On the night of Wednesday, August 30, 2023, was not just any night. It was a moment that will be etched in the memories of many die-hard Celta fans. Last night, as the closing act of all the commemorative celebrations for RC Celta’s Centenary, a “Legends match” was held. A match that pitted old acquaintances from throughout the club’s history against the “All-Stars International,” renowned former players who wanted to join the club in its anniversary celebration.
A total of 27 living legends of Celta history once again took to the field at Abanca Balaídos to defend the colors of the club that saw them shine. With them on the pitch, Celta fans could reminisce about the glorious times when their team reached Europe, played in cup finals, and celebrated promotions to the top tier of Spanish football. It was a nostalgic celebration for all fans, who filled the stands of the stadium eagerly awaiting to see their idols shine once more.
Vicente, Gudelj, Michel Salgado, Alejo, Otero, Maté, Mazinho, Makélélé, Ratkovic, Potti, Amarildo, Berges, Juan Sánchez, Juan Velasco, Patxi Salinas, Canobbio, Gustavo López, José Ignacio, Natxo Insa, Nacho Cantero, Augusto Fernández, Dani Abalo, Orellana, Mario Bermejo, Jonathan Vila, Toni Dovale, Álex López, and Sergio Álvarez were the standout names who once again donned the Celta colors on this special occasion.
And they weren’t alone. From the bench, other great figures from the Celta club accompanied them: Santi Castro, Atilano, Borja Oubiña, and Alemany were in charge of leading their teams from the sidelines, and alongside them, cheering on their teammates from the stands, were Manolo, Rodilla, and Paco Doblas, as well as the youth players from the RC Celta first team, led by Iago Aspas, and the coach, Rafa Benítez, representing the present of the club, who didn’t want to miss this great football event.
Facing our legends were great international football players. Casillas, Figo, Cannavaro, Morientes, Pires, Materazzi, Zanetti, Trezeguet, Guti, Luis García, Cambiasso, Capdevila, Lúcio, Roberto Carlos, Lugano, and Karembeu made up the ‘All-Star International’ team, who for this special occasion, donned Celta’s second kit.
It was an exciting match that gave spectators a goal-scoring spectacle and great performances that had the Abanca Balaídos crowd cheering.
The match, refereed by Mateu Lahoz, began with the “All Stars” taking the lead with three goals to nil, scored by Figo and Morientes twice. But an outstanding Augusto Fernández opened the scoring for the Celts. Soon after, it was 2-3, thanks to goals from Juan Sánchez, and once again, Augusto brought the score level at three goals each.
After halftime, Canobbio scored his debut goal to make it 4-3 for the Legends, followed by Dani Abalo (5-3) and Mario Bermejo (6-3). Finally, the match ended with a hat-trick from Morientes, closing the game with a final score of 6-4 displayed on the stadium’s scoreboard.
It was a magical night for football in general and for Celta in particular, ending with dozens of legends circling the field at Abanca Balaídos and thanking the more than 15,000 fans who accompanied and welcomed them once again with affection, respect, and admiration.