They Ripped His Glasses Off His Face: Joop van Daele

Joop van Daele’s name resonates with the echoes of an era when Dutch football was only just carving out its place on the global stage.

Born on August 14, 1947, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, van Daele’s football journey is a compelling story of dedication, triumphs, and memorable moments that have secured his place in the annals of Feyenoord’s history. As a defender, van Daele was known for his solid presence on the field, combining physicality with a keen sense of positioning and tactical awareness.

Feyenoord was at the height of its powers during van Daele’s tenure. The late 1960s and early 1970s were golden years for the club, and van Daele’s arrival bolstered an already formidable squad. It was a period marked by both domestic dominance and international ambition, and van Daele was at the heart of it all.

In 1970, Joop van Daele etched his name into football history during the Intercontinental Cup, a prestigious competition that pitted the champions of Europe against the champions of South America. Feyenoord faced Estudiantes de La Plata, an Argentine club known for its physical and aggressive style of play. The first leg, held in Buenos Aires, ended in a 2-2 draw, setting the stage for a tense and decisive return leg in Rotterdam.

The second leg of the Intercontinental Cup took place on September 9, 1970, at De Kuip, Feyenoord’s iconic stadium. It was a match that would not only define van Daele’s career but also become one of the most legendary games in the club’s history. In a tightly contested battle, Joop van Daele emerged as the hero. In the 69th minute, he scored the decisive goal that secured Feyenoord’s 1-0 victory, giving them a 3-2 aggregate win and the Intercontinental Cup.

However, what followed added an unforgettable twist to the tale. Estudiantes, known for their unsportsmanlike conduct, reacted violently. In an infamous incident, Estudiantes’ Carlos Pachamé broke van Daele’s glasses, an act that was both shocking and emblematic of the fierce rivalry between the two sides. Van Daele admitted afterwards he was told that in Argetina, he would not be allowed to play in glasses.

Joop van Daele’s goal and the subsequent incident cemented his legendary status among Feyenoord supporters. It marked De club aan de Maas as the first Dutch club to win the Intercontinental Cup, setting a precedent for future successes.

Beyond that iconic match, van Daele’s career at Feyenoord was marked by consistent performances and contributions to the team’s successes. He was part of the squad during an era when Feyenoord won multiple Eredivisie titles and domestic cups. His defensive prowess, leadership on the field, and ability to perform under pressure made him an invaluable asset to the team.

After his playing days at Feyenoord, van Daele continued to be involved in football, transitioning into coaching and scouting roles. His deep understanding of the game, gleaned from years of top-level competition, allowed him to mentor younger players and help shape the next generation of football talent.

Joop van Daele’s legacy is not just in the trophies he helped secure or the critical goals he scored, but in the spirit and resilience he embodied. His story is one of a player who rose from humble beginnings to achieve greatness on the international stage, a defender who could step up and score the decisive goal when his team needed it the most. His contributions to Feyenoord are remembered with fondness and respect, and his name is often invoked when discussing the club’s rich history.

Today, van Daele remains a beloved figure in Rotterdam. His contributions to Feyenoord‘s legacy are celebrated, and his story continues to inspire new generations of footballers. The broken glasses from the 1970 Intercontinental Cup remain a poignant reminder of the highs and lows of competitive sport, symbolizing both the physical and metaphorical vision that van Daele brought to the pitch.


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