It was one of the greatest nights in Newcastle United‘s recent history and fans inside St James’ Park on 17 September 1997 are never going to forget the night Faustino Asprilla helped beat Barcelona 3-2.
Barca had Luis Enrique, Luis Figo and Rivaldo in their line-up, but the hugely popular Colombian put them all to the sword with a memorable hat-trick, which was even more impressive considering he had been enjoying himself in South America shortly before the game after playing for his country.
“I’d been away on international duty, but instead of going back to Newcastle I went to my ranch and had a party with lots of girls,” he told FourFourTwo in 2017. “[Manager] Kenny Dalglish was furious,” he added.
However, he found himself in the starting XI and grabbed the chance with both hands, scoring a penalty and then heading in two Keith Gillespie crosses.
“I will never forget the Newcastle fans singing my name. I didn’t understand them as it was in Geordie, but I could still tell that they were really happy!”
Signed from Parma in 1996 for £6.7m, Asprilla scored 18 goals in 63 games for the club before returning to the Italian club in 1998.
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