- Published in The Athletes
Corporal Luis Fernandez
Victory (or ‘Escape to Victory’ as it was known in Europe) boasted a cornucopia of famous soccer stars who were cast as the Allied Prisoners of War. A small sample of these players included:
Bobby Moore, the Captain of the 1966 England World Cup winning team, and considered to be one of the best defenders of all time.
John Wark, the Scottish star who led Ipswich Town to the UEFA Cup that year.
Osvaldo Ardiles, an Argentine star who was then a skilled midfielder for the Tottenham Hotspur.
Kazimierez Denya, who was then starring for Manchester City and is one of the best Polish players of all time.
We could have continued with a roll call that would mean something to Europeans, but to the North American market in 1981, only one soccer player was known in this film; Pele. Actually, Pele was probably the ONLY soccer player that most Americans could have named back then. The Brazilian was an international superstar who transcended the sport. Three times, he led Brazil to the World Cup, and was the star (though way past his prime) that propelled the NASL to then relevance. Truthfully, he made soccer known to a degree in the United States, and though the NASL would eventually fold, his name remained in the American sporting mind.