Schuster was a great passer of the ball, and played as both an attacking midfielder and a deep-lying playmaker, indeed he would also sometimes play even deeper, as a libero, his trademark passes starting off move after move. Schuster was a free-kick specialist and scored plenty of great goals, plenty of long range ones as you’d expect but some great subtle ones too. As well as his expertise with the dead-ball he was fantastic running with the ball too, surging forward dangerously time after time, especially during his time at the Camp Nou. In the swan song of his career he got first, second and third goals of season in West Germany!
Unfortunately, like so many really talented footballers there seemed to be something inbuilt in to his character to have trouble follow him wherever he went, and Schuster's time at most of his clubs would eventually result in a fallout and a transfer.
We first came across Schuster when we were flicking through the pages of our Panini Euros albums for Europa '80. But it wasn’t just the hair that made him stand out, when the tournament started you could tell he was different. We’d been lead to believe that that German football was full of strong, powerful players, but lacking in flair and mavericks. But a more maverick, controversial character than Schuster it would be hard to find.
He really burst on to the global scene at Europa 80, his excellent performances for West Germany making the nation think they at last had a successor to their great playmakers of the 70s, Netzer & Overath. However, it would be a short lived period of adulation with die Mannschaft as he was soon declaring he’d never play again.
Whilst Schuster would win La Liga three times, once with Barcelona and twice with Real Madrid, as well as six Copa del Rey titles and the European UEFA Cup Winners Cup, he would just miss out on European club football's biggest prize, the European Cup, in 1986. He was part of the team that had knocked out the holders, and favourites, Juventus, at the quarter-final stage and then seen off IFK Göteborg in an epic semi-final that saw Barcelona comeback from a 3:0 first-leg deficit in the second-leg at the Camp Nou, Pichi Alonso scoring a hat-trick before Barcelona went through 5:4 on penalties. Having been involved in so much excitement leading up to the final, the main event turned out to be a complete anticlimax, as the two teams played out one of the competition's most tedious finals that was still goalless after extra-time. Schuster was off the pitch by the time that dreadful penalty shoot-out came around, something that Terry Venables may have looked back with regret given Schuster's expertise in dead-ball situations and the complete lack of success that the other Barcelona