them," said a gloomy Beckenbauer, talking about the Cosmos management.
"I tell them 100 times you cannot play a team like Bayern on one day's
rest. This is not Memphis Rogues."
know. The captain of West Germany's 1974 World Cup team had played 11 glorious
seasons for Bayern, and when he returned home with the Cosmos he received a
standing ovation from the crowd of 79,000, not to mention an outpouring of
sympathy from his former teammates. "After the game, they asked me, 'Where
does the circus go next?' " he said.
The answer: Italy,
for a game against Brescia, a semi-respectable second-division club. The Cosmos
won 2-1 on a goal by Chinaglia.
taking this tour very personally," said Roth. "He's one of the few guys
who want to play."
Fittingly, it was
Chinaglia who scored the only goal in the next game, against Stuttgart, another
top German team, which crushed the Cosmos 6-1. But it was in Freiburg that the
Cosmos suffered their most humiliating defeat, going down 2-0 to a struggling
second-division club. Overcome by the victory, the mayor proclaimed it "the
greatest day in Freiburg history" and presented the Cosmos with a
commemorative cuckoo clock.
And so to London.
Or rather, Heathrow. Stranded 14 miles from the city because management wanted
to keep a brake on nighttime rambling, the Cosmos thrashed about on their
grassy knoll and wandered the halls aimlessly, grumbling at their enforced
exile. "The mental attitude is the worst I've seen since I've been with the
Cosmos," complained Firmani, who stood in the hotel lobby discussing
defensive tactics with Roth. As Firmani walked through a play, he accidentally
stepped on an electric mat, and an automatic exit door swung open. The
symbolism was all too apparent. Rumor already had it that Firmani was on his
way out for chronic disagreements with management's policy of big-name hunting.
Worse, he was headed for a confrontation with management's favorite star,
soccerdom as the sport's only playing general manager because of his special
relationship with Ross, Chinaglia readily accepts credit for bringing Firmani
to the Cosmos midway in the 1977 season, and described him as a
"genius" after Firmani guided the Cosmos to last year's
The bond between
the two men began to unravel this season. After Firmani pulled Chinaglia out of
a game in Memphis in June, Chinaglia threatened to punch him. Things grew worse
and seemed to come apart in London two days before the Cosmos were to play
Hoping to tighten
his sievelike defense, Firmani ordered a special drill, two fullbacks against a
trio of forwards. Chinaglia took one turn and strode up to Firmani.
is bloody stupid."