Despite never having won in the Bavarian capital, in its first visit and in the last season of Johan Cruyff on the bench, in nineteen ninety six, Barça was able to add a creditable draw (2-2) -a result that on Wednesday would make the Catalans depend on what happens at Benfica-Dinamo Kiev to be in the second round of the Champions League- in a great game, then at the Olympic in Munich. That April 3, 25 years ago, Barça once again confirmed its great commitment to the quarry, playing from the beginning up to 7 players trained at La Masia, which were joined by three more in the second half. Some, very young What Celades (20 years old), Òscar Garcia (22), his brother Roger (19), or Jordi Cruyff (22), De la Peña (19) and Carreras (23), these three coming off the bench. Òscar he was the scorer of the first goal and the most dangerous man of the Catalans and Hagi with a quarter of an hour to go, he neutralized the comeback of Otto Rehhagel’s men. Guardiola, then already with 25 yearsHe had to play as a center-back due to losses in defense and was one of the most prominent. Carles Busquets (29) under sticks, Love (28), and Ferrer (25) were the other three homegrown players of an eleven that completed Popescu (28), Bakero (33), Figo (23) and Hagi (31). In front was Bayern Kahn, Matthaus, Babbel, Ziege, Scholl, author of one of the many of the Bavarians, Papin or Klinsmann, among others.
That good result and above all, the “Superb match at the Munich Olympics”, as highlighted by the cover of Sports world, which he titled with a ‘Bravo!’, was not finally valid to go to the final of the UEFA Cup since in the return, the Germans prevailed 1-2 at the Camp Nou, but confirmed once again the firm commitment of the Barça club for the offensive style and control that has allowed him to reap his greatest successes, and that with some very young players, almost inexperienced in major competitions, he was also able to shine on the best European stages.
A situation that may be reminiscent, in part, of the current one. Like now, Barça was not going through its best period either -Johan Cruyff would be fired not two months later after two years without any great title- and without great stars, beyond Figo, then still far from being a crack, Hagi or Guardiola, and some veterans like Bakero or Amor, it was also seen forced, as now, to pull a lot from the quarry, betting on talented young people from the house such as De la Peña, Celades, the Germans García Junyent or Jordi Cruyff. Some of them, in addition to Toni Velamazán, Quique Álvarez or Juan Carlos Moreno, formed the one known as ‘La Quinta del Mini’.
A quarter of a century later, also this Barça, without great world references after the departure this summer of Messi or Griezmann, is a mixture of veteran and youth. They will not be able to be in Munich two of the most prominent, such as Ansu Fati (19 years old) and the brand new winner of the Kopa Trophy, Pedri (19), both due to injury, but they do have the opportunity to continue claiming themselves, on a great stage such as the Allianz Arena, Bayern’s new home for more than a decade and even more imposing than the Munich Olympics, although this time without an audience, players like Nico (19 years old), Gavi (17), Eric Garcia (20) or Riqui Puig (22). Everybody also trained in the Masia, as were De la Peña, Celades, Òscar and Roger Garcia, who shone 25 years ago in Munich and were on the verge of qualifying for the UEFA final. This Wednesday will be at stake the pass to the knockout stages of the Champions League, which in the delicate situation, also economic, of the club, is not a minor objective.