In terms of the strangest football matches in history, Barcelona vs Brazil is surely right up there.
To mark Barça’s centenary in 1999, the Brazilian national team travelled to Camp Nou to participate in a bizarre exhibition match.
Barcelona were managed by Louis van Gaal at the time. The Dutchman deployed a strong starting line-up featuring Luis Figo, Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola and Patrick Kluivert.
Brazil, meanwhile, began the match with some of the world’s most revered footballers in their XI.
Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Romario and Ronaldo were all named in the Selecao’s starting line-up.
Here was Barcelona’s XI…
And this was Brazil’s…
There were a few players who were lucky to feature, not least defender Rafael Scheidt, who is still regarded as one of Celtic’s worst ever signings.
So, what happened during the match?
Ronaldo, who was an Inter Milan player by this point, opened the scoring with a typically classy finish.
The world-class striker sold goalkeeper Ruud Hesp with a feint before finding the back of the net.
Luis Enrique then equalised with a close-range volley.
Rivaldo, who was a Barcelona player at the time, restored Brazil’s one-goal advantage with a superb left-footed strike from the edge of the box.
However, the match finished 2-2 when Brazil goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni spilled Figo’s free-kick, allowing Phillip Cocu to tap home from eight yards.
You can watch the goals here…
The video ends with Ronaldo and Figo, two of the best players of their era, swapping shirts.
We’d love to see more of these unusual matches between clubs and countries.
Imagine Real Madrid vs France, Barcelona vs Argentina, Bayern Munich vs Germany or Manchester United vs England.
We can dream.