We caught up with Rafael Hernández, football journalist and founder of Grup 14 to talk about; that Rivaldo hattrick, the Barcelona guard of honour at the Bernabéu and Marco Van Basten’s wonder volley.
What was your first football shirt?
BarcelMy first football shirt was Barcelona’s 2000/2001 shirt with Rivaldo’s number #10. I was just a child at the time and was still starting my journey as a long life football fan.
Coincidentally that was the shirt he was wearing when he scored that one of a kind hattrick vs Valencia that saved the club from missing out in the Champions League with a free kick, volley and a bicycle kick to cap what’s one of the unlikeliest outcomes the Camp Nou has ever featured in, joint with Manchester United’s Champions League defeat of Bayern Munich.
What is your favourite football shirt?
Barcelona’s 2008/2009 shirt. The season that completed the revolution Johan Cruyff started the moment he landed in Catalonia and epitomized by Josep Guardiola.
No shirt will ever carry more good memories for me and most culés, from the humiliating guard of honor at the Santiago Bernabéu in the previous season to the top of the world with a unique treble.
The simple design is still my favourite of the modern Barça shirts, breaking the mold but yet respecting the defining colours and traditions of the club.
What is your favourite goal?
My favourite goal will forever be Marco Van Basten’s wonder volley in the 1988 UEFA Euro final for Holland against the Soviet Union. It embodied everything that makes goals so special.
Such audacious attempt few could’ve imagined and only one Dutchman could’ve scored in what ended decades of frustration for the country that contributed the most to make football what it is nowadays.