'In international football, you need something extra - flamboyance and creativity so Gazza has to play for England to have any chance of opening teams up. Shearer will show what a good all-round striker he is, with Owen on the bench probably, because he's not played much abroad. If Scotland had a Matthew Le Tissier type player, I'd fancy them strongly for the quarter- finals.’ Neil Pointon, Hearts and England

'l’ll be very disappointed if we don't go through to the next round. We're a team who work together, and that's the strong side of Norway. Most people feel that Brazil and Norway are the top two in Scotland's group, but we'll see.’

Staale Stensaas, Rangers and Norway

'lt's not the case that we rely too much on Peter Schmeichel, my brother Michael and me, but we do face problems if one or two big players are injured or suspended. Like Denmark, if Scotland gets through to the next round, then you've achieved a lot.’

Brian Laudrup, Rangers and Denmark

We're similar to Scotland in that we're usually the underdogs and must fight hard and give more than others. Our squad is drawn from different countries, but that's good for the national side because you learn more as a player in a different country.’ Thomas Flogel,

Hearts and Austria

102 THE “ST 28 l.'ay Tl Jan 1998


When Scotland and Brazil take to the main stage in France '98, Steve Archibald will be remembering past highs and lows.

IT WAS NEVER going to be easy. On Wednesday ll) June. in a dream/nightmare draw. Scotland will say it with pride against Bra/il in the opening lixture ol' the NUS \Vorld (‘up.

The pairing ol‘ (‘raig Brown's honest laymen and the bree/y. sophisticated magicians from South America seems like a mismatch of global proportions. lloweyer. past experience reyeals that the on—lield relationship between our happy- go-lucky l'ootsoldiers and the delinitiye _/ l’ootballing nation is a curiotIs loy e / supreme.

Admittedly. Scotland's past results against the Brazilians hayen‘t been especially conyicing. .\'o wins in eight attempts. to be exact. The two most notable World (‘up meetings were both. predictably. del'eats: 4-l in the Spain IOSZ World (‘up. and l-() in ltalia 90.

The former tournament began encouragineg enough. with Jock Stein's men recording a 5-2 win over. crm. New Zealand. Then came the Brazil clash and. l'or a short time. Scotland was entranced when Dundee L'nited‘s l)ayid .\'arey tired the hall home to put \ the Scots in front. Steye Archibald was a leading figure in the Spanish unit. and he well remembers the feeling in the squad back then.

‘()tlt' mood was optimistic. delinitely. because we were in a group with Brazil. New '/.ealand and Russia.’ he recalls. ‘()l' course. the team was excited about the prospect ol’ coming tip against Brazil. You remember growing tip as a kid. seeing those yellow jerseys and watching players like l’ele and 'l‘ostao.‘

In Spain: Scotland could boast a number ol~

players of some repute A stars such as Kenny l)alglish. Joe Jordan. (iraeme Souness and


Who are the young stars to watch in France '98?

FOR A POTTED history of the World Cup, there's no better guide than Archie MacPherson. This summer, Scotland's greatest-ever commentator will cover around 30 matches for Eurosport in his seventh consecutive World Cup. As always, he knows exactly what to say when choosing his highlights from past tournaments: ‘Billy Bremner’s miss against Brazil, Archie

Archibald himsell'. who had cary ed out a

successl‘ul career with .-\berdeen. 'l‘ottcnham

llotspur and Barcelona.

'.-\s .lock Stein was the manager at the titne. you always went otit to try to win. c\ en though it was the Bra/ilians we were up against.‘ sa_\s .-\rchibald. ‘But because the game was in Sexille. the \ery hot weather ohyiously layoured Bra/il. and they clicked into gear alter our goal with much superior passing and moxcment.‘

Regardless ol' the one-sided results

between Scotland and Bra/il. a warm

al'linity has built up between the two sets

ol‘ supporters. something Archibald can much for alter witnessing the campaign in Spain.

'I can remember the atmosphere that day well.‘ he says. ‘the Scotland and Bra/il lalts mixing together. It was brilliant. haying that along with the constant bu// ol the occasion and the sunshine.'

01' all the stars stepping out to the samba beat in l’rance ()8. Ronaldo is the name that chills the heart of eyery Scot. But

Archibald l'eels that the threat is

more wide-ranging.

‘Ronaldo can be stopped. as has been the case at club leer in ltaly.’ he points out. ‘But apart l‘rom him. Bra/il can produce goal possibilities l‘rom eyerywhere. with Roberto (‘arlos. l)enilson . . . the list is endless. Scotland .‘”‘_“‘i:’. lime to go out confident and do their

best ~ it‘s a once-in-a—lil'etime experience.’

.»\nd it's certainly better than playing (‘osta Rica. (Julian 'l‘aylor)

Scotland play Brazil on Wed 10 Jun at 4.30pm. The match will be broadcast on BBC1 and Scottish.

Gemmell's goal in Cordoba, the terrible mix-up between Willie Miller and Alan Hansen in Malaga, and the magic of that night in Seville when Brazil beat us 4-1.’

MacPherson will be commentating in the Stade de France when Scotland meet Brazil this time round and, having studied the South Americans closely for over 20 years, he is unsure of their chances. ’A year ago, it looked as if they were getting it right, but their form has gone,’ he suggests. 'However, I suspect they'll come at us like lions, so we’re up against it.’

Oliver Bierhoff: German strike force