Are fulfilled today fifteen years of the great disappointment suffered by Barça against Internacional de Porto Alegre, in their second attempt to win the Intercontinental Cup, renamed the Club World Cup and with an expanded format as of 2005. Yokohama became on the scene of a disappointment similar to that suffered by the ‘Dream Team’ in December 1992 a few stations train away in Tokyo. However, only five years after the fiasco against Inter de Porto Alegre, the city of Yokohama itself became the scene of one of the biggest exhibitions in an Intercontinental or Club World Cup final: 0-4 against Santos de Neymar. Tomorrow marks ten years since that peak moment for Guardiola’s Barça, which in the following months would begin an unexpected decline.
The Barca was planted in Yokohama in December 2006 on top of the world. Current European champion, leader of the League for its third consecutive title and qualified for the eighth of the Champions League, but having suffered a warning: it was second in the group due to an inconceivable drop in tension in the last breath from Barça-Chelsea, an oversight that allowed Morinho’s men to draw and be first. And that almost cost the KO: Werder Bremen had to be beaten on the last day.
That mistake made Liverpool will play in the round of 16, a pairing cheered by Laporta that ended up being fatal: 1-2 at the Camp Nou and a meritorious but insufficient 0-1 at Anfield. The match was known between the semifinal of the Club World Cup (4-0 to America of Mexico) and the final, in which Inter de Porto Alegre was waiting. Laporta was caught singing ‘Let It Be’ after the draw. But the trap was set. A trap in which Barça had already fallen in the European Super Cup against Sevilla (with Dani Alves as MVP). The only one who detected the trap was Rijkaard, who already warned of a bad attitude against América, despite which he granted an afternoon of party to his players on Friday. According to the unofficial story, it was more than an afternoon.
The dominating, serious and overwhelming Barça did not appear in the final against Inter, who took the game by an unexpected 1-0. Second upset of the season, a displeasure that the camera Manel Montilla captured in the disconsolate cry of little Leo Miyagata, a young Japanese culé who did not expect that monumental bird that was not going to be the last of the season.
The rematch in Yokohama
Five years passed until Barça returned to Yokohama. And along the way, Guardiola’s Barça already I had ended the curse of the Intercontinental with the memorable sixth cup of 2006 in Abu Dhabi. That team was installed in excellence.
The Barca had eliminated in the semifinals Qatari Al-Sadd (caprices of fate) and in the final was waiting for Santos de Neymar, whom Sandro Rosell had already tied for two and a half years later. His signing ended up earlier one summer. December 18 In 2011, tomorrow marks ten years, Guardiola’s Barça bequeathed one of its greatest exhibitions, with a system that rival coach Muricy Ramalho, described as a 3-7-0, that defined the total Barcelona football. “We have learned how to play,” said Neymar after the final