The multi-million dollar (pound) Spanish football season kicks off on Sunday (3 september) with more at stake than just a League Championship.
GV Real Madrid onto field PAN along with Breitner
CU Breitner posing for photos
GV and CU Scoreboard with team line-up
LV ZOOM TO SV Game in progress RM in white playing right to left
SV Breitner returning to position after attack
SV PAN Breitner attacking down left wing and passing to Netzer
SV RM Attack and wing corner
LV Corner Kick taken Real attacker heads ball into goal (Bosque)
GV RM start second half. Breitner passes ball to Netzer who gives ball away, Netzer passes to opponent player fouled
GV ZOOM in Zagreb score from free kick final score 4 - 3 to Zegreb.
Initials ET/1928 ET/2012
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The multi-million dollar (pound) Spanish football season kicks off on Sunday (3 september) with more at stake than just a League Championship. With some of the best footballers in the world taking part, fanatical supporters behind them, and more money invested than most Spaniards have ever imagined, 1974 looks like being the biggest soccer season in the country's history.
Just over a year ago, the country's football authorities started a frenzied buying spree by local clubs when they lifted an 11-year old ban on foreign players playing for Spanish clubs.
Clubs are limited to two foreign players per squad, by the beginning of the season, 59 foreign players had been snapped up by the 38 first and second division clubs.
Last season Johan Cruyff was bought for almost one million sterling (about 2.4 million dollars) by Barcelona from Ajax Amsterdam. The Dutchman is almost universally recognised as the best player in the world. He transformed his new side and led it to a runaway victory in the Spanish league. This year his fellow Dutch international in Johan Neeskens has been bought by Barcelona for 475 - thousand sterling (about 1.25 million dollars).
While Barcelona have gone Dutch, their long time rivals Real Madrid have looked to West Germany. Paul Breitner, the star of the recent World Cup was bought for about 425 - thousand sterling (about 1 million dollars). He will join fellow West German Gunter Netzer who cost slightly less. The two played together for their new club last weekend in a warm-up match against Dynamo Zagreb of Yugoslavia. The duo obviously were still adjusting to the Spanish style of football, but they showed enough to satisfy the fans that this year could signal the return of Real Madrid to the greatness they showed in the late fifties and early sixties. Zagreb won 4 - 3.