Peter Lorimer: still reeling, 36 years on
1974 we had a rugged start, but in the end succeeded in our own country. In fact, I wouldn’t want to miss any of these moments!
Are you still upset over the ‘Wembley Goal’ in the 1966 World Cup Final? Was it a goal? F Klass, Dortmund No, I’m not upset, and I’ve never been upset about 1966. I was just happy when it was over after 120 minutes. I had to chase Bobby Charlton the whole time and he was, at that time, the fittest player of them all. He was killing me. Did the famous ‘Wembley goal’ cross the line? We still don’t know. But for me the most important thing about Wembley 1966 was something else: we promoted German football and we forced the English into extra-time at their own World Cup final.
Do you think modern day referees are any better than when you played the game? Kev Stiles, Peterborough Back in the ’60s and ’70s the referee had to make all the decisions for himself, except for offside calls. Today the linesman is a much bigger help and wireless communication devices are, too. There’s been much talk about introducing two more referees to watch the penalty box, and I think this makes perfect sense. Think about a corner or free-kick, with 20 people close together and everyone pushing – we could make these key moments in a game much fairer. But I have no complaints about referees back in my day. It was easier for them without all the TV cameras we have now that can prove a striker was three millimetres offside.
I see that many of the national team in the early 1970s had long hair. These were the days of student revolt and left-wing
Firing in a shot past Moore and co in the ’66 World Cup Final
“We didn’t influence the ref in any unfair way against Leeds...he madethedecision himself”
Top New York, New York... so good he went there twice extremism in Germany – how involved in politics were German players at the time? R Wolff, Nuremberg I remember the long hair! The student protests were more like 1968, but we were affected by left-wing extremists in the ’70s. It all started with the hostage-taking during the Munich Olympics. At this time the so-called Red Army Faction terrorised Germany with bomb attacks. We players could not move freely anymore. Police officers were watching us all the time during the 1974 World Cup [in Germany]. But did we talk about politics in the dressing room? The World Cup is not the place for that.
You kept Johan Cruyff relatively quiet in the 1974 World Cup Final, at a time when he was probably the world’s best player. Was he the greatest opponent you ever faced? T Milligan, via email Without doubt Johan was the best of his time; that’s why we had to put our best defender, Berti Vogts, on him man-to-man. The more time passed, the better Berti controlled him.
Admit it, Franz: Holland were better than you in the 1974 World Cup, weren’t they? The Equaliser, via Twitter You’d get that impression if you watched the final! But Holland failed to score again after going 1-0 up, and by half-time we were winning. Then in the second half they moved their sweeper up, meaning they played a very risky man-to-man game at the back. But their attack got strong, even if they didn’t score. So that’s why they looked like the dominant team in the second half.
Did you feel fortunate to win the 1975 European Cup Final against Leeds? There was much controversy when you persuaded the referee to consult his assistant and disallow a goal after Peter Lorimer scored... James Harrow, via email Peter Lorimer was offside when he scored that goal. We did not influence the referee in any unfair way. He made the decision for himself.
You played in New York in the ’70s. Compared to the relatively small Munich, did the Big Apple seem like a different planet? Doug Earls, via email Pele was the first big name who played for Cosmos in 1975, and I arrived two years later. Yes, life in Manhattan and Munich-Giesing [the district where he was born] was very different. The houses were a tiny bit taller there!
Despite frequent success, you spent only 10 years in football management. What made you decide to quit? Did you not enjoy it? Charlie Fairclough, via Twitter I felt that time was enough. Being a club coach was a bit boring, doing the same thing day in, day out for years. That’s why I stayed only for a short time with Bayern and Marseille. The national coach gave me more freedom, but after six years it was time for a new face.
Franz is pictured with the Adidas Finale 11, the new UEFA Champions League ball for the 2011-12 season. For more information go to www.adidas.com/football or join the debate at www.facebook.com/adidasfootball
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