Dukla, the tragedy and opportunity of the east


Celtic went into the home first leg of their European Cup semi-final against Dukla Prague at 1-1.  Two second half goals from Willie Wallace added to Jimmy Johnstone’s opener were enough to ensure a British team would eventually reach the final of Europe’s premier tournament.  The return leg finished goalless.

The clubs met 14 years later in the Feyenoord Tournament, when two first half goals from Murdo McLeod secured a 2-1 win.  Since then, European football has been robbed of its meritocratic principles, which allowed talented clubs a route to the top, no matter how rich or poor their domestic TV contract was.  Nowhere has been so brutally robbed as east/central Europe.

The 1960s-through-80s saw teams from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Poland regularly dominate clubs from Scandinavia, south-eastern Europe, France, and occasionally, all comers.  Eastern Europe remains one of the world’s most productive areas for developing talented footballers, but even the average ones are stolen for a pittance while still in their teens.

In the 60s, Dukla were a genuine leading light in the game, producing seven of the Czech team who collected runners-up medals to Pele’s Brazil in the 1962 World Cup, with peerless midfielder, Josef Masopust, picking up the European Player of the Year award that year.  They would have fancied their chances against Celtic in ’67.

Where great tradition and sporting affection exists, so too does commercial opportunity.  The people of east/central Europe just need to figure out how to harness it.  Uefa are Europe’s maker of competitions.  Their job is to establish the structures which allows great and successful sport to take place.  A modern-day Jules Rimet is needed.

[calameo code=000390171ae033f39a0c4 lang=en page=120 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]
Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Neustadt-Braw and weefrathetim



    I’d like to express sympathy to you and your families.



    The positivity of the Celtic thoughts you share on this blog are very rewarding for me to read.



    I hope it isn’t long until the current raw emotions both families are experiencing become braw memories of your dad and mum respectively, again.



    Let perpetual light shine upon them.

  2. WeeFra



    May perpetual light shine upon your wee mammy. Stay strong and remember we’re always here.

  3. Come on you Leesiders !!


    Last game at P U C !


    The time is right the time is now !!


    Oh oh oh to be oh to be a REBEL !!

  4. Morrissey the 23rd, Awe_Naw and I tried calling you when I was there, just to mention you wurnae there mind:-)



    Next time would be great if we can arrange it.

  5. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Weefra. Sorry to hear about your mum may she rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her.

  6. Whit is The Best Strategy tae Employ when Playing in the European League…?



    Accordin’ tae Kojo’s Big Compendium o’ Awe things Fitba.. Page 2.. Chap. 1.



    it states:



    “Whilst playing AWAY, fae Hame…in the European League… it is alwiz best tae .. Play a very Tight DEFENSIVE game, n..hit yer Opponents oan the Break.”



    So…In Ma Opinion…Ah see No Need tae Go agin This Strategy..



    Even, if the European Opponent is a Third Class Entity…such as the Icemen.



    We must Not go agin This Un Common Sense Approach ,which has bin endorsed by Kojo.



    Ah wull be Surprised if Ronny Dee..diz Not agree..n.. goes fur a Wide open Attacking Strategy by the Celts.



    Yes, Virginia.. Celtic, must go Carefully, into the Unknown.






  7. Coolbrooke didn’t like the whip, as soon as the jockey gave it a couple of smacks it packed it in.

  8. Morrissey the 23rd on

    Doc @ 15:53


    Next time you see him could you remind him I’ve not had a land-line for over a year.


    Thanks for your kind thoughts though.

  9. WeefratheTim




    Terrible News,my friend.. Just Tragic.



    Ma Heart goes out tae You and Your Immediate Family.


    in Your time of suffering, owing to this Sad Loss.



    R.I.P. To your Irreplaceable Mama.




  10. I am way up in torviscas alto.hoping to be in the fiddler tonight for the final.

  11. Yyyyaaasssssss !!!!


    Come in you Rebels


    Cork 2-22 Limerick 0-23


    4 mins to play !!!

  12. Ft yyyyyyyyaaaasssss !!!


    Eight years of pain GONE !!


    The Magic of JBM HAS BEEN DELIVERED !!!


    Hope my fellow Rebels enjoy their night particularly Corkcelt my niece and her boyfriend who are at the last game at the wonderful




    Oh oh oh to be oh to be a REBEL !!


    Hail Hail now where’s that Magners ;)