The Argentine was the hero of a tremendous comeback to give Barça a 5-4 win against Atlético Madrid in the second leg of the quarter final
Today sees the 25th anniversary of one of FC Barcelona's most memorable comebacks. On 12 March 1997 FC Barcelona welcomed Atlético Madrid to a packed Camp Nou for the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter final tie. It turned out to be a day that is now part of Barça history.
The team was coached by Englishman Bobby Robson and the blaugranes had taken a 2-2 draw from the first leg of the tie in the Vicente Calderón, putting them in the driving seat for a place in the semi-finals. However, Atlético, coached by Radomir Antic, a man who would go on to coach Barça, had different ideas and a brilliant start from los colchoneros saw Milinko Pantic scored a hat-trick inside 25 minutes to give them a 3-0 lead at Camp Nou. Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored twice in four minutes to get Barça back into the game in the second half.
Unbelievably, Pantic scored again to extend Atlético's advantage but Barça and Camp Nou were not ready to throw in the towel. Luis Figo made it 4-3 and then Ronaldo grabbed his hat trick to level the scores at 4-4.
Pizzi, the blaugrana hero
Atlético were still ahead in the tie on away goals and so Barça set to laying siege to the Madrid side's goal as the minutes ticked away. A cross from Pep Guardiola saw the ball drop lose at the feet of Argentine striker Juan Antonio Pizzi and he made no mistake with just eight minutes of the game remaining. Barça had turned around a 3-0 deficit to take their place in the semi-final of a competition they would go on to win, beating Betis 3-2 in the final in extra time.