European Champions Cup

The European Champions Cup. Sensational or unusual 1985-86 season for all European club tournaments. Favorites were eliminated early, that was it at a glance and it is risky to say why – looks like many clubs were out of shape, having transitional teams, getting old or too young yet. One of the most unpredictable European seasons, which at the end made it more exciting – for some. In the Champions Cup French Bordeuax was the first casualty, losing at home to Turkish Fenerbahce 2-3 and then unable to recover in Istanbul. Out in the opening round. The other surprise in the same round was the elimination of the Yugoslav champion FK Sarajevo by FC Kuusysi (Lahti), the champion of Finland. The Fins won both legs 2-1. In the second round FC Kuusysi made another surprise – they eliminated the champion of USSR Zenith (Leningrad). And they were close to make a third surprise in the ¼ finals – they managed 0-0 in Bucharest against Steaua, but lost the home leg 0-1. It was hardly a home leg… Kuusysi played it in Helsinki, most likely because their own stadium was too small. Almost made it to the semi-finals, though. Here Bayern’s run ended as well – they were eliminated by Anderlecht. Aberdeen had no luck either – IFK Goteborg eliminated them thanks to away goals (2-2 and 0-0). The draw was merciless to some strong teams from the beginning and here paired Barcelona with Juventus. Minimal home win was enough for Barcelona to win – 1-0 and 1-1. And then the drama of the semi-finals: Steaua lost the first leg in Brussels 0-1, but was perfect at home, beating Anderlecht 3-0. Meantime IFK Goteborg won their home leg 3-0, but lost in Barcelona with the same result and Barca prevailed in the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

Ups and downs all the way, but the final looked clear – Barcelona had big advantage. Not only the Romanians were almost unknown, but the final was played in Seville, practically at home for the Spanish champions – familiar venue, easy access for their own supporters, some local support as well. Steaua appeared to be an outsider in every way – including the fact that they had much easier opponents on the road to the final than Barcelona. It was practically sure think Barca will win the European Champions Cup at last. To be sure of winning often guarantees losing…

Steaua started with slow tempo and lured Barcelona in the trap. Although more active and looking more dangerous, Barcelona also slowed down, the match became messy and tempers boiled quickly.

Frustration took place – Spanish attacks were inefficient, often blocked by absolutely unknown Romanian goalkeeper.

It became routine and rather hopeless – Spanish crosses taken confidently by Ducadam.

Steaua tried its own attacks, which on occasion were more dangerous than Barcelona’s, but Urruti – or Urruticoechea – was also solid. However, there was less football than battle – both teams played ugly from start, the brutality only escalated with time and reached the point near the end of the first half when the referee called both captains to warn them to cool down their teammates, or… or what? The final to be stopped and abandoned? Since such thing never happens, the opponents continued to kick each other. Five yellow cards were shown and it was too little, frankly. Unlike yellow cards, there no goals.

No goals in the extra time either, so for the second time in the history of the tournament it came to penalty shoot-out. The real fun was there, as it happened – both goalkeepers excelled, but the Romanian unknown became the great hero of the final. True, Urruti took the laurels at first, blocking 2 penatlies in a row. Alesanko missed the net at first and then Ducadam saved the second penalty. Then Lacatus scored and Ducadam saved Pichi Alonso’s kick. Balint scored the next for Steaua and Ducadam saved Marcos’s penalty. It was over – Barcelona did not score a single penalty, Steaua was leading 2-0 and the fifth penalty was meaningless. The sure winners lost – practically to Ducadam.

Final, Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla, 7 May 1986, att 70000

Steaua Bucuresti (0) 0 FC Barcelona (0) 0 aet Steaua won 2-0 on penalties

Steaua Bucuresti (trainer Jenei) Ducadam; Iovan, Belodedici, Bumbescu, Barbulescu; Balint, Balan, (Iordanescu 72), Bölöni, Majaru; Lacatus, Piturca (Radu 111)

FC Barcelona (trainer Venables) Urruti; Gerardo, Migueli, Alesanco, Julio Alberto; Víctor, Marcos, Schuster (Moratalla 85), Pedraza; Archibald (Pichi Alonso 106), Carrasco

Referee: Vautrot (France)

Penalty shoot-out Steaua: Majaru (held), Bölöni (held), Lacatus, Balint Barcelona: Alesanco (held), Pedraza (held), Pichi Alonso (held), Marcos (held)

Barcelona worried and cold – the end was near.

A new and surprising winners of the European Champions Cup – the captain of Steaua Iovan proudly lifts the Cup.

And then the joyous run of triumph in front of stunned Spaniards at the stadium. Naturally, Ducadam keeps the cup safely in his hand – he practically won it for his club.

Losers… what was wrong? Well, the way they played. Frankly, not a great squad. Schuster and Archibald were not adding class, something did not tic. Venables was probably not the right coach either.

Considered outsiders before the final and reconsidered during the game, Steaua’s players needed quick learning – among the winning squad Ducadam became the most famous instantly. He played a strong final, but it really the penalty shoot-out earned him recognition. He contributed outside the field as well by saying that hew was the best Romanian goalkeeper. Since Romanians were not well known, his boasting only added fuel to discovery: yes, he played wonderfully, this entirely unknown keeper, and if he was truly the best in the country… well, what other secreted jewels were there? Hagi, surely. However, Ducadam disappeared as quickly as he appeared – a few months later Hagi was already on field, but not a trace of Ducadam – Stingaciu, more familiar name from the Romanian national team, was again the regular keeper and another guy was the back-up. Ducadam became an intriguing myth, fueled by rumors and speculations – even his name remains unclear: Ducadam or Duckadam? Meantime his teammates were climbing up – almost the whole team from the final were national team players, some of long standing and some new talent, but already recognized as good material at least in Romania. Hagi only made team greater, Stingaciu played hardly lower level of goalkeeping than Ducadam, recovering his regular place in the team. There was no stopping really – Jenei, also ‘discovered’ as great coach thanks to the final, moved to the helm of the Romanian national team and was replaced by Iordanescu, who played a bit against Barcelona, retired and was appointed the new coach – and the team did not suffer the change a bit. This Steaua vintage, no matter political favours, was truly amazing. The Champions Cup victory just opened the door for talent, which stayed and defined not only Romanian football almost until the end of the 1990s. Not just great players, but also great fighters – Steaua did shy away from ugly tackles and fights, proving mean character so much needed in the 1980s football. They had it all and feared nobody. Although 1986 was their best year in terms of success, they probably played their best football in the next few years. One of the most pleasant discoveries in the 1980s.

One more look at the new European champions with the trophy.

And the full squad of the great 1985-86 season. Note that Iordanescu appear to be assistant-coach here, perhaps playing assistant-coach, and another testimony to the confusion relatively unknown squad makes: both Bumbescu and Piturca are misspelled by the Hungarian magazine. Majearu will remain with uncertain spelling of his name forever, it seems, but the again, such is the case of Cruijff.


The Supercup. It was played in February 1987 – no matter what, this duel was unable to find permanent place in the European calendar. This was the first – and only – East European or Communist, if you like, contest of the Supercup. Politics can be hardly separated from the ‘innocent’ universe of sports – USSR and Romania were in the same boat and were not… twenty years earlier one could safely bet on Soviet victory, but now Romania was hardly a puppet. If one wants to play politics… then it was a clash between KGB and Ceausescu’s family. Add Ukrainian Communist Party interests, somewhat at odds with the Moscow-run Soviet interests. Add Romanian Army, led in sporting terms by Ceausescu’s son via his absolute control of Steaua vs Romanian version of the KGB, represented by Dinamo (Bucharest). All played by nationalism, so wider support for both Dinamo and Steaua was gathered together. All of that played a role, but it was football after all two currently great teams met on the pitch – in sporting terms, a contest for purely football superiority. Which was taking place not at the best time – in February neither team was at its top form, both between seasons and training for the still to come regular championship. Perhaps Dinamo was in a bit of disadvantage – their new season was yet to come, new players to be included in the playing scheme, no official games for some time. Steaua hardly had a break – they played for the Intercontinental Cup in December and had to keep their form for the Supercup in mind, so they hardly had a vacation. May be in better fighting form, but tired. Political intrigues apart, if only slightly, the Cup was contested in Monaco, in February, between East European teams, so… under 9000 viewers showed up. True, neither Soviet citizens, nor Romanians could go, and France in general, including Monaco, was hardly football-crazy, but the attendance was just one more testament to the old problem of the Supercup: in the eyes of the fans, it was not a real trophy.

The match itself was lively. Dinamo tried as much as they could, still in the great form they displayed in 1986, but so was Steaua, even a bit better. Hagi was on the field – the first big game he actually played for Steaua – and his performance was crucial at the end. Both teams had prepared themselves well – they studied their opponent carefully and Steaua went to Italy for some friendlies with this match in mind. At the end, Steaua was better prepared – since both teams practiced attacking football, neutralizing the opposition was essential. Steaua pressured Dinamo on the whole field, trying and succeeding to block and distinguish Dinamo’s early assault. With time, Steaua’s concept proved well thought of – Romanian counter-attacks were more dangerous and they defended better. Dinamo was flying when they were able to attack relentlessly on high speed. They were a bit vulnerable when defending and off-balance when the Romanians slowed down the tempo. Yet, it was fairly equal game.

Even poses suggest difference – the frantic urgency of Belanov and the rather calm approach of the Romanian defender.

Dinamo may appeared a bit stronger to some eyes – after all, it was unusual even than to see Hagi in defensive role and beaten by Yakovenko here – but Steaua was more versatile team and tactically richer. Small differences, even chance, could win the match – that became clear early.

Small differences require masters to explore and use them – a minute before the end of the first half Hagi executed precise and deadly free-kick and scored. Soviet observers pointed out that Chanov and his defenders made a small mistake when organizing their wall: left a vulnerable spot, Hagi saw it and directed the ball exactly there. That was the winning difference – no other goals were scored to the end and Steaua won 1-0.

Stade Louis II, Monte Carlo, 24 Feb 1987, att 8456

Steaua Bucuresti (1) 1 Dinamo Kiev (0) 0

44′ 1-0 SB: Hagi

Steaua Bucuresti: Stîngaciu; Iovan, Bumbescu, Stoica, Barbulescu, Belodedici, Bölöni, Balan, Hagi (Balint 84), Lacatus (Majaru 89), Piturca

Dinamo Kiev: Chanov; Bal, Baltacha, Kuznetsov, Demianenko, Yevtushenko, Yakovenko, Rats, Belanov (Mikhailitchenko 50), Zavarov (Morozov 77), Blokhin

Referee: Agnolin (Italy)

Dinamo was hoping to win a second Supercup and to become the third club winning the trophy twice, but it did not happen. The squad playing in Monaco left no photo of itself, so this one, from December 1986, must do. Left to right: Demyanenko, Chanov, Baltacha, Blokhin, Yakovenko, Bessonov, Zavarov, Evtushenko, Kuznetzov, Mukhaylichenko, Evseev, Ratz, Belanov. It was still the same squad – Bessonov and Evseev did not play against Steaua, which perhaps an important absence only in the case of Bessonov. Evseev was never a regular anyway. The Cup Winners Cup squad without changes, but without improvement either – the good news was there was no drop of form; the bad news – no building upon what they had already. Tactically, it was not richer team – it was the same, professing only speedy attacking football. Perhaps the price for not becoming more tactically flexible team was paid by losing the Supercup.

Triumphal Steaua with the Supercup. Top, from left: Dumitru Stingaciu, Stefan Iovan, Victor Piturca, Antal Weisenbacher, Mihail Majearu, Gavril Balint, Adrian Bumbescu, Ioan Kramer, Blio. Bottom: Ladislau Boloni, Miodrag Belodedici, Gheorge Hagi, Tudorel Stoica, Lucian Balan, Ilie Barbulescu, Marius Lacatus. Steaua lost the Intercontinental Cup in December 1986, but won the European Supercup, proving once for all that it was not just lucky one-time wonder. Unlike Dinamo, Steaua made some changes between winning the Champions Cup in the spring of 1986 and the Supercup final in 1987: now Hagi was in line and leading, a major addition. The other one looked suspect at first, but already skeptics were silenced – the great coach Jenei moved to the national team and replaced by young and inexperienced Iordanescu. He was still a player in the spring of 1986, playing at the great European final. Always a risky option to have coach, who the players know as teammate, but it worked and Iordanescu immediately showed great coaching talent – there was no drop of form, no radical change of style, disrupting the way players were used to, no big changes in the squad, so to remove former teammates who might be undisciplined and disruptive. Under Iordanescu Steau continued to be very strong and entertaining team, equal to the best in the world and certainly going to stay strong. And with Hagi at hand… sky was the limit. Winning the Supercup just boosted moral and confidence.

Intercontinental Cup

Intercontinental Cup. A clash between clubs with similar ambitions – Romanian Steaua and Argentinian River Plate. Both striving to concur the world for the first time, both having great squads in top form. Fast and nervous game, often stopped by nasty fouls, committed by either side. Entertaining match, both teams trying to be creative, but facing strong and brutal opposition and too eager to win to play with cool heads.

River Plate was perhaps a bit stronger.

May be a bit stronger, but by no means Steaua was giving up and scoring chances were few, but both teams had them.

River Plate was luckier – Alzamendi broke through Romanian defense, Stingaciu saved his first strike, but the ball bounced up when the goalkeeper was dropping down and Alzamendi had a second chance. He drove the ball in the net with a header.

No other goals were scored until the final whistle, instantly making the moment ‘historic’ and Alzamendi a great hero.

The great moment was reproduced from all angles again and again – it made River Plate champions of the world.

River Plate joyously made their triumphal run with the trophy in their hands.

Tokyo. Field: National Stadium.
December 14, 1986 Att: 62.000 Ref: José Luis Martínez Bazán (URU)

River Plate (ARG) 1-0 (1-0) Steaua Bucuresti (ROM)
1-0 28' Alzamendi

River Plate: Nery Alberto Pumpido - Jorge Manuel Gordillo, Nelson Daniel Gutiérrez, Oscar Alfredo Ruggeri, Alejandro Alfredo Montenegro - Héctor Aldolfo Enrique, Américo Rubén Gallego,
               Norberto Osvaldo Alonso, Roque Raúl Alfaro (68' Daniel Adolfo Sperandío) - Antonio Alzamendi, Juan Gilberto Funes.
               Coach: Héctor Rodolfo Veira
               Unused substitutes: Sergio Javier Goycochea, Rubén Darío Gómez, Claudio Morresi, Néstor Raúl Gorosito.

Steaua: Stîngaciu - Iovan, Belodedici, Bumbescu, Weisenbacher - Barbulescu (Majearu 60), Stoica, Balan, Balint - Lacatus, Piturca
               Coach: Anghel Iordanescu
               Unused substitutes: Iordache, Cireasa, Ivan, Lotariu.

Dirty, bruised and happy celebrating in the dressing room – a classic, a cliché, a symbol of football.

One can hardly say Steaua (Bucharest) was weaker or even deserved to lose. More unlucky than anything – River scored a goal and they did not. Losing a battle of equals is no shame, but losing a coveted trophy is hardly a happy occasion. Standing from left: Iovan, Belodedici, V. Piturca, Bumbescu, Stingaciu. First row: G. Balint, Lacatus, L. Balan, I. Barbulescu, Weiszenbacher, T. Stoica.

The sensational victory in the spring made the names familiar and thus speculations sprung, lasting for many years: where was the the goalkeeping hero of the European final, Duckadam? Given the political situation in Romania, dark rumors circulated for years, never really dying. But his absence provides an opportunity for re-evaluation of Steaua – it was not just a good starting formation, shaped and spurred by ambitious and mighty son of Communist dictator. Steaua had very talented coach and had more than 11 wonderful players. It was not Duckadam the big great starting goalkeeper, but Dumitru Stingaciu, for instance – a national team player for many years already. Another long serving national team playing, well remembered from the 1984 European finals – Majearu – came in the second half of the Intercontinental final as a substitute. On the bench were current and future stars of not just Romanian football: Hagi, Boloni, Rotariu. No matter how and why Steaua was made, this was great squad in purely football terms. Too bad they were unable to win everything this year, but the winner could be only one.

The ‘gallinas’ were completely buried with this victory – River Plate won absolutely everything this year: the Argentine championship, Copa Libertadores, Copa Interamericana, the Intercontinental Cup. Few teams achieved total success in the history of the sport. Standing from left: Gordillo, Gallego, Nelson Gutierrez, Pumpido, Ruggeri, Montenegro. Crouching: Alzamendi, Hector Enrique, Funes, Alonso, Alfaro. Like Steaua, this was not the full power of the team – there was more on the bench, so this River Plate vintage was really a great squad. Alzamendi became a great hero of the club, of course, but no other than Norberto Alonso deserved more the success: he was Mr. River Plate already, raised in the club, spending most of his career with them, a great star and motivator, an emblem, but also a suffering hero, for there was no international success, no matter what kind of squad River had in the 1970s and early 80s – and they repeatedly had mighty squads, as names go at least. So at last and still with Alonso – a triumph. A triumph so great, it erased a lot of the unsuccessful past. And more – Argentina won the World Cup, Argentine club was the best in the world, South American teams were unbeaten in the Intercontinental finals since 1976 (Argentinos Juniors lost only on penalty shoot-out in 1985). The River Plate victory symbolized many things and on much wider scale than Boca Juniors would like it.

Marvelous triumph, asking for a long, long party.

Just before making the last step to glory in Tokyo – Steaua on the left.

South American Player Of The Year

South American player of the year. There was change – the Uruguayan newspaper ‘El Pais’ took over the trophy this year. One may suspect bias in the voting… One can pause and think about calculation of success. And also about the struggle of realities – the Europeans had a rule only European players to be chosen for their own trophy. It was easy for them… all European greats played in Europe. South Americans had to either ignore their players in Europe, or somewhat place their own football in secondary position – not something South American pride was prepared to swallow. Thus… no Maradona among the best three. No Francescoli either. The absence of Francescoli is easier to explain – no great success with Uruguay and no part of River Plate’s successes in 1986. No great triumph in France. Maradona meantime was hailed as the greatest player at the World Cup, he won it – for many alone. No success on club level, though. But the best player in the world in his arguably most important year. His absence could be explained only by decision to avoid European-based players and Uruguayan bias. Julio Cesar Romero (Paraguay and Fluminense) was voted 3rd – after winning the trophy the previous year, he was again among the best. Consistency. No doubt of his great talent. No success, though… neither Fluminense, nor Paraguay did anything significant in 1986. Careca (Sao Paulo and Brazil) was 2nd – some doubt can be cast as well. Careca was more or less new discovery, just coming to true stardom. Not the most impressive Brazilian at the World Cup. Winning nothing with Brazil, but Brazilian champion with Sao Paulo.

Antonio Alzamendi Casas was voted number one. Well, an Uruguayan… voted best by Uruguayan-run classification. Suspect… On the other hand…

The 30-years Alzamendi had a great season. With the ugly reputation Uruguay acquired at the World Cup, Alzamendi was somewhat lost as a name – nobody really looked for performance, only for brutality. Alzamendi may not have been spectacular at the World Cup, but let say he played solid and dependable football.

Aside from playing for Uruguay, the year was great for the right-winger, or ‘second striker’ (depending on what a particular generation is used to call). Alzamendi won the Argentine championship, Copa Libertadores, the Intercontinental Cup, and, technically for 1986 – Copa Interamericana. He scored the winning goal in Tokyo. He played great for River Plate and he was already one of the key players and most instrumental after Francescoli departed to Europe. This was also his 15th year as a professional footballer – 30-years old now, Alzamendi debuted in the already very distant 1971 for the provincial Wanderers (Durazno, Uruguay). This was his second spell with River Plate after playing successfully for Independiente (Avellaneda), Nacional and Penarol (Montevideo), UAG (Mexico), and some lesser clubs. He was yet to play a bit in Europe – and that was perhaps the reason why his name hardly rings any bells for the Europeans – but he was more than well known in South America. A national player of Uruguay since 1978, which translates in something improtant – he was part of the Uruguayan revival after the disastrous 1970s. Brushing aside Uruguayan bias in the voting, Alzamendi had incredibly strong and successful season. If the idea was to ignore European-based players, Alzamandi deserved recognition and may be the trophy. May be… it was tough call with Argentina fresh World champion, even if Maradona was ignored. Yet, was he the best this year? Never mind… it is also interesting to see somebody less famous, somebody somewhat ignored so far, to win. Then again… if long career was to play a role, why not Norberto Alonso, the body and soul of River Plate? Depends on which coast of La Plata one votes, I guess.

Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores. As it happened, this issue of Libertadores had few things of note – the Venezuelan clubs dropped out before the tournament started, leaving Group 5 with only 2 teams. Brazilian Bangu made its only appearance in the tournament, but they were especially weak, finishing last in Group 4 with 2 points. The other Brazilian representative, Curitiba failed to win the group, and no Brazilian club reached the second stage. No Uruguayan team either, for they had the misfortune to play in Group 1 with the Argentine clubs. Penarol was surprisingly weak. The general decline of Peruvian clubs was also felt – they finished bellow the Bolivians. Apart from that, everything was as usual: the 5 group winners reached the second stage, where the current holder of the cup joined them, they were divided into 2 round-robin groups and winners went to play the final. 
Group 1. 
 1.River Plate (Buenos Aires) 6 5 1 0 13- 4 11
 2.Wanderers (Montevideo) 6 3 0 3 10-10 6
 3.Boca Juniors (Buenos Aires) 6 2 2 2 7- 8 6
 4.Peñarol (Montevideo) 6 0 1 5 4-12 1
Group 2.

1.América (Cali) 6 3 3 0 8- 4 9

 2.Deportivo Cali 6 2 3 1 8- 5 7
 3.Cobresal (El Salvador) 6 1 5 0 6- 5 7
 4.Universidad Católica (Santiago) 6 0 1 5 5-13 1
Group 3.

1.Bolívar (La Paz) 6 4 1 1 12- 7 9

 2.Jorge Wilstermann (Cochabamba) 6 3 0 3 11- 8 6
 3.Universitario (Lima) 6 3 0 3 9-11 6
 4.Universidad Técnica Cajamarca 6 1 1 4 7-13 3
Group 4.

1.Barcelona (Guayaquil) 6 2 4 0 7- 5 8

 2.Coritiba (Curitiba) 6 2 3 1 8- 5 7
 3.Deportivo Quito 6 2 3 1 12-11 7
 4.Bangu (Rio de Janeiro) 6 0 2 4 6-12 2
Group 5.
The Venezuelan representatives (Estudiantes and Táchira) withdrew

 1.Olimpia (Asunción) 2 2 0 0 5- 2 4
 2.Nacional (Asunción) 2 0 0 2 2- 5 0
Group 1.
 1.River Plate (Buenos Aires) 4 2 1 1 7- 3 5
   Argentinos Juniors (Bs. Aires) 4 2 1 1 3- 1 5
 3.Barcelona (Guayaquil) 4 1 0 3 2- 8 2

First Place Playoff
Oct 4: River Plate - Argentinos Jrs. 0-0 (after extra time)
River Plate qualify due to better goal difference in group.
Group 2. 
 1.América (Cali) 4 2 1 1 4- 4 5
 2.Olimpia (Asunción) 4 1 2 1 5- 4 4
 3.Bolívar (La Paz) 4 1 1 2 5- 6 3
Final.This was special final – America (Cali) was playing their third consecutive final and it was high time to break the bad spell and win the Cup at last. Arguably, America had its strongest team in history, so it was not just ambition – this squad craved international success. There were big stars playing in it – the Paraguayan Cabanas and the Argentine Gareca, who played for River Plate just a year earlier. River Plate had even greater hunger – not just wonderful team, but also they were spurred by pain: River Plate did not won Copa Libertadores so far, losing both finals they played in 1966 and 1976. Like America, they needed to break the bad spell, although in their case it was matter of reaching a final once every 10 years. It was more than just failing behind the other great Argentine clubs – their lack of success brought them the nickname 'gallinas' – chicken – and they were constantly mocked by the rivals Boca Juniors. By both supporters and players – Boca players frequently flapped their arms, like chicken do, after scoring goal to River. Both opponents driven by similar ambitions and having great squad in top form, the final was promising a great clash, if not necessary great football, with high possibility of going to third match. River Plate got the upper hand in the opening match, played in Cali – they were leading 2-0 by the 25

 minute and America was unable to really come back. First Juan Gilberto Funes showed the deftness, which earned him the nickname ‘El Bufalo’ and opened the score, then Alzamendi gave great pass to Norberto Alonso,who made it 2-0. Roberto Cabanas scored right after the start of the second half, in the 47

minute, but that was all America could do. America 1 – River Plate 2.

The second leg was not easier even with the advantage of playing in front of home crowd for River: America did not want to lose and South American tempers showed up – Montenegro (River Plate) and Gareca (America) were sent off. Eventually, Enrique gave a pass to Funes, who held the ball up, turned and hit a low shot in the left-hand side of the Colombian net. It went in.

The Argentine goalkeeper of America Julio Cesar Falcioni had no chance. El Matador scored his second goal in the finals, the only goal in this game and River Plate won. May be Gareca felt sorry for leaving River Plate…

River Plate broke the bad spell and finally won Copa Libertadores – ‘gallinas’ no more!

Three times losers – that is bad luck. Or lack of true class… probably more to the point and a comment on the state of many big South American clubs at the time. America, as strong as it was and having perhaps its best period ever, never had the historical weight of clubs like Independiente, Santos, Penarol, Flamengo and others from Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Colombian football as a whole ranked even lower than America – the club after all used foreign talent regularly. But that could be the exact argument: bad financies, stars leaving to play in Europe, general mismanagement diminished football in all leading nations. America climbed to the top largely because it appeared stable compared to most. Yet, it was enough to meet solid and sound team from one of the traditional leaders and the Colombians lost. Not without fight, but still they came second best. Made an anti-record, though – losing three finals in three years. Imagine the frustration.

‘Gallinas’ no more. Long years of pain and suffering ended – River Plate won Copa Libertadores at last. It was strong campaign – they lost only one match, but that was also the tiny black spot to worry about: Argentinos Juniors not only beat them, but River Plate managed to overcome them only on better goal-difference. True, Argentinos Juniors were the reigning holders of Copa Libertadores, but they had a limited squad, beyond compare with the wealth of talent River Plate had – and practically River Plate was unable to beat them! A bad omen for things to come perhaps, but at the moment everything was great – River Plate concurred Copa Libertadores and won the Argentine championship. The squad had so much talent, it could be argued this was one of the best squads ever, along with ‘La machina’. A plethora of old and new World champions, various stars of lesser fame, Uruguayan greats, future stars – talented players like Troglio and Goycochea, who will became famous names in the coming years. Enzo Francescoli went to France, but the absence of ‘the Prince’ upset absolutely nothing. Given the talent River Plate had at this time, it was only just they won Copa Libertadores – no other South American club had similarly strong and deep squad.

But great players need a great coach and probably long-haired and still very young Hector Veira deserves the credit: he managed to organize, motivate, and steer conflicting egos into a successful team. His great sense, if sometimes peculiar, humor helped as well. Why Veira was replaced in 1987 is a mystery – his famous trial for rape of minor boy seemingly came a bit later. Why players were sold one after another is understandable – even River Plate was in great need of money. So, from the distance of time, it is easy to say that 1986 was the pinnacle of a short-lived great team. It is a shame it was not longer run – this River squad could have been one of the most memorable teams of all time. But that was it fate – to be short-lived and barely noticed outside Argentina. There was a big relief for the veteran Norberto Alonso, who was the body and soul of River Plate for so many years to win internationally with his beloved team. Later he said ‘this was the last great Argentinian side I’ve seen.’ It was true, as it happens, but River Plate had as many enemies as it had supporters: even Copa Libertadores was not fully enough to lift the old stigma of losers. To really bury the chicken, to get rid of the mocking nickname completely, more was needed.

Argentina I Division

First Division in its first ‘European’ season: there were 2 final tables. The one, existing for awhile already was the 3-year relegation table – the last in it was directly relegated and the next to last went to the Octogonal tournament. Eventually, Huracan lost the promotion-relegation tournament and went down as well, joining Chacarita Juniors, the last in the relegation table, in the new Second Division.

Chacarita Juniors (Buenos Aires – General San Martin) was last in the real championship table as well with 21 points.

Atletico Racing (Cordoba) – 18th with 26 points.

Platense (Vicente Lopez) – 17th with 27 points.

Estudiantes (La Plata) – 16th with 27 points.

Temperley (Temperley) – 15th with 29 points.

Union (Santa Fe) – 14th with 31 points.

Huracan (Buenos Aires) – 13th with 32 points, but they were 18th in the relegation table, lost the Octogonal final, and were relegated.

Velez Sarsfield (Buenos Aires) – 12th with 34 points

nstituto (Cordoba) – 11th with 35 points.

Gimnasia y Esgrima (La Plata) – 10th with 36 points.

Independiente (Avellaneda) – 9th with 36 points.

Talleres (Cordoba) – 8th with 37 points.

San Lorenzo (Buenos Aires) – 7th with 40 points. With young and yet unknown Chilavert between the goalposts.

Ferro Carril Oeste (Buenos Aires) – 6th with 40 points.

Boca Juniors (Buenos Aires) – 5th with 41 points.

Argentinos Juniors (Buenos Aires) – 4th with 44 points.

Deportivo Espanol (Buenos Aires) – 3rd with 46 points. There best season so far. Standing from left: Carlos Martínez, Juan C. Segovia, Guillermo Zárate, Osvaldo Scigliano, Pedro Catalano, Luis Correa.
First row: Lorenzo Ojeda, Mario Cariaga, Claudio Nigretti, José L. Rodríguez, Daniel F. Andrada (Uruguayan).

Newell’s Old Boys (Rosraio) – 2nd with 46 points. Strong season, but ending on a bitter note, for they failed to win the second Libertadors spot, losing to Boca Juniors.

River Plate (Buenos Aires) – they had splendid season and won the league, leaving Newell’s Old Boys 10 points behind. 23 wins,10 ties, only 3 losses, 74- 26 goal-difference, 56 points. Naturally, River Plate had the best defensive record in the championship, but their scoring record was much more impressive: goals were getting difficult to score in last years and only 2 teams scored more than 50 goals this season. Boca Juniors scored 57 – 1.58 goal-average. River Plate achieved 2.05 goal-average – the only team reaching 2 goals-per-game. The squad was splendid, some of the boys were going to be world champions just in a month or two, but River Plate also supplied Uruguay with 3 players for the 1986 World Cup. Alonso and Gallego had their laurels from the past. Hector ‘el Bambino’ Veira did excellent job as daring coach, who had some risky ideas, but they worked. Of course, having this kind of squad helped applying risky ideas. There was more than domestic title in 1986, something much more important, but it was yet to come.

Argentina Pre-Libertadores

Liguilla Pre-Libertadores tournament – 1985/1986. Not exactly something new, but this time it was part of the transitional season – the only direct link with the previous Campeonato Nacional. Notes:

. Vélez Sarsfield played as runner-up of Nacional championship 1985.
. 6 teams from Interior tournament.
. 5 teams from Primera División championship.
. Argentinos Juniors did not play this tournament because they were qualified to play Libertadores cup as holders.
1/8 finals
    Boca Juniors 2-1 2-1 Alianza Cutral Co
    Ferro Carril Oeste (BUE) 2-1 2-1 Güemes (Santiago del Estero)
Guemes out.
    San Lorenzo de Almagro 4-1 3-0 Guaraní Antonio Franco
    Vélez Sarsfield 3-0 2-1 Concepción Fútbol Club
    Boca Juniors 1-1 3-2 Olimpo
Olimpo (Bahia Blanca) out. 
    Ferro Carril Oeste (BUE) 0-0 4-0 Deportivo Español
    Newell's Old Boys 3-1 2-1 Belgrano (COR)
Belgrano out.
    San Lorenzo de Almagro 1-1 0-0 Vélez Sarsfield
Note: San Lorenzo de Almagro progressed after extra time and pen. 4-3 in the second match.
    Boca Juniors 2-1 0-0 San Lorenzo de Almagro
    Newell's Old Boys 1-0 1-1 Ferro Carril Oeste (BUE)
    Boca Juniors 0-2 4-1 Newell's Old Boys
Unfortunate finish for Newell's Old Boys.
To Libertadores cup 1986: Boca Juniors.

Argentina II Division

Primera B Division – Apertura. 20 teams played in it, the old Primera B Division. They were divided in 2 groups, the top 4 in each qualified to the new Primera B Nacional for the 1986-87 season. The best 7 of them, tabled by points, proceeded to the Octogonal Tournament to compete for one promotion to the top league for 1986-87 season. All those bellow 4th place in each group went to the new Primera B Metropolitana, the new third level.

Group A:

1. Los Andes 18 10 3 5 7 1 1 3 2 4 32 24 23 [Qualified to Nacional B]

2. Deportivo Italiano 18 6 10 2 5 3 1 1 7 1 32 18 22 [Qualified to Nacional B]

3. Defensa y Justicia 18 6 9 3 4 4 1 2 5 2 21 13 21 [Qualified to Nacional B]

4. Lanús 18 7 7 4 4 3 2 3 4 2 28 21 21 [Qualified to Nacional B] —————————————————————————

 5. Deportivo Morón 18 7 5 6 6 3 0 1 2 6 28 25 19 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

6. Atlanta 18 7 5 6 6 3 0 1 2 6 22 21 19 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

7. Almirante Brown 18 6 5 7 3 3 3 3 2 4 23 33 17 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

8. Nueva Chicago 18 5 6 7 3 4 2 2 2 5 31 28 16 [Qualified to B Metropolitana] Standing from left: Schneider, Pereyra, Callipo, Pumpido, Quinto Pagés, Díaz.
Crouching: Scotta, Rifourcat, Landaburo, Acuña, Dundo. 

9. Defensores de Belgrano 18 5 4 9 3 3 3 2 1 6 22 29 14 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

10. Argentino (Rosario) 18 2 4 12 2 2 5 0 2 7 8 35 8 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

Group B

1. Banfield 18 9 5 4 5 0 4 4 5 0 24 15 23 [Qualified to Nacional B]

2. Tigre 18 8 7 3 4 4 1 4 3 2 19 13 23 [Qualified to Nacional B]

3. Deportivo Armenio 18 9 4 5 4 3 2 5 1 3 29 16 22 [Qualified to Nacional B]

4. Colón (Sta. Fe) 18 8 5 5 5 3 1 3 2 4 26 19 21 [Qualified to Nacional B] —————————————————————-

5. Estudiantes (Bs.As.) 18 6 6 6 5 3 1 1 3 5 21 25 18 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

6. El Porvenir 18 5 7 6 3 4 2 2 3 4 17 18 17 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

7. San Miguel 18 5 6 7 2 4 3 3 2 4 18 21 16 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

8. All Boys 18 4 7 7 2 4 3 2 3 4 17 21 15 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

9. Villa Dálmine 18 4 6 8 1 3 5 3 3 3 13 24 14 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

10. Quilmes 18 3 5 10 3 1 5 0 4 5 16 28 11 [Qualified to B Metropolitana]

Octogonal tournament. 7 top teams from Apertura “B” tournament (Second division) and Huracán from Primera División championship (First division).

Colon (Santa Fe) had the worst record among the top 8 in the Apertura and did not qualify to the Octogonal.


Huracán – Lanus 2-0 and 2-3

Lanus out.

Los Andes – Deportivo Armenio 1-0 and 2-2

Deportivo Armenio out. Standing from left: Gardarian, Jose Villareal, Gallardo, Oviedo, Argueso, Sarmiento. First row: Luis Villareal, Sigifredo, Alderete, Cincunegui, Ubeda.

Banfield – Defensa y Justicia 2-0 and 2-2

Defensa y Justicia out. Standing from left: Donaires, Montemurro, Ramirez Lopez, Milozzi, Britez, Nazar. Front: Ramorez, Viscovich, Gomez, Perez, Carozo Bartelemi.

Deportivo Italiano – Tigre 2-0 and 2-1

Tigre out.


Huracán – Los Andes 1-0 and 3-1

Los Andes out. Standing from left: Meza, Martinez, Pandiani, Hernan Diaz, Cuffaro Russo, Escobedo, Pancirolli. Front: Galloni, Paolorossi, Marcos Castro, Alarcon, Pizzo.

Deportivo Italiano – Banfield 1-1, 0-0 and 3-4 shoot-out.

Banfield out. Standing from left: Birriel, Segovia, Raffaelli, Alves, Pogany, Hugo Ramirez. Crouching: Orte, Robinson Hernandez, Jara, Marcelo Benitez, Horacio Garcia.

Final: Deportivo Italiano – Huracan 1-0, 1-2, and 2-2. Deportivo Italiano won the following shoot-out 4-2. Huracán lost was relegated to play in the the new Primera B Nacional the 1986-87 season.

Deportivo Italiano promoted to First Division. The club was founded in 1955 in the Italian Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, but technically belongs to Ciudad Evita, La Matanza Partido, just outside Buenos Aires proper. This promotion was their greatest success so far, for Deportivo Italia eventually climbed up to second level, but top league football was out of their reach yet. It was wonderful – going to play in the first division for the first time.


Argentina. Transitional and, therefore, confusing season. The season calendar was changed from the “calendar year” to the “European calendar”. There were no more 2 separate championships, but singular league championship. To do that was to overcome problems – the original Metropolitan First Division remained as national one, but the second level had to incorporate provincial clubs and because of that practically played 2 championships in the inaugural 1985-86 – one was to determine which teams of the former Primera B Division will be part of the new Primera B Nacional. Thus, two confusing issues were and are at hand: The first one if the wisdom of the change of the season: looks like the prime motivation was to make possible to compete with European teams on equal footing, for so far there was the inconvenience one of the opponents to be on vacation between seasons and official games were difficult to schedule. Attached to that was the transfer market – South American rules were always laxer than the European ones, but it was becoming increasingly dangerous matter: players were transferred to Europe practically in the middle of the Argentine season. That often meant staring to build a new team right in the heat of unfinished season. Either that or no deal, for European clubs wanted new players before the start of their new season. And the Argentine clubs desperately needed transfer money. Aside from these 2 reasons, the change hardly makes sense: to play on European calendar means a season from August to May next year, which possible winter break. But seasons in South America are reversed and such a calendar means playing spring-fall season, like in Scandinavia. Since the Argentine summer is nothing like Scandinavian summer, the new schedule meant playing the central chunk of the championship in the scorching summer. Not a good idea, but it was done. Perhaps the biggest positive aspect was the incorporation of the whole country into one championship structure.

          But transition was not easy – top level was accommodated easily and the old Metropolitan top division simply switched to new 1985-86 season. Second level was entirely different matter, as well as promotion to the top level. The old Metropolitan second division played a tournament called ‘Apertura’ in 1986. The top 8 teams in it were to play in the new Primera B Nacional, starting in 1986-87 season. The rest were going to third level, named Primera B Metropolitana, which included only affiliated clubs. The new Primera B Nacional was to be of 22 teams, so about 14 provincial clubs (depending on relegation from the top league) – presumably, those who qualified in the 1986 season. The structure of this tournament was largely as the one used for now defunct Nacional championship and the winner of it in 1986 was promoted to the top league for the 1986-87 season. Promotion from Apertura was more complicated: the second worst in the top division plus the top 7 teams in the Apertura went to play the Octogonal tournament – the winner of it was promoted to the top league for the 1986-87 season.

          There was something lost in the transition from one structure to another: some famous clubs were nowhere to be seen: Belgrano (Cordoba) was one of them, apparently failing to reach promotion and having to settle in lower lever for the near future at least. But Belgrano was not all that heavy weight as the other absence: Racing (Avellaneda). What happened to one of the big 5 in Argentina? Not in the first division, not in the second… If Racing played in the Nacional, then why? It was Metropolitan club. If Racing somehow dropped out from the structure, then how they came back later? In 1986 Racing simply disappeared.                    But another great name came back:

Rosario Central (Rosario) earned promotion from the Nacional. It was fast recovery from failure, but so far they were only going back to the top division. It was going to be much better very soon, but for the moment it was satisfactory season – the shameful plunge down was over.


Brazil. The CBF decided to reorganize the national championship to 28-team tournament in 1987 and for that changes were made in the structure of 1986 campaign. There was no second level this year, just Copa Brazil. 80 teams participated and the structure was somewhat simplified. The so-called final table served at least a purpose: the top 28 teams in it were going to be the new top level in 1987 – however, it was not exactly in numerical order, but according to the stage reached during the championship, so at the end ‘the final table’ was not accurate. Teams at lower positions in the earlier stages of the championship were ‘relegated’. Eventually, all that became purely symbolic – the new concept cracked during the championship and shattered at the end. Still, the championship was gigantic and difficult to follow, so it will suffice to show only the last stages and ‘the final table’ here.
At the first stage the teams were divided into 8 groups – not equal at all. Group A had 11 teams and the last 4 were eliminated. Group B – 11 teams, 3 eliminated. Group C – 11 teams, 3 eliminated, Group D – 11 teams, 2 eliminated. Groups E, F, G, and H had 10 teams each and only the winners qualified to the second stage, 9 teams eliminated in each group. The concept cracked at this level, in Group D: originally, 28 teams were to qualify from groups A-D, meaning 3 teams were going to be eliminated in every group. Vasco da Gama was the last to qualify, but Sergipe failed doping probe after their match with Joinville (1-1). Joinville was awarded 2 points consequently and moved ahead of Vasco da Gama. Vasco da Gama filed a protest. Joinville also filed a protest and the Federation found itself in deadlock – both parties were right… The way out was to eliminate Portuguesa – 2nd in Group D. They were eliminated for going to justice court over a matter of ticket sales. Guilty of bypassing the Federation and going straight to the court of law… This decision angered all clubs from Sao Paulo and they threatened to abandon the competition in solidarity with Portuguesa. The Federation reversed its whimsical decision, Vasco da Gama, Joinville, and Portuguesa qualified to the second stage and thus the number of teams was now 29 – the odd number had to be remedied and Santa Cruz, Sobradinho, and Nautico were qualified as well in order of all groups in the second stage having the same number of teams. However, the incident proved once again that the Federation was incapable of making and enforcing meaningful decisions and was easily bending under pressure. New factors emerged as well – protests were becoming common and went to courts of law, challenging the Federation from another angle: right or wrong, the Federation had to apply a court ruling – or abandon the championship, for it was not going to continue until court cases were settled. One case was leading to another, football was at risk to be played not on stadiums, but in various courtrooms. But even such crack in the system opened the doors for constant challenges by unhappy clubs, especially the big ones, and the final result was the crash of otherwise meaningful reform of the championship.
Second stage. 4 groups of 9 teams each, the last two ‘relegated’. The top 4 qualified to the third stage. The rest – 5th to 7th placed? Apparently, qualified to the new 1987 championship. There was just one of the famous clubs in this group: Santos (5th in Group I). Better goal-difference qualified Gremio in Group J.
Third stage or 1/8 finals, direct elimination after two legs. In case of equal result, the better finisher in the second stage qualified to the ¼ finals. Fluminense, Cruzeiro, and Corinthians benefited by this rule.
¼ finals. Same rule applied in case of equal result and Atletico Mineiro benefited, having better record in the third stage than Cruzeiro. Fluminense and Corinthians were eliminated properly.
In the semi-finals Guarani eliminated Atletico Mineiro 0-0 and 2-1, and San Paulo prevailed over America (Rio de Janeiro) 1-0 and 1-1.
Thus, Sao Paulo and Guarani met at the final. After two games there was no winner – it was 1-1 in each match, 2-2 after overtime and penalty shoot-out decided the championship. Sao Paulo was luckier and won 4-3.
Somehow Sao Paulo won the championship – in February 1987! – and the incomplete photo, with Nelsinho absent for some reason, as an ample commentary of the messy and chaotic Brazilian championship. It was the second title for Sao Paulo. The squad was not bad, but hardly a great one. In the so-called ‘final table’ Sao Paulo’s campaign shows strength: 17 wins, 13 ties, 4 losses, 62-22 goal-difference in this season. However, it was not the best record: Guarani had a stronger one – 21 wins, 11 ties, only 2 lost games, 59-18 goal-difference. May be not significant difference, for the decisive stages were face-to-face eliminations and it was familiar trait in Brazilian football the strongest team in the whole season to finish second. Even so, Sao Paulo did not appear as convincing champion – rather, a lucky one.
And let’s look at ‘the final table’, for it was deciding who will play top level football in 1987 – at least according to the reforming idea of the Brazilian Federation and at the end of the 1986 season. The deserving teams are marked with a star: *.
Sao Paulo as national champions and 1st in the table. *
Guarani (Campinas) – 2nd. Standing from left: Sergio Neri, Gilson Jader, Almir, Ricardo Rocha, Marco Antonio, Tosin. First row: Chiquinho Carioca, Tite, Evair, Marco Antonio Boiadeiro, Joao Paulo. *

*3 – Atletico Mineiro (Belo Horizonte). 32 17 11 4 39-20 45
*4 – America (Rio de Janeiro). 32 11 12 9 29-29 34. Quite a weak seasonal record, but reached the semi-finals!
*5 – Bahia (Salvador). 30 17 6 7 40-21 40

*6 – Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro). 30 16 6 8 33-19 38
*7 – Corinthians (Sao Paulo). 30 13 12 5 42-20 38
*8 – Cruzeiro (Belo Horizonte). 30 12 12 6 38-21 36
*9 – Criciuma (Criciuma). 26 14 7 5 28-19 35
*10 – Palmeiras (Sao Paulo). 28 12 10 6 42-23 34
*11 – Portuguesa (Sao Paulo). Standing from left: Serginho, César, Jones, Albéris, Toquinho. Crouching: Eduardo, Célio, Edu Marangon, Toninho, Luís Pereira, Esquerdinha. 28 11 12 5 31-23 34
*12 – Internacional (Limeira). 26 13 7 6 37-25 33
*13 – Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro). Standing from left: Leandro, Cantarelli, Mozer, Andrade, Jorginho, Adalnerto. Front: Bebeto, Socrates, Chiquinho, Zico, Adilio. 28 12 8 8 34-19 32
*14 – Joinville (Joinville). 28 8 13 7 30-31 29
*15 – Vasco da Gama (Rio de Janeiro). 28 10 8 10 35-24 28
*16 – Gremio (Porto Alegre). 28 9 10 9 32-27 28
*17 – Internacional (Porto Alegre). 26 12 8 6 40-23 32
*18 – Atletico Paranaense (Curitiba). 26 9 11 6 27-17 29
*19 – Santos (Santos). 26 9 11 6 25-16 29
*20 – Rio Branco (Cariacica). 26 10 7 9 29-29 27
*21 – Bangu (Rio de Janeiro). 26 8 10 8 21-23 26
22 – Ponte Preta (Campinas). 26 9 7 10 29-30 25. Did not qualify for the new 1987 season.
*23 – Goias (Goiania). 26 7 11 8 25-30 25
*24 – Treze (Campina Grande). 24 9 6 9 16-22 24
*25 – Ceara (Fortaleza). 26 8 8 10 25-31 24
*26 – CSA (Maceio). 26 7 10 9 20-23 24
*27 – Santa Cruz (Recife). 26 6 12 8 24-30 24
28 – Sport (Recife). 26 8 7 11 25-27 23. Did not qualify for the 1987 season.
*29 – Atletico Goianianense (Goiania). 26 7 9 10 23-28 23
30 – Vitoria (Salvador). 26 6 11 9 23-30 23. Did not qualify for the 1987 season.
*31 – Nautico (Recife). 26 10 2 14 21-31 22. This was the last club qualified for the next season.
32 – Botafogo (Rio de Janeiro). 26 6 10 10 21-28 22. One can safely bet that trouble starts right here – Botafogo did not qualify for the 1987 season. So… pressure would be applied for sure. Until the Federation give up.
33 – Central (Caruaru). 24 7 7 10 22-37 21
34 – Nacional (Manaus). 26 7 6 13 25-33 20
35 – Comercial (Campo Grande). 26 5 9 12 22-37 19
36 – Sobradinho (Brasilia). 26 5 6 15 21-46 16
37 – Juventus (Sao Paulo). 8 4 4 0 8- 2 12
38 – Americano (Campos). 8 5 1 2 11- 6 11
39 – Maranhao (Sao Luis). 8 4 2 2 10- 7 10
40 – Marcilio Dias (Itajai). 8 4 2 2 8- 6 10
41 – Rio Negro (Manaus). 8 3 4 1 5- 2 10
42 – Goytacaz (Campos). 8 4 1 3 12-11 9
43 – Moto Clube (Sao Luis). 8 4 1 3 9-10 9
44 – America (Natal). 8 3 3 2 9- 3 9
45 – Pinheiros (Curitiba). 8 3 3 2 11- 9 9
46 – Londrina (Londrina). 8 3 3 2 9- 8 9
47 – Santo Andre (Santo Andre). 8 3 3 2 8- 8 9
48 – Desportiva (Cariacica). 8 3 2 3 9- 7 8
49 – Guarany (Sobral). 8 3 2 3 8- 9 8
50 – Anapolis (Anapolis). 8 3 2 3 8- 9 8
51 – CRB (Maceio). 8 3 2 3 6- 7 8
52 – Sergipe (Aracaju). 10 3 2 5 5-16 8
53 – Juventude (Caxias do Sul). 8 2 4 2 7- 5 8
54 – Catuense (Catu). 8 2 4 2 9- 9 8
55 – Itumbiara (Itumbiara). 8 1 6 1 6- 7 8
56 – Taguatinga (Brasilia). 8 3 1 4 14-12 7
57 – Avai (Florianopolis). 8 3 1 4 5- 6 7
58 – Novo Hamburgo (Novo Hamburgo). 8 3 1 4 8-11 7
59 – Operario (Campo Grande). 10 3 1 6 9-15 7
60 – Botafogo (Joao Pessoa). 10 3 1 6 9-16 7
61 – America (Belo Horizonte). 8 2 3 3 10- 9 7
62 – Fortaleza (Fortaleza). 10 2 2 6 7-19 6
63 – Ferroviario (Fortaleza). 8 1 4 3 7- 8 6
64 – Ubiratan (Dourados). 7 1 4 2 5- 6 6
65 – Fluminense (Feira de Santana). 8 1 4 3 7-12 6
66 – Sampaio Correa (Sao Luis). 10 1 4 5 5-15 6
67 – Remo (Belem). 10 0 6 4 9-15 6
68 – Tuna Luso (Belem). 10 2 1 7 8-20 5
69 – Coritiba (Curitiba). 10 1 3 6 3- 9 5
70 – Alecrim (Natal). 10 1 3 6 7-15 5
71 – Sport Belem (Belem). 8 1 2 5 5-11 4
72 – Brasil (Pelotas). 8 1 2 5 8-13 4
73 – Confianca (Aracaju). 8 1 2 5 5-14 4
74 – Mixto (Cuiaba). 8 1 2 5 9-21 4
75 – Cascavel (Cascavel). 8 0 4 4 6-12 4
76 – River (Teresina). 8 0 4 4 6-15 4
77 – Paysandu (Belem). 10 1 1 8 5-18 3
78 – Piaui (Teresina). 10 1 1 8 6-26 3
79 – Operario (Varzea Grande). 10 1 1 8 4-24 3
80 – Uberlandia (Uberlandia). 7 0 3 4 2- 7 3
That’s it… The teams marked with stars would make the new reformed top level in 1987 – in theory. In practice – shall see. Sao Paulo triumphed. Botafogo was ‘relegated’ in a way. For the moment.