football and war

The day of the final of the 74 World Cup in Germany between the host team and Holland -the Clockwork Orange-the most motivated Dutch player was not Cruyff, neither was Neeskens, nor Resenbrink, he was the midfielder
Wilem Van HanegemFeyenoord footballer.

Van Hanegem wanted to win that game at all costs, he wanted to snatch the moment of joy from the Germans in their own home.

Willem, in addition to sporting reasons, added one of greater significance. In World War II, during a bombing by the Luftwaffe, the German air force, his father and three of his brothers died.

It was impossible for him to forget the damage that had been done to his family and he wanted to take revenge.

The final result favorable to Germany, 2-1, left him very touched, it was not in his plans that he could not fulfill his wish. He left the Munich Olympic with great sadness.

When the deadly bombing that struck down his family he was barely a few months old but he had it engraved on fire.
The defeat for him was not only football, he had not been able to avenge his own, that mattered more to him than the title.

Willen came into the world in February 1944, a few months after
alex villaplane left this life. Maybe his name doesn't ring a bell, but if you read to the end I don't think you can forget it.

Villaplane, who was born in Algeria in 1905, spent his entire football career in France.

He was a midfielder with a remarkable technique and that led him to the national team. He played 25 games and among his achievements is that of being the first captain of Les Bleus in a World Cup, the first of all, Uruguay'30.

The man had a somewhat excessive ambition for money, and, during his football stage, he was involved in several cases of horse racing fixing. He also participated in the first bout of a football match in France, he was sentenced for it and his prestige has already hit rock bottom.

The outbreak of World War II, in 1939, caught him serving a sentence, since he was in and out of jail continuously since to survive he had dedicated himself to petty theft.

The captain of France
he had become a common thief, but the worst was yet to come.

Germany occupies France and the invaders, at the request of Henri Lafont, a known criminal, release several criminals, including Villaplane with whom he had befriended.

Our protagonist, instead of making amends, chose the other path,
he enrolled in the ranks of the French Gestapo, specifically in an appendage called BNA (North African Brigade) whose objective was to dismantle La Résistance and hunt down Jews and gypsies.

Villaplane took advantage of his position of strength against his compatriots to swindle everything he could.

He deceived Jewish families by charging them large sums of money with the promise of taking them to Portugal and thus escaping barbarism. When the money was already in Villaplane's pocket he gave them away, those poor fools ended up in the SS barracks in Paris and then... You can imagine.

He participated in the so-called Massacre of Oradour sur-Glane, in which he enticed 52 young people, charging, of course, that
they ended up in a firing squad after being subjected to horrific torture.

Alex thought that this would last a lifetime, that Germany would win the war and that life would be resolved forever.

But in 1944 the German army withdrew from France, most of the collaborators fled, but some, including Villaplane, remained in Paris.

In addition to being a villain, a daredevil, he thought that his actions would have no consequences.

Villaplane was arrested and charged with crimes. He denied everything.

During the trial, people testified that Villaplane enjoyed the day of the massacre and that he even pulled the trigger to end the lives of ten people.

The Court ruled against him, the decision was the death penalty.

The sentence was carried out on December 26, 1944. That day, the first captain of France in the World Cups paid with his life for the outrages he had committed during the German occupation of his country.

While Alex Villaplane did evil, other footballers tried to survive many kilometers from Paris, specifically in a concentration camp in kyiv.

Some Ukrainian players called up, due to age, to defend themselves against the invasion of Hitler's troops, had been taken prisoner by the German army.

The concentration camp commanders thought it was a good idea to play a match between the imprisoned soccer players, poorly fed and in terrible physical condition, against their guards who were in top form.
It was called "The Death Match" and was played in kyiv in August 1942.

The story was known many years later and reached Hollywood, someone thought that this story should be told.

In 1981, almost forty years later, the film Escape or Victory was released, directed by John Huston, a director with enormous prestige. Until then he had won an Oscar for The Maltese Falcon and been nominated for Best Director five times.

The film recreates, in an absolutely deformed way, however friendly, the Party of Death.

Huston accepted the direction of the project because among the actors-soccer players
was Pelewith whom he had made friends during the Brazilian's stage at the New York Cosmos.

In addition to O Rei, now retired but in good shape, other former players participated in the filming, such as Bobby Moore, the legendary English captain of the '66 World Cup in England.

To complete the squad of players, they hired active international soccer players, Ardiles from Argentina, Deyna from Poland, Van Him from Belgium. And also John Wark from England, who had been chosen the best player in the English League that season.

The cast of actors was made up of, among others, the Europeans Michael Caine and Max Von Sydow, and culminated in the North American, Sylvester Stallone, who had become very famous with Rocky I and II.

Stallone's participation was a hook for the American market. He was already a star.

The European actors played football, but Stallone had no idea and was not interested either, even in a dialogue at the beginning of the film he makes it clear, in a wink from the writers -some jokers-.

Ruled out that he learned to play,
the writers found the right demarcation for its non-existent football characteristics. He would play goalkeeper, so the ball would not have to be related to his feet, only with his hands. Apparently the best solution.

In fiction, the game seems to end with a tie at four but, at the last minute, a non-existent penalty is awarded in favor of the Germans, the shot can give them victory over the prisoners and save their honor.

There was no room for more emotion, last play, unfair penalty against, the jailers against the prisoners and a bought referee.

The plot was resolved from eleven meters. That in theory.

In reality, everything was arranged to shoot the scene around the goal, in the director's chair the legend: Mr. Huston.

The film crew in place, pitcher and goalie ready.

As soon as Huston gives the voice of "Camera!" "Action!" the problem is discovered.

Stallone was in the goal and no matter how much they told him where the ball was thrown and the force of the shot, "the gringo did not grab it or did not throw himself in a minimally credible way."

The filming of that simple action began to take longer than necessary, each launch was followed by a
"Coooorten! You have to repeat." How many times? Well, 34! they had to take 34 penalties for Rocky to save one with any credibility.

They spent a good time shooting that penalty, well the 34, but only the good one appears in the movie.

The other 33 did not pass the director's censorship and he did not understand much about football either.

The writers who promised them very happy when they found a place for him under the crossbar,
It is seen that they did not count on Sylvester's inexperience to save penalties, even if it was only one in a half-convincing way.

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