the shy new guy

puyi’s back on the pitch, and so is my blog :)  late last season, my email for this blog got hacked twice so i felt that i had to stop for a while.  but during the hiatus, i was able to get some new ideas for the blog and a lot of research about puyi and fcb.  i pretty much downloaded all the puyi stuff i could get my hands on, so i plan to post more vids/gifs — including lots of shirtless ones, yay!  also, i plan to include more stuff about the rest of the squad and the history of the club.  same rules apply though — only news related to football, none of the personal/family stuff unless he tweets about it or posts about it on facebook.  lastly, i want to say thanks to you guys, especially those who sent me messages during my break. 🙂

now onto my post —

la liga day 7, 13 oct 1999 — fresh from his primera liga debut the week before, puyi found himself on the camp nou pitch as van gaal’s first substitute.  it was a clasico.  talk about pressure for the new guy!

the starting 11 that day — capita pep, ruud hesp, michael reiziger, abelardo (#5 at that time), sergi, closet-madridista luis figo, philip cocu, luis enrique, boudewijn zenden, patrick kluivert and rivaldo — went against the likes of morientes, raul, future real madrid assistant manager aitor karanka, michel salgado and nicholas anelka, managed by john toshack.

capita pep was intense!

even when he was younger, pep’s facial expressions were so… well, expressive.  here he was protesting being awarded a yellow (not biased here, but it really wasn’t fairly given)

face time with the ref

raul scored first, much to the chagrin of the crowd, but rivaldo equalized just moments later.

shortly after, van gaal decided to take sergi off.  he was already on 1 yellow, and had just been called on a handball.  minute 37, enter carles —

waiting on the sidelines

#32 stepping on

incidentally, puyi’s first game as part of the first team was an away game, so this was his first fixture at the camp nou.   he must have had extremely bad jitters that night, because a few minutes in, he had one of those major WHOOPS! moments — an almost own goal!

oops!

poor puyi!! and he was right beside pep when it happened! the commentator on canal+ actually called it the worst moment in fcb’s season thus far.  in fairness to puyi, this was only day 7 — lots of worse things happened after that!  anyway, van gaal didn’t seem bothered because he didn’t make any changes during the half.

four minutes into the second half, figo scored a beautiful goal, bringing the blaugranas ahead.  i guess he really loved the club at that time because grabbed the club crest on his jersey in celebration.

here’s puyi, joining the group hug –

those are mighty skimpy shorts, puyi!

unfortunately, raul equalized in the 89th minutes, so it was a 2-2 draw at fulltime.  but wait!! what’s a clasico without a little more excitement?  of course there was a red — for one of ours, kluivert — and a row erupted among the blancos and blaugranas.  our manager and his fabulous (conan o’brien-ish) hair had to rush onto the pitch to calm them down.  and where was madrid’s manager?  he was already confined to the stands even before the game started.  sound familiar?

here’s a raging lucho (he’s always scared me, to be honest) going at it with salvio.  pep’s mad, too.  puyi steps in to separate them, but they push him back.

another view, puyi calming down a fuming pep —

what can i say? it takes some cojones for a newbie to calm his angry captain down.  i remember in one of his interviews, puyi said he used to be so intimidated by the other first team players during his first year of promotion.  i must say i’m not really surprised that he overcame that and stood his ground during these high-tension moments.

future captain in barça's centennial kit

till next time! my next post will be about the atletico game🙂

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