Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup '74 Portrait #92 (Georgi Denev: Bulgaria)

graphite & putty eraser/30x21cm

Today’s randomly-chosen subject proved to be another of the previously-unheard-ofs in the form of Georgi Denev, who was represented in both the FKSPanini ‘World Cup ‘74’ commemorative sticker albums, & selected for the Bulgaria squad for the Finals, where he appeared in each of his country’s three matches, after which, following two draws & a comprehensive defeat to Holland (during which Denev collected a yellow card), they were eliminated from the tournament at the first stage.

Back at the 2014 World Cup, this drawing was brought to a conclusion to the sound of the commentary of Russia taking an early & worrying lead in their match against Algeria, our African favourites of the tournament, but all ended well as we were able to see & enjoy the Algerians come back to draw the game & thus, delightfully, progress to the knock-out stages, for the first time in their history: now to overcome Germany, to advance further into uncharted territory & make proper amends for the still-disgraceful carve-up of the 1982 World Cup.

Bringing the subjects of archive stickers & albums of & the current Algeria World Cup squad together, a little light match-accompanying research led to the discovery of their manager, the Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic (a great name), as represented during his time as a player, for the mighty Velez Mostar, in the Yugoslavian-published ‘Fudbaleri i Timovi’ 1974/75 season album, & as a member of the Yugoslavia squad in the Panini album (or at least a reproduction of) commemorating the España '82 World Cup.

And also, topically, here’s the small selection collected (to date) of the Algerian squad’s stickers from the contemporary Panini 2014 FIFA World Cup Brasil album, a delightful gift from A, which has been keeping us occupied, although not necessarily quiet, whilst keeping an eye on the televised matches: at the current count, we have managed to fill 278 of the 639 available spaces (interesting to consider that the figure of 278 is already greater than the total of the earlier albums, not least the 1974 ones which provide the raw materials for this drawing project, but this time so far from completion – in fact, nowhere near even half way). Anyone have any swaps (we have about 80)?

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