Commemorating the Proud History of the Indonesian National Team at the 1956 Olympics

Logo Olimpiade. (Sumber Gambar: Alves)

A proud history was made by the Indonesian National Team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. At that time, Toni Pogacnik’s football team successfully appeared in the main round of the four-year multi event, as well as impressing the world.

Admiration for the game and the performance of the Indonesian national team at that time emerged, especially after fighting the powerful Soviet Union in the quarter-finals.

If there is a match that deserves to be remembered and has been a story of pride from generation to generation at the Olympics for Indonesia, the football match at the Melbourne Olympics on November 29, 1956 could be one of them.

The Soviet Union itself was one of the countries with the strongest football tradition of that era. This match takes place in the Australian City of Melbourne, in the quarter-finals of the 16th Summer Olympics.

Many people predicted that the Soviet Union would be able to easily get it from Indonesia, which at that time was not superior at all. However, the defensive formation used by Tony Pogacnik managed to suppress the attacks of the Soviet Union well, so they had difficulty opening up opportunities to score against Indonesia.

In fact, Indonesian players have definitely lost in terms of posture. It’s just that the spirit of fighting and the courage to fight against the Soviet Union’s bigger players, has become a historical record to this day.

After the match, Indonesia became a byword for many football fans around the world.

In fact, Indonesia lost in terms of posture. However, the courage to take on opponents with a bigger posture is a record that is remembered today.

Even at that time, FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous also praised the Indonesian national team’s game.

“It was only once I saw such a perfect defensive game,” said the then FIFA president, Sir Stanley Rous, as quoted from the 27 July 1984 edition of Tabloid Bola via

In that match, Indonesian National team was strengthened by Maulwi Saelan, Endang Witarsa, Thio Him Tjiang, Ramlan, and Rusli Ramang. While the opposing camp was inhabited by world-renowned caliber players such as Lev Yashin, Igor Netto, Eduard Streltsov, and Valentin Ivanov.

A little more hindsight, at that time Indonesia did have a fairly long preparation. Indonesia brought in coach Toni Pogacnik since 1954, he was also very active in going to the regions to find suitable players.

As well as the Indonesian National Team intensively conducting trials, especially against teams from Eastern Europe, the results were also satisfactory. Countries such as Yugoslavia, East Germany and the Czech Republic became opponents of the national team.

Not only against the national team, but Garuda troops also against the country’s local clubs. Until finally, there was an opportunity, where for the first time Indonesia could appear in the Olympics, after Taiwan withdrew from the qualifying round.

At that time, the presence of the legendary coach, Toni Pogacnik, could not be separated from the political closeness of the Indonesian and Eastern European governments at that time. After landing in Indonesia in 1954, Toni immediately started his adventure with the Red and White.

The first year of his presence was immediately full of surprises. The 1954 Asian Games became Toni’s first event with the Indonesian national team. He was also able to bring the national team so far to enter the semifinals at the 1954 Asian Games.

Another surprise was given by the coach who was born on January 6, 1913, when he managed to find the extraordinary talent of a striker named Ramang. Toni is credited with discovering and honing Ramang’s abilities, so that he has become one of the best players in Garuda’s troops to date.

The beginning of the meeting between Toni and Ramang was filled with disappointment, because Ramang was helpless when asked to play as a defender, replacing Sunar Arland.

However, Toni’s bold experiment changed everything. Ramang was then placed in attack, because he saw that Ramang had the specialty of his speed and hard kicks. The experiment was successful, until finally Ramang became known as the reliable striker and executor of the Indonesian national team.



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