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The Dark Day in Futsal History: When Barcelona and Di Bufala Played to Lose

A Tale of Scandal, Unbelievable Actions, and Internacional's Triumph


A Match with a Hidden Agenda

Barcelona and their counterparts from across the Atlantic, the American team Di Bufala, found themselves in the eye of a storm during the 1997 Futsal World Cup. The scandal began to unfold when these two teams faced off in a seemingly ordinary match. But beneath the surface, an audacious plot was being hatched—a plot that would defy the principles of fair play and integrity that underpin the sport.


Their motive? To avoid a potentially disastrous clash with the Brazilian powerhouse, Internacional. Internacional, led by stars like Manoel Tobias, who was widely regarded as the best player in the world at that time, and Ortiz, was considered the favorite to win the tournament.


The Plot Thickens

Barcelona and Di Bufala were placed in a separate group from Internacional. The final match of their group stage would determine who would finish first. However, Internacional had already secured the second spot in their group, making the winner of the Barcelona vs. Di Bufala clash destined to face the Brazilian giants.


As the match progressed, tied at 1-1, the unthinkable began to unfold. In an astonishing display of unsportsmanlike conduct, a Barcelona player deliberately scored an own goal. Moments later, the Barcelona goalkeeper took a step back to let the ball pass, granting Di Bufala a 3-1 lead.


Chaos on the Field

With Barcelona's actions casting a dark shadow over the match, Di Bufala followed suit, resulting in some of the most disgraceful scenes ever witnessed in sports history. American players intentionally kicked the ball into their own net, while Barcelona players defended the opposing goal. The Spanish goalkeeper even crossed the field to protect Di Bufala's net.


No Punishment, But Justice Prevailed

Incredibly, no punishment was handed down to the two clubs for their blatant disregard of the spirit of the game. However, retribution came swiftly on the field. In the semifinals, Internacional faced off against Di Bufala and emerged victorious. Then came the final showdown, where Ortiz, Tobias, and their team secured a memorable 4-2 win over Barcelona, clinching the World Cup title.


Historical Woes for Barcelona

The scandalous match only added to Barcelona's historical woes against Internacional. In 1982, Maradona made his debut for Barcelona in a match against Internacional, and the Brazilian team triumphed in a penalty shootout. In 2006, Internacional defeated Barcelona, then featuring Ronaldinho Gaúcho, in Japan, solidifying their reputation on the global stage.


A Legacy of Shame

Of all the defeats Barcelona has faced, the one on March 15, 1997, remains a blemish on their storied history—a day they'd rather forget. But it's not just a stain on Barcelona; it's a reminder to the entire sports community of the importance of upholding the fundamental principles of the game: the unpredictability of the outcome and respect for the fans. The scandalous match of 1997 serves as a stark testament to the enduring power of justice, even when it fails to manifest through official channels.


In the end, the dark day in Futsal history left an indelible mark—a reminder that the world of sports is not immune to scandal, and that sometimes, justice is best served on the field.

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