Vladimir Beara (pronounced [ʋlǎdimiːr beâra]; 26 August 1928 – 11 August 2014) was a Croatian football goalkeeper, and also manager. He is considered to have been one of the best goalkeepers of his era.
Beara in September 1953
|Full name||Vladimir Beara|
|Date of birth||26 August 1928|
|Place of birth||Zelovo, Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Date of death||11 August 2014(aged 85)|
|Place of death||Split, Croatia|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|1955–1960||Red Star Belgrade||83||(0)|
|1969–1970||SC Fortuna Köln|
|1970–1972||Hajduk Split (assistant coach)|
|1979||First Vienna FC|
|1986–1987||BŠK Zmaj Blato|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Beara was born in an ethnic Serb family to parents Jakov and Marija in the village of Zelovo (known as Zelovo Sutinsko until 1991) near Sinj in present-day Croatia. He had two brothers named Ljubo and Sveto. In censuses, Beara would sometimes declare himself as a Croat.
He made, however, a transfer in 1955 to Belgrade's Red Star (1955–60), after the season he had won the third league title. With Red Star he won even more Yugoslav league titles, in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, and won the Yugoslav Cup in 1958 and 1959. He was Red Star's goalkeeper against Manchester United in the last game United had played before the Munich Air Disaster. In 1963, the great Soviet goalkeeper, Lev Yashin said that not him, but Vladimir Beara is the greatest keeper of all time.
Beara played 59 games for the Yugoslav national team between 1950 and 1960. Immediately after being selected to play for the Yugoslav national team, he became famous mostly due to his fabulous stops in a match against England at Highbury Stadium of Arsenal. Since then he was often called by his nickname "Big Vlad". Beara participated in the 1952 Summer Olympic Games; he was a member of the team that reached the final against Hungary, winning a silver medal, and also saving a Ferenc Puskás penalty. He also represented his nation in three World Cups; World Cup 1950, World Cup 1954 and World Cup 1958. In 1953, Beara was one of four Yugoslav players on the FIFA World-Stars XI who played an exhibition game against England; the match finished in a 4–4 draw, with Beara conceding only one goal.
In 1967 Beara finished a coaching course at the sports academy at the German Sport University Cologne, today's Hennes Weisweiler Academy. He went on to coach clubs in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Yugoslavia as well as the national team of Cameroon. A highlight of his coaching career was winning the Yugoslav national championship with Hajduk Split in 1971 as assistant coach to Slavko Luštica. This was the club's first championship since his departure as player in 1955. He also won the African Cup Winners' Cup with Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1975.
On 11 August 2014, Beara was announced dead by his family. He died in Split, Croatia and his family says that he died after several strokes over the previous year.
Style of playEdit
Beara was an athletic and self-confident keeper, endowed with an eye-catching yet effective style. Thanks to his firm grip on the ball and his brave attitude, not only he was an outstanding shot-stopper, but he also excelled at coming off his line. He was nicknamed The ballet dancer with the hands of steel because of his ability to combine elegance with goalkeeping skills.
A good goalkeeper still has to be a lot like he was in my time. He has to have courage and self-confidence.— Beara himself on goalkeepers.
My confidence in goal, the way I seemed to be able to catch a ball easily, and my technique for taming shots I put down to Barba Luka (aka Luka Kaliterna, one of his first coaches). It was a simple drill we did in practice. He made me catch a small ball about the size of a baseball and after that it was very easy for me to catch a football.— Beara himself on his goalkeeping technique.
There was an entertaining, aesthetic air about him, that's why his jumps and dives with feet curled and body perfectly poised appealed. He kept goal on his toes, like a coiled spring, always ready to pounce.
I am not the best goalkeeper in the world, it is Vladimir Beara.
- Hajduk Split
- Red Star Belgrade
- Yugoslav First League (4):1955–56, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60
- Yugoslav Football Cup (2): 1957–58, 1958–59
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vladimir Beara.|
- Jonathan Wilson (5 May 2008). "Meet Yugoslavia's ballerina Beara, once the best keeper in the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- "Vladimir Beara: One of the world's finest goalkeepers, who played in the Busby Babes' last game before the Munich disaster". The Independent. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- Mozzart Sport (4 November 2017). "PREMOTAVANJE: Beara, grand jeté" (in Serbian). Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- Zdravko Reić (18 August 2014). "Vladimir Beara se nudio Dinamu i nisu ga htjeli, Zvezda zato jest" (in Croatian). Retrieved 26 October 2018.
, a onda je, s obzirom na obiteljsku pravoslavnu vjeru, proskribiran kao Srbin iako se Beara oduvijek, u svakom popisu stanovništva deklarirao kao Hrvat
- Alex Buturugeanu (1 October 2010). "Trădătorii (III): Vladimir Beara". Istoria Fotbalului. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Former goalkeeping great Vladimir Beara dies at 85". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Player profile on Serbian National Team page
- Nogometni leksikon (2004) ‹See Tfd›(in Croatian)
- Vladimir Beara – FIFA competition record
- Vladimir Beara at National-Football-Teams.com
- Vladimir Beara at WorldFootball.net
- Meet Yugoslavia's ballerina Beara, once the best keeper in the world, guardian.co.uk