On April 28, 2010, Barcelona suffered a painful Champions League elimination at the Camp Nou.
Pep Guardiola‘s side beat Inter 1-0, but a 3-1 first-leg lead was enough to see the Italians and Jose Mourinho through to the final in Madrid even despite playing for an hour with ten men.
The Catalans’ disappointment was enormous.
Not only for missing out on the final, but the final being at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that season had them hungrier than ever to progress, only to fall to, of all people, Mourinho.
They didn’t take the defeat well either.
Mourinho was halfway across the pitch with an arm held aloft by the time the final whistle finished sounding, and the Inter players’ celebrations were spoiled.
Victor Valdes took exception to this, grabbing the Portuguese and trying to engage in something of a wrestling match with him.
Then came the sprinklers to put an end to the party on the pitch, but it continued in the dressing room.
It was a big night in Mourinho‘s career. Florentino Perez viewed him as the only man capable of taking on that Barcelona team and appointed him as Real Madrid boss for the following season.
“We didn’t park the bus that day,” Mourinho said to MARCA just before signing on as Madrid boss.
“We parked an A-340 with its wings spread out.”
Marco Materazzi also remembers that night fondly.
“That Barcelona team were almost unbeatable,” the Italian said.
“We went there with confidence after the first leg but it was made difficult with [Thiago] Motta’s expulsion.
“But instead of being knocked down we came together.”