GDR goalkeeper Croy turns 75: the keeper who was not allowed to be world class

GDR keeper Croy turns 75.
The keeper who was not allowed to be world class

At the 1974 World Cup, Jürgen Croy showed the “whole world” that good football is played in the GDR. The goalkeeper is refused individual recognition outside his country, explains a former opponent. For the 75th anniversary, there is also a reminder of a quick strike.

No Croy, No Trabis: Perhaps Jürgen Croy was overshadowed by Sepp Maier or Dino Zoff at the international level, but in Zwickau there was no limit to the cult of heroes for the goalkeeper. When Croy was to be delegated to Dynamo Dresden under pressure from the GDR football association, some employees of the Trabant factory threatened to go on strike.

“It would of course have been a disaster for the reputation of the GDR, and officials knew it very well,” said Croy, who was allowed to stay in his home country at the time, later said. Born in Zwickau, he always looks back fondly on these and other stories of his eventful career. Today, Tuesday, October 19, the goalkeeper icon will be 75 years old.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the goalkeeper has 94 times been voted “GDR’s best 40-year-old footballer” – ahead of well-known field players such as record selection player Joachim Streich, Hans-Jürgen ” Dixie “Dörner and dribble King Peter Ducke.

The failure of Croy to achieve this great international reputation was due to the system, later longtime Magdeburg competitor Ulrich Schulze said: “He was definitely a world class goalkeeper, but the press international was not allowed to call him that, after all he was from the GDR. ” Schulze, who was one of the best in his field, admits without envy that he couldn’t hold a candle to Croy back then: “He was always better than me, absolutely complete – like a Manuel Neuer today. hui. “

Of course, Croy was also part of the GDR’s sensational 1-0 victory in the 1974 World Cup in the preliminary round in Hamburg against the selection of the Federal Republic. “We were able to show the whole world that we can also play football,” Croy said, quoted by the Saxon newspaper. The match was crowned “by the fine individual performance of Jürgen Sparwasser”, who scored the game-winning goal for the GDR team. In the end, however, the West German team became world champions for the second time with a 2-1 victory in the final in Munich against the Netherlands.

Winston Ferguson

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