Porto and Barcelona stars of past and present came together to honor Anderson Luís de Souza – better known as Deco – in a thrilling testimonial match last Friday, which ended 4-4.
It was a fitting tribute for the technically gifted ex-Portuguese international, who played and scored for both sides.
The all-star supporting cast played their part well. The likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Mark van Bommel, Maniche, Benni Mccarthy and Paulo Ferreira exhibited great skill in an entertaining contest between two former Champions League winning sides.
Derlei opened the scoring for Porto and McCarthy added a second soon after to make it 2-0 for the Portuguese giants inside 15 minutes.
Eto’o pulled one back for the Catalan side with a cheeky tap-in following a great through ball by Messi – the Cameroonian forward waited on the goal-line for the defender to close him down before cruelly prodding the ball over the line.
Edgaras Jankauskas put Porto back in front before Deco and Eto’o drew Barcelona level. Messi capped a fine display with a late goal before the man of the hour, Deco, equalized for Porto, having swapped sides during the half.
The ex Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto and Fluminese midfielder, Deco, showed exactly why he has won the league title with every club he has played for. He scored two marvelous goals: the first, a deft first-time chip with the outside of his boot over the Porto keeper from the edge of the box; the second, an audacious sidefooted volley into the top corner, which left the Barcelona keeper rooted to the spot. Youth is fleeting but as Deco demonstrated, class is quite undeniably, permanent.
After the game, Messi hailed the Portugese legend: “Deco deserved this [testimonial], both as a footballer and a person. He’s a player I learned a lot from, as did so many other team-mates”.
Deco will next be seen at Tiger Street Football 2014, and posted a post-match selfie to that effect shortly after the game.