20 years since Pizzi's historic goal in FC Barcelona's comeback win against Atlético Madrid
The Argentinian striker was the hero on the night of a stunning 5-4 victory which took Barça into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey
On 12 March 1997 Barça hosted Atlético Madrid at a full Camp Nou. The match was the return leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals live long in the memory thanks to a glorious 5-4 comeback win. Bobby Robson’s team secured a 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Vicente Calderón but everything was up for grabs in the return leg at the Camp Nou.
The away side started excellently with Antic’s team taking a 3-0 lead thanks to a Pantic hat-trick within 25 minutes. Ronaldo Nazario led the reaction with two goals in four minutes which made it 3-2 in the 49th minute. However, soon after Pantic got another to make it 4-2. The going was tough but Barça didn’t give up and Figo got one back with a volley from the edge of the box and Ronaldo levelled the tie from a De la Peña assist.
Barça were within touching distance of making the seemingly impossible possible. All they needed was one more goal and Juan Antonio Pizzi delivered. The Argentinian striker produced a thunderous finish from inside the box in the 82nd minute to score the winner (5-4). The crowd were ecstatic following a highly unlikely comeback in an enthralling second leg.
This game went down in Barça’s history as a fantastic comeback win and it is also remembered for Joaquim Maria Puyal’s famous “Pizzi, sos macanudo!” (Pizzi, you are great!). Moreover, the blaugranas managed to beat Betis at the Santiago Bernabéu that year in the Copa del Rey final to take home the trophy.
The 20-year anniversary of that famous Camp Nou night coincides with the current Barça team's own piece of history as they overturned a 4-0 first leg defeat to PSG. The Catalans went in at half-time 3-0 up with some work left to do in the second 45 minutes. It all looked like it was over when Cavani scored for the Parisians but three late goals made the Camp Nou go wild and put Barça into the next round of the Champions League.