FC Barcelona Blast From The Past: FC Barcelona 2-2 Brazil (1999)

Barcelona and Brazil

At the end of the 1998-99 season, disappointment was palpable at the Camp Nou. Yes, they had won La Liga, but they had failed miserably in their quest for the Champions League. 1999 was FC Barcelona's centenary year and the club had set out to win the Champions League, especially since the final that year was held at the Camp Nou. Nonetheless, the whole season was a celebration of everything FC Barcelona and the highlight of the season (aside from the league title of course) was a friendly match against then-World Cup runners-up Brazil.

The game had been much anticipated of course, and not just because of the talent that was on the field. Both Ronaldo (the real one) and Romario were making their return to the Camp Nou. The spotlight though, was on FC Barcelona maestro Rivaldo. There had been talk before the game that Rivaldo was more than willing to don the Blaugrana jersey rather than the yellow of Brazil. In the end though, country won over club and Rivaldo ended up in yellow.

It was a rainy night in Barcelona but that didn't stop the crowd from coming. A parade of past Barcelona players (and stars) kicked off the night's festivities. It started tentatively as both teams tried to feel each other out but the game soon exploded into life. Right at the half hour mark Barca were carved open though a flowing move from the Selecao. Ronaldo rounded Barca keeper Ruud Hesp and roofed it into the empty net. 1-0 to Brazil. Barcelona were not about to be upstaged on their big night though and five minutes later they equalized. A cross from the left by Boudewijn Zenden was clumsily spilled by Brazil keeper Rogerio Ceni and Luis Enrique was there to bundle home the error. The game certainly was becoming more wide open and three minutes before the break, there was another goal. The Blaugrana's own Rivaldo fired an unstoppable shot from just outside the box that flew past Hesp. 2-1 to Brazil going into the break.

The second half's story was set along the same lines as the first. Lots of wide-open play often squandered by sloppy play (of course, the rain had something to do with that). Nevertheless, Barcelona found the equalizer they had been looking for, thanks once again to bumbling keeper Rogerio. A free kick by the devil, I mean Figo from the left was curled in and Rogerio spilled it, the ball falling nicely to Cocu to knock in. Barca even thought they had won the game late, as Brazilian Sonny Anderson sprung the offside and neatly tucked it past Rogerio. But the linesman flag was raised for offside, though replay showed he wasn't. Anderson fired in another shot after that, clearly trying to prove something to Brazilian selectors. Figo nearly won it with a stinging shot that Rogerio saved. In the end, it ended 2-2, a fair result to both sides.

FC Barcelona Vs Brazil 2-2 Camp Nou 1999 FULL GAME - PARTIDO COMPLETO (via proxt11)

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