It was the game that had everything, including Barcelona’s Ronaldinho smashing up a fridge in the tunnel, so it’s no wonder that Chelsea’s 2005 encounter with the Catalans at Stamford Bridge is the best game that Joe Cole felt he ever played in.
The match will long be remembered for the Brazilian’s dazzling footwork just outside the Chelsea penalty area which bamboozled the entire defence as he toe-poked it home beyond a bemused Petr Cech.
That astonishing goal came on 38 minutes and drew the visitors level after they’d trailed to a three-goal blast in the opening 19 minutes from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff.
Ronaldinho had already got Barca back into the game with a 27th-minute penalty, and his second meant they led on away goals, but as Joe Cole recalls on Jamie Carragher’s The Greatest Game podcast, cited by the Daily Mirror, the night didn’t end well for the Samba star.
“I’ve never experienced this… but when Ronaldinho scored that goal, I’ve never seen a stadium… he like paused the stadium, it was unbelievable,” Cole said.
“Then there was a bit of afters, afterwards, which is always nice in the tunnel.
“It felt like a Champions League game, but an old school game, like when we first came through. There were mega stars everywhere.
“Ronaldinho was in it [in the tunnel afterwards], he smashed up the fridge. Ronaldinho was smashing up the fridge.
“I was well away, celebrating – but there was a little melee. I think it all bubbled from the first leg, with Jose when he was up to his tricks as we lost in the Nou Camp.”