I love seeing children turn up to school wearing Barcelona tops. I begin by asking them why they are wearing it and I usually get an answer that they are brilliant. “Messi blah, blah, blah…Ronaldinho blah, blah, blah…etc.” I then give them a nice smile. I wait a second and then tell them that I have been to see them in the Nou Camp.
Now that I have their interest, they sometimes ask how much I enjoyed it and who they were playing. “How much did they win by?” is a question I have been asked. My smile was very big that morning!
When I tell them that they got beat 2-1, they think it was against a team like Real Madrid or Chelsea or Liverpool or even one of the Manchester teams. I tell them quietly, with only a bit of smugness, that it was the mighty Dundee United. Yes, that’s right. Dundee United beat Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp in the quarter final of the UEFA Cup in 1987.
After that, I let them know that I saw Dundee United beat Barcelona on another occasion. Two weeks before the Nou Camp match, they beat them at Tannadice 1-0. Kevin Gallagher, who went on to play for some local team, scored the winning goal.
It just gets better and better because I can then ask them how many times Barcelona has played Dundee United in a competitive match. I can tell them that it is four times. I can tell them that United have won all four matches. Two matches at the Nou Camp and two at Tannadice.
I then walk away and don’t care how much I have upset this young Barcelona fan.