2000-01 Barcelona Home Shorts Size Extra Large
Era: 2000-01 (Used for the 2000-01 La Liga season)
CONDIION: VERY GOOD
At almost 20 years of age (at the time of writing) these shorts are still in fine condition. There is what appears some slighting dulling of the colour, but this could in fact just be the material. The waistband and respective Nike swoosh and club crest are in excellent standing, and there is very little staining or major signs of wear.
Size: Extra Large
Pit to Pit Measurement: 17 inches
Shirt Length: 16.5 inches
Made in the Nike ‘Team Wear’ range that accompanied the ‘Dri-Fit’ shirts; these shorts size much wider than their contemporaries today, so please bear this in mind,
After the previous season’s special half and half strip, Nike restored stripes to the Barcelona shirt ahead of the 2000-01 season. Unlike previous iterations during the Nike and Barcelona relationship, the blue utilised is more akin to purple than it is navy. Retained from the previous season’s shirt however was the collar, the club crest and Nike swoosh being in the centre of the shirt, and the 1899-1999 centenary patch on the sleeve; and with the majority colour of the shirt being red; this shirt is the quintessential upgrade of the 1998-99 shirt. While the shirt features more vibrant materials, the shorts are ‘duller’ and darker (as are the socks) with a tough, dense material to create a fine contrast between the shorts and shirt that actually meshes together quite beautifully!
After falling in their defence of the La Liga title by 5 points in the previous season; Louis Van Gaal parted ways with the club, and former Real Betis coach: Lorenzo Serra Ferrer was appointed as the new head coach. He would have to prepare for the new season without Luis Figo, who had just moved on to Real Madrid in what was the world’s most expensive ever transfer, following his €60 million release clause being evoked. A very able replacement was sourced in the form of Marc Overmars, and he was joined at the Camp Nou with his Arsenal team-mate: Emmanuel Petit, meanwhile Alfonso and Gerard were also acquired from Real Betis and Valencia respectively.
Rivaldo’s brace against Malaga earnt Barcelona a 2-1 win to kick off the new campaign, and 4 wins from their opening 6 La Liga games, including a 2-0 win over Real Madrid on October 21st, got them to what would be a season high of 3rd place! The Champions League campaign would begin with a 4-0 win over Leeds United, but things would get much hard as failure to win in any of their next 4 games would leave qualification out of their hands come the Match-Day 6 visit of Besiktas on November 8th.
Ahead of that showdown, Barca would lie in 4th place in La Liga, just 3 points shy of league leaders Valencia, however, despite beating Besiktas 5-0, they would be relegated to the UEFA Cup. Back to back league defeats would pave the way for a 10 match unbeaten run between November 26th to February 3rd, however those points dropped in early winter still had Barcelona 8 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.
4 days later a 1-1 draw at home against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey saw Barca progress to the semi-final, extending the run of unbeaten games to 18 in all competitions. Racing Sanatander would spring a surprise 4-0 win over Barcelona on February 11th to end that run, before Deportivo La Coruna came back from Camp Nou with all 3 points after a 3-2 win on February 17th.
The ‘Blaugrana’ would quickly spring back to life as they punished AEK Athens 5-0 to ensure progression to the UEFA Cup quarter final where their next Copa del Rey opponents: Celta Vigo lay in wait. Ahead of the March 3rd ‘El Clasico’ at the Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona were still 9 points behind ‘Los Blancos’, and a win could have inspired a final season quarter title push; alas, spoils were shared as Raul and Rivaldo scored a brace each in a 2-2 draw.
While Barcelona got to the UEFA Cup semi-final after eeking past Celta on away goals after 3-3 aggregate score, the month of March would yield 3 consecutive draws in La Liga, and consequently leave them in 4th place with 46 points. An April 1st 4-1 win over Las Palmas was a false dawn as they could draw 0-0 at home with Liverpool in their UEFA Cup semi-final 1st Leg, and then remarkably played out back to back 4-4 draws against Villarreal and Real Zaragoza respectively. Liverpool would win 1-0 in the April 19th 2nd Leg to eliminate Barcelona, and then the 3-1 defeat to Osasuna spelt the end of Lorenzo Sanz Ferrer’s tenure as he was replaced by Carles Rexach with 7 league games and the cup semi final to play.
With just 2 points separating the trio of Barcelona, Valencia and Mallorca; it was likely going to be a battle to secure one of those places, even if Deportivo were only 6 points better off. The Rexach tenure began with a pair of draws, before a pair of wins over Rayo Valecano and UEFA Cup finalists: Alaves came his way, however, May would end with a stinging 1-0 defeat at home to Real Oviedo; leaving them 4 points behind 4th place Valencia with 2 games to play.
A disappointing 2-2 draw away to Real Valladolid was only offset by Deportivo La Coruna defeating Valencia, meaning that if Barca were to defeat Valencia on the final day of the season, they would usurp them in 4th place! The day of destiny came on June 16th and with the scores locked at 2-2; Rivaldo would score his legendary 88th minute overheard kick to complete his hat-trick and earn Barcelona the all important 3-2 win and 4th place! The adulation would be short lived however as Celta Vigo extracted revenge for their UEFA Cup exit, as they put Barcelona out of the Copa del Rey semi-final in late June.
The notable players that season were:
Patrick Kluivert, Jari Litmanen, Alfonso, Dani Garcia, Rivaldo, Marc Overmars, Gerard, Luis Enrique, Boudewijn Zenden, Simao Sabrosa, Gabri Garcia, Ivan De La Pena, Phillip Cocu, Xavi, Josep Guardiola, Frank de Boer, Winston Bogarde, Sergi, Abelardo, Michael Reiziger, Carles Puyol, Pepe Reina, Richard Dutruel, Francesc Arnau
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