The Stars of France 98

Edwin Van Der Sar
October, 29 - 1970, Goalkeeper
Ajax
HOLLAND
Group E

Some doubts about the competence of the Ajax Coaching Staff could emerge if we remember that this blond big boy was benched for a long time behind a mountebank like Menzo. Edwin became a starter at the age of 23, almost by accident, being patient and because of his competitors’ limits. The same happened with the National team where he used to be just a backup for the clumsy De Goey.



Juan Sebastian Veron
March, 9 - 1975, Midfielder
Sampdoria (Italy)
ARGENTINA
Group H

He looks like a “Marine” but he is a football player. At the beginning of his career he made a name for himself by his acrobatic actions inside the goal-mouth. With Sampdoria he got more disciplined and turned into a very talented playmaker, even if Boskov, sometimes, considered the possibility of lining up him as a forward along with Montella. Lazio tried to include him in the deal for Signori but he declined and everybody knows that he dreams to play in the Spanish Liga either with Real Madrid or with Barcelona.





Christian Vieri
July, 12 - 1973, Forward
Atletico Madrid (Spain)
ITALY
Group B

Two years ago he was discarded by Milan because Capello didn’t consider him as the right backup for Weah and shortafter he moved to Juventus more for necessity than for technical belief. There was a certain Ravanelli to replace and the left foot was almost the same. As a matter of fact the last season that Vieri spent in Italy revealed itself to be a peculiar one. Christian began as a starter, but after criticizing Lippi he suddenly found himself in the stands. Later he found his place back and became part of the National Team coached by Maldini.(Already his coach with the “Under 21” that won the European Championship). In just a few months he became internationally famous and in March 1997, during his first appearance, he scored the goal number 1000 in the history of the Italian National Team. Last summer he signed a contract for 35 thousand millions of Italian Lira with Atletico Madrid. (No other Italian players were paid so much by a foreign Club before). Last october he scored the first Italy’s goal ever in Moscow, during a playoff game for the World Cup. Vieri immediately emerged as a protagonist in the Spanish Liga and Juventus still regrets him more than Vialli and Ravanelli.



Taribo West
March, 26 - 1974, Defender
Inter (Italy)
NIGERIA
Group D

He introduced himself to the Italian Championship through a killing tackle on Fiorentina’s Kanchelskis but impetuousness is just one of his characteristics. With French Champion Auxerre he played every defensive position. (Right, left and central). Two years ago, in the U.S., he won the Olympic Golden Medal emerging as one of the most complete defenders around. With Inter he was discussed only because of the number of players coming from outside of the European Community. Last summer Betis Sevilla was about to be crazy about him.
















Seo Jung Won
December, 17 - 1970, Midfielder
Strasbourg (France)
SOUTH COREA
Group E

He preceded his teammates in France, last winter, by signing a contract with Strasbourg. In Alsace many speak the German language that his Coach Cha-Bum Kun knows very well after playing in the Bundesliga both with Eintracht Frankfurt and with Bayer Leverkusen. Seo Jung-Won is not as powerful as his coach was, but looks to be faster. (He runs 100mt. in less than 11 seconds). He arrived in Europe in the flower of his maturity, after 2 World Cups and one experience at the Olympic Games. He could be one of the main surprises of the next World Cup.


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