Bow down to the kings
So the El Clasico semifinal is over (more like El CLOLsico, amirite?). FC Barcelona advances to the final, gains a measure of revenge for 2002, and goes to what basically amounts to a road game in Wembley against Manchester United. Now, Wembley holds special memories for every FC Barcelona fan. But just in case you don't know, we'll go back to the last time FC Barcelona was at Wembley Stadium. And no, I don't mean the Wembley Cup held in 2009.
Prior to 1991-92 season, there had been massive pressure on FC Barcelona to lift their first European Cup. They had won the league the season before by a whopping 10 points and were on their way to winning another La Liga title (albeit luckily). Their European Cup campaign was a little rocky at best as well, losing 1-0 to Hansa Rostock in the 2nd leg of the 1st round (winning 3-1 on aggregate) and nearly going out in the 2nd round against German champions Kaiserslautern (A Bakero goal in the 90th minute of the 2nd leg allowed them to go thru on away goals). By the time they got to the group stage though, they had gotten their act together, topping their group to advance to the Wembley final against Sampdoria, the Italian champions.
The Italian champions boasted attacking talent such as Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Mancini, Attilio Lombardo, Toninho Cerezo and goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca. FC Barcelona was led by Dane Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman and now-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. With such talent on display, it promised to be a vibrant and exciting final. And it was. Sampdoria had a handful of chances to go ahead thru Lombardo and a comically bad miss by Vialli. FC Barcelona didn't lack in chances as well, Salinas carving a gilt-edged chance only to be denied dramatically by Pagliuca. Pagliuca had his post to thank as well, as Stoichkov struck the woodwork after a break initiated by Laudrup. It ended 0-0, shockingly after 90 minutes.
Extra time had been calmer and less frenetic, only Bakero had managed to muff a chance to score a goal. In the 112th minute, Eusebio was fouled (more like trapped really) by Invernizzi just outside the box. Stoichkov, Bakero and Koeman stood over the free kick.
Gol Koeman Wembley 92 (via sokfascistkiller)
Koeman blasted it low to the right of Pagliuca, who had absolutely no chance. 1-0 to FC Barcelona, and on their way to their first European Cup, and the torture of years past had finally ended for the Blaugranas.
In about three weeks, it will be back to the future for FC Barcelona. Win or lose, Wembley will always hold a special place in the heart of this FC Barcelona fan. (That would be me, duh)