When I was young we only had 12 months in the year but recently the UK has added a 13th month – Movember (http://uk.movember.com/.) During this month men are encouraged to grow a mustache for charity but what about the men who already have one? I’d encourage them to shave it off. They could call the month No-vember. Why should we raise money for charity just one month a year? In spring people should be encouraged to walk back and forth for charity. I’d call that month – March.
This November/Movember Celtic play Barcelona but it’s not the first time the superstars of Catalonia have played at Parkhead on a bleak November evening. In 1996 Celtic paid Barcelona to fly to Scotland and partake in a friendly. I remember reading the match programme on the way into the game and getting giddy like a schoolgirl at the prospect of seeing the players. as they would have flawless technique, tricks aplenty and the aura of superstardom. The Barcelona team would be pretty good too.
This was the Barcelona Squad (taken from the match program):
Vitor Baia – The greatest Portuguese goalkeeper of all time. He only played a couple of seasons at Barcelona but made his name during his two spells at Porto During his second spell at the club he found the number 1 jersey was taken so requested 99 instead. Therefore becoming one of the first players to realize that linking your name to a number is much more marketable than just accepting any old shirt. He also met Celtic in the UEFA Cup Final in Seville but the less said about that the better!
Fernando Couto – One of the greatest Portuguese central defenders of all time. He was also one of the few footballers to have ever failed a drug test, for nandrolone. Wayne Rooney has also failed a nandrolone test, though the test was “How do you spell nandrolone?”
Laurent Blanc – One of the…[you get the idea by now] – He had a spell playing for Manchester United. During his first season their first five losses were to Bolton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle, and Chelsea. Which if you take the first letters of the clubs spells BLANC. Sir Alex Ferguson bought Vidic as a replacement as there were no teams in the league starting with V, I or D.
Nadal – Not the greatest of footballers but his tennis career is going well. (Joking aside, he’s Rafa’s uncle)
Sergi – He sounds Russian but is actually Spanish. He played for Barcelona for ten years and was so good they didn’t bother giving him a surname.
Gheorghe Popescu – Although he also played for Tottenham, the match Spurs fans most remember him for is the UEFA Cup in May 2000. Galatasaray defeated Arsenal on penalties after a goalless draw in open play. He scored the final penalty in the shootout.
Luis Enrique – One of Pele’s top 125 greatest players of all time. He started out at Real Madrid before sensationally switching to Barcelona. He is therefore known as the Spanish Mo Johnston.
Hristo Stoichkov – A Barcelona legend. He was such an amazing player that a statue was built in his honor to which he said “Make sure you add a pair of golden balls to it.”
Ivan de la Pena – Nickname little buddha because of his shiny bald head. He was a brilliant youth prospect which was a tag he never lost throughout his career which makes him the Spanish Eoin Jess.
Ronaldo – A man who should be remembered for his amazing goal-scoring record for club and country, but who instead I’ll always remember as a man who was arrested after ordering three transvestite hookers. Why not just two? It’s because he was ball greedy.
Giovanni – After his Barcelona career ended he accused Louis Van Gaal of behaving like ‘Hitler’ towards the Brazilian players at the club. A tag that Hitler complained about as he at least listened to the fans.
Luis Figo – The leader of Portugal’s “Golden Generation” and one of the great players of the modern era, married to a supermodel, speaks five languages and does wonders for charity. Although he did make a d*ck of himself in a Just for Men advert, thus proving karma exists.
Ferrer – Who? Seriously, over 200 appearances for Barcelona, 36 caps for Spain, and a spell at Chelsea too. In the days when full-backs were still allowed to be wee and weren’t converted centre-halves or midfielders.
Antonio Pizzi – The only player in the team to play for two Barcelona sides. Once for football and the other in their successful horse polo team.
Aberlardo – He looks like The Count from Sesame Street.
Guardiola – I couldn’t find anything on him. I don’t think he’s amounted to much.
So on that night 17 years ago I settled down to watch these greats play and found that none of them had turned up! Actually that’s not strictly true as Ivan de lan pena was there but if given a choice of only one player from this list to come he would not have been my first choice or my second or my third or my….