinaikos lost.

Olympiakos won. It was their 3rd consecutive title – another reason to rub the noses of the arch-rivals, although this victory did not come easily at all. Of course, nobody worried after the fact:

Olympiakos (Piraeus) won their 23rd title. Looking at the squad, it is interesting to note that the champions depended largely on Greek players. Foreigners were present, or course, but they were not big names – Thomas Ahlstrom (Sweden) was the best known name, but Yugoslavian second-rater Martin Novoselac (4 matches for Yugoslavian national team in the mid-70s) was essential regular plus the Cypriot striker Stavros Papadopoulos. The Uruguayan striker Vicente Estavilio played minor role.

Greece II Division

Greece, Second Division. Two groups of 20 teams each, the winners promoted, the bottom 4 – relegated. Naturally, not many well known names here. Instead, clubs like

Kozani FS, 14th in the Northern Group, and

AS Chalkida (in white, posing with AEK Athens here) – 5th in the Southern Group.

Perhaps the interesting part of Greek second division was the many local smallish derbies – Athens had 7 teams in the Southern Group. Piraeus – two teams. In the North Volos had 3 teams, Thessaloniki – also 3. But all boiled down to the winners.

With 52 points Makedonikos Nea Efkarpia (Thessaloniki) finished 1st in the Northern Group.

In the Southern Group Panachaiki G.E. (Patras) prevailed with 50 points. Neither winner had it easy, but they were promoted at the end. And good luck to them the next season.

Romania the Cup

The Romanian Cup final opposed unlikely teams – the champions vs 2nd placed Second Division team.

FC Baia Mare was not even potential second division winner – they were distant 2nd in Seria I – but performed wonderfully in the Cup. Facing the strongest team in the country looked hopeless, but Baia Mare put excellent fight and lost only 2-3. Unfortunate, but as a consolation got a spot in the Cup Winners Cup.

A double for Dinamo (Bucharest). Excellent season, full of players responsible for the revival of Romanian football. So far – only on the domestic front, but seasons like that are cherished by any kind of club. The team showed lots of character – neither win came easy, but the boys prevailed in both championship and Cup.

Romania I Division

First Division. Well, three teams were going down. One club was hopeless outsider – Progresul (Bucharest). They were last with 20 points.

The other two relegated teams were not so obvious – the season was practically a race for survival, involving 11 of the 18 league members. The unlucky ones were UT Arad – 17th with 29 points, and Universitatea (Cluj) – 16th with 30 points. They were relegated unfortunately – on worse goal-difference.

ASA Targu Mures was the lucky team this year – they escaped relegation on better goal-difference, ending 15th.

Politehnica (Timisoara) was a bit better – 11th with 32 points.

Arges (Pitesti) was no among the favourites this season, but among those trying to survive – they did, ending 10th, ahead of Politehnica (Timisoara) only on better goal-difference.

SC Bacau topped the huge group of outsiders -7th with 33 points. Only 6 clubs were strong, but they were divided into two groups as well – 4 teams had nothing to do with winning the title.

Steaua (Bucharest) was 6th – a very weak season for them and this was strange, for Steaua had strong team – as far as names go – as usual. Most likely Steaua was caught in the familiar painful moment when generational change was in order, but they failed to act decisively. Still 37 points was pitiful record.

With 38 points Sportul Studentesc (Bucharest) took the 5th place. Not a great scorers – their goal-difference was curious: 36-36 – but they were very difficult to beat (only the champions lost fewer matches then them) and at the end finished pretty much where they usually were at that time: near the top, but not title contenders.

Olt (Scornicesti) was 4th with 39 points, enjoying the best period of their history. How long this would last was anybody guess, but so far – so good.

The bid surprise this season – Corvinul (Hunedoara). Bronze medals for a club more familiar with second division football. They edged Olt on goal-difference, having arguably their best ever season. Title contenders they were not.

Only two teams competed for the title, unconcerned for anything and anybody – familiar names: Universitatea (Craiova) and Dinamo (Bucharest).

Universitatea continued to maintain their leading position in Romanian football, but lost the title by points, finishing 2nd with 45 points and best league scoring record – 67 goals. Nothing to worry, though – the squad was strong and full of current national team players.

With 47 points Dinamo (Bucharest) won the 1981-82 Romanian championship.

Up: Ion Marginean, Cornel Dinu, Ion Marin, Gh.Dumitrescu, Iosif Lovas, Dumitru Moraru, C-tin Eftimescu, Adrian Bumbescu, Laurentiu Moldovan, Teofil Stredie, Nelu Stanescu;

Middle: Paul Moga (official), Alexandru Chiritescu (physical preparator), Mircea Cristea (doctor), Valentin Stanescu (coach), Dumitru Nicolae-Nicusor (coach), Andrei Marin (coach);

Bellow: Cornel Talnar, Florea Vaetus, Dorel Zamfir, Gheorghe Multescu, Dudu Georgescu, Marin Dragnea, Pompiliu Iordache, Costel Orac, Nicusor Vlad;

Note: Ionel Augustin and Alexandru Custov are missing from photo.

Not an overwhelming victory, but no matter – Dinamo had strong squad and although the great scorer Dudu Georgescu was aging, it was younger team than the one the arch-rivals Steaua had. The players were not well known abroad, but some will be and soon.

Romania II Division

Romania, II Division. Perhaps too large – 3 groups of 18 teams each. Winners promoted. A huge divide between former First Division members and the rest, which were largely clubs belonging to industrial enterprises, workers teams, playing not even second fiddle in their home towns. Only few former first division clubs, though. They ruled and if there was more than one in a group, then something like competitive race for the top place happened.

Seria I.

CSM Suceava finished 4th with 41 points.

Unirea Dinamo Focsani – 3rd with 42 points. Such clubs played in the second division and those two were among the better ones.

Gloria Bistrita clinched 2nd place on better goal-difference, but finished well behind the winners.

Politehnica (Iasi) easily won the group with 48 points. No surprise – two or three other former first division members were not in good shape, so Poilitehnica had no rivals. Up they went for another try to survive among the best.

Seria II. The only group with tight race for the top place. Rapid (Bucharest), down on their luck, lost – they ended 2nd with 50 points. Third placed Unirea Alexandria was 11 points behind, to give yoy another example of second division predicament. Rapid lost to another former top league member – Petrolul (Ploesti).

At the moment better than Rapid, they won first place and promotion with 52 points.

Seria III. Another group with single favourite, leaving the other stronger club FC Baia Mare 7 points behind.

Bihor (Oradea) won the group with 48 points, scoring the most goals in the whole Second Division – 92. Wonderful victory for them.


DDR the Cup

The Cup was also a duel between the two best clubs – and with championships out of reach what was left for mere mortals, but to try winning the Cup. Dynamo (Dresden) vs Dynamo (Berlin). One match provides a chance… The final became really a chance: the match ended 1-1 and penalty shoot-out followed. Dynamo (Dresden) was luckier and won 5-4.

So far Dynamo (Berlin) was unable to collect a double. Perhaps that was the only consolation for the whole country. It was also a bit strange – objectively, Dynamo was far superior to any other squad. Not only almost the whole DDR national team, but unlike other teams they were at their prime and not suffering generational change. Yet, the Cup was out of their reach.

Dynamo (Dresden) have been lucky, but they won and it was wonderful success. They were slightly weaker than Berlin, but their rebuilding was practically finished and there was nice new competitive team. They were the only team in the country able to fight Berlin on the pitch – which practically left them fighting for the Cup.


DDR I Division

By now everything was well known in advance in East German football – to the point of wondering why they bothered to conduct a championship. The champions and the relegated were no secret before the start of the first game of the season.

BSG Chemie Buna (Schkopau) – last with 11 points. Promoted the previous season, going down immediately.

BSG Energie (Cottbus) – also promoted the season before, also earning 11 points, also going down immediately. Standing from left: Andreas Göhlich (Co-Trainer), Robert Reiß, Thomas Teichmann, Bernd Müller, Dieter Paulo, Bernd Kulke, Michael Braun, Uwe Weller, Ralf Lempke, Dieter Schulz (Cheftrainer).

Sitting: René Röder, Bernd Deutschmann, Rolf-Dieter Kahnt, Andreas Wendt, Bernd Mudra, Hagen Wellschmidt.

Front row: Karl-Heinz Jahn, Roland Balck, Dietmar Drabow, Klaus Pohle, Petrik Sander.

BSG Sachsenring (Zwickau) – 12th with 14 points. The last of the hopeless outsiders, but safe at the end.

HFC Chemie (Halle) – 11th with 23 points. Not a worry in the world.

BSG Wismut (Aue) – ahead of Chemie (Halle) only on better goal-difference.

FC Karl-Marx-Stadt (Karl-Marx-Stadt) – 9th with 24 points.

FC Hansa (Rostock) – 8th with 25 points.

FC Rot-Weiss (Erfurt) – 7th with 28 points. All this clubs had been pretty much at the same places for years.

1. FC Magdeburg – 6th with 32 points. The usual divide shown by points: the same strongest teams were always far better than the lower half of the league. As for Magdeburg… they seemingly depended largely on the remains of their great team from the first half of the 1970s: Streich, Hoffmann, Pommerenke, Tyll.

FC Carl Zeiss (Jena) – 5th with 32 points. Third row from left: Helmut Stein(Trainer) – Dietmar Sengewald – Gerhard Hoppe – Hans-Ulrich Grapenthin – Hans-Joachim Meyer(Trainer) – Karsten Härtel – Andreas Bielau – Jürgen Raab – Dr. Johannes Roth

Middle row: Matthias Dressel(Physiotherapeut) – Rüdiger Schnuphase – Ulrich Oevermann – Lutz Lindemann – Lothar Kurbjuweit – Stefan Meixner – Konrad Weise – Eberhard Vogel – Peter Rock(Mannschaftsleiter)

Front row: Martin Trocha – Fred Steinborn – Matthias Kaiser – Thomas Töpfer – Andreas Krause – Wolfgang Schilling – Gert Brauer.

FC Vorwaerts (Frankfurt/Oder) – 4th with 33 points. Their coming-back was seemingly completed – among the best, not a title contender. But who was anyway?

1. FC Lokomotive (Leipzig) – better goal-difference clinched them bronze medals. Nice. Also typical.

SG Dynamo (Dresden) – silver medalists with 34 points. Barely the best team of those who would not win.

BFC Dynamo (East Berlin) – champions for 4th consecutive year. 41 points – 7 more than Dynamo (Dresden) summarizes all. 74 goals scored – almost twenty more than second highest scorers, Vorwaerts. Only Dynamo (Dresden) had better defensive record than the champions. Well, they had the best team in the country by far and when feet were not enough there was back-room intimidation and fixing. Painfully familiar by now.


DDR II Division

DDR, Second Division. The usual 5 groups of 12 teams each, the winners going to the promotional play-offs. Three teams relegated from each group – the only problem was Group E, where Gluckauf (Sondershausen) and Fortschritt (Weida) finished with same points and goal-difference. Play-off followed and Gluckauf kept its second division place after winning 3-0 and 4-1. As for the more important first place, this season was perhaps more competitive than before yet, nothing unusual happened. No matter what, largely former first division members claimed the top spots. Not that there were many of them, though.

Group A. ASV Vorwaerts (Stralsund) won with 35 points, leaving Vorwaerts (Neubrandenburg) 3 points behind.

Group B. Here is the typical second-division club – BSG Stahl (Brandenburg)

Third row from left :  Wolfgang Rahn, Dirk Karow, Horst Kölsch, Peter Schoknecht, Thomas Klingler, Jörg Kampf

Middle row : Hubert Gebhardt, Rainer Fliegel, Siegfried Malyska, Roland Gumtz, Thomas Arendt, Rainer Wolframm

Sitting : Rene Ferch, Ralf Löffler, Eckart Märzke, Günter Peters, Gerhard Kraschina.

Not bad – they ended 5th with 28 points. Far away from promotional dreams. 1. FC Union (East Berlin) won the group with 35 points, leaving Motor (Babelsberg) 3 points behind.

Group C. Perhaps the toughest group, for there were 2 teams playing top league not long ago.

BSG Chemie (Leipzig) was not up to the task, finishing 4th with 27 points.

BSG Motor (Altenburg) finished 7th. Goal-difference decided the first place – Vorwaerts (Dessau) lost to BSG Chemie (Bohlen), freshly relegated from the top division.

Group D. BSG Stahl (Riesa), just relegated from first division, was superior by far and the most dominating group champions with 34 points. Second-placed BSG Aktivist Schwarze Pumpe had only 29.

Group E. BSG Motor (Nordhausen) had tough pursuer – BSG Wismut (Gera) – but managed to finish 2 points ahead. However, this was the team earning most points in all groups – 37 – and receiving the least goals – 16.

So far, so good. Now it was time for the most important race – the 5-team final group of winners. The best two were promoted.

Motor (Nordhausen) was not up to the struggle at all – they ended last with 3 points from 8 games, not winning even a match. As a point of curiosity: Motor used 3 Soviet players this year, all missing from this picture: Sergej Morosov – midfielder, Wladimir Schalaschow – goalkeeper, and Genadi Hisun – striker. Not the only club using Soviets, but the only one having a chance to get promotion and may be introduce foreign players in the first division.

BSG Stahl (Riesa) finished 4th with 6 points and remained in Second Division.

ASV Vorwaerts (Stralsund) also failed to impress, ending 3rd with 7 points.

1.FC Union (East Berlin) was in good form and won promotion – they were 2nd with 11 points, but it did not matter. The important point was that Union was far too strong and had no trouble qualifying.

And BSG Chemie (Bohlen) finished 1st with 13 points. They had hard time in Group C, even one may say they were lucky to go ahead, but in the final tournament they were simply the best. Going up was not exactly their problem – staying in First Division was. Their best place over there so far was 12th place. They were relegated twice. The usual problem with second division clubs – as a rule, they were relegated right away.