“This has never happened in my career!” Rivaldo saved Barca from collapse with a magical blow. Video

Kirill Zakatchenko

Kirill Zakatchenko

“This has never happened in my career!”

In 2001, he fired amazingly through himself at the very end of the game.

In the summer of 2001, Barcelona almost lost the Champions League. Only a couple of minutes separated the Catalans from the failure, but it included a savior. Rivaldo scored a hat-trick in the match with Valencia and dragged his team to fourth place.

Barca failed almost the entire season, Valencia failed the ending

In the 2000/2001 season, Barcelona did not play well. The Catalans were eliminated from the Champions League following the results of the first group stage (there were two of them then). They scored eight points, but let Milan and Leeds go ahead. Things were not going well in the championship either – before the last round, the team was in fifth place. The final match in the Example, the Catalans played at home with Valencia, which was ahead of the opponent by three points. To get into the Champions League zone, Barca needed to win, and then they were ahead of Hector Cooper’s team in additional indicators. Valencia frankly failed the end of the season – before going to the Camp Nou, they scored only four points in four matches. In addition, the team lost to Bayern in the Champions League final.

Barcelona – Valencia – 3:2 (2:1).
June 17, 2001. Spanish Championship, 38th round. Camp Nou stadium.
Dutruel, Sergi, de Boer, Puyol, Guardiola (Petit, 65), Cocu, Gabry, Overmars, Kluivert (Senden, 77), Rivaldo, Simau (Xavi, 46).
“Valencia”: Cañizares, Angloma, Pellegrino, Ayala, Fabio Aurelio, Aimar (Djukic 85), Baraja, Kili Gonzalez (Vicente 65), Albelda, Carew (Ilie 85), Angulo.
Goals: Rivaldo, 4, 45, 88 – Baraja, 25, 46.

Rivaldo signed with Barcelona in 1997. Two years later, the Brazilian will receive the Golden Ball, and he will be recognized as the best football player according to FIFA. Rivaldo spent the 2000/2001 season at the highest level, but his team was far from ideal. In addition, before the start of the season, Luis Figo left her, who left for Real Madrid. Rivaldo is almost the only football player who dragged Barça throughout the entire championship. And in the last round, he again showed his skills.

Rivaldo saved the season for the team with a fantastic strike. He gets asked all the time about that match

Barça opened the scoring already in the 4th minute – Rivaldo sent the ball into the net from a free kick with a magnificent blow. At the end of the first half, the Brazilian shot the far bottom corner of the goal – by that time the guests had managed to recoup. Valencia again equalized after the break, and it seemed that the match would end in a draw. And then a real masterpiece happened. Frank de Boer threw a scoop at Rivaldo, who took the ball to his chest and from the penalty area struck a fantastic, even magical blow in the fall through himself. Incredible denouement in the 88th minute!

The remaining time before the final whistle, the fans at the stadium sang the name of the protagonist of the meeting, who saved the club from collapse. Thanks to Rivaldo’s hat-trick, Barcelona took fourth place and received a ticket to the Champions League. The Brazilian was just a little short of the title of the top scorer of the championship – Raul scored one goal more.

“I will never forget that day. We needed to beat Valencia to qualify for the Champions League. I have other good matches and important goals, but this is a special game. I scored a few goals with overhead shots, but this has never happened in my career! Everything was perfect here. A beautiful goal in the last minutes of a very important match. In football, you have to take risks, although sometimes things go wrong. But that’s exactly what makes the game so special. When de Boer passed, I realized that I needed to hit very hard, because it was far from the goal. As soon as I touched the ball, I knew that I would hit it properly. I couldn’t imagine designing such a fantastic ball. Nice evening. It was many years ago, but it feels like yesterday. I get asked all the time about this match,” Rivaldo said in 2019.



Photo: Jon Buckle/Getty Images

After the match, the Brazilian was called a saint. He played the penultimate season for Barça.

Spanish newspapers paid tribute to the Brazilian after the match. Rivaldo is a saint. This incredible goal caused a real euphoria in the stadium, ”wrote Mundo Deportivo at the time. Marca Madrid also praised the player, although they did it less willingly. Rivaldo saved Barcelona again. He appeared just at the moment when the whole team did not know what to do. The Brazilian has solved all the problems of Barcelona,” read the text of the material.

The following season, the Catalan club again finished fourth in the championship, but this time reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Valencia, in turn, invited Rafael Benitez to the post of head coach and won La Liga. In the summer of 2002, Rivaldo will become world champion. He will score five goals, share second place in the list of scorers of the tournament and at the same time be remembered for a frank simulation in the match with Turkey. And then he leaves Barcelona and goes to Milan.


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