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A.C. Sparta - Mitropa Cup 1935
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-03-19 12:23:02
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
After losing the Státní Liga 1934/35 in the last against AFK Kolín, Sparta found themselves in a complicated mood. Their first tie were against Gschweidl's First Vienna FC. Thus, the fans were not so confindent about their team. Although Sparta had one of the best sides in the world, their game style was not well positionated and aligned to produce great performances.
A team which truly knew how to use a defensive version of the English W-Formació was Fiorentina. They finished as the second best defense in Serie A 1934/35 with only 23 goals conceded. Fiorentina also got two great results which eliminated the Nemzeti Bajnokság I 1934/35 champion, Újpest FC. Sparta — That seemed to have found their game after the 35th minute of the first half in the last Mitteleuropa Pokal match — would have to be patience and have preciseness against such a strong defensive system.
See also: The Italian tactics explained by István Tóth.
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Gringa Viani Nehodoma
Pizziolo Querci Magli Neri
Hugo Meisl was asked about Sparta's chance against Fiorentina:
— I assume that this match will be decided in Florence, — Meisl said — I haven't seen any other team playing the W formation as defensively as Fiorentina! Wings with centre-forward in attack, insiders withdrawn in coverage and centre half-backs at defenders. They defend themselves so excellently that even the hardest forwards can not cope. However, dangerous attackers are also required for this type of game. The most dangerous forward of Fiorentina is the left wing of Gringa, who prepared one goal in Budapest with his perfect center and scored the other one himself.
(Sparta's brand new front line)
Kalocsay Braine Faczinek
Nevertheless, Sparta thrashed Fiorentina in Prague and lost in Florence, but their first match result gave them a huge advantage that even the optimistic fan of Fiorentina could not think of a comeback. Due to the brilliance of Braine and Nejedlý, the Spartans classified to face the five-time Serie A champions, FC Juventus.
La maglia bianconera
The semi-finals — as it was expected — were the most complicated matches which Sparta played. This time, Braine & Klenovec were the names. Braine's outstanding tactical plays led the forwards, while Klenovec performed grandly in both matches; saving a penalty in the second match. The third match was played in a neutral ground, in Switzerland, and the match showed great superiority. Once again, Raymond Braine was Sparta's spotlight, although the whole team had an outstanding performance.
Already classified to play the finals, Ferencvárosi FC were waiting for the Sparta-Juventus play-off match. Sparta knew that after facing Juventus, they would have to face a strong Hungarian side, but the form that they were
The first final
Played on 08/09/1935, in Budapest, the match showed two different halves: 1st half of the match had Ferencvárosi as the dominant team. However, things changed after the interval as Sparta increased their dominance and had Raymond Braine as their goal scorer. The Hungarian audience knew that a 2:1 result was a bad one, and, thus, Sparta would have a great advantage in Prague. Things got even worse when Fradi found out the severity of Sárosi's and Kemény's injuries.
Sparta's best names were, once again, Raymond Braine and the goalkeeper Bohumil Klenovec — who seemed to have increased his performances even more after the matches against Juventus. Judging by each area, the best names were: The defensive line which had Jaroslav Burgr & Čtyřoký; The forward line which had Oldřich Nejedlý. Jaroslav Bouček was above all in the coverage line.
Champions of Mitteleuropa Pokal 1935
A week later, the match attended something close to 50.000 people in Masoryk. Sparta — according to Prague media would thrash Fradi — was confident on their game and their own ground advantage — And it was not different. Due to Sparta's great defenders and their reliable goalkeeper, Ferencvárosi could not score a single goal. The front line had Raymond Braine brightly commanding the attacks.
Kalocsay Braine Faczinek
Srbek Bouček Košťálek
The best players
This topic is based on the author's opinion.
After the first match against First Vienna FC, Sparta's whole team performance increased, and, thus, their individual values reached a high level of class. Throughout the whole campaign, their players were spotlight names in several matches. It truly was difficult to choose only three, and I consider to be a shame to leave names such as Géza Kalocsay, Oldřich Zajíček, Jaroslav Burgr and many others who achieved — I must insert — high and regular performances.
1# Raymond Braine
Sparta's best player in the tournament. Braine's brilliance in the middle of the coverage line and forward maestry led Sparta to the title. According to the Ring Cafe specialists, Raymond Braine was rated alongside György Sárosi as the best centre-forward of Mitteleuropa Pokal 1935. With great combinations with both insiders, Zajíček & Nejedlý, his performances enhanced.
2# Oldřich Nejedlý
Nejedlý was Sparta's second best forward. Always incisive and producing goals for the team, Nejedlý was one of the key players of the team. His combinations with Zajíček and, mainly, Raymond Braine formed a davastating inside trio. As Ring Cafe specialists related, Nejedlý was pointed as the best insider of the whole tournament.
3# Bohumil Klenovec
One of the best names of the campaign. Klenovec confirmed himself as a reliable goalkeeper, and also increased his performances when Sparta needed him the most. Klenovec was pointed by the Ring Cafe specialists as the best goalkeeper in Mitteleuropa Pokal. His best performances were, far ahead of the others, against FC Juventus and Ferencvárosi FC. He was the wall which blocked Sparta's goal.