Manchester United had sweet echoes of 1999 as the Red Devils legends defeated legends of Barcelona in a charity match at the Nou Camp on Friday.
Some of the biggest names at Barca over the past 20 years – including Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert – took to the pitch again but they still went down 3-1 toUnited legends through goals from Jesper Blomqvist, Karel Poborsky and Dwight Yorke.
Blomqvist and Poborsky scored either side of half-time before United captain Dwight Yorke, who famously netted here in a riveting 3-3 draw on the way to the Treble in 1999, put the seal on the display with a fine finish from outside the box.
Frederic Dehu scored a consolation for the home side with the last kick of what was a thoroughly entertaining game.
The packed crowd at the Camp Nou were treated to a good dose of Ronaldinho magic as the Brazil great showed glimpses of the player that once held the world in his thrall.
He forced a string of decent saves from United goalie Van der Gouw, and together with Rivaldo and Edgar Davids, the two-time World Player of the Year caused United all sorts of problems.
Blomqvist, who gave United a half-time lead, was brought crashing back down to earth in a devilish move by Ronaldinho in the middle of the park.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 30, 2017
Rivaldo was denied by the linesman’s flag after Juliano Beletti struck the side netting – but United were causing plenty of problems, too, and Poborsky doubled their lead on 57 minutes after good work from JS Park.
United captain, Yorke, put the result beyond doubt on 77 minutes after Rivaldo had missed a sitter earlier, but Dehu gave the hosts some consolation with a goal from the last kick of the game.
The return leg comes up September 2 at Old Trafford.