The European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97

The European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97
Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup 1997. PHOTO: Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup

That European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97 Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup. Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup 1996, year in which FC Barcelona faced a new stage in its history. the march of Johan Cruyff left the club in a delicate situation, so the president at that time, Jose Luis Nunez, Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

Robson's Barca, Ronaldo, Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup

The azulgranas dropped even 16 footballers and were reinforced with 9 draft signings. Among them Luis Enrique, that came after 6 years as a madridista and rebounded from the worst Real Madrid in history, Y Ronaldo Nazario, which became the most expensive signing in the club's history after a transfer from 2.500 million pesetas. In addition to those proper names, also highlighted that summer the return Hristo Stoichkov and international arrivals like Vitor Baía, Fernando Couto, Laurent Blanc, Giovanni Y Amunike. Although the latter arrived in the winter market. In this squad there were also players like Pep Guardiola, Ivan de la Pena Y Luis Figo among others.

As baton director of that cast of stars, he opted for the English veteran Bobby Robson (1933-2009). An Anglo-Saxon coach who arrived in Spain after a successful stage in the Portuguese league, in which I would meet a young man Jose Mourinho, an excellent traveling companion who served as Robson's right-hand man in interception at press conferences and who ended up becoming a basic piece to communicate with the players.

European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97
In the same photo some young Mourinho and Guardiola. Also Sir Bobby Robson, Vitor Baía, Chapi Ferrer, Sergio and Bakero. PHOTO: CHRIS HARRIS FOR THE TIMES

"The Phenomenon" of the European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97

Guardiola and Figo were two of the leaders of that Barça that had to fight for all the titles and that that season participated in the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup. Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

The Red Star was their next rival in the round of 16 and without Ronaldo the blaugranes had to overcome a lucky Yugoslav goal. But nevertheless, After the half hour, Giovanni turned the scoreboard around scoring two goals. Then Figo scored the 3-1 at the start of the second half and the hope of the Serbs for the second leg was less and less latent. Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup 1-1.

Barça had qualified and AIK Solna would become the next battlefield for the Catalans, that they would have to come back at the Camp Nou. During the first minute of the match, the Swedes went ahead after a flagrant mistake by Busquets, although their joy would not last since shortly after Popescu Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup

The goals continued and Ronaldo was in charge of scoring the 2-1 with a spectacular header. Definitely, the Brazilian was seeded and was decisive in an assist to Pizzi that would sentence the match with a result of 3 a 1. Like in the lap, where another goal from Ronaldo would mean the pass for the Catalans.

Robson's men reached the semis to face Batistuta's Fiorentina. Match in which the Argentine began the duel at the Camp Nou seeing a yellow card that would prevent him from playing the second leg. The striker was close to overtaking the Tuscans, but Barça would end up scoring with a header from Miguel Angel Nadal the stroke of half. The Italian team had to wait until the second act to react. and he did very well, since Batistuta ended up putting the tables on the scoreboard with an unstoppable right hand. Barcelona had to go in search of the winning goal, Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

Tuscan fans packed the stands, but the loss of Batistuta ended up conditioning the game of Ranieri's men. A foul that allowed Barça to dominate the first half and bring out the "Phenomenon". Ronaldo was unleashed and started scoring a legal goal that was badly annulled for offside. after half an hour, Fernando Couto put the azulgranas ahead in the light with a perfect header, what Vítor Baía I would end up defending with two spectacular saves. With the score in favor, Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

Guardiola scored the winning goal with a precise direct free kick and Oliveira's expulsion in the second half ended up deciding the tie. Something that seemed not to sit well with the Italian fans who ended up throwing numerous objects from the stands. The referee marked the end and once again Barça passed undefeated to the next phase, that this time it would be the final in Rotterdam. His opponent would be at Paris Saint-Germain, who was the reigning Cup Winners' Cup champion.

Ronaldo's goal that won the last Recopa del FC. Barcelona

Came the day, and as if superstition were everything, the culés defended the hope green in a decisive match. Some apple-colored t-shirts that, together with the high rhythm of the game, magnified the show. Cournier was booked as soon as the match began and Figo came close to scoring with a cross shot.

Leonardo worried the Catalan defense and the referee annulled a controversial goal against Couto due to an alleged foul by Popescu. Half an hour into the game Iván de la Peña managed to connect with Ronaldo and the Brazilian striker ended up being knocked down inside the area. The 9 he did not forgive this opportunity and scored the first goal from a penalty, allowing Barcelona to go to the changing rooms with an advantage. The defending champions went for the equalizer in the second half and Baía had to intervene to a hard shot from Benoit Cauet. The match began to break down and Figo was close to sentencing the match with a shot to the crossbar, Barça won that Cup Winners' Cup.

The Gauls were running out of time and energy, something that Barça would take advantage of to manage their advantage and keep the victory until the final whistle. Markus Merk whistled like this at the minute 90 the end of a match that confirmed the Barça victory and that led to the goal of Ronaldo the satisfaction of lifting the fourth Cup Winners' Cup in culé history against the legendary PSG of the years 90. The fourth and the last one won by FC Barcelona because in 1999 the last edition would be played.

European Cup Winners' Cup of the season 1996-97
Ronaldo scored the goal that gave Barcelona victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup 1996-97. PHOTO: Goal

 

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