Ronaldinho insists that Barcelona never doubted they could beat Arsenal in the Champions League final, despite needing the Gunners to be down to 10 men for the majority of the match to achieve it.
It’s a tale as old as time when it comes to Arsenal v Barcelona. When we’ve had a full squad of first team players fit and available we’ve matched them. But, on that fateful day, Jens Lehmann’s stupidity, the referee’s willingness to show a red, and Arsene Wenger’s decision to hook Robert Pires, all conspired to make sure Gooner hearts were shattered.
Speaking in the latest issue of Four Four Two, Ronaldinho said, “We never doubted we would win that match.
“Even when we were losing, we knew they were one man down and that it would cost them.
“We just ﬁgured that we didn’t need to rush, we just had to play our football. It could have been more than 2-1 — we kept it at that score so that Belletti could say he scored the decider!
“That was his only goal for Barcelona.
“We had a massive party in Paris after the game. I had many friends there so I went to celebrate with them, and some team-mates came along.
“Everyone brought their families, so some were celebrating with them after our party, too. It was a great night.”
One could contrast the level of self-belief held by Barcelona, that they would always win, with the attitude of the Invincibles just a few seasons earlier.
How things have changed since then, eh?