Fernando REDONDO against Brazil is a performance which should be seen by any Argentina fan or even any fan of the beautiful game.
In September 1999, Argentina and rivals Brazil played two friendly matches and they turned out to be very memorable games. The results were split, the first a 2-0 victory for Marcelo BIELSA’s Argentina (Juan Sebastian VERON and Hernan CRESPO the goalscorers) and the second a 4-2 win for the men in yellow. Both teams were fairly stacked with the starting XI being the following for Argentina’s 2-0 victory:
Juan Pablo SORIN
Juan Sebastian VERON
Diego SIMEONE for Juan Sebastian VERON
Cristian “Kily” GONZALEZ for Claudio LOPEZ
Marcelo GALLARDO for Ariel ORTEGA
Eduardo BERIZZO for Hernan CRESPO
Giovane ELBER for RONALDINHO
Marcos ASSUNACO for VAMPETA
Looking at both teams, it’s fair to say both coaches had fielded strong line-ups. Brazil was just coming off a World Cup final loss with RONALDO in action, a world class defender in CAFU, the legendary RIVALDO and a young RONALDINHO. For the Albiceleste, you had Juan Sebastian VERON, Ariel ORTEGA, Hernan CRESPO, Roberto AYALA, Javier ZANETTI and the list goes on. I mean for a coach to have the luxury of having Diego SOMEONE on the bench, you know you’re spoiled for choices.
All about Fernando REDONDO:
However, there was one player in particular who put in a fantastic performance in the first match. One who out performed all the other stars. He’s won the Champions League three times (playing a pivotal part in two of them) and a Real Madrid legend. He was controversially left out of the 1998 World Cup by then coach Daniel PASSARELLA for refusing to cut his hair. Of course I’m talking about the one, the only, Fernando REDONDO. One of the classiest, most elegant, dominant midfielders the game has ever seen.
Yes, this match was a friendly match. But as we all know, there’s no such thing as a friendly match between Argentina and Brazil. Having recently watched this game a few months ago on a flight to London, it reminded me of how much of a strong team, how much of a strong midfield and how much of a strong player REDONDO was. Watching his performance back on Youtube earlier today, I felt compelled to have to share it with those who have never seen it or even those who have not seen it in a while.
Sadly, many fans around the world remember this legend for his wonderful move against Manchester United when he went passed Henning BERG as if he wasn’t even there when Real Madrid played Manchester United in the Champions League. For us, for Argentina fans, he’ll be the one that got away. The one that was never given a proper chance with his National Team. The prince who only played 29 matches for his country.
Argentina have since gone through many midfielders since REDONDO left. Javier MASCHERANO, Fernando GAGO and many others and while they all brought something to the National Team, no one was or is nearly as complete of a player as this legend. With that said, below is Fernando REDONDO’s performance against Brazil (as well as the highlights from the match), along with his trickery against Manchester United and a video compilation of his skills, goals and assists. Enjoy!