23 years of the bathroom from Madrid to Guardiola's Barça

That triumphant Real Madrid that night put the seed of what nine months later would be the team that won the Seventh against Zinedine Zidane's Juventus.

It was a day like today, August 23. Year 1997. Van Gaal's Barça had just won the Copa del Rey (Betis, in extra time). Capello's Madrid (he went to Milan that same summer due to his differences with Lorenzo Sanz) had won a heroic league against Ronaldo Nazario, Figo and Rivaldo's Barça. The Brazilian star left Barça that summer (he went to Inter) and Madrid hired Jupp Heynckes for their bench. This caused a climate change in the airlift. Barça won the first leg at the Camp Nou by the minimum (2-1) .

But that meager difference was pulverized on the return leg of the Bernabéu. An excited and exciting Madrid. He started with Cañizares; Panucci, Hierro, Karanka, Roberto Carlos; Seedorf, Guti, Ze Roberto; Raúl, Suker and Mijatovic. The Barça opposed a theoretically powerful eleven, mainly above: Hesp; Ferrer, Abelardo, Reiziger, Sergi; Guardiola, Love, Giovanni; Figo, Rivaldo and Anderson. Before the break, the can was opened with a goal from Raúl, after magnificent assistance from Karanka ("it is the most beautiful day of my life," the Vitorian central defender later declared). After the break it was Zé Roberto who assisted the squad, again lethal against the goal. In the midst of football hemorrhage and with a delivered Bernabéu, Mijatovic made it 3-0, with half an hour ahead. Between olés and gloating from the stands came the 4-0, the work of Seedorf after a pass from Mijatovic. Giovanni could barely cover up Barça's disgrace.

That triumphant Madrid that night put the seed of what nine months later would be the team that won the Seventh against Juve de Zidane, closing a 32-year-old hole without the whites winning the European Cup. That summer night it all started. Guardiola, Figo and Rivaldo can attest to this. The cover of AS was very graphic: What a bathroom!

Photos from as.com
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