The 1967 Ballon D’Or list and what it says about Celtic’s achievement

The 1967 Ballon D’Or list shows how prestigious Celtic’s European Cup win actually was…

A recent social media post from a nostalgic football account made for very interesting reading from a Celtic perspective as it listed of the top ten best players in European football in the prestigious Ballon D’Or rankings in 1967.

25.05.1967 Photo imago/Kicker/Metelmann Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic Glasgow) 1967, European cup, Final, Lisbon

Among them were two very familiar names to the Celtic supporters, none other than Jimmy Johnstone and Tommy Gemmell.

Tommy Gemmell

Wee Jinky and Big Tam of course had a splendid year having helped Jock Stein’s wonderful Celtic side become the first British side to win the European Cup as we defeated Inter Milan to win the big cup in Lisbon on 25th May 1967.

Jinky terrorised not just Scottish defenders, but defences from the best sides in Europe. Tam of course scored many important goals on route to Lisbon and none more so than the equaliser in the final itself, that was perhaps the most important goal in Celtic’s unbroken history.

Jimmy Johnstone was third on the list while Tommy Gemmell was sixth. That is mightily impressive when you consider the other names on the list.

Budapest, Hungary – Hungarian footballer, FLORIAN ALBERT (September 15, 1941-October 31, 2011), the European player of the year 1967, with a decorative challenge trophy presented to him by Imre Heredi, an enthusiastic fan from Kiskunfelegyhaza. So this country town on the Great Hungarian Plain preceded Paris from where Albert is to be awarded the official Golden Ball.

Top place went to the brilliant Hungarian forward Florian Albert of Ferencvaros, who was one of the best strikers of that era. Other names don’t need any introduction such as Runner up Bobby Charlton, or 4th place Franz Beckenbauer. In 5th place was Eusebio while 7th place belonged to George Best and just behind him in 8th was Gerd Muller.

Photo imago/Colorsport – Photographers conditions: Photographers have to lie on their stomachs to Photograph the match. Bobby Charlton (United) and Mike Bernard (Stoke); 13/05/1967 Manchester United v Stoke City.
Franz Beckenbauer – FC Bavaria Munich Christmas 1967 – Franz Beckenbauer with his wife Brigitte and son Michael
Eusebio, training with Portugal 1967
George Best receives his League Championship winners medal from Joe Richards, League President. Manchester United . 13/05/1967.
Imago United Archives International Bavaria Munich Centre FORWARD Gerd Mueller 29th May 1967

That is not only some of the greatest names of that era, but some of the best ever names to grace the beautiful game and two of them were Celtic stars.

The fact that two of our players were judged to have been as good as such names in that year shows how prestigious our European Cup win was and it also makes a mockery of those who jealously try to belittle our achievements.

Bobby Murdoch (Celtic) European Cup Final, 1967

Just one complaint about that list, where was Bobby Murdoch? Many Celtic supporters, including the late, great David Potter reckoned that he was the greatest player on earth for a few seasons in the second half of the 1960s and who am I to argue with that assessment.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy


About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. Incredible, but as could only happen in scotland. The 3rd best player in the world isn,t voted the best player in his own country. In fact. I dont think he ever won the scottish award