Barcelona lost their first Champions League group game for the first time in 24 years.
The club were beaten by Bayern Munich 3-0 at home, ending a streak of 22 games, including 17 wins and five draws, born out of a memorable loss to Newcastle.
That night, September 17, 1997, was a night that fans will not soon forget. Then the club surprised a team made up of Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Luis Enrique by beating them 3-2 in a very atmospheric park in St James.
But Newcastle had Faustino Asprilla and the hugely popular Colombian put them all at the edge of the sword with a memorable Champions League hat-trick, which was even more impressive considering he had had little fun in South America. time before the game.
“I was gone on an international mission, but instead of going back to Newcastle I went to my ranch and had a party with a lot of girls,” he told FourFourTwo magazine in 2017. “[Manager] Kenny Dalglish was furious, “he added.
Nevertheless, he found himself in the starting XI and Barca could neither contain him nor Keith Gillespie. “He was one of the fastest players I have ever seen,” he told UEFA of the Northern Irishman who scored two of his goals, the other being a penalty .
“He wouldn’t shrink or look up, he would go to the signature and walk through it.”
“I will never forget the Newcastle fans chanting my name. I didn’t understand them like Geordie did, but I could still tell they were really happy!
Commenting on the treble, his teammate Philippe Albert, who played that night, said: “When you see how easy the three goals were for Faustino Asprilla, you can only admire it.”
Signed from Parma in 1996 for £ 6.7million, Asprilla scored 18 goals in 63 appearances for the club before returning to the Italian club in 1998.
He admitted he didn’t know much about where he arrived with a fur coat in a snowy park in St James – Colombia is slightly warmer than northeast England in January – but one thing struck him.
“Women were divine… haha! I had… well, I don’t know how many girlfriends I had in Newcastle.
But fans were more concerned with how he performed on the pitch and he didn’t disappoint them.
Clearly, however, he left a mark on Barca given his record in games since.