World Cup Icons off the Pitch – A Deep Dive into IMAGO’s Archive.

World Cup Icons off the Pitch – A Deep Dive into IMAGO’s Archive.

One Year to Qatar 2022: From deep within the IMAGO archives, a series of photographic gems from the historic players of past World Cups. From family photos to 1980’s bar culture and candid images that tell the stories of the players beyond their position on the pitch.

Pele was not only one of the best footballers of all time, he also played guitar, served as Brazil’s Minister of Sport and was a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations including UNESCO and UNICEF. Franz Beckenbauer who was born just days after the end of World War II, had two cardiac surgeries, was married three times and fathered five children. 

Alfredo Di Stefano was once kidnapped by the Venezuelan Armed Forces of National Liberation (FLAN) and held at gunpoint in Caracas. Johan Cruyff was also held at gunpoint and tied up along with this family in their Barcelona flat – his children were given police escorts to go to school and his flat was guarded and inhabited by police months after. This also led him to opt out of the 1978 World Cup. He also played baseball as a catcher and pitcher in his teens before committing to football. 

Maradona’s father was a bricklayer and his mother wanted him to be an accountant, often seizing his football to send him back to his studies. He was a father, husband, entertainer and struggled with addiction. Lothar Matthäus celebrated one of his five marriages in Las Vegas. 

Off the pitch, the world’s most iconic football players have plenty of stories to tell. Imago’s archive is home to moments that were often left outside of the spotlight — from family photos, holidays and leisure time, to the humorous, candid and endearing nuances of daily life. 

IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Action Plus
IMAGO / Action Plus
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / Kicker / Liedel
IMAGO / Kicker / Liedel
IMAGO / Kicker / Metelmann
IMAGO / Kicker / Metelmann
IMAGO / United Archives International
IMAGO / United Archives International
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Pressefoto Baumann
IMAGO / Pressefoto Baumann
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / Sportfoto Rudel
IMAGO / Sportfoto Rudel
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / UPI Photo
IMAGO / UPI Photo
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / Kicker / Metelmann
IMAGO / Kicker / Metelmann
IMAGO / Horstmüller
IMAGO / Horstmüller
IMAGO / teutopress
IMAGO / teutopress
IMAGO / PA Images
IMAGO / PA Images
IMAGO / WEREK
IMAGO / WEREK

Written by Columist Sofia Bergmann for our Short Series in the run up to One Year to The World Cup 2022. We will be publishing an article each day this week to celebrate One Year Until Qatar 2022.

                                                  See the article’s full, curated image collection here.

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