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.

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  1. HT 0-0



    Dukla had better of the chances as we didn’t create many. Pretty uninspiring and disjointed stuff with little of the high tempo, high pressing we’ve seen in previous games.



    Too many misplaced passes and players trying to find their rhythm in this formation.


    I’d be concerned if this is what we see next week.



    Hopefully some changes 2nd half (Derk off surely and LG on) although Ronny reportedly wants a few to get 90 minutes under the belt.

  2. Istanbulcelt on

    Syd Negakev


    18:04 on 11 July, 2014




    OK, that explains it, thanks!


    I hope they know what “Can we have our ball back please” is in Austrian then.





    If I was on the park, I would volunteer to go and fetch it, then sneak onto that veranda and have a scoop with those boys!!

  3. Young guys from san Diego academy being interviewed.



    They love the weather



    Just wait till later in the week lhads.

  4. Typical Friendly game.



    Ah keep remindin Masel of that.



    Celtic, ur Ten Games shoart of getting thur . FIRST WIND!



    We, Fans must be Patient.. It’s Hard..fur ME , anyway.. but that is



    Jist the Way it is..



    Celtic, wull get bettah..



    They Wull Play a loat bettah agin the Ice Men.. Ah am sure of that..



    Ah hope,though..that Ronny gies us a few changes in the Second Half.



    How aboot…gien.. Tony Watt a Game. Ronny?




  5. Greeninbingley



    18:03 on 11 July, 2014



    What kind of a game has Derk had?





    Not got a Scooby Doo. Not being evasive or anything like that. I do know a lot of the crowd are either drinking well or they have very weak bladders.

  6. San Diego Lhads are off to Sweden next week to play in Gotha Cup.



    Goodd Luck lhads

  7. Vmhan – YNWA Wee Oscar



    17:54 on 11 July, 2014









    Do you remember that being spray painted along the shipyard wall near Sinclair St just after the Czech invasion in 1968?



    and some wag added “with every four gallons”

  8. Syd Negakev



    “Koennen wir unseren Ball zuruckhaben, bitte?”. ( German, actually).

  9. As a new subscriber to CTV, who are these commentators?



    They sound like 2 guys watching the game at the end of a bar in their local. Have cringed at some of the comments they make. It’s one thing being a Celtic TV service but sometimes you should call it as it is.

  10. jinkyredstar cuts it back for Neil Lennon on



    A very faded Free Dubcek remained on that wall until it was demolished about 5 years ago

  11. Greeninbingley on




    My favourite was John Lennon Airport in Liverpool a few years back when Liverpool were toiling.


    They have a big quote from Imagine on the airport wall which says ‘Above Us Only Sky’ and somebody added ‘Below Us Only Sunderland And Wolves’.

  12. Kojo,



    I think a few players wullnae know what has hit them.



    I wish I could comment on the game but I cannae really.



    We all want Celtic to do very well, every last one of us on this site.



    Ronny Dee and Johnny See, well they will have them tip top, so every wan of them can do a 1 pop, 2 pop, 3 pop, headshot against every opponent they ever face.

  13. cadizzy



    18:12 on 11 July, 2014




    Yip Cadizzy it’s an abiding memory of when Greenock was a thriving shipbuilding town, don’t mind the last bit, was that you :>)



  14. bournesouprecipe



    18:12 on 11 July, 2014



    O’Connell is streets ahead of any other young CB at CP.





    A great crowd had gathered…..

  15. embramike



    Kenny McKay and Mark Henderson are the two “commentators”.



    Both club employees and regulars on CTV.



    You are not alone in your impression.

  16. Delaneys Dunky



    18:26 on 11 July, 2014






    My dimming star for Barca has now extinguished. Wrong move Barca!





    Celtic is yer first love. I’d have Xavi in my team every day. Messi gets loads of plaudits, quite rightly so.



    Ma first name on a teamsheet would be Xavi/Paul.

  17. 60 mins – Dulka makes subs – and have agood chance right away.



    No Celtic subs – why? This isn’t working. Absolutely no cutting edge and way too many slack passes.



    Being congested in midfield and creating no chances.

  18. Izzy,is Ma Man o the Match..



    He is Celtic’s oot Man.. He is The Creator .



    Otherwize, Celtic ur Still.. Spinnin thur Wheels..



    Boeriggter,is Daein O.K.



    But, He is Not the Answer tae Ronny’s Right Winger Problemo.



    Ah wish Ronny wid bring oan Tony Watt…



    Ah wid lke tae see if the Youngster his Improved.




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