What happened when Barcelona played Brazil in 1999

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Any football fans mocking boxing and UFC for the absurdity of Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor should cast their minds back to 1999.

To mark FC Barcelona’s centenary, the Catalan giants played the Brazilian national team in a bizarre exhibition match at the Camp Nou.

But what happened?

Barça went head-to-head with the reigning world champions at the end of the 1998-99 season and both sides were littered with household names.

One of the highest-profile players involved in the match was the great Rivaldo. But the left-footed playmaker played for both teams - so which colour shirt would he wear on the night?

In the end, Rivaldo ended up playing for Brazil, lining up alongside Romario and Ronaldo - initially named ‘Ronaldinho’ because there was another Ronaldo in the squad - in a three-pronged attack.


Barça, however, were still able to deploy the likes of Patrick Kluivert, Luis Enrique, Bolo Zenden and Pep Guardiola.


Brazil deployed one of their worst ever players

And they were up against one of the worst defenders ever to pull on the Brazil shirt in Rafael Scheidt, who was tipped to become a huge star following his 1999 move to Celtic by the respected South American football journalist Tim Vickery.

“I still wake up sweating in the middle of the night when the ghastly truth comes back to me,” Vickery wrote on the BBC Sport website seven years later, in 2006. “Back in 1999 I really thought the Brazilian centre-back would be an excellent buy for Celtic.

“How could I have been so wrong?”

What happened during the match

Back to the strange exhibition match at the Camp Nou and the match ended 2-2.

Ronaldo opened the scoring against his former club with a sublime goal, rounding Ruud Hesp before sticking the ball in the unguarded net.


However, Luis Enrique levelled the scores with a close-range volley.


Rivaldo then restored Brazil’s lead with a magnificent strike from outside the box, but the hosts equalised again following a blunder by the Seleção’s goalscorer goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni.


Video: Barcelona v Brazil highlights

You can watch the highlights here…

Video: Barcelona v Brazil in full

Or if you’ve got a spare couple of hours, watch the match in full here…

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