Tonight former Portuguese international Deco will pit two legendary teams against each other for his testimonial – the one link between the two being that he played for both.
The Porto side of 2004 won the treble and astonished Europe with a Champions League victory, masterminded by Jose Mourinho; it was a side that proved to be the springboard for many budding stars’ careers, like Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira. Deco was deemed the club player of the year by UEFA. Tonight, Mourinho will stand in the dugout as Porto manager once more.
He will face an eternal rival in Barcelona but this will be a vintage Barcelona side, the one from 2006 that defeated Arsenal to be crowned kings of Europe for the first time in 14 years. Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Ludovic Giuly and Henrik Larsson will reunite with Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol and Lionel Messi.
Should be a decent game!
Deco reflected on his career ahead of the game, quotes courtesy of FourFourTwo: “There were more than 500 games at clubs like Porto, Barcelona, Chelsea and Fluminese. I had the pleasure of representing Portugal for 75 times and throw in some of the best competitions in the world as the Champions League, Euro and World,” the 37-year-old Deco said.
After thousands of miles in the legs, numerous trips, joys and titles came time to return the affection of the fans. It’s time to say goodbye to the pitch with the people of my heart’s club. I’ll celebrate at Dragon Stadium with my colleagues, family, friends and all dragons.”
You can see the full squad lists below.
FC Porto: Vitor Baia, Nuno, Jorge Costa, Pedro Emanuel, Ricardo Carvalho, Ricardo Costa, Carlos Secretario, Nuno Valente, Paulo Ferreira, Mario Silva, Costinha, Sergio Conceicao, Dmitri Alenichev, Jose Bosingwa, Maniche. Carlos Alberto, Marco Ferreira, Pedro Mendes, Edgaras Jankauskas, Derlei, Cesar Peixoto, Benni McCarthy; Jose Mourinho
FC Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Albert Jorquera, Juliano Belletti, Rafael Marquez, Carles Puyol, Edmilson, Sylvinho, Oleguer, Thiago Motta, Xavi, Ronaldinho, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Gabri, Andres Iniesta, Henrik Larsson, Ludovic Giuly, Samuel Eto’o, Maxi Lopez, Lionel Messi, Gianluca Zambrotta, Eric Abidal, Diego Milito, Demetrio Albertini; Frank Riijkaard