Former Newcastle United forward Faustino Asprilla once nearly missed the club’s famous clash with Barcelona in 1997 after staying at his ranch to party.
Asprilla, 53, revealed he was absent for the team meeting ahead of the clash with the La Liga giants – leaving manager Kenny Dalglish ‘furious’ with the player.
After leaving Dalglish furious, Asprilla claimed he didn’t expect to feature in the Champions League match against the Spanish giants.
In what was one of the biggest games in the club’s history, Dalglish was without Alan Shearer due to injury and Les Ferdinand – who was sold that summer.
It meant that Asprilla was given the nod from the off, with the former St James’ Park hero surprised by the call-up.
Faustino Asprilla claims he once nearly missed Newcastle’s famous win over Barcelona after staying at home to party on his ranch
The former forward revealed he missed the team meeting which left manager Kenny Dalglish ‘furious’
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‘I’d been away on international duty, but instead of going back to Newcastle I went to my ranch and had a party with lots of girls,’ Asprilla told FourFourTwo magazine in 2017.
‘[Manager] Kenny Dalglish was furious,’ he added.
Speaking to Mail Sport, the Colombian revealed that he missed a team meeting and was later fined by the club.
‘I missed a team meeting,’ he said.
‘The manager was not happy at all. He fined me. But I was never good with things like this — the only time I ever turned up for training early was when the clocks went back and I didn’t realise.
‘So that game against Barcelona I didn’t expect to play. When he named me in the team, I was surprised. But it was one of the biggest games in the club’s history — the first in the Champions League. Alan Shearer was injured and Les Ferdinand had been sold, so they needed me. I was made for nights like this.’
The forward would go on to score an iconic hat-trick – with the Magpies securing a 3-2 win at St James’ Park.
He would go on to leave the club in the same season – signing for Serie A side Parma in January 1998. The hat-trick against Barcelona would prove to be his last goals for the club.
Since his performance against Barcelona, the forward has never had to buy a drink in Newcastle
Asprilla claims he has never had to buy a drink in Newcastle following his performance against Barcelona.
‘Since that day I’ve never had to buy a drink in Newcastle,’ he says. ‘There is a giant image of my cartwheel celebration from that night inside St James’ Park.
‘If you look closely, you can see where I signed it when I came back many years ago.
‘Everywhere I go the people want to talk about Barcelona, and why not?’