Former FC Barcelona captain Jose Mari Bakero loves the new Barça kit, which deliberately pays homage to the design worn by the team the year he and his fellow ‘Dream Team’ colleagues lifted the club’s first ever European Cup at Wembley.
“It’s really nice, and it doesn’t just remind me of Wembley” he said as he was presented with a personalised shirt when appearing on the Hora B show on Barça TV. “It also brings back memories of a period when lot of us arrived here very young and grew up together. It was a very nice time.”
“1992 was a very important year for the club” he continues. “We won our first European Cup and people since, and especially younger people, have come to think that it is normal for us to win the Liga and Champions League every season. But I must say that it was a very difficult struggle for us.”
Indeed, when Bakero joined Barça from Real Sociedad in 1988, the Catalans had won the league on average once every six years, and only once since 1974. Between then and now, Barça have been champions once every two years and have added a further four European crowns to the one he and his colleagues won in 1992.
“There have been so many developments since our time” he says. “I think the arrival of Koeman, Stoichkov and Laudrup, the three best foreigners in the world at the time, had a lot to do with change of mentality at the club. The typical saying among fans back then was ‘let’s go the stadium to suffer again’, and I think we changed all that. So many wins on the last day, in the last minute, that changed the attitude of both the players and the fans.”
One of those last-minute goals was Bakero’s own against Kaiserslautern in November 1991 to keep Barça’s European Cup campaign alive. Without that header at the Betzenbergstadion, Wembley 92 would never have happened. “I happened to be in the right place at the time, and I jumped at exactly the right time” he reminisces. “It was a privilege to score that goal. Everyone remembers where they were when that was goal was scored, and I find that really nice.”