In 1964, Mario Benedetti wrote that football was anesthesia. It was a social drug, exploited and co-opted by governments who encouraged the people to forget their problems. If only for ninety minutes, football was an escape from the social and economic uncertainties that would otherwise control one’s life. Five years later, Benedetti’s words still held true. Ajax v PSV, Henk Groot heads the ball towards goal. 15 April 1962. Photo: Harry Pot/ANP. France Football Covers: Ballon d’Or Winners 1956-1989.