Barça and Santos have met a number of times, mainly at the Camp Nou and with Pele as the big draw. Barça hold the advantage in games between the two, including the t recent meeting in the 1998 Gamper Trophy.
Pelé’s Santos came to the Camp Nou – in 1959, 1960 and 1963 – and after a 1-5
thrashing in the first meeting, the Catalans gradually got the measure of the Brazilian giants and
won the next two matches 4-3 and 2-0. In the twilight of his career, Pele again faced Barça and
lost 4-1 in the Ramon Carranza Trophy. The most recent meeting between the two was in the Joan
Gamper Trophy of 1998, when the game was won on penalties by Barça after a 2-2 draw.
Pele reigns at Camp Nou
On June 28th 1959, Santos steamrollered Barça 1-5. Evaristo scored for the locals,
but Pelé (2), Dorval (2) and Coutinho saw off the then reigning Spanish Champions, coached by
Helenio Herrera. For that game though, Herrera delegated his assistant Enric Rabassa to take
charge, and the team was full of fringe players, as well as some of the regulars such as
Villaverde, Kocsis, Evaristo and Czibor, as well as the Espanyol players Bartolí and Recamán. Pele,
who was just 18 and in contrast, Jair at 38, were the Santos stars and the Brazilian coach Luis
Alonso claimed after the game that his young star: “had only played at 20% of his
Barça on top
It was a different story a year later, when Santos returned to the Camp Nou and
Barça turned out with all their stars – including Kubala and Suárez for instance – and
put in a great first 45 minutes to go 4-0 up with goals from Suárez (2), Villaverde and Kubala. The
Brazilians took advantage of a tiring Barça team after the break and goals from Pepe (2) and Pelé
nearly brought them a draw in what ended as a great spectacle of a game.
Barça win again
The third visit came on June 12th 1963 and was maybe the easiest for Barça.
Although they were not enjoying the best of moments, the Catalans played a great game that night -
the game kicked off at 22.45- as Eladio, Vergés, Re, Fusté and company put in a classic performance
to win 2-0 with goals from Pereda and Zaballa against a technically brilliant, but ineffective
Santos. The then two time World Cup winner Pele was pretty anonymous that night.
Carranza Trophy at the end of Pele’s career
The two next met in Cadiz in the third and fourth place game on
September 1st 1974 at the Ramon de Carranza Tournament after Barça had lost 2-0 to Palmeiras and
Espanyol had beaten Santos by the same score. Despite boasting two greats -Johan Cruyff and Pelé,
the game was very much a summer friendly as Barça ran out 4-1 winners with goals from Neeskens (2),
Marcial and Asensi and a penalty from Pele three minutes from the end of the game and the great man
retired from the professional game just a few minutes later in October.
Closely fought Trofeu Gamper
last time the two played was in the XXXIII Trofeu Joan Gamper, on August 25th 1998. It was a
closely fought game and Louis van Gaal’s team could only beat Santos 5-4 on penalties after
the two drew 2-2, with Luis Enrique and Figo on target for Barça. After the game, Barça
ex-president Enric Llaudet handed the trophy to Barça captain Luis Figo and Manuel Gamper, the
grandson of the Club’s founder, handed the Santos captain the runners up trophy.