How Hans Krankl Missed the Ballon d’Or in 1978

How Hans Krankl Missed the Ballon d'Or in 1978

Not much was remembered and today Hans Krankl would be known not only as “Goldor”, but also as “Don Ballon”. The story of the “Ballon d’Or”, which narrowly survived in 1978.

In 1978, Hans Krückl narrowly missed this coveted trophy.
imago/sportphoto rudel

As the entire nation is debating today whether Lionel Messi got the “Ballon d’Or 2021” right or should not have gone to Robert Lewandowski, Austrian football fans can sit back and relax. Your (domestic) heroes have nothing to do with the outcome of the election of the best footballer in Europe. This doesn’t always happen. When Sir Stanley Mathews was awarded the “Golden Ball” in the first election conducted by “France Football” in 1956, Europe’s sports journalists (one from each country) had Ernst Ouaffect (seventh) and Gerhard Hanappi (13th). ) also thought of two. Austrian stars.

Hanapey was still a regular in later years and after three points in 1957 as well as a counter in 1958 and 1960, he was able to anticipate his best finish with 10th place in 1961. 1961 was not just a year, but the year of the “Decker Wonder Team”, which beat England, Hungary, the Soviet Union and Hungary again before defeating Yugoslavia in the last game of the year (probably after the vote was cast). For this Austria was also voted the best team in Europe by “France Football”. In addition to captain Hanappi, striker Horstal Nemec (3 points), goalkeeper Gernot Freudl, Karl Koller and Karli Stotz were among the best in Europe. It was not until 1970 that Franz Hasel scored another point to win the championship with Feyenoord (under coach Ernst Happel). In 1977, Europe first noticed Hans Krankl, who probably scored a point for his six goals in a 9–0 win against Malta.

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Keegan 87 – Crankle 81

A year later, in the Córdoba year, Hansi “I’ll Be a Fool” only scratched Crankle by six points before winning the “Ballon d’Or”. Kevin Keegan 87, Hans Krankl 81, Rob Rensenbrink 50, was the final result. And there are some football experts today – even at the international level – who question Keegan’s victory at the time. The former favorite of Liverpool had a first HSV season (with 9th place) with six goals in 25 games, not even excelling in the first half of the 1978/79 season, scoring 17 goals and becoming champions. Needless to say, he had only three goals under his belt before the election.

Along with England, for which he scored three goals in six matches, the “Mighty Mouse” did not even qualify for the World Cup in Argentina, with Hans Krankl scoring four goals and recommending himself to FC Barcelona. “It didn’t get better, but it was very popular,” says Hans Krankl to TODAY. In fact, in addition to his World Cup goals, “Goldor” could also throw the Golden Shoe with 41 goals for the 1977/78 season, as well as the first ten goals on the way to “Pichichi” (the trophy for Spain). . top scorer). Nevertheless, many saw Keegan’s victory in 1978 as compensation for the 1977 election, when he had to beat Gladbach’s Alan Simonsen by three points as championship-winning Liverpool’s outstanding man.

Austrian chooses Rensenbrinko

Ultimately, Kevin Keegan was ranked first nine times by the 26 journalists who had the right to vote, including by representatives of his “home countries” England and Scotland, and by Germany as the declared favorite of the Bundesliga. Hans Krünkl was No. 1 for the eight jury members. He received preferential votes from Spain (!), Italy, the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland, but not Austria. With Ferry Wimmer, who saw the better of Rob Rensenbrink, it was only enough for third place (Kegan was not even considered). No one was bothered then. To be fair, it should be mentioned that nothing more patriotism would have been enough to snatch the “Golden Ball” from Kevin Keegan, who, like Hans Krank, will celebrate his birthday on February 14 (though he’s two years old).

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Otto, the last one

An Austrian footballer has never come so close again. Herbert Prohaska still reached 7th place in 1980, Bruno Pezzi was represented four times in a row (from 1979 to 1982), Tony Polester shared 14th place with Ian Rush and Mark Heatley in 1987, Andy Herzog won Found himself after his first half in 1993. Season German Bundesliga with Roald Koemann and Jari Littmann in 18th place. After all, Salzburg’s cult defender Otto Konrad held the red, white and red flag for the last time in 1994, when he was rewarded with double points for his heroic deeds in the UEFA Cup (Elfurter against Frankfurt!).

The last player in the domestic Bundesliga to receive a vote in the “Ballon d’Or” election was Trifon Ivanov in 1996. Already tied on three points with defunct ex-Rapidler Paolo Maldini. And before Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane.


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