Top 100 World Cup Moments (From the Aussie P.O.V.): 41-When Harry Met Patrick….with a Hip to the Face (1982)

Even without the ‘incident’ that occurred in this game the West Germany-France semi final at Spain 82 was is a modern World Cup classic. The West Germans weren’t exactly the most loved side at this World Cup following their little love-in with Austria in the first round and they would meet the French who were one of the most impressive teams in the second phase of the tournament with signs being shown of the fantastic side that would go on to win Euro 84.

Former Sydney FC coach Pierre Littbarski opened the scoring for the Germans on 17 minutes before the French were back to 1-1 10 minutes later through a Platini penalty. 1-1 at half time. The game continued in tight fashion until halfway through the second half. Platini sent through a brilliant through ball through the bamboozled the German defence and had French sub Patrick Battiston running on to the loose ball to try and score. German keeper Harald Shumacher bolted off his line to get to the ball first but Battiston got a foot to ball at the last second and toe poked the ball agonizingly wide.

What would be more painful than that miss would be the fact that the onrushing Shumacher looked to deliberately batter in to Battiston with full force that laid the Frenchman out on the ground. The German keeper’s hip had smashed straight in to the Frenchman’s jaw and managed to do a hell of a lot of damage. One hell of a shirt front. Platini thought that Battiston had died because of his pale face and the fact he thought he wasn’t breathing. Battiston had lost three teeth, had damaged vertebrae and had to be administered oxygen on the ground before being rushed to hospital where (for a spell) he fell in to a coma.

Following the virtual assault the referee unbelievably gave a goalkick following the incident instead of giving a red card, giving a yellow card or even giving a foul to Schumacher. In what was to be a classic period of extra time the West Germans came from behind twice through Rumminegge and Fishcer who cancelled out goals from Tresor and Giresse so for the first time in World Cup history there would be a penalty shootout.

Both Stielke for West Germany and Six for France had penalties saved so the whole shebang went to sudden death. After Hrubesch scored it was down to the Nantes defender Mazime Bossis who had his shot saved by the Dan Dastardly like villain, Harald Schumacher. West Germany were through to the final to a chorus of boos from the locals and the French. West Germany in 1982 were to be one of the most despicable sides to ever make a final this side of Argentina in 1990 following the Schumacher incident and the fixing of the match against the Austrians. Thank christ Italy would do them in the final.

Schumacher commented following the semi final that seeing Battiston had only lost three teeth he would pay for the crowns. France lost the third place play off to those plucky Poles but went on to win Euro 84 with Battiston a part of that side and the one that won bronze in Mexico. Schumacher played at Mexico ’86 (finishing a loser again) before publishing a tell all book that alleged that many of the West German stars were in to drugs and that the incident involving Battiston was nothing more than an accident. The book caused an uproar within the Bundesliga and Schumacher was sacked by his club FC Koln – not such a happy ending. Not the nicest of memories, the Battiston wipe out is still a memorable moment that featured the bad guys from Spain ’82.

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.


  1. 1982 is my favorite World Cup tournament and France – West Germany was a great game.

    The French side were beautiful to watch as were Brazil. Italy – Brazil was another classic.

    Great reading Dennis.


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