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100th BIRTHDAY PARTY

What happened when Luis Figo’s Barcelona played Ronaldo’s Brazil in the Nou Camp?

To celebrate Barcelona's centenary year Brazil travelled to the Nou Camp for an incredible game at the end of the 1998/99 season

You’ve got two options to celebrate your 100th birthday.

Would you rather receive a letter from the Queen, or play against Brazil in front of a packed Nou Camp?

The moment you try and tell Queen Elizabeth that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi

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The moment you try and tell Queen Elizabeth that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi

Luckily for the footballing public Barcelona chose the latter to celebrate their centenary year at the end of the 1998/99 season.

The reigning world champions rocked up to the Nou Camp to pit their iconic brand of samba flair against Louis van Gaal’s side.

So how did it all unfold?

Don’t adjust your TV screens

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Don’t adjust your TV screens

Club versus country

Club versus country rows don’t come much better than this.

Ahead of the game all the talk was about whether Rivaldo would be playing for Brazil or Barcelona.

In the end Rivaldo wore the no.10 shirt of Brazil and set about ruining Barcelona’s 100th birthday party.

The one time half and half scarves would have been permitted

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The one time half and half scarves would have been permitted

A name change

How’s this for an attacking trio? Rivaldo, Romario and Ronaldinho. Only it wasn’t Ronaldinho. It was Ronaldo. Confusing, right?

When Ronaldo first came into the Brazil squad he was known as Ronaldinho to avoid any confusion with a team-mate of the same name.

By the time Ronaldinho Guacho came onto the international scene Ronaldo was just Ronaldo and Cristiano Ronaldo was just a seven-year-old with a dream.

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The Cruyff effect

No fewer than six of Barcelona’s starting XI were Dutch. Ruud Hesp, Michael Reiziger, Phillip Cocu, Patrick Kluivert, Boudewijn Zenden and Frank De Boer were all selected from the beginning by countryman Louis van Gaal.

There were some interesting characters on the bench as well.

Sonny Anderson was waiting to show Brazil what they were missing, Xavi was still finding his way in football and Miguel Angel Nadal was still the most famous Nadal around, with nephew Rafael presumably at home working on his serve.

Ahh, those were the days

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Ahh, those were the days

The worst Brazilian ever?

Know a Celtic fan? Ask them about Rafael Scheidt and then stand back as they rant about one of the worst defenders to pull on a Celtic shirt, which is really saying something.

Somehow Scheidt managed to collect three caps for Brazil, just two fewer games than he played for Celtic.

We suppose when you’ve got Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Romario up front, and Roberto Carlos flying down the wings, you don’t really need to worry about defending.

He’s got the Glasgow kiss slightly muddled up

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He’s got the Glasgow kiss slightly muddled up

So what was the score?

Ronaldo opened the scoring against his old team in the first-half only for Luis Enrique to equalise for Barcelona.

Then Rivaldo committed footballing treason by smashing Brazil in front with a typically vicious swipe of his left foot.

But Anderson returned the favour to level the game and ensure there were no birthday tears for Barcelona.

Broadcasting rights mean we can’t actually show the game, but if you want to be cheeky it’s all up on YouTube.

The greatest no.9 ever?

RONALDO BRAZIL REAL MADRID: Ronaldo is the greatest No9 to ever play the game