The night of March 8th 2017 will go down in history for the fans of FCB, (Barcelona Futbol Club.) The game, hosted at Camp Nou, was the teams second time playing Paris Saint-Germain, and there was no hope in sight. For anyone who keeps up with Champions League, it was The second leg of the competition, and it was almost positive that the team would not be able to beat Paris and continue on. Essentially, a couple weeks prior, Barcelona had lost badly to Paris during their first game against them, a devastating loss of 4-0. Going into this game, the only way Barcelona would be able to beat Paris and continue on in the Champions League would be if they scored a minimum of five goals. And essentially, all Paris had to do was ensure that they were not able to do so.
The stage was set at Camp Nou, and tensions were high upon first entrance. Evidently a lot of doubt was in the air but that did not defer the avid Barcelona fans from cheering and screaming with all they had.
The banner The Barcelona team put over thousands of fans at the beginning of the match that reads their motto, “Tots amp l’equip” which translated in English roughly means “all the team.”
Within the first 3 minutes of the match, a goal was scored by Barcelona, and hopes along with the energy in the stadium skyrocketed. And it didn’t stop there, 2 more goals were scored in the first half, making the match score 3-0 and the possibility of maybe actually winning looked possible. However, Paris scored one goal afterwards, making Barcelona now having to score 6 goals in order to beat them, and once again doubt cast over the stadium.
The second half continued on like that for what seemed like forever, and as the clock continued all hope seemed lost. With 80 minutes on the clock and only 10 minutes left in the match, fans began to accept defeat. There simply was no way they could get 3 more goals, and it was over. In disappointment, some fans began to clear out in order to beat the crowds. Little did they know how much they would be regretting this decision later on.
Suddenly, at 87 minutes and to everyones shock, Barcelona scores a goal! Neymar got it in on a free kick and once again, the stadium exploded. The score was now 4-1 and they still needed 2 goals in order to beat them, but they had finally gotten another goal after a long second half and excitement filled the air. Time is almost up, but the referres announce 5 minutes of extra time. Within the first few seconds of extended time, Neymar scores again! The score is now 5-1 and the team has made one of the most amazing come backs in Champions League history.
The eruption which occurred following the fifth goal was absolutely crazy. Fans jumped, screamed, hugged, clapped, flew their flags anything they could do to express their overwhelming excitement and happiness. At this point it’s two minutes in of the five minutes of added time, and with 3 minutes left anything is possible. Two goals were scored in two minutes, three minutes leaves enough time for anything to happen. Those three minutes were filled with nothing but pure anticipation, hope, and overwhelming enthusiasm.
In the fifth and final minute of the added time, Barcelona did what had just a half an hour earlier seemed impossible, and scored the 6th and final goal. Sergi Roberto, one of the players who had played especially horrible in the first game against Paris, scored and not one person could remain in their seats. Everyone of the 90,000 people sitting in that stadium shot up to celebrate. The other Barcelona players stormed the field, although the clock had not stopped and there was still time remaining in the game, to everyone there it was clear it was all over.
Pictured above: Players and various members of the Club running on to the field after the sixth goal
It was an absolute explosion. People kissed, cried, jumped on their seats, one man almost fell on fans below because his entire body was essentially over the railings. Absolutely ecstatic. A short video that was taken immediately following the final goal displays this nicely.
After the sixth and final goal the Word “Enhorabona” which in English translates to “Congratulations” was displayed on the megascreens at Camp Nou.
Barcelona, as a team, made Champions League history that night, with the biggest come back the League has ever seen. People bet against them, and before the last seven minutes, a lot of people had given up, Don Cuddy was one of them. An Irish American visiting his daughter in Barcelona the week of the eighth, and long time die-hard Barcelona fan had in fact bet against the team, luckily for him only 20 euro! But even Mr.Cuddy, one of their biggest fans didn’t believe it was possible. He discusses this along with sharing the rest of his experience in a short video.
However unluckily for Mr. Cuddy, the team proved him, and almost everyone wrong. Moments like this remind us that truly anything is possible, despite the odds against us. This incredible victory reawakened and created even more love, respect, and belief for the Barcelona team as a whole. (If that’s even possible!) But it is something which everyone, even people who aren’t soccer fans can look at and appreciate. As they continue on in the Champions League, and regardless of future results, it can be said with almost certainty that the night of March 8th, 2017 will not easily be forgotten; and the men of The Barcelona Football Club will live on as heroes.
*Barcelona will play the first leg of the Champions League against Juventus in Turin on April 8th.*