Hosts France fell in the semi-finals and lost in the fight for third place won by Czechoslovakia
The Spain of Gento, Kubala and Di Stefano was left out of the final phase by not being able to travel to Moscow by order of Franco
With the echoes still of the cold War and under the name European Cup of Nations started the first edition of what we know today as Eurocup. A seed that was played in Paris, in a closed circuit and with a chosen group of teams.
Until 17 combined had agreed to participate but only 16 could enter the qualifying phase, which lasted up to two years, so Ireland and Czechoslovakia they were forced to go through a previous eliminatory.
A duel that the Central Europeans ended up taking, thus starting their successful path in that inaugural tournament in which they ended up occupying third place, ousting the host, France from the podium. Others such as Italy, the Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany refused to participate. The Irish national team made their mark with the first goal of the competition Liam Tuohy.
The format of that first Euro was two-legged qualifiers and only four teams entered the final phase in France. Curiously, the team that was ultimately champion, the USSR, qualified for that last series without playing. His rival in the quarterfinals was going to be the Spain of Kubala, Gento, Di Stefano and company, but the Franco dictatorship prevented the team from traveling to Moscow for that appointment, thus ending its path in the national team tournament.
Lev Yashin, ahead of his time, decisive with his saves
The Soviet goalkeeper was one of the key men in the USSR’s victory with two decisive saves in the grand final. Known as the ‘Black Spider’, he is considered one of the forerunners of the modern goalkeeper and led his team during the 1960s.
USSR: Yashin; Tchekeli, Maslenkin, Kroutikov, Volnov; Netto, Metreveli, Ivanov; Poedelnik, Bubkin, Meshki
Yugoslavia: Vidinic; Durkonic, Miladinovic, Jusufi, Zanetic; Perusic, Sekularic, Jerkovic; Galic, Matus and Kostic
Goals: 0-1 M. 43 Galic. 1-1 M. 50 Metreveli. 2-1 M. Ponedelnik.
Referee: Arthur Ellis (England).
Stadium. Parc des Princes. 17,966 spectators.
Before almost 18,000 fans the combined Gavril kachalin he won the final with a comeback and extra time included. Galic put Yugoslavia ahead and Metreveli tied in the second. Ponedelnik avoided the extra game in extra time.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.