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Wembley Memories (II): Albert Ferrer

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19.05.2011 12:28

Wembley Memories (II): Albert Ferrer

Jesús Carrillo / Anna Segura

Although he was a doubt for the game up until the last moment, Albert Ferrer was one of the 11 players who ran onto the Wembley pitch on May 20th 1992 and he was tasked with: “man marking Manicini all over the pitch”.

Wembley Memories (II): Albert Ferrer

In 1992 Ferrer won the European Cup, the League and an Olympic gold medal, but it was a difficult season for him too: “I think it was the season when I played the fewest minutes”, after a six month injury lay off: “I remember that 10 days before the final I came back and played my first game after the injury - at home against Cadiz”. However, even though he went with the squad fully fit for the London game, he then suffered a bout of gastroenteritis that made him a doubt till the last moment.

FERRER_A_WEMBLEY_1992_x1x.jpgLast minute doubt

‘Chapi’ Ferrer explains: “I was a doubt virtually up to kick off time – I’d worked so hard to make a recovery after being out for 6 months and now a stupid thing like a bad stomach was going to rule me out of the final”. However, “once I walked out onto the Wembley turf all my pain disappeared”.

Man marking Mancini

Ferrer, who was still not yet 22, was also nervous about the mission he had been handed for the final against Sampdoria : “it was my job to man mark one of their best players –Mancini. I man marked him all over the pitch . It was a continual responsibility and very stressful, which turned out fine in the end. I’d been told ‘you’ll not play, but neither will he’. It was a tough job, virtually giving up any contact with the ball for 120 minutes, whilst I concentrated on just one player”

2011-05-09_ENTREVISTA_ALBERT_FERRER_006.jpg‘Go out and enjoy it’

Before he sent his players out, coach Joahn Cruyff uttered his famous phrase : “go out and enjoy it” and Ferrer remembers: “we’d had the team talk and there was a moment when the manager wants to say something that will stick in the players’ heads. In the end we suffered a lot, but we did try to enjoy it!”.

Wembley – the home of football

For Albert Ferrer, Wembley was the ideal place to win Barça’s first ever European Cup: “Wembley has a special atmosphere – walking up those stairs to collect the trophy is very exciting”. The pre-match atmosphere also left its mark on him: “going out and warming up for a final and then hearing the Barça song done by Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballé was a very emotional moment. The problem was, we got there two hours before kick off and it was a bit tense –I remember Julio Salinas pacing up and down like a madman, because he didn’t know what to do. We were all so keen just to get out and get started”.

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