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Lewgoyin, 1958: An interview with Plánička
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-09-27 18:49:26
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
— Stefan Lewgoyin | 24/04/1958 —
Plánička the fabulous has only defended one club in his entire career. The reporter arrives for the interview and, on all sides, sees Slavia's symbol. Up close, Plánička regains normal dimensions. How he materializes, replacing the legend that his magical defenses incorporated into the memories of the great European football of a few years ago.
He is 54 years old and still gives an indefinable idea of youth, something that radiates from the spirit of great athletes. Especially when he talks about the game, his body stiffens, his chest seems to come a little further forward, his gestures are incisive, energetic and only his silver hair denounces his condition as an old soldier. But he himself states, bluntly, that football remains a kind of religion for him. Suffice it to say that in 1957 he played fifteen matches on the national veterans team.
Plánička gets up and comes back with a notebook in his hand. There are his memories of the golden age. Dates, names, scores, sorrows and joys, more joys than sorrows. The notebook is a repository from which he intends to one day extract his memories. It all started in 1923. The walls of his house, covered with trophies, pennants and photographs, document and clarify those notes.
THE ETERNAL GOALKEEPER
A huge star, measuring almost one meter, is covered by the symbols of all the clubs in the world. From Slavia to Vasco da Gama, all these pennants and badges mark an event in the history of bohemian football. Medals, plaques, small gifts, arranged with zealous jealousy.
Plánička: This was when I was given the title of player of the year. This other one when I played fifty international matches.
— How many times have you been an international?
Plánička: Seventy-four. The first was against Poland, in 1925. The last against Brazil, in Bordeaux. We were playing in the quarterfinals of the 1938 World Cup. Perácio, a vigorous forward with a terrible shot, scrambled in the area. I sensed danger and dove at his feet. I fractured my arm, and despite that, I played another thirty-five minutes.
Plánička remembers that match with bitterness. There were minutes of indescribable emotion. By a hair's breadth, the battle didn't end with the lack of combatants. Three players were sent off and five others were seriously injured, including the famous Brazilian forward Leônidas and the great Czech insider Nejedlý. But for Plánička it was the end.
THE METALLIC CURTAIN
Truly, Plánička was consecrated in Rome. It was the final of the 1934 World Cup. The great Czech keeper was doing wonders on goal. More than an hour he kept his post intact and pure, under the terrible bombardment of the Azzurri forwards, driven by an audience whose emotional state was on the verge of hysteria. At one point, in a brilliant move by Nejedlý, Puč, a forward with extraordinary flashes, snuggled the ball into the Italian nets. Silence descended over the stadium and seemed to suffocate the players. The battle continued cruel and without truce. There were seven minutes left when the winger Orsi closed and scored the equalizer. For the first time, in the history of the Championship, the extra-time was necessary to consecrate the champion.
LEÔNIDAS WAS A GENIUS
— Facing some of the greatest forwards of all time, do you put any in the spotlight?
Plánička replied (as he always does about football) as if he already had all the answers ready and matured.
Plánička: The Brazilian Leônidas, the Hungarians Orth and Sárosi, the Italians Meazza and Piola, the Spaniards Samitier and Regueiro, the Austrian Schall and the Frenchman Paul Nicolas.
— And the goalkeepers?
Plánička: Zamora was inimitable. But I also admired Hiden and Chayriguès.
— What judgment do you make of the modern goalkeeper? Do you think the game has evolved for the goalkeeper?
Plánička: There were no radical changes, in my opinion. Even in my time there were goalkeepers who did not hesitate to leave their goal and who knew how to hand the ball to their forwards. Our national goalkeeper is very safe, but he lacks resourcefulness.
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