FC Barcelona may carry a certain presence when their name is mentioned, with the number of trophies and star men that they have had throughout their history, however it could be safe to say 2020 has not been their year.
Like many across the world, 2020 has been anything but kind to many of us as the pandemic has torn any plans we would have had to shreds, whilst things naturally did not go the way we would have planned for things to turn out.
FC Barcelona can certainly say that they are in that boat as well, as the turn of the decade really has not been too welcoming for the Spanish giants.
They have had many on-field dramas over the last eight months in regards to being outplayed in all competitions and, of course, suffering that humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League (8-2 for anybody that was living under a rock), but things have also gotten worse off the pitch (if that were possible) as Lionel Messi has decided he has had enough and wants a new challenge.
However, going back to that embarrassing defeat in European competition, unfortunately for Barcelona, it might not even be considered the worst that they have had. Of course, upsets in tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League can always happen and the Bet Calculator can certainly help bettors work out what they can get if they were to pick out a fixture that could produce one.
Dynamo Kyiv, a Ukrainian giant but not a footballing giant by any means (especially now) managed to beat the Catalan giants twice in the same Champions League campaign. Furthermore, they did it without conceding a goal in the process.
The 1997/98 edition of the Champions League had sprung so many surprises on fans in terms of results, however Kyiv’s victories over FC Barcelona would certainly have raised a number of eyebrows at the time.
Indeed, the two sides had contrasting form in the Group Stage of the tournament (which also included Newcastle United and PSV Eindhoven – a mightily tough group that year) but many would not have expected the Ukraine outfit to run riot as they did.
Armed with players who would later become known as exceptionally talented forwards such as Andriy Shevchenko and Sergiy Rebrov, Dynamo Kyiv managed to record an impressive 3-0 victory on home soil before well and truly upsetting the Catalonia-based club in their own back garden.
Shevchenko well and truly turned on the style at the Camp Nou as he bagged a first-half hat-trick with two headers and a penalty, whilst his partner in crime, Rebrov, netted the other in the second half to record an impressive 4-0 victory. Indeed, it seems as though he was egged on by a friend as they had stated that he would not be able to get three against Barcelona after his exploits in the first match.
“In Kiev, we’d beaten Barcelona 3-0 and a friend said, ‘Let’s see how you do in the return’,” Sheva later laughed. “He bet me that I wouldn’t score three goals. He ended up buying dinner.”
Of course, as we all know now, Shevchenko went on to become a household name following that season and his ability to score in the Champions League with Milan over the years.