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"Scots are the cabaret act. They dance and make merry before party...

... but are soon shunted out as soon as things gets serious," an English newspaper remarked, pouring scorn on Scotland football team during '78 World Cup.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2006 02:47 IST

Cabaret Act»

Like in 1974, Scotland was the only British team to qualify for the 1978 edition. The Scots once again had the bragging rights and left no stone unturned to get under the English and Welshmen's skins.

Scottish Newspapers too poured scorn on the English and criticised them with glaring disdain. However, the Scots were knocked out in the first round again, to which an English newspaper said: "Scots are the cabaret-act. They dance and make merry before the party but are shunted out as soon as it gets serious"!

Grass was not greener too»

In fact, the 'god-forsaken Scots' endured a miserable time in Argentina, so much so that their training sessions also didn't go according to plan. After one session, a player moaned: "The training ground needs an hour to get to, and the grass is in such dilapidated condition that even cows won't eat it!"

Wicked Argentines

The Argentines always have a reputation of being nefarious. They resort to any tactics and ploy, however malevolent and sinister, to get their way. The 1978 edition, held in Argentina, was widely believed to favour the hosts.

Giovanni Trapatonni, manager of Italian giants Juventus, even went on record to say that if the 1978 edition was held anywhere else, "Argentina would not have survived the first round!"

There are reasons that prompted him to say so:

A sixer:

Argentina needed to beat Peru by a margin of 4-0 to reach the final, otherwise loathed-rivals Brazil would make it. What happened? Well they beat Peru 6-0!

Who bribed who:

Inevitably, Brazilians smelled a rat and claimed that Argentine government had bribed the Peru players! To that, Argentina retaliated by alleging that it were the Brazilians who had actually bribed the Peruvians - to play well!

Grand finale:

In the final too, Argentines didn't miss a trick. The team stayed behind in the dressing room before the kick-off, exposing the hapless Dutch players to the raucous, invective-spewing Argentine crowd that certainly had some effect on the Oranje composure!

Just before kick-off:

Seconds before the kick-off and they deemed that the plaster worn by Dutchman Rene Van der Kerkhof was dangerous and he shouldn't be allowed to play (even though he had been wearing it for ages)! The matter was finally resolved when Dutch players threatened to stage a walk-out.