The toughest defeat in European football in the hands of two Latin Americans

The toughest defeat in European football in the hands of two Latin Americans

We share with you the match that was held at the behest of the 1998 World Cup in France

We share with you the match that was held at the behest of the 1998 World Cup in France .

On December 4th, 1997, the 1998 World Cup draw was held in Marseille, to be played in France. This marked a milestone in the history of such pairings for two reasons. To begin, the event took place in a football stadium for the first time in the history of such events. The designated location was the Stade Vélodrome, home of Olympique de Marseille since its inauguration in 1937. As a second peculiarity, a few hours before the start of this particular draw, a match was played in that same stadium between the figures of Europe and those of the Rest of the world. Despite popular knowledge that the Europeans had a higher level, the result was a 5-2 win in favor of the Rest of the World team.


As you might imagine, both teams were full of world-renowned figures. On the European side, for example, names like Andreas Kôpke, a German goalkeeper, Alessandro Costacurta, Zinedine Zidane, and Patrick Kluivert were the most prominent. For its part, the group called the Rest of the World featured Marcelino Bernal, and the unprecedented front duo of Gabriel Batistuta and Ronaldo.

The complete starting formations of each team were the following:

Europe: Andreas Kôpke (Ale); Alessandro Costacurta (Ita), Fernando Hierro (Esp), Heimo Pfeifenberger (Aus), Dominique Lemoine (Bel); Krassimir Balakov (Bul), Paul Ince (Ing), Zinedine Zidane (Fra), Patrick Kluivert (Hol); Alen Boksic (Cro), Marius Lacatus (Rum). Technically in charge of directing them was the historic former German player Franz Beckenbauer.

Rest of the World: Jacques Songo'o (Cam); Hong Myung-bo (Cor), Javier Margas (Chi), Noureddine Naybet (Mar), David Nyathi (Saf); Marcelino Bernal (Mex), Hidetoshi Nakata (Jap), Adel Sellimi (Tur); Gabriel Batistuta (Arg); Ronaldo (Bra), Antony de Ávila (Col). The technical director appointed for this team was the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira.

The match

Although the match was played on a friendly basis, both sides wanted to win. Partly because they defended their country as individual representatives, but also because of the popular belief that European football was superior to all others, which was demonstrated in the formation of teams. As a counterpart to this last factor, the figures belonging to the Rest of the World managed to overwhelm the rival team, with a resounding result of 5 goals against 2. The score was opened by the Europeans, with just one minute of the game played. In any case, that was the only moment of the match in which said team was ahead on the scoreboard.

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To highlight, the effective pair of Gabriel Batistuta and Ronaldo were key in the victory. Both used to having the arch between the eyebrows, they did not spare the rival goalkeeper, and scored two goals each, even with assists from each other. They achieved unrivaled synergy in the first meeting in history that found them wearing the same jersey. A show worth seeing from start to finish, as it promised and did not disappoint.

The team's second goal from European countries was scored 60 minutes into the game by French star Zinedine Zidane, who later that year would be crowned world champion with his team. The remaining goal of the winning team was scored by Colombian Antony de Ávila.

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