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Spurs at the World Cup - Allan, Colin, Jurgen, France 98

10 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur

The World Cup in Brazil kicks-off on Thursday and we continue our series profiling Spurs players to have featured on football's biggest stage.

Next up, a trio of players who travelled to France in 1998, including a World Cup-winning legend...

Jurgen Klinsmann - Spurs 1994-95 and 1998, 68 appearances, 38 goals

German striker Jurgen Klinsmann had already featured in two World Cups when he travelled to France for the 1998 tournament as a Tottenham Hotspur player.

Indeed, the blond forward could boast a World Cup winners medal, having led the line during West Germany’s successful challenge in Italy eight years earlier and in total, he played in an impressive 17 matches in the Finals, scoring 11 times.

When he initially joined us in the summer of 1994, it was just after World Cup USA when Klinsmann had been part of the German side unexpectedly knocked out in the quarter-finals by Bulgaria. But he headed to France very much a Spurs player four years later, having just scored nine goals in 15 appearances during the second half of the 1997-98 campaign – who can forget his four-goal salvo against Wimbledon in our penultimate game!

Like most tournaments, Germany were strongly fancied to do well across the border in France with a squad including Klinsmann, Lothar Mattheus, Andreas Moller, Jens Jeremies, Oliver Bierhoff and the future Spurs pair of Steffen Freund and Christian Ziege.

Drawn in a relatively easy group alongside Yugoslavia, USA and Iran, Berti Vogts side made the perfect start with a 2-0 win over the States, Klinsmann showing the predatory instincts that made him so popular here at the Lane when he scored the second goal.

But Germany did need to draw on their battling qualities in the second game against Yugoslavia, as they fell two goals behind after 54 minutes, and needed a Bierhoff equaliser 10 minutes from time to salvage a point. However there were no such dramas in the final game with Iran, as the strikeforce of Klinsmann and Bierhoff both netted in a 2-0 success.

That victory saw them secure top spot and reach the knockout stages, with Mexico lying in wait in the last 16. Again, Germany had to come from behind after Luis Hernandez fired the Central Americans in front, and again it was their two in-form forwards who did the damage.

But just as Germany appeared to be shifting through the gears and threatening to add another World title to their list of honours, disaster struck in the quarter-finals. Croatia, competing in their first World Cup since independence from Yugoslavia, caused one of the shocks of the tournament with a 3-0 triumph, Christian Woerns’ red card in the 40th minute with the game still goalless the turning point.

And that was that for Germany, a second successive exit at the quarter-finals stage, while it was also Jurgen’s 108th and final appearance for his country, who he had served with distinction during a long and illustrious career.

Below: Allan in action against Nigeria


Allan Nielsen - Spurs 1996-2000, 115 appearances, 18 goals

Midfielder Allan Nielsen became the latest Spur to score at the World Cup Finals when he netted for Denmark during the 1998 competition in France.

Nielsen had moved to north London after Euro 96, having also scored at that tournament in Denmark’s 3-0 win over Turkey, and had proved himself to be a valuable member of our squad in the two years leading up to France ’98.

He was certainly a key figure for the Danes, featuring in eight of their qualifying matches as they overcame defeat in their first game in Bosnia to win their group and reach the finals

It was just six years since Denmark had shocked the world by winning the 1992 European Championships and with a squad boasting the likes of Peter Schmeichel, the Laudrup brothers Brian and Michael, Thomas Helveg and Ebbe Sand, the Danes were hopeful of making another big splash at a major tournament.

Drawn in a group alongside the hosts and one of the favourites France, Denmark also faced Saudi Arabia and South Africa and kicked off the competition against the Saudis in Lens. Nielsen started on the bench, but had his first taste of World Cup football when he came on after 65 minutes, with his side scoring the only goal of the game just three minutes later.

Better was to follow for Nielsen in the next game against South Africa, as he was handed a place in the starting line-up by manager Bo Johansson, and repaid his boss’s faith in him by opening the scoring on 13 minutes.

The Danes were held 1-1 though, Benni McCarthy scoring for Bafana Bafana, and then lost to France in their final group game in Lyon, Nielsen playing the full 90 minutes. But four points was enough to see them through to the second stage where they faced Nigeria.

This was the game that really gave the Danes belief they could make an impact on the world stage. The Super Eagles had beaten Spain and Bulgaria en route to winning their group, but had no answer for Denmark who, with Nielsen again playing a key role in midfield, enjoyed a 4-1 thrashing to reach the last eight.

Next up for Nielsen and co were Brazil - Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Bebeto et al – and the Danes were dreaming of glory when Martin Jorgensen gave them a second minute lead. But Brazil hit back to win 3-2, with Allan playing the first 45 minutes before being substituted, as the curtain finally came down on his and Denmark’s World Cup exploits.

Below: Colin Calderwood up against Norway's Tore Andre Flo


Colin Calderwood - Spurs 1993-1999, 199 appearances, 7 goals

Colin Calderwood didn’t make his international debut until he was 30, but that didn’t prevent him from featuring at two major tournaments for Scotland, including the 1998 World Cup in France.

Having joined us from Swindon Town in the summer of 1993, Calderwood was eventually called up by his country during the 1995-96 campaign after impressing at the heart of our defence. He continued that form at Euro 96 for Scotland and became a regular part of their set-up over the next few years.

During qualification for World Cup ’98, Colin featured in eight of Scotland’s 10 games en route to booking their place at the finals, as they finished second in their group behind Austria and he was duly handed a seat on the place to France for the tournament.

This was the Scots eighth appearance at the World Cup Finals and they were hoping to progress past the group stage for the first time in their history. Drawn against Norway, Morocco and Brazil, hopes were high of reaching the second round, despite an opening game defeat to the South Americans.

That proved to be Calderwood’s first taste of the football on the world stage and although faced with the daunting task of combating the significant threat of Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Bebeto, the Scots almost caused a major shock.

Cesar Sampaio put the Brazilians ahead after just four minutes, but a John Collins penalty drew Scotland level seven minutes before the break to give them a timely boost. And they appeared on course for at least a point, until the unfortunate Tom Boyd put through his own net on 73 minutes to give Brazil the win.

That defeat meant Scotland needed a good result in their next game against Norway, but were held to a 1-1 draw, Havard Flo putting the Norwegians ahead before Craig Burley levelled. Colin started the game but was withdrawn just before the hour mark and that proved to be his last action in the tournament as a hand injury meant he was left out of the side for the final game against Morocco.

That turned out to be another World Cup low point for the Scots. Needing a win to progress, they crashed to a 3-0 defeat, Burley’s red card on 53 minutes when they were 2-0 down leaving them with a mountain to climb. Scotland crashed out – and they have yet to return to world football’s top table in the 12 years since.